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Thread: LBL Trail Marathon...

  1. #1
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    Default LBL Trail Marathon...

    My wife and I signed up for this race early summer last year before I ever took one step toward trail running. Fast forward to Saturday and the day was upon us.

    We signed up for the full 50 mile event. I know. Let me explain. I wasn't arrogant enough to think I could complete that distance having never ran a trail race. But not knowing what lay in between the sign up and the event I wanted the option to keep running as long as I felt good and didn't want to sell myself short. I also knew that if I got to a point where I couldn't go on I could just left turn Clyde and truck it back to the start finish and get credit for the miles I would run.

    Cayce and I had "The Petrie Dish" (that's what we call our camper, named for George Petrie, Auburn's first football coach and author of The Auburn Creed) hooked up and loaded by Thursday night so all we had to do was make coffee, jump in and roll out for the 8 hour drive to Grand Rivers, Ky and our campsite at Hillman Ferry in the LBL. The trip was uneventful. We arrived on time, got checked in and camp set up and headed to the Community Center to the race check in. We picked up our packets, bibs and swag bag. Got a sweet running hat and a shirt that really make my turkey timers pop when the weather is right. We headed out for some road scouting around sunset and marked some spots on OnX for a potential return deer scouting trip this summer. We glassed up a bunch of deer before it got dark then headed back to the Dish for supper and early bed time. But wait. The gas furnace is on the fritz. On to find a small electric heater. Luckily a Dollar General a few miles up the road came through for some heat. We hit the rack around 2130 and were up at 0430 to eat, take a good growler and pack our aid station cooler so we could make it to the starting line before the 0630 start.

    These races make for some great people watching. There was a pack of folks that ranged in age and size from young and skinny to old and fat and all combinations in between. And just because someone looks like a runner doesn't mean they can run. And assuming a big dude/gal can't run is all fun and games until he/she trucks you at mile 15 on the trail. More on that later. We're way back in the pack at the start when we hear the gun go off. The crowd erupts and cheers, the wad of folks starts to move slowly forward as the line stretches out from a blob to a steady stream of multi colored neon and reflective patches catching the light from the few remaining street lamps. It was at that point we were greeted with a "was that lightning?" flash question that was soon answered with the trailing thunder from the west. An omen for sure saying "son, you're in for a long wet day."

    The first 13 miles were uneventful. The wife and I ran together with me in front setting the pace. On these trails I find times flies by because you're always busy. Your mind is constantly working to solve the little technical problems running over uneven terrain throws at you. Root. Rock. Rock. Root. Mud. Hill. Root. etc. You're constantly watching your footfalls and your brain is always busy. I also try to get into a breathing rhythm. Inhale for two steps, exhale for two steps. Concentrating on breathing and the trail just gets me into a zone and takes my focus away things like how many miles down and how many to go. I just run.

    So mile 13. Everything is gravy. We're clicking off miles and feeling great. Legs and feet are good. Energy is great. At this point I feel so good and confident that there is no doubt I'm doing at least 3 loops (one loop was a half marathon, two a full marathon, 3 loops a 60k and 4 loops 50 miles). We hit the aid station at mile 13 and grab some pickles and other electrolytes, a granola bar, top off my hydration bladder and back out on the trail in less than two minutes. I'm still out front with Cayce behind me. Around mile 15 I say something and she doesn't answer. I say it louder and nothing. I look back and I've lost my wife. I wait a few seconds and see her coming around the ridge and she's hurting. Her pace has slowed and she's at a slow shuffle. I wait for her to catch up and we assess the situation. She's hit the wall. Hard. And to add injury to insult her left knee is barking at her with every step especially on the down hills. At this point we're only two miles into our 11 mile second loop PLUS two miles of road to get back to town and the start/finish line.

