Thursday, March 8, 2012

March Madness: Runner Style

We headed out yesterday for a runner's version of March Madness. I am running the Land Between Lakes (LBL) trail marathon in Kentucky this weekend then heading down to Florida to run Dances With Dirt Green  (DWD) Swamp 50k on the 24th. This is my first in the series of four in my quest to complete the Bloodied, Boned, Bruised, and Burned Series and acquire the coveted belt buckle that goes with it.

I was actually scheduled for the 60k at LBL to get the belt buckle there, but the training didn't go as well as I had hoped in terms of the long runs this winter, so I have dialed that back to the trail marathon as my last long training run before DWD.

The trip down to KY was uneventful except for a headwind. I had planned to go out and prerun the LBL course today, but unfortunately that headwind was the edge of a front that was moving through. It started raining last night and poured all day long. This is a picture of the campsite.

Looks like the run is going to be a mudfest, but the forecast is calling for sunny skies tomorrow and Saturday, so hopefully things will dry out. I am still going to prerun at least some of the course tomorrow if I can. The course is a brief section of road and then loops of an 11.3 mile trail. If the trail is not too big of a mess tomorrow, I may have some pictures. 

My plan for the race is just to try to remember that it is a training run and relax and have fun. I have been struggling with IT band problems on my long runs, so a victory here would just be to finish the 26.2 running without having any physical breakdowns. On my last trail marathon in January (which ended up being 28.2 miles because of a little problem I had following course markers), I had calf cramps that caused severe problems in the last 2.5 to 3 miles. I would just like to get through one of these without my legs mutinying on me. That is a major goal. I can't even think about going fast until I am sure my body will hold out. (Oh, and I forgot my foam roller -- probably the most important piece of gear except for my shoes. )

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