Monday, June 6, 2011

City Slickers III

This years Pineland Farms 50 miler would be my last heavy duty training run for the 2011 Western States Endurance Run. Since I was sidelined with hernia surgery in late April, I was a bit nervous and apprehensive that the 50 miles would be a challenge. I couldn't have been happier with my results or my performance. I came through with zero pain or issues and feel that I am ready to tackle WS100 once again.

Myself, Kenny "the Gambler" Rogers, and Kevin "the Mullenator" Mullen headed up early Saturday morning for a couple of small races. Myself and Kenny for the 10k trail race and Kevin running the barefoot 5k. It was a great day to run, a bit overcast and not to warm. I finished right at 48 minutes and placed 35 out of 204 entrants and 9th out of 35 in my age group. I was very happy with the run and held back a bit knowing I had fifty miles to cover on Sunday. Kenny also ran well and the Mullenator had a great frolicking barefoot run in the woods. Mullen is definitely a rare breed and one of the reasons I chose him to pace me this year at Western.

Instead of bunking at a local hotel, we decided to "rough it" and camp out on Saturday night. After running on Saturday, we headed back to the camp grounds to set up camp. One problem though, we forgot the tent. Now I don't mind camping but I'm more of a motor home type of camper. We made the best of the situation and trekked out to buy a new tent for the city clickers. We had a great time and alot of laughs. We also met up with the newlywed power running couple, Bethany and Ryan Couto. After a good meal, we bedded down and chilled for the rest of the night. I probably slept about 2 hours the whole night. Call me tenderfoot all you want.

On Sunday, myself and Mully were running the fifty mile option while Kenny, Bethany and Ryan, and Lori Watkins and Paul ? ran the 50k option. The race started out very well but I felt a little sluggish for about the first 2 miles. My quads were a bit tight from going hard the day before but they loosened up quite nicely. I ran very well with no issues and felt very strong. After completing the first 19 1/2 hours in 3 hours and 4 minutes I felt that I could finish around 8:30. As I started the second loop I entered the farm/hayfield section of the race. This field was a bit soggy and wet and as soon as the sun came out, it turned into a sauna. It really felt like running in the amazon, even though I have never run in the Amazon, I can imagine that's how it would be. The temps got to be 85 degrees. I slowed right down but didn't struggle at all. This race was very uneventful where I didn't have any real lows or any real highs. I just ran pretty well and plugged along. I finished the race in a little over 9 hours and shaved about 11 minutes of my best time at Pinelands. I felt I could have run a bit faster but didn't want to dump it with Western right around the corner. It was a great day and I couldnt have been happier. Most importantly my hernia was left in tact and I was pain free. All my fellow runners ran extrmely well and everybody had a great time.

With Western just right around the corner I am very happy with the way my training has gone. I am definitely stronger than I was last year even though I missed about 3 weeks of heavy duty training because of the hernia surgery. I am very fortunate and grateful for all I have been given, the chance again to honor Owen Simmons, to raise funds for the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation, and to give Spinal Muscular Atrophy a swift kick in the ass! See you in Squaw Valley folks! Stay tuned. The Madman and the Mullenator are Western States bound!

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