Monday, March 25, 2013

Hinckley Buzzard 50K/25K

It was **just** the 25K for me. There was once a time when I would never, ever run anything but the longest possible race of the day. I would say that I was simply trying to get my money's worth, since one does generally get more miles per dollar for the longer runs. But for last autumn's Run with Scissors (where I **just** did a marathon), and now this here buzzard run, I opted for the shorter events.

Notice the overuse and emphasis of the word just. People use the word all the time when running a shorter race if a longer one is available. I may need to expunge that word from my own vocabulary, since I am finding myself using it so much lately.

About half-way through, and making that face again.                            Photo by John McCarroll
I was under no illusions about how tough this would be, shorter race though it was. I like the Hinckley trails, but I'm quite aware that they present quite the challenge to road sissies like myself. Since I had no illusions, I also had no expectations about running especially fast, or placing especially well. I only hoped to finish.

And even just finishing appeared to be somewhat in doubt as we started off. The footing, especially at during the first mile or two, was very bad. There was:

  • snow
  • ice
  • uneven ruts of frozen mud
  • the usual steep hills

No, this was not going to be an easy day. I considered simply turning around and walking back, but I somehow managed to keep running forward. I eventually got used to the conditions, and just rolled with them. Did I mention that it was also quite cold? Temperatures were in the low 20s at the start, but during the run probably got up to the low 30s. The sunshine helped. But even that, combined with a couple hundred thousand footfalls, presented some problems. At some point some of the ice and frozen mud became transformed into ice and shoe-sucking mud.

How did the run go for me, you ask? Actually not too bad. I'd like to say that I exceeded expectations, but that wouldn't be quite right since I didn't have any. I ran the two 7.85 mile (or whatever) loops in about even splits to finish in 2:35. That's really okay. I'm fine with it. Really. I won't even mention that it's yet another Personal Worst time, or that my last 25K run was in the neighborhood of an hour faster with a time of 1:42.

It was wonderful to run in those Hinckley woods; they truly are beautiful. I'll never take them for granted. It was also wonderful to see so many of my club and otherwise ultra friends out there running and/or organizing the race. I had a blast.

No comments:

Cleveland Marathon, 2018 Edition

It's raining as I park the car. Since I'm here an hour and fifteen minutes before the start, I'm not concerned. I can just sit i...