Monday, March 16, 2009

Elizabeth’s Furnace 50K

“But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me. . . Also I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.”
II Timothy 4:17

The Lord has certainly stood with me and strengthened me over the past couple of years; He has allowed me to accomplished feats that I thought were impossible and for this I give Him great thanks. He has also brought me to a point where I can look past my pride and stubbornness, listen to my body and know when it is telling me that it has had enough for the day. This is what happened on Saturday at the Elizabeth’s Furnace 50K and the lion that I was delivered from was called “Sherman’s Gap”.

The day started out great with temps in the high 30s. There were about 70 of us grouped together in the Signal Knob parking lot at the north end of the Massanutten Mountains, when “go” was shouted and off we went down UP the trail. The first three miles or so of the run was straight up the mountain to Meneka Peak, the pace was good and I found myself running with John Cassilly and Jack Kurisky (who would eventually come in 3rd and 4th). We made our way across the ridgeline and down to the first aid station at about 7 miles. Thanks to Quatro and the others volunteers for hiking the support into the remote aid station (you’ve gotta love VHTRC Fat Ass events).

We continued down the sidewinder trail for a couple of miles and then started the 2nd climb up Mudhole Gap. This is a great section of the course with a lot of runnable uphill trail. The stream was low this year so it was pretty easy to keep the feet dry. The Mudhole Gap trail met back up with the orange blazed Massanutten Trail and turned into a very steep climb for about a mile, bringing us to the 11 mile “critical turn” point. Even though Mike Bur provided a stern warning about this turn, I some how missed it and took our merry band of three down the west side of the mountain. Having run this last year the downhill just didn’t seem right after a half mile or so, unfortunately, John and Jack had pushed on ahead before I yelled out that we I had made a wrong turn, so back up the extremely steep and un scheduled trail we climbed. This was a good 20 minute mistake.

Once on the “proper” blue blazed trail the beauty of the Massanutten’s shined through, ROCKS. This is a very slow and tedious section that is littered with rocks of all sizes. This went on for about 3 miles until we descended back onto a fireroad and started the 3rd climb up to Signal Knob. At the top, I stayed on the road and neglected to follow the orange blazes for the short detour to the Signal Knob Overlook (Sniper, I will not make the same mistake next year). The trail continued back up to Meneka Peak and back across the ridgeline. It was at this time that my body was starting to tell me that I might be asking for to much. Although I never got sick, my stomach was starting to turn and my legs were feeling the effects of the Seneca Greenway 50K the week before.

By the time I got down the mountain and into the 22 mile aid station I was certain that I didn’t need to continue and take the risk of breaking anything at this point in my training. So I called it a day and headed back to the Signal Knob parking lot. No regrets about stopping early, it was the right decision for the way my body was feeling. I have the Bel Monte 50 miler in two weeks and to push myself to hard would have been unnecessary and unproductive. I am trying to keep my eye on the goal for this year and that is under 24 hours at Western States 100.

As in every event, I learned more about my physical conditioning each run. This race showed me that I still have worked to be accomplished and through the strength and determination that God gives me, it will be done. Thanks to Quatro and Bur and all of the VHTRC volunteers, you put on a great show, I look forward to next year. Run Strong!
God Bless and Semper Fi,

Training for 9-15 Mar: Weekly Mi (44.2), Monthly Mi (90), Yearly Mi (451.2)

Mon: 5.7 mi / 50 mins - Crossramp
Tues: Off
Wed: 7.5 mi – WO&D Trail PM Run Commute (Tempo)
Thurs: 8 mi – WO&D Trail AM Run Commute (Fartlek) / Abs
Fri: Off
Sat: 23 mi - Elizabeth’s Furnace 50K
Sun: Off

No comments:

Post a Comment

Site Meter