Sunday was the Pisgah race. This was my 3rd attempt. The 50K field was really deep this year with 4 past champions (David Herr, Ben Nephew, Brian Rusieki,me) two past runners' up (Boj-short course, and George) and Jim Johnson who has been running great lately and is always a threat to win. With so much fire power in the race, I decided to run conservatively and stay behind the leaders. I ran with George for the first 20 miles, and we were about 45 seconds back from the lead pack of Ben, David, Brian, and JJ. When we hit the Kilburn aid station for the first time I was feeling pretty good, a little fatigued, but not too bad. I pulled away from George on the downhill of the Kilburn Loop. As soon as I turned and started the climb out of Kilburn I started getting mini cramps in my quads. This was at about mile 23. I had been running almost 3 hrs, which was longer than any of my long runs. Yikes. I still had 8 miles to go and the daunting challenge of Davis Hill lingered ahead. George passed me after only a couple minutes of uphill running. He looked strong and I tried to stay with him, but my legs were pretty shot and I kept getting tiny cramps shooting through my quads. He told me to keep plugging away that anything could happen. I knew this was true, that people can blow up on this course, but it was doubtful that all 5 of the people ahead of me would. I did keep running on. When I came to the Kilburn parking lot I saw Jen and asked her nicely how her race went. O.K. maybe I shouted at her, but I was hurting and was trying to get my mind off the hill I was about to climb. 3 minutes into the climb up Davis Hill my quads cramped severly. They stayed contracted for at least 2 minutes straight. It was excruciatingly painful. I tried everything from massage, to walking backwards, to bargaining with the devil to get rid of the cramps. Eventually, they did subside. I managed a slow death jog and maintained this all the way to the finish. I did walk again going up Hubbard. I finished in 6th place, 4:04:07. It was a p.r. for me, but the weather was absolutely perfect and the course was dry and fast. David Herr won in 3:42 setting a new course record, followed by Brian-3:46, JJ-3:47, Ben-3:53, George-3:53. A guy that looked familiar finished right behind me in 4:04, also. I think his name is Chris. Boj was 8th in 4:22. What a deep 50K field! After the race we hung out at Glenn and Gina's and watched the rest of the runners finish.
Looking back at my training this summer, I just didn't do enough long runs. I also was doubling alot, which meant that I really wasn't doing alot of medium long runs (13-16mi). I feel like I could have run a very good 23k this year, maybe even having a chance to crack the record. Next year, I will train smarter and hopefully have a stronger 50K.