Sunday, November 10, 2013

Rockledge Rumble DNF

Lining up for the 7 a.m. start.
I've always said that the only way for me to stay motivated to run consistently is to have a run on the calendar for which I am training.  I will add to that: I need a run on the calendar AND a specific training plan to get me going every day.

I registered for the Rockledge Rumble 50K and had some spurts of decently consistent training, but never made a training calendar and didn't train as consistently as I needed to.  I knew I wasn't in 50K shape, and e-mailed the race director to request placement in a shorter distance (they had a 15K and 30K).  She wrote back saying all distances are full, and that I couldn't change.  I debated just showing up and getting my race t-shirt, but decided to give it a shot and see if I could get in under the 8:30 time limit.

The good news is that this was a perfect day for running.  Cool and cloudy most of the morning, it was shorts and short sleeves weather (for running).  It did warm up a bit later, and the sun came out, but it was still comfortable.  And, of course, the trails on the north short of Lake Grapevine are terrific to run on.

I considered walking the first 10 miles to conserve energy, but decided I would just take it slow.  I started at the back of the pack, and stayed there.  For the first 10 miles or so I kept a pretty steady 14 minute pace, just what I needed to finish by the cutoff, with a little time to spare.  The next 7-8 miles, I slowed 2-3 minutes per mile, walking some, but still within time for the cutoff.  But after 20 miles, I tried to run but just couldn't get my body to cooperate.  I thought after I got to the last aid station I could find a new reserve of energy and pick up the pace for the last 5 miles back to the start.  Alas, when the aid station came in sight, they were packing up, and informed me that I had missed the cutoff by 5 minutes.  DNF for me.

I hate that I didn't push myself to pick up the pace, but I did enjoy my time on the trail.  If I can't be at Floyd Casey Stadium cheering for the Bears (They played on Thursday night this week.), running--or walking--at Lake Grapevine is a great alternative.

Next race, I'll make a training calendar!

These races could not happen without a ton of race volunteers.
These ladies would disagree with my statement that today was a great shorts and short sleeves day!
More terrific aid station volunteers.  Thanks for being there!
The trails and the trees and the views of the lake make this trail system and this race worth showing up for.  So close to the city, but so easy to feel all alone in the woods.

Me with R.D. Cindy Melder, who told me not to be a sissy and man up for my 50K.  OK, she didn't exactly say it like that.  But she deserves a boatload of thanks and good wishes for doing such a great job for the second year in a row, organizing D/FW's premier trail race.  Thanks Cindy!

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