Longest run in 2012 through Friday: 10 miles
Not exactly a formula for success for a 50K. I knew I would need to take it slow today, so I did. Maybe a little slower than I thought I would, but I still felt good at the end.
|Mark is the family 50K champion. Perhaps my protruding gut and his fit physique have something to do with that. . . .|
My plan was to stay with Mark as long as I could, hoping that would be the first loop of the two-loop 50K course. After a couple of miles, it became clear that I wouldn't be able to, so I let him slip away into the distance. Shortly after, I caught up with Fred. He's 62, and we finished close to one another at Rockledge Rumble, so I thought I'd run with him. He took off and I didn't see him again on the trail. He's a strong runner! So I plugged away on my own through the first loop. I knew Mark was way ahead of me, and I knew Joe is very generous about letting 50K runners drop and claim a 25K finish. But I decided I might as well head out for another loop.
As I pulled out of the start/finish area, I jokingly asked another runner if she was ready to pace me for the second loop. She laughed, but little did she know I would tag along for half the loop. Malea is from the Dallas area, and we know many of the same people in NTTR. Once again, I had to give up trying to keep pace with my elders. She's a good 10 years older than me, but clearly in great shape. She hung back for a bit, I think, but I told her to feel free to go on without me, so she did after setting a great pace for 6-7 miles.
|Malea heading into the distance. . . .|
|Piney woods along the course.|
|The wildflowers were more beautiful than this picture can show.|