Saturday, May 15, 2010

Enoree Passage 40 miler - The anatomy of when it all goes right.

Short version:

Beautiful course
Comfort Zone
Nice People
Holy crap, didn't know I could run that fast.

Slightly longer version

Some days things just go better than planned. When I arrived in South Carolina, I had no particular goals in mind, but as I stood at the start line, I figured, "9 hours would be a good time, but whatever.......". If I translate the pace of a 9 hr finish into a 50 miler, then that would give me a PR for 50. As I left, I set my "secret dream time" to 8:30.

As usual, I walked the first half mile or so, with just the occasional jog - but after Zane Grey, I was really happy to be back in my comfort zone. The single track was very much like I train on at Jordan Lake, and weather was just about as perfect a day as the Carolinas can offer.

For the first 10 miles or so, I was really happy plodding along toward the back, I was in no hurry, the RD, Terri Hayes promotes "No Cut Off Times", which given my experience at Zane Grey, really made me happy.

Somewhere around mile 10-12, I hung out with a Marathon Maniac, Rae, and her dog Rita for a while. Rita was incredibly impressive, she was off leash and just the perfect trail running dog - I don't think she got more that 20' from Rae's side. I chatted with Rae for a while - and wished that Wilbur and Sarah were just as well behaved as Rita.

Somewhere around mile 14???? I found myself hanging out with Psyche. Except at the time, I didn't know it was her - she had posted here just before the race. I really enjoyed chatting with her - to me it was obvious  that she "got" ultras and trail races - this was her first I believe. On her blog, she even called me a "gentleman". Last time I was called that, it was preceded with "Last Call Please....."

Sometime after the 15 mile aid station, maybe mile 16 or so, I got a second wind that almost took me to the finish line. I deserted Psyche (sorry my friend, nothing personal :)), and found myself running alone. It was at this point I made a decision that I was going to race this thing, and push hard - it seemed I was venting some of the pent up frustrations that had haunted me since ZG - I needed to prove to myself that I can do this UltraRunning stuff, and that I do have the endurance to run long distances. I figured the worst that  could happen is that I blow up, and I death march home. I found myself running miles under 11 minutes, I even found myself  running up hills.... crazy or what!! Each aid station was a quick turnaround, no sitting down, then GO JIMBO GO!! I was fuelling on Hammer gels, Clip2 and water - no solid food at all.

Of course, this kind of crazy pace can't go on forever, shortly before the 35 mile aid station, I ran out of steam, I always felt sure that this was going to happen, but to be honest, I am pleasantly suprised at how long my second wind lasted.

Finally I was finished, at 8:21. Let me say that again. 8:21. Holy crap Jimbo. Translating that into a 50 mile time, I would have take about 45 minutes off of my PR. Of course, now I am worried that I will set myself unrealistic expectations for the Boogie.

So, to conclude......... loved the trails, enjoyed meeting new people (and dog), and I signed up for Terri's race in September. Very happy. Very.

It was on trails like this that I really picked up the pace - this was probably at about 23 miles or so.

Typical - just like I am used to at Jordan Lake

Done. really could have done with a beer at this point.......


  1. Sounds good!! Have my 1st at Chattooga 50k three weeks from today and am hoping for the best (definitely Not racing it!)

  2. Yep, really loved Enoree. A must-do (again) next year. Thanks for the race suggestions and telling me about MTC:)

    Can't wait to hear about the Boogie!