Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tortoise and the Hare

I love the old fable that this race name is borrowed from and I have competed in the event the last two years.  The third time proved to be a charm as I was able to capture the victory this past weekend down at beautiful Buttermilk Falls State Park in Ithaca, NY.  I had a good week all around finishing up student teaching practicum work, doing some solid early week barefoot speed workouts, and bumping up the mileage without any signs of the I.T. band injury.  Ya hoooo!! Let the summer of racing begin!  

We've also been getting ready for our wedding on June 20th and our big move out to Portland, OR in late July.  Wow...a lot of exciting changes coming up and I really feel blessed for all the gifts I have in my life.

Back to the race!... I toed the line in my Inov-8 F-Lite 230's 
which I really love and have worn in the last two races I've competed in and they served me well in both.  They're super light, equipped well for roads or trails, and...well...they just look really cool!

At the starting line I heard someone behind me say, "just follow the guy with the blue shoes on".  So I led and the pack followed.  The first mile was flat and fast around the boggy Larch Meadow Trail.  Next we made our way to the toughest section of the course.  We climbed about 400 feet in a half mile and that hill always seems to get me no matter how many times I run up it.  Kellen Wadach passed me going up the hill and I heard a few others breathing down my neck but I remained in second place.  When we did finally summitt the steep trail I quickly grabbed the lead back even though I was gasping for air.  One thing that I had going for me in this race is that I know the course inside and out.  I don't think the others that were in the lead pack had this in depth knowledge so I took advantage.

With about four miles under our belts the race turned out to be between Mike Murphy and myself.  I knew he was quick (he smoked me in the mile race a week and a half earlier) so I waited until the right time on the course for me to let loose on the downhills.  It happened right around Lake Treman where visibility is poor in terms of runners seeing you as it roller coasters up and down and winds a little about the forest.  Then we back track down the steep mountain down to the finish.   I think it hurts more to brake sometimes so I just let it rip wide open and hope for the best!  I gave a couple glances back here and there and realized I had it won.  As I crossed the finish line I hit my watch and the time was 44 minutes 44 seconds and 42 hundredths of a second!  That woulda been crazy if it were all fours!!!!  

This is a pretty low key local race but I was really happy to have run that well pain free.  Thank you KC Bennett (and John), Becky Harmon, Chris and Joe Reynolds, Josh Cross, Shelly Marino, Karen Grover, Bob Talda, the people with the big number one hands that were directing us, Diane Yates, Allan Lockett, Jeff Juran, and all of the others that volunteered and made it such a great event...again!  It's just a good vibe hanging out down at Buttermilk with all the kids running around and seeing friends and pushing ourselves.  

I took a couple days off from running and just got back from a 3 and a half hour 20 miler through The Finger Lakes National Forest.  I'll try another tomorrow in a different location as I prep up for some of these bigger ultras this summer and fall.  I just dropped my registration in the mail for Where's Waldo 100k on August 22 out in Oregon and am pumped to check out that part of the state but not before taking care of some business at The Finger Lakes Fifties on the 4th of July!  I hope all are well and if not...hang in there...it will get better.  Run Happy!

Quote of the week:  "Do a little more each day than you think you possibly can."
-Lowell Thomas

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