Bittersweet Symphony

Brad is currently holding down the fort over on the wild side of Intrigued giving me a chance to tie up some loose ends here on the mothership. Two of those pressing items are recent race recaps that took a backseat during the Halloween season. The first of these is the big one for the year – the attempt at the 100K ultra (a bit over 60 miles for those not familiar with those units). As a side note, this week I finally came to terms with my interest in this self-torture cleverly sugarcoated as mere “trail running”. In the past I’ve always quipped it was really training for dangerous encounters while chasing wildlife in the field. That isn’t exactly true, as all I really need to be is faster than the slowest person in the group – if Ron is with me…well, let’s just say I don’t need to run for over 14 hours to make it to safety. After this week I’m changing my response to “So I can deal with the fall leaf cleanup”. Pretty much 5 days straight for 5+ hours at a time battling the tree carnage – legs spent, arms spent, abs spent matching how I felt after the Farmdale Ultra Trail Run.

Farmdale Ultra Trail 50 Mile Race - October 9th, 2022

This year the race was held on October 9th/10th which puts it exactly one week after our big Halloween Haunted Trail event. Definitely not ideal timing as the haunt takes a lot of out of me. Adding to the difficulties, we had to make a trip out to Wichita, KS for a wedding, forcing taper a week earlier than usual. Managed to get the trail taken down during the first part of race week and added in a few small runs just to make sure the body was still oiled. By the time we headed to the course (day before the race start) everything was feeling relatively good – a big relief.

Should probably set the stage with some details on the race strategy. Technically, this particular ultra does not have an official 100K, instead, they offer a 10K, 1/2, 30M, 50M and the pinnacle 100M. Two years ago I completed the 30M (link here), last year my first 50M (link here) and this year I was officially signed up again for the 50M – yep, that’s short of the 62 for the 100K mark. As tradition goes, they offer upping to the 100M once you complete the 50M – one catch, if you take their offer, you give up the 50M accomplishment (and the buckle) and if you do not finish the additional 50M, then you go home with a big ol’ DNF for all your hard work. Get where I’m going here? Correct, I was going to toss the 50M finish and add an additional loop to put me at the 100K distance and then take the DNF because at the moment, that 100M is beyond my abilities (maybe in a year or two). This also gave me a safety net, if for some reason the extra loop was out of reach, I could simply take the win at the 50M mark – as Linda will attest, I like options!

Farmdale Ultra Trail 50 Mile Race - October 9th, 2022

Hit the jump for more details on how this race strategy played out!

Continue reading Bittersweet Symphony

Tuck It or Man Up

I’ve been posting a lot about checking items off of a list lately, but today’s post is not about birds. Nope, we are going to cover another one of my precious lists – this time it is another notch on the life list. I was a bit tardy on my last notch thanks to the dreaded Heat Miser inflicting a heavy toll. The goal was to get the 50K trail ultra prior to my retirement – a gift to myself, if you will, while I still had full medical coverage ha! You already know how that first attempt went (link here). Add in the pandemic and it took two years to wipe that blemish off my record. Missed the time goal, but at least got it crossed off. That brings us to the other running entry on the life list – the 50 miler by 55. With everything shifted a year thanks to the worldwide shutdown it was getting pretty tight – it was this year or be late AGAIN.

Farmdale Ultra Marathon 50 Mile Trail Run, East Peoria, IL on October 9th, 2021

Opted to go with the Farmdale Ultra again – same place where I ended up getting my first 50K out of the way (link here). The cool October weather takes most of the heat concern out of the equation and I knew (well I thought I knew) the route like the back of my hand. By the way, the irony isn’t lost as I make a post on a run now sponsored by a running organization that goes by “No One Cares You Run Ultras”.

Farmdale Ultra Marathon 50 Mile Trail Run, East Peoria, IL on October 9th, 2021

Hit the jump to see how this latest life list endeavor turned out!

Continue reading Tuck It or Man Up