    We walk a bit talking out the situation trying to come up with a game plan. Several times she insist I go on and leave her and let her limp it out. I'm not the best at marriage but I know a trap when I see one. No way I'm leaving her even if it wasn't a trap. Just then what has been some light rain with the bulk of the thunder storms missing us turns into everything you don't want in the woods. Lightning with that big ol fat sideways rain and 30 mph + gust with steady 15-20 mph winds. Now I'm no stranger to the rain (Thanks, Keith!) but my bride on the other hand doesn't have the affinity for nature that I do. At least not to the degree I do. From there she decides she wants to take point and set the pace. I agree and fall in behind her. Her pace at this point was barely above a fast 15 minute mile walk. But I stay with her pace and we stay together. We pass two more aid stations before we get to the halfway point of the second loop. At that aid station it's obvious 3 loops is out of the question for her which means it's out of the question for me as well. Again, mamma didn't raise no dummy. As we're fueling up I can see the look on her face. It's pain. There's a ranger truck right there and medical personal everywhere. At any point she could have cried uncle and got driven back to town. Nope. Wouldn't hear of it. We had 19 miles down and had 7 miles to go to complete a trail marathon and that's what she was going to do. So she pulled up her big girl runnin' britches and away from comfort she walked and disappeared back into the woods for her final 7 miles with me behind her. Mile 19 became mile 20 and 20 turned to 21. Several more times she insisted I go on. I did move in front of her and stayed far enough in front where she could have some space (she was in a bad mental place and my attempts to cheer her up were met with death stares) but close enough where she could see me and stop me if she needed me.

    About a half mile from the time check aid station that marked the start/stop of the trail loop I jogged it on in so I could get there far enough ahead of her to let the race director know we were dropping down and headed back. He asked if she wanted a ranger to take her in and I told him "I wouldn't try it unless he wants to get scratched up." We got her some more electrolytes there and made the turn to head back to the start/finish. At a time of 7 hours, 27 minutes and some change she limped across the timing stripe and finished her first trail marathon. She got her finisher medal, hobbled into the truck and cried for a solid 5 minutes. It was an emotional day for sure. The weather could not have been worse. The trail was 6-8" deep in mud. Her body was wrecked from the waist down. And getting trucked by people she damn well knew she was stronger and more in shape than them didn't help her mental state. A lot of questions, self doubt and anxiety set in.

    We grabbed some food and headed back to camp. We got some hot showers, cracked a beer and rehashed the day. After a few hours she was fine and has already signed us up for next year. True to form she took it like a champ and is hungry for more so she can prove to herself she can do it.

    This run started out about me and she was there for support. But the plot quickly changed. Yes I could have gone farther and faster but those goals and roles changed when she went down. I had no problem putting my goals on the sideline to make sure she didn't have to endure that alone. It's a suck unlike anything she's experienced. But now she knows and next time she'll be better prepared.

    No pictures of the finish. It was raining too hard for the photographers to be out. But they did get a couple of us on the trail before the doodoo hit the fan.

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    Last edited by Glenn; 03-12-2019 at 04:42 PM.

  2. #2
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    Quite the accomplishment just the same, congrats! I know you both will kill it next year!

  3. #3
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    Yuck

  4. #4
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    Good job Team Adcock. Regular marathon is on the to-do list. Much less a trail marathon.

    Delta in a nutshell: Breeding grounds + small wetlands + big blocks of grass cover + predator removal + nesting structures + enough money to do the job= plenty of ducks to keep everyone smiling!

    "For those that will fight for it...FREEDOM...has a flavor the protected shall never know."
    -L/Cpl Edwin L. "Tim" Craft

  5. #5
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    Two questions:

    1. Does that hydration pack not rub you raw, especially after you start sweating? Is that the only fluids you have access to between aid stations, or are there hydration stations along the trail?

    2. Do you have to change socks/shoes/huggies at all during this thing? Again, with the wet weather on top of the sweat, it seems like some nasty things could develop in unsavory places.

    Bonus Question: All of the strain your putting on your joints, tendons, skeletal structure, etc.- I'm not saying you're old- but at your advanced age, are you concerned about long term problems developing from this activity? Or do y'all keep it pretty slow and steady to reduce impact?

  6. #6
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    1)Her dick is bigger then mine.
    2)phuck all that running, but congrats, I know I wouldn’t do it.
    3)Just how good was the deer scouting report?

  7. #7
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    Hooray for the fat truckers! Can't always overcome genetics and heart size. I mean literal heart not whiteboy wassisname Clemson heart.

    Y'all crazy mofos. Congrats on getting it done!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moonlight Hunter View Post
    Two questions:

    1. Does that hydration pack not rub you raw, especially after you start sweating? Is that the only fluids you have access to between aid stations, or are there hydration stations along the trail?

