Facing reality: trail ultras are over for me.

Day: perfect. I knew that this might be rough sledding for me, so the RD allowed me a 1:30 early start (90 minutes).

I needed it.

I’ll just state the facts:

2009: 2:38, 2:49, 3:27 (8:55)
2010: 2:48, 3:06, 3:57 (9:52); had knee surgery that year.
2013: DNF.
2014: 2:52, 3:12, 3:50 (9:54)
Today: 3:12, 3:46, 4:03 (11:03)

I tried to jog a bit on loop one but it really didn’t help much. I had people passing me (10 milers) on my first early start loop and most of the rest of the field on loop 2.

Basically, I fell apart on the “shelf” part during the second loop (first hill after the half way bridge to Golf Hill) and yes, I wandered off course a bit near the final stream crossing (the traditional first stream crossing). I made up my mind to quit then. But as my legs recovered (sort of) I realize I had enough left to finish.

A HUGE THANK YOU to the race director and all who volunteered.

The reality: my legs are simply too weak to handle those hills, at least in an ultra marathon situation. Doing the 10 miler would probably be doable.

My feelings are mixed: I am disappointed about how slow and weak I’ve become. I remember being at 7:50 after my third loop, ON MY WAY TO 100. In fact, I got to 40 miles that day quicker than I finished 30 today.

But that was 10.5 years ago. I am no longer that person.

But on the other hand, I am glad that I hung in there and finished it up.

One thing to think about: I thought that the marathon 3 weeks ago would be great training for this. I now think that it tired me out for this; my legs went dead in the first loop.


November 8, 2015 - Posted by | marathons, ultra | ,


  1. It seems like all the fun stuff in central Illinois was this weekend. I wish I could have been there, to volunteer, not run. 🙂

    I bet you are right about this being too close to the marathon. If you’d had a couple more weeks of recovery, you might not have had that dead leg feeling.

    I am training for another trail ultra; I’ve found I love the trails and feel pretty meh about the streets; but my training and expectations are different than yours. I just want to finish within the allotted time, plus not feel wrecked. 🙂

    Comment by jenjw4 | November 8, 2015 | Reply

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