The year is nearly over now with no major events planned so I guess it's time to take a look back and see how things went with the running.
The year got off to a great start with the Weymouth Woods 100k. A cold day but very comfortable for running and I was able to finish in a time (13:53) that gave me a qualifier for Western States. The best part of it was that I felt strong and was able to actually pick the pace back up over the last lap. Beats doing a death march finish anytime! I finished up the month with some fun at the NCFA 50K on the All American Trail at Fort Bragg. Just used it as a long training run and some time for socializing with a bunch of MTC friends.
In February I made the trip to Pilot Mountain State park with Margo and Tony for the Pilot Mt Payback Trail Marathon. It was a gorgeous day and I ran strong and met my goal of feeling good and going sub 5 hours. Great day with several MTC friends.
After that I just spent the rest of the month and most of March training for the Umstead 100 until March 24th when I ran a 5k cross country race. Not the smartest thing to do a week before a 100 miler. I wasn't going to run hard but ended up going just about all out on a rainy muddy slick course. Lots of fun anyway.
A week later I attempted a 100 mile pr at Umstead. Unfortunately the weather did not cooperate. After raining most of the first 35 miles, it got very warm and muggy which are the worst conditions for me. I went on to post my 50 mile pr in route but things went downhill from there and the 2nd half was pretty miserable. I don't use pacers but since this is the home course I was happy to have my friend Jerry run lap 5 with me and then Angels Lisa and Karla ran the last two so at least I had company in my misery. Still finished in a respectable time of 25:52.
Recovery went well and by the end of April I was ready to go for a fast time at Promise Land 50k, one of my favorites. I had the unexpected pleasure of running the entire race with a college girl from VT that was running in her first ultra. Beautiful day until around mile 20 when thunderstorms came and turned the course into a mudslide and the temps dropped and we almost went hypothermic. Although no way near my pr, I felt great and ran well despite the tough conditions over the last 3rd of the race.
After once gain recovering quickly and getting back to training, I went down to The May Madness 50k, Boogieman Doug's Wild Card run of the year. Ten 5k's , one every hour in sand and heat and humidity. Had a lot of fun there but those last couple of 5k's hurt !
In June, I was ready to spring my surprise and waited until the day of the race to announce my intentions of doing a Double at the Bethel Hill Moonlight Boogie. Doug and a few of my Angels were the only ones in on the plan. Amy came to run the first 26.2 with me and things went great until the 1.5 mile mark. That's when we were attacked by the dogs. Oh well, only another 98.5 to go right? I gave it my best shot but the loss of blood and pain caught up to me and I finally had to drop at mile 62 and head to the hosptial for treatment.
It took another week before I was able to resume running and still had a lot of pain for a couple of more weeks. I was also very worn down from the effort and ordeal and the antibiotics so when another of my favorites, the Grandfather Mountain Marathon rolled around 4 weeks later in mid July I was almost tempted to not run it knowing I was not anywhere near condition to run it well. despite miserably warm and muggy conditions, I felt better for longer than I expected but then reality set in and I suffered mightily to finish. Fortunately I didn't have any more racing planned until September so I was able to recover and train
Sept and Labor Day weekend I flew to Milwaukee for The Badgerland 24 hour run on the track at Germantown high school. I was hoping for a new distance pr but my dumb race strategy combined with a blustery warm day prevented that from happening. I did bring home a new 50 mile pr though as I passed 50.22 miles in 9:57.
I once again recovered quickly and although there was no more racing until mid October, Amy and I begin the start of training for her to get a Boston qualifier next Spring which at this point was mostly trying to get her more consistent with her mileage and Max effort hill repeats once a week.
On October 13th I attempted the Oil Creek 100 miler in Titusville PA. Although I felt great, I was not prepared for the mostly single track, steep hills and once the cold rain hit in the dark of night, near hypothermic and in the ensuing mud, I just couldn't move fast enough and missed a cutoff at 84.5 miles.
Although I felt pretty good within a week of that effort,4 weeks was obviously not enough time to recover and run a fast marathon as I found out at OBX on Nov 11th. I was running with Karla and Amy and things were going well and according to plan but inevitably the wheels came off around mile 22 and I didn;t get to finish with either of them.
I finished up my competitive year with a very non-competitive effort at The Derby 50K. I just wanted to get my ninth finish, get in a good training run and have fun doing it which I accomplished. The remainder of the year has been focused on getting Amy and myself in the best shape I can for the BQ attempt. We have been doing speedwork for the past 3 weeks now and it is going much better than I expected.
So despite a couple of dnf's and less than hoped for results, it was still a pretty good year. I can't complain when I get a 100k pr, lower my 50 mile pr twice in one year and earn another buckle in a 100 miler.