Monday, October 26, 2009
Run with Scissors
Training since the Towpath Marathon two weeks ago has been pretty abysmal. That cold didn't help, but even since it's been better, the running hasn't improved. But maybe it would all come together for Run with Scissors.
Since Roy Heger was such a great help for NC24, I asked what I could do to help with is race, Run with Scissors. He said, "run it". In other words, he needed runners more than he needed helpers. So although I knew that RWS is not my type of race, I lined up, and figured I might as well do the double, not the single marathon. After all, I ought to get my money's worth, right? Roy had made it clear that anyone could change events.
It was a cold (37F) start in the dark. I took the early start option in order to give myself enough time to do the entire 54+ miles. Note that each of the RWS "marathons" were something like 27 1/2 miles. And the reason these things aren't usually my cup of tea? The tough, tough, tough, and extremely muddy CVNP trails.
My new cheap headlamp wasn't doing too well on those trails, and it wouldn't get light for another 3 1/2 hours, so I was very lucky to catch up with Jim Fisher, who had a great little flashlight. Jim and I wound up running almost the entire way together. Nice conversations.
The pace felt easy, but soon the mountainous hills and the mud began to take their toll. I simply felt beat up. All along we talked about whether to do the double, but this seemed less likely as we kept going. At the 10/11 mile mark by the Covered Bridge they handed us scissors. At about half-way, we came upon a skeleton sitting on a chair and holding some books in the middle of a stream. We had to cut out a page and bring it back. Of course there were artistic pictures of nude models in the one book, and of course that's what I cut from.
That middle loop on the Perkins Trail turned out to be the toughest. As we returned to the covered bridge, it was beginning to get light. Now we were able to pick up the pace a bit. It felt like we were flying, but we were probably only doing 10 to 11 minute miles. We did manage to run the rest of the way at that decent pace.
Also as it got light, the great fall foliage in the valley began to really show itself. It was almost beautiful enough to make the whole thing worthwhile. Almost. As we came in at 9:35 or so, it was painfully obvious that neither of us would be heading back out for round two. We were just too beat up. Enough is enough. I'm glad I did it, but NEVER AGAIN!!
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