Monday, September 28, 2015

9 Days Post Barkley

The Infamous Barkley Gate. 
Well, it's been 9 days since my Barkley Fall Classic "marathon" finish in 10 hours and 44 minutes. My GPS watch, and my body, say it was more like 30+ miles! Anyway, my recovery is mixed.  My muscles are back to normal and my poison ivy and chigger bites are healing nicely. Unfortunately, I've come down with a cold. I'm quite positive it's due to the stress of Barkley, lack of sleep, and poor food chocies on the road trip. Oh well, I'll survive.

A few post-Barkley things to note. First, I will not be doing this race again. The race directors already sent us a reminder to sign up, with discount, for next year's event. No, thank you. It's a long drive from Illinois and I'm not that excited about experiencing Rat Jaw, Testicle Spectacle, Deja Vu Hill, or Bird Mountain again. Slightly intrigued about the Chimney Top loop that I missed, but not enough to justify another full race. I got what I came for...a taste of the famed Barkley event. It's hard. Very hard. I have renewed respect for the real Barkley finishers each April. 100+ miles, much done in the dark, without support, is truly amazing.

Now that I'm done with Barkley, I can look ahead to the rest of this year...

October 17 is the "Last Man Standing" event at the Lake of the Woods trails.  Or Last Man "Falling" since it's fall. I hope to successfully defend my title. I finished 30 miles last year and hope to do that many, or more, this fall. We'll see what the competition brings. If I can get over this darn cold, I feel good about my chances. And, this event will be great training for the next ultra on my list...

November 14 is the Tunnel Hill 50/100 mile trail race in southern Illinois. I ran the 50 miler last year in 9 hours and 4 minutes (PR for me).  I plan to better that time this year. New PR!  Most things went well last year, but I did have a bad section for about 3-4 miles in the second half of the race where I walked a lot. I'll try to be more consistent and strong this year. First goal is to beat 9 hours...but the real goal is to break 8:30. Dreams are alive!

To keep myself motivated, and treat myself to a little gift after Barkley, I bought a new (factory certified refurbished) Garmin 610 GPS watch.  Found it on eBay for $80. Look forward to experimenting with the "training effect" metric.

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