What a beautiful DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
After a 5 inch snowfall and 16 degree temps Monday and Tuesday, this weekend ends with a 73 degree sunny day of play on great trails in Maryland.
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday- off feel crappy and tired
Wednesday- 4 miles am, 11 miles pm
Thursday- off- legs feel day, have head cold- enjoyed the rest by painting in house
Friday- 4 miles AM, 4 miles PM
Saturday- 50k (17th-5:19) ++miles???? seemed a bit long
55 miles for the week on 3 days- 5 runs
After much debate yesterday and even 15 more minutes this morning when my alarm went off at 5am I decided to take advantage of the super weather and head a few miles north to run Ed Schultz's Seneca Greenway trail marathon and 50k. With temps in the high 50's when I woke I knew it was going to be a warm one. After a bus ride from the finish to the start and good conversation with some fellow runners I began my race at 8am running with VHTRC friend Stuart Kern. We settled in to a pretty strong run allowing us to still be able to chat, but at a fast enough pace to gap some of the 200+ other starters (marathon and 50k start together). The minutes rolled by with my legs feeling pretty good. I stopped to walk on a decent rolling hill and then stopped for a pee break only to see my friend Alyssa Godesky striding up from behind. Having only been passed by two other women I figured Alyssa (who is fresh of 3rd placings at JFK 50 and Holiday lake 50k) should be a favorite for the win. I settled in to a steady run with her and realized that the first hour had now passed and the 9:00 miles we were running felt great. This was just what I needed...fast enough to let me keep my own selected stride, but slow enough to keep from crushing my already tired legs. Today was to be all about enjoying the great course, good company, and fabulous weather.
The marathoners and 50kers split up at a lake.....we would go right and make a counterclockwise loop around the lake, while the marathoners would skip the lake trail and continue on to the left. The aid station personnel were superb all day and the folks here told us we had already completed 15 miles (2:15) and that Alyssa was in 2nd place for the 50k women. The first place girl was in sight just ahead and we would stride off confidently in pursuit. I tried to keep the fluids and salt going in as the temps were now easily in the high 60's. A far cry from the weather we have had recently. As the 3 hour mark rolled by we had closed on the lead gal and managed to get 19 miles in. My legs felt great and I enjoyed each and every downhill. The climbs still are kicking my butt, but I felt more and more comfortable as the day rolled on.
As we began to catch many marathoners a bit of weaving around was in order and soon enough one of the folks we went on by was the women's leader of the 50k. Alyssa held tough and the hilliest stretch of the course was upon us. The occasional cool breezes we had felt earlier in the day were long gone but the 2nd to last aid station seemed to be forever away. Finally at the 4:17 point we arrived at the chocolate lovers aid station. No one was really sure how far the finish was from here (~7 miles) but I hoped it was short. At least the trail was generally downhill to the last aid station. One last big hill and we were almost there. Before I knew it I could see the long line of cars at the finish and our day was done. Alyssa won and we were 16 + 17 overall.
A hot pulled pork sandwich was our reward for a long day. mmmm mmmm
Thanks to Ed and all the volunteers for a great day and a great race! Next up... the EFA 50k