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Running, Rabbits, Geese, and Turkeys

Posted July 17th, 2011 at 06:26 PM by Black Spurs

I set my clock to get up at 4 AM this morning. I finally rolled out of bed around 4:30. I guess I was procrastinating wondering how bad the horseflies and deer flies would be. Would the river be up with all this rain? Would the sand be soft and have me sinking up to my ankles? How would my camelbak ride? Would it rub me the wrong way and cause irritation?

It was 5:28 AM when I hit the watch to do my first 3 mile out and back before hitting the dreaded 8.5 mile loop with all the sand. It was still dark, but I need to run some trails in the dark with my headlamp. I'll have to do it in February for the 100 miler, maybe in December for the 100K (62 miles). The first rabbit was a baby one like we used to catch when we were kids. We always let them go, but I was alot quicker when I was 12 years old. I must have seen another ten or twelve rabbits on the whole run.

The first 3 miles were pretty good at 28:51, not real fast, but I wasn't worried about speed. After that, I made the 8.5 mile loop, which is a tough run in the sand. It took 1 hour and 35 minutes to run it. The sand wasn't as soft as it was a week or so ago, but it is still a tough run in sections. No walking on this one because the sand was a little more firm. I hit the shin high grass and got my feet absolutely soaked. That always makes me mad, wet feet from grass. I hit the water crossing, and it really felt like they got drier. Wet grass is one of the worst things I encounter on runs and hunts. Unless I have on rubber boots, my feet get wet crossing a field at or before daylight. I crossed the creek and ran up a sand hill to some more soft sand.

I made it to my parents house, which is the turn around on the 8.5 mile out and back. I was feeling pretty good and made pretty good time on the way back. I had gone 11.5 miles in just a bit over 2 hours, which is pretty slow, but when you consider that it is trail running and not road running, it is not too bad. When I got back to the gate to start the next two 3 mile out and backs, I was not too happy because I forgot the 8.5 was that far. I was thinking it was only about 8.

My next out and back had me dealing with fire ants. I had to stop twice to beat them off me. They were absolutely vicious. I made it back in 31:44, which isn't too bad considering I had to stop to fight with ants. The third out and back was 4 seconds slower at 31:48. I was pretty happy with that considering I stopped at the truck for 1 full minute looking for a gel that I actually had in my hydration belt pocket, stupid. I was really feeling bad at the end of that second out and back. Maybe my sugar dropped a bit, or maybe I was just tired after running 14 to 15 miles. Anyway, the gel helped alot.

I ran for 3 hours and 7 minutes for a total of 17.5 miles. It came out to 10 minutes and 44 seconds per mile. I know I can't hold that pace for 62 miles and certainly not 100 miles. But, I could have held it for 35 miles. On the way home, I saw about 20 geese standing in a field. I thought they were turkeys at first, and I turned around to go back and look. Closer to home, I saw two hens and one poult, not a bad morning.

All in all, my legs, feet, knees, and hips were all good to go at the end of the run. Everything went very well, and that is really the point of these long runs: physical assessment and experimentation with hydration and caloric intake.
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