Oh, where to start with this one. How about the mental side of things. I wanted to do a full 20 miles so I'm happy that I was able to push myself to 18 miles before wimping out. I'm not so glad that the negative thoughts came after barely 5 miles and continued for way longer than I wanted. I was ready to totally bail on the run after getting back to my car after 14 miles but I somehow managed to talk myself into going out for more. I don't know how I did it. I think I actually got so caught up in trying to find a good enough excuse that I forgot about quitting. Go figure.
Then we have the weather. Not at all the worst I've run in but I under dressed below the waist and over dressed a bit above the waist. Which means I was all sweaty up top and cold down below. Not exactly fun times and one of the main reasons I wanted to quit. The occasional wind didn't help and the sun was obscured by clouds. The temps were manageable but still cold enough to make themselves known.
Then we have the monkey butt. I think I've only greased up once when I've worn my T-Star shorts so I didn't think about it this morning. They never chafe. Ever. Well, except for that one spot but I think that was actually a small scratch. Anyway, no grease this morning. And wouldn't you know it, my ass got a little too sweaty and poof, monkey butt. I did my best to ease my pain but didn't really want to lube my ass, especially after dropping a few logs along the side of the trail. Getting tree bark in your BodyGlide is not at all sanitary. After 5 or so miles, I became numb to the pain and just continued on.
And then we have the tree stands. They're very common in my area seeing as I live in the sticks. Rednecks and even a few hillbillies live in my neck of the woods so I wasn't surprised to see them. However, I was surprised to see so many and was especially disturbed to find a few of them overlooking the trail. That I did not like. It's illegal to from, onto, or across the trail. So when I see some redneck's rig in a tree that clearly gives him a shot across the trail, I get pissed. And if I had to piss at the time, I might have done it on his tree stand.
Sadly the tree stands made me nor nervous than the gun range. I've run past the range many times (there's even a well marked detour to keep you out of the rifle impact zone). Last year they built a new pistol range that is literally right next to the trail (parallel, they're not shooting at the trail). Well today was the first time I've seen anybody using it and there was a crowd of at least 15 people. More than happy to see people out shooting, just wish there was a way to raise a flag that says people are on the trail or that people are on the range (although the gun shots are pretty easy to hear a mile away).
Outside of that, things were pretty tame. Saw a few animals, a few downed trees, a few people, and that was about it.
The dead salamander/newt/thingie.
How a redneck marks his tree stand (Mile 14).
The very end of the trail at Little Arc Baptist Church (Mile 15ish).
Daffodil garden out in the middle of nowhere (Mile 11.5).
Temps were about 30F at the start and warmed to maybe 35F by the end. Sky was overcast. Winds were light around 10 mph with a few gusts around 20 mph. I was hoping for a weather day like yesterday with highs in the 50s but didn't get it (part of the reason I was under dressed).
Fluids and Fuel:
Breakfast was half a cup of coffee before I left and some Belvita cracker/cookie/biscuits (about two of them) within the first mile of the run. I had the other two a few miles later. I drank a bottle of Hammer Fizz and finished it after about 9 or 10 miles. I had a Liter of plain water that lasted about 17 miles. I had a bottle of Hammer Perpeteum (2 scoops) and Recoverite (1 scoop) that I started after 9 or 10 miles and nearly finished by the end. Recovery was Hammer Recoverite followed by a greasy cheeseburger (but no fries) and an iced tea.
Aches and Pains:
I felt pretty good for most of the run and only had a few minor twinges in my hamstrings periodically. I think it mostly came from getting cold and not from lack of fluids. I did land funny on a rock around mile 16. I was looking at a bike tire tube hanging on some branches well off the trail and my left foot landed on a rock and slipped to the right. I had to catch myself with my right foot well over on my left side of my body. My ankle hurt as did my chest (likely from flailing my arms about) but after walking a bit and kicking the offending rock off the trail, I was able to continue to run just fine. After the run, the soles of my feet hurt but I'm still able to walk. My back hurt until I cracked it.
I wore calf sleeves, gaiters, T-Star shorts, regular shorts, thermal shirt, long sleeve shirt, winter hat, and gloves. I tested out a new buff and it worked pretty well. I also stuffed some handheld bottles in my hydration pack pockets. I took along my GoPro and my new knife (which I used a few times to trim back the thorns and tree branches).
My splits aren't precise. I didn't start/stop at a mile marker and I forgot to stop my watch when I finished. I also had a couple of pee breaks, one poop break, and a few minutes hacking off some tree branches.
Mile 1 - 12:49
Mile 2 - 17:01
Mile 3 - 13:24
Mile 4 - 17:03
Mile 5 - 13:28
Mile 6 and 7 - 21:31
Mile 8 - 13:45
Mile 9 - 13:54
Mile 10 - 15:36
Mile 11 - 14:36
Mile 12 - 13:40
Mile 13 and 14 - 27:49
Mile 15 - 15:45
Mile 16 - 16:42
Mile 17 - 13:30
Mile 18 - 12:59
Finish - 4:24:23