A few weeks ago I went back to Magnus Gluteus 50K for the 2nd year. I really like this race, which serves as the club's holiday party of sorts. What better way to celebrate the holidays than run 31 miles? The race is on the Bull Run trail, which is only about 30 minutes away, and it is a great time of year to get in a long training run with some friends.
The run went very well, and I had a great time just like last year. I was running on fairly tired legs after doing 80 miles the week before and hadn't done a run over 20 miles in a very long time, but I felt good nonetheless.
On the first 12 or 13 mile section, I was moving surprisingly well. I was running out in the lead and ran a pretty fast split on this hilly trail (sub 8 minute miles). I ran a lot of that section with a young guy from LA. He was a 5K runner, and his longest previous training run was a 13 miler the week before. Sounds kind of like someone I know (cough, Brome). Oh, and did I mention he was wear the Vibram Five Fingers and had never run in them on trails? That is crazy even in the world of ultramarathons.
Next I got to the infamous "Do Loop". The barely marked, unnavigable section that meanders through a heavily wooded area. As I went into this section, I lost the fast cross country guy. I didn't see him again and dearly hope that he made it out of the Loop.
I was relatively sure I was going in the right direction based on what I remembered from last year and was feeling pretty confident. Then I got lost. The good news is that I cut the loop a bit short. This was much better than the typical getting lost situation, which involves going round and round the loop until you're too exhausted to move and finally give up.
I don't think I cut too much of the loop, but I managed to get ahead of the first place guy who had passed me just as we went through the loop. Fortunately this is barely even a race with no entry fee, timing system, or any of the other formalities that would indicate it is actually a race. I wasn't too worried.
I got back to the main trail to run the same 12-13 miles back to the finish/start. My legs were getting very tired, and I slowed down but still made decent progress. I finished in 4:37, which would be a solid 50K PR had I not cut the course short.
I've been training pretty well since then and have been concocting some racing plans for 2011, but more on that in the next post.
Happy holidays, everybody!