Monday, July 30, 2012

Voyageur Trail Ultra 2012 = First DNF

No overwhelming reason for dropping at the halfway point/finish of the first loop. The weather was as perfect as it gets for this race (cool morning, didn't really start heating up until nearly noon). I was running a solid pace that had me finishing the first loop in 5:30; an hour ahead of the cut-off.  I just had mentally checked out 7 miles back and could not find a compelling reason to head out on the 2nd loop, despite the best efforts of friends and volunteers to get me back out there. As a matter of fact, I couldn't think of a compelling reason to keep running ultras in general and seriously considered retiring from the sport altogether.

Leading up to the race I had over a month of sub-par training and high stress at work. It has been unusually warm this summer and I was not adapting well to the heat so wasn't getting in many long runs.  I had also been having some nagging issues with my low back/hamstrings (I am sure related to too much sitting and not enough physical activity) in the week leading up to the race.

When it came down to it I opted to quit rather than face the pain I knew would be coming - both during the race and for the days following.

On the plus side, my legs felt fine the next day, with little residual tiredness and today I headed back out to the Powerline Loop to take down the flagging in that section.

I suppose it was good to get the DNF over with and I really have no regrets at this time. It was fun to be there to watch the lead runners finish their races (something I only witness if volunteering at the finish line as, in an ultra, I am usually hours behind these folks).

Now to get back to training and finalize my plans for running/racing this year; or maybe I should retire and focus on pacing/crewing/volunteering?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Sweepers View of the Half Voyageur Trail Marathon

Brief update:

 - registered for the Half Voyageur Trail Marathon months ago. This race took place today.
 - have been in a running slump (multiple causes) of late
 - it's been hot out. I live in northern Minnesota for many reasons, one of them being I like cooler weather
 - registered for Minnesota Voyageur Trail Ultra (50 miles) months ago. This race takes place in two weeks.
 - due to the above I decided that rather than racing today (Half Voyageur) I would sweep instead. This would take the pressure off but still allow me to cover the distance, help the race director out, and get some serious time on my feet practicing power hiking and hopefully gaining some adaptation to the heat and humidity.
 - photos from today's event:

Half Voyageur Trail Marathon - 2012 Special Edition