When we signed up for this race in January, we had full intentions on running most of it. Unfortunately, due to some uncooperative body parts, we were forced to go to a majority walk plan. But we knew that in advance, so we were prepared for it this time.
We made the 4 hour drive up to Meridian on Friday and picked up our packet. At the packet pickup, they had some of the live scorpions that were out on the course which they had caught a day earlier. They were smaller than I expected. I was thinking somewhere between small golden retriever to brahma bull size. Oh well.
We woke up early after a wonderful night sleep in a double bed (booking error) and headed to the race location. It was a beautiful park! And it was a little nipply out there.
The 50K folks had started at 6:00 and we were due to head out at 7:00. We had our plan. We had our gear. And at exactly 7:00 we took off in a dead
sprint….walk. I guess my idea of winning was not in the plan.
Now you have to understand something about Christine and I. We walk really fast. Even uphill. So even though we drifted towards the rear of the pack, we were walking (and passing) people who were running. I mean I actually was walking up behind people who appeared to be running! Seriously. Take longer strides people!
The first loop was fun. We had no clue where we were so we just followed the markings and enjoyed the scenery. It felt great to be back out in the woods on some trails. There were plenty of short climbs to push our legs but enough flats and downhills for easy recovery. We both felt great and were hoping to push a little on the second loop.
We finished the first loop and did some gear swapping. It had warmed up and we were tired of carried the extra layers, so I ran to the truck and stashed them while Christine filled our bottles. Our plan for loop two was to try to run some of the downhills and flats to change up the muscles being used. And that seemed like a good plan until….
About 10 miles in as were heading up a pretty longish climb, Christine had to stop because she couldn’t catch her breath. Excuse me? A few minutes earlier we were cruising along nicely. I stopped and waited and began internally deliberating my options:
- Go on and leave her. Not the smartest move considering we have been married for over 28 years, I want to stay married to her. Plus she has a mean right hook.
- Slow down and just enjoy the scenery for the rest of the race. Do you people even know me? There are at least 2 people behind us and we will not come in DFL!
- Be the carrot. I could just stay a few yards ahead of her and keep moving at a good pace. Of course, if she caught me she would probably bite me.
I opted for Number 3 and surprisingly it worked! Of course, she also got her second wind and dug pretty deep for the last 4 to 5 miles. By the time we got to the finish line, we were ready to be finished. Our finish time was around 4:06 for the 25K race (15.5 miles).
This little jaunt up to Mississippi was a good indicator of what I need to work on for future unmentionable races. I now know what my baseline is and how much pain I am in store for. But that is another story.
By the way, as soon as we finished we jumped in the truck and drove the 4 hours home. On the way back, we went through this city. Is this for real?