Sunday, July 20, 2008

Forest Frolic 15K

This has been a great week of running even though the temperatures have been sizzlin'. After finishing this week with a win at Forest Frolic 15K I truly feel that last week's recovery week paid off. It was great to be running some of the same trails that I'll be covering in the 100-miler and also seeing friends and familiar faces at yet another enjoyable FLRC event.

Miles for the week: 55

Monday=Lifted weights in morning; 5 miles through Buttermilk Falls State Park in evening
Tuesday= 4.5 miles in morning on Tri for Y course; 4.5 miles at night through Treman State Park with Ian
Wednesday= 10.5 miles on Abbot Loop with Finger Lakes Trail add-on with Michael
Thursday= 10 miles on Monkey Run-Mt. Pleasant to Gamefarm- to campus with Drew
Friday= 6 miles through Forest Home to Turkey Hill- Ellis Hollow- back to Wildflower with
Saturday= 4.5 miles through plantations and Cayuga Trail
Sunday= Forest Frolic 15K (10 miles)

This was my first Forest Frolic as I was out of town last summer at this time. I knew it would be a tough (fun) race just from running in this area recently and knowing some of the course from Monster Marathon and Madness 30K. I thought more people would have showed up today given the free entry but I guess Grassroots Festival gobbled up a lot of runners.

Michael, a young IHS runner and myself barrelled down the hill at the beginning and coasted into the forest after about a mile. After about another half mile Michael and I took a left for the 15K and the younger guy went right...thankfully. Michael and I ran stride for stride for a little while... a feeling I've been getting used to as we've been dukin' it out at various local races.

At about 3.5 miles I started feeling a pretty bad sidestitch that seemingly got worse. It forced me to slow down a little and try some goofy-looking stretches...anything to get rid of it. The only thing that has worked in the past for me in this situation is to completely stop, bend over and breathe out with quick rapid breaths. It worked again!

By now Michael had a decent lead on me but not out of sight. I stormed up and down the trails thinking that "man... this is going to be over soon...might as well go all out!" I flew down a somewhat long hill with no brakes at all and realized that I was really gaining on him. As I crept up behind him he said "good job man". Again we were running stride for stride together and just when I started to wonder how this was all going to pan out Michael took a pretty hard fall. I asked if he was all right and then moved into the lead. I didn't see him again until the finish.

We had about 2 or 3 miles to go and I know Michael is a tough runner that is really good at climbing these hills in Virgil. I kept looking over my shoulder in vain. I know from personal experience that when you fall in a race like that it can sometimes damage your spirit and cause you to be a more tentative runner for the remainder of the race. I think that's what happened today to Michael but glad that we all came out alive with minimal cuts and scrapes.

Anyway, I came in to the campsite area with a time of 1:03:30 or so for the first place finish. No award, no prizes or recognition...just a nice big zorro-like scratch on my arm from a tree and memories to take with me.

It was nice being able to catch up a little with Running Times writer Rachel Toor, Brian Lee, Eric Maki and talk about shoes briefly with Gillian Sharp. Inov-8's Roclite 285's were absolutely perfect for this trail run! As usual it was just great mingling with locals and meeting others that traveled to this little campsite in the woods to run the beautiful rugged forests of Virgil, NY.

Erica and I are heading out to Portland, OR very early tomorrow morning for a little getaway adventure. It should also be nice checking out some trails and parks in the glorious Pacific Northwest. What won't be so nice is working on Anatomy and Physiology from the hotel room...but oh's gotta get done! Happy Trails!

Quote of the week: "I always loved was something you could do by yourself, and under your own power. You could go in any direction, fast or slow as you wanted, fighting the wind if you felt like it, seeking out new sights just on the strength of your feet and the courage of your lungs." -Jesse Owens

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