Time to run

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Dances With Dirt 50K Race

Dances with Dirt Green Swamp Race

Well Mimi Reeves, and Frank Fahey and I drove to Dade City on Friday to race Saturday, March 7.
- Frank ran the 10K
- Mimi ran the 13.1 mile race
- I ran the 50K race
The cool thing is that each of us placed in our particular age-groups in our races which made the 4 hour drive home very enjoyable as we rehashed our individual race stories. Frank is convinced (and he may be right) that our regular hill/trail runs at the trash heap gave us a competitive edge.
Last year I ran this race and got really lost. I ran 38 miles instead of 31 in 6:27 minutes; somehow still managing 4th place in my age group. Yesterday I did get lost a few times, but re-tracked quickly. I ran 32 miles in 4:49 minutes (9:03 pace) and finished 1st in my age group and 8th place overall.

I am particularly pleased with my effort and the results that I posted today. The journey back to running after my traumatic brain injury has been long and slow. I have been diligent and although my struggles are still slowing my running times, the work is paying off. I definitely do not take it lightly and without a doubt I value my success greatly.

I started pretty fast. After 10K I was in 4th place overall. My pace was in the low to mid 7:00 minute per mile range. I felt good and although I may have started a bit too fast, I don't have any regrets. As I approached mile 10, I maintained an aggressive pace.

Miles 10 - 20 slowed considerably as the swam filled the trail and I was emerged in waist deep water, near impassible grass, weeds and woods often and tiring ankles (not to mention a massive blister on the arch of my right foot). The pack of runners really thinned out and navigation became difficult. At times I didn't see anyone for long stretches and the course was difficult to find. I was running lost in my own personal nightmare. I was happy to get passed at around mile 22 and I followed the fleet footed runner as long as I could but he quickly dropped me. At mile 29 or so I fell hard. I got up quickly and quickly began running again but I was disoriented. I felt lost. My pace was in the 10:00 minute per mile zone now. I mostly just wanted an assurance that I was still on course. Memories of last years epic lost-man's race haunted me. At around mile 30 I heard some voices. "on your left", "one more", as a man and a women passed me. I have never been so happy to be passed! I tried but I couldn't keep up. Before long they were gone. I struggled on and eventually found the finish line.

I was surprised/thrilled to find out that I won my age group and finished in the top 10! I didn't have any expectations because I mostly looked at this race as a long training day. I certainly didn't think I could break 5 hours on this course.

Today was a great day!
#GreenSwamp #DadeCity #DanceswithDirt #running #ultrarunning #trailrunning #swamp #50K #traumaticbraininjury #tbi #recovery