    2. Do you have to change socks/shoes/huggies at all during this thing? Again, with the wet weather on top of the sweat, it seems like some nasty things could develop in unsavory places.

    Bonus Question: All of the strain your putting on your joints, tendons, skeletal structure, etc.- I'm not saying you're old- but at your advanced age, are you concerned about long term problems developing from this activity? Or do y'all keep it pretty slow and steady to reduce impact?
    1) I've not had a problem with the pack rubbing. I hardly notice it. What you carry is all you have between stations. Each race places them at different distances. Mine is 1.5L which is plenty for 10-12 miles depending on temperature. I did 16 miles two weekends ago on just 1.5L.

    2) I carry a change of socks every race. But I don't change shoes. This race I didn't change socks because it didn't matter. Two steps after changing and you were ankle deep in mud and water again. Biggest foot issue over rough terrain is toenails and usual blisters. I carry moleskin in my hydration pack and if you look close you can see my spyderco clipped to the front for cutting said moleskin and knifin' ruffians, bears and other nefarious type trail creatures.

    Bonus) I'm really not concerned. I look at my baseline. My joints are way better than a guy 49 years old, 40% body fat on a high carb and processed food diet. I'm not saying I'm bullet proof and that there isn't risk of injury. There certainly is. My training is mostly HIIT and weight lifting. I'll toss in a 4-6 mile run every 7-10 days but other than that I run come race day and that's it. My pace isn't a competitive pace. I keep a steady 10-12 min mile pace depending on terrain. I can truck it uphill but am slow on the downhill to focus on what you asked earlier; protecting my knees.

    It's a fun sport, if you can call it that. It's made up of an inclusive and diverse group of people. Hell it's an old persons game. I bet the average age of participants is over 40 with some in their 70's. And those old cats can scoot!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tot View Post
    1)Her dick is bigger then mine.
    2)phuck all that running, but congrats, I know I wouldn’t do it.
    3)Just how good was the deer scouting report?
    1) Ew. Sinner.
    2) It's not for sane people
    3) Intriguing. May change up how I approach that place.

  10. #10
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    Good stuff. Strong people live longer. Facts


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  11. #11
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    The wall ain't no joke. You will learn something about yourself if you push past it. Your wife is to be congratulated as much for that as she is for having done a marathon.
    "My resume is the trail of destruction behind me. " Bucky Katt

  12. #12
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    Did you find the biggest challenge physical or mental? Always am amazed at how much our bodies are capable of.

  13. #13
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    i gotta admit boozer's cocky story is better than yours...

    but that's a neat experience. not my thing, but I can certainly appreciate how lucky you are that KC hit the wall so you wouldnt have to.

    She is a competitor and sometimes you get bested by the other team, and sometimes your own body reels you in. I can see that pissing her off but she's still cool in my book.

    and that's pretty damn important.
    Ugh. Stupid people piss me off.

  14. #14
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    Great job Glenn.

    You should look into the Ragnar relay races.
    Warning: The Surgeon General has determined that turkey hunting is an addictive activity that will disrupt normal sleep patterns!


  15. #15
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    Well done Glenn and Mrs Glenn. Quite a feat to accomplish!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbhntr48 View Post
    Did you find the biggest challenge physical or mental? Always am amazed at how much our bodies are capable of.
    Mental. If you can win that fight the physical doesnít matter. Just keep moving.

  17. #17
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    So, what is next on the trail circuit for y'all? How long is recovery?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by JABIII View Post
    So, what is next on the trail circuit for y'all? How long is recovery?
    Recovery is happening faster after each one.

    As of Monday I was good to go.

    Next up for me is the Altamont half marathon April 6. Itís a road run but has some elevation to it. Should be a fun one.

    Next rail race is the Knock on Wood series. 5 mile loop in Marietta on May 3rd. Doing either a 50k or 50 miler that day. Havenít decided yet.

    After that Iíll have to see what time allows.

    Iíll toss in three or four 10-15 mile fun runs between now and then as time allows.

    Nutrition is key to recovery. Eating the stuff you need to fight and minimize inflammation is important.

  19. #19
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    So eat a bunch of ibuprofen? Got it!

  20. #20
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    That is strong as new rope. I am sure there are people who can turn around and do it again tomorrow, but they probably don't kill many critters...

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