Saturday, June 5, 2010

Day 7: The DNF?

This morning, on day 7 of the race, I was at the trail parking lot at 4:59am to head out and run 10+ miles.  As I exited my car, I saw some lightning to the west and thunder rumbled across the prairie.  Light rain started to fall.  I headed down the trail...more thunder...and a slightly heavier rain made it through the trees.  I turned back and headed home.  Why did I need to run in the rain with lightning in the area?  Heck, why did I even need to finish this silly 7-day stage race?  Within 30 minutes of being home, heavier rain began and within an hour, there was serious lightning in the area.  The power flickered on and off a couple of times.  I made the right choice.  Would I head back for some miles later?  I needed a minimum of 5 trail miles to finish this darn thing...otherwise it would be a DNF.

At halftime of the USA vs Australia World Cup tune-up match, I called Jeff to see what miles he had covered the last 2 days.  Unfortunately, Jeff failed to meet the minimum 5 miles on Friday...he was out...and I was considering the same fate.  Hanging at home watching TV felt pretty good.  Toward the end of the soccer match, Jeff called me and said he was going up to the trails for an easy 5-mile loop (the rain had now subsided).  I joined him at 10am and got in a great 5-mile run in my bare feet.  The squishy trail felt great on my naked soles.  I had my minimum miles and I had finished the 7-day stage race for the third time in three years!  This is likely the last year for this crazy stage race idea.  Finishing the week barefoot in light rain on a soft trail was perfect. It's hard to beat perfect...guess I'm retired from the stage race business. 

I hope others who have participated over the last three years enjoyed pushing themselves and seeing what they could accomplish.  I never thought I could get 303 miles in the first year.  I can still remember slogging through the afternoons in the summer sun and heat.  It was tough.  This year was much easier since I had much more mellow goals.  Still, I didn't need to finish this year.  A "DNF" would have been OK.  I've enjoyed the week...but I'm relieved that it's over.  My goal of 135 miles was not achieved.  I only hit 91 miles.  Most of those were done with minimalist shoes or in my bare feet.  I'm happy.

Day 7 Miles: 5 (20% of goal)
Week Total: 91 (67% of target)

Not the most impressive showing, but I'm a three-time finisher of the Buffalo Trace 7-Day Stage Race!

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