Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Land Between the Lakes: 0-3

This past weekend I went down to Grand Rivers, KY and ran the Land Between the Lakes trail marathon. Sorta. I "dropped down" to the 23K race. That's a nice way of saying I DNF'd the marathon. That makes me 0-3 this year on ultras and marathons! Sorta Riddle Run 28 miler (DNF at 20 miles), Lake Mingo 28 miler (did not start), LBL Marathon (DNF at 14.5 miles). Sad.

So what went wrong? Nothing. I felt great from start to finish. Went slow and steady following my running buddy Jeff. The conditions were wet, with quite a bit of mud, but no ice. Basic trail running slop! Nothing wrong with that for a seasoned trail runner. So why stop? Because Jeff stopped. That's why. No bad feelings. I could have gone on for another 11 mile trail loop and joined Jeff a couple of hours later at the finish line. But why? I still got in a nice trail run--I'll call it a "long run" since it lasted 3+ hours--why push for another 2 hours? I was able to finish feeling extremely good and also get back home for an early dinner.

If the trails were in better shape, smooth and dry, Jeff and I would have finished our marathon. I would have hung with him and completed with a 5:30+ marathon time. Slow and steady. Good fat burning. Nice aerobic effort. I still got that doing almost 15 miles...and I proved to myself that I could be disciplined. I wanted to speed up and pass Jeff many times. My best count is 37. Yeah, 37 times I started to pick up the pace and stride out...then I'd settle down and remember what this race was really about...easy running on a beautiful trail with a running friend and no set finish goal time or distance. Just running. Nothing wrong with that. This weekend taught me to be a disciplined runner with patience.

I have a lot of training to do before my next ultra attempt: Clinton Lake 30 on April 29. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of time...race starts in 18 days! That's OK. Worst case is I start and drop out after 10 or 20 miles. I'm fine with 0-4.


ed said...

I looked for you & Jeff but somehow missed you all at LBL. Odd course this year running on a layer of sleet.

I have faith in you on your home course. I believe you'll be able to let out those frustrations & all that pent up energy then.

ChuckB said...

This is one of the best reasons to DNF I've ever read. Congratulations on sticking to your goals and completing them. If your goals were about discipline and patience, and finishing was not a primary goal, then you ran the better race.

Chris said...


You must have been ahead of us the whole way! Looking forward to CL30.

Agreed. I'm happy with the "DNF"--I achieved my goal and practiced my discipline and patience.