Friday, May 15, 2009

Buncombe 34M

It has been awhile sense posting anything due to my busy schedule so this may be on the long side. First let me say the Buncombe 34 mile race in SC was an awesome event with many thanks to Terri Hayes (Race Director) for all her hard work. Terri doesn’t play when it comes to making sure her runners have everything they need to ensure safe and successful results.
The aid stations were stocked with everything you could imagine along with water drops at appropriate points along the course. The course was in great shape with a few slick muddy sections to make it interesting but the Montrails MM performed well and kept me upright. The morning temps were very comfortable, and the daytime high stayed in the mid to high 80s, but the humidity was a killer.
Let me rewind a little and share events leading up to the weekend. My son had his spring formal dance Saturday night and what a show it was. He had his own cheering section and critics as we watched every graceful move on the dance floor. Josh and Clair were flawless and the spectators most surprised with how comfortable they glided around while performing dances like the foxtrot, twist, shag, waltz, and many more.
By the time the dance was over, drove home, some last minute packing, it was 1AM which would only give us 3 hours of sleep before the alarm would ring at 4AM for our 2 hour drive on race morning. Laura, the kids, and her sisters (Shari & Tammy) were running two of the aid stations. All was going well until about 18 miles into SC when we drove into a mine field of 5 gallon paint cans all over the interstate. With no place to go, and darkness disabling any warning of the dome, we helped paint the interstate and my gunmetal gray colored Avalanche with oil base white paint. What a mess it was and not the way to start the day. Maybe I can get a tax break for helping the state dept paint the interstate!
We arrived at the race just in time for the brief as Terri gave us a sign of relief knowing her two main AS would be covered. I did not taper for this event and was using it mainly as a training run. For such humid and muddy conditions, the Montrail MM held up great with no blisters or sore feet. The course is all on walking and horse trails and we had a few section which would such the shoes off your feet with the deep holes from the horses. The stream crossings were welcomed and the elevation change was no more then a couple hundred feet at any one time which made for very runnable trails. This year Terri had a max capacity race with a few on the waiting list. The field of runners consisted of all types along with some respectable fast runners. A small group of runners took off fairly fast at the beginning and I was thinking I might see them later when they realize they took off too fast. This was not the case and they stayed fast all day. I got to meet some great people along the way and it made for a great day on the trails. Most were new to Ultras and asked a lot of questions. Some like Walt were more experienced and we talked about things that didn’t go so well in previous races. He is running VT100 this summer as his first 100 miler and I gave him some tips on what not to do, and what worked well for me. I had a few runners compliment me on how fast I moved on the trails and my quick turnover speed. All that speed training must be paying off. I didn’t move this fast all day, just certain section where I wanted to hammer my quads on the downhill’s to get some training in. Overall, I finished in the middle of the pack which was good for me considering I didn’t taper and didn’t intend on pushing it real hard. With such a fast field, I wouldn’t have been able to keep up with them anyway. Comparing my time to last year, I would have had a top 7 finish. I will be watching to see what these guys do down the road.
Work has been very demanding but I passed all my annual training exams for the week. This consumes so much of my time trying to get ready and maintaining my NRC license to operate a nuclear power plant.
This past weekend we went to Charleston SC for Mothers Day and what a rainy day it was. We made the best of it and had a great time anyway.
My training mileage has been low and I really need 3 strong hard weeks of solid training before going to OH in June. With a lot of my critical activities behind me, I will be able to be more focused. Before this week is over I should have close to 80 miles in the bank including speedwork and hill repeats (With a 20 pound vest to get a little extra burn). With my aggressive training schedule, I’m hoping for no injuries although my right leg hamstring has been a little tight the last couple of days. I’ve been taking the time to get in some good warm-ups and stretching as a precautionary measure, and not pushing it too much when it feels like its getting a little tight. This has been an exceptional cool week in the South and the heat training is lagging. I’m sure I will pay for that. The photo below is my wife and daughter catching a quick nap at the race.

3 comments:

Rooster said...

Sounds like some great family time all around. Great job.

Mark said...

Great post! Thanks for the encouraging words. I live on the border of Mark Twain Nat. Forest, I've been considering trail running, think I need better shoes?

Beth said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. I loved reading yours- congrats on your race! Very fun to read about. I'll keep checking in!