Well I'm back from my weekend at the 3 Days of Syllamo. Despite not being able to get all three days in. I was able to accomplish some stuff. Everybody who reads my drivel knows that a couple of weeks before the race I fell on a patch of ice and tore a muscle in my leg. It was a bum deal but I stayed focused and was able to get it feeling good enough to at least show up and try.
Day one - 50km. 8,000 ft of gain and a field full of ringers. Like Carey mentioned in his blog the field was full of talented runners. The first 11 miles of the race the lead was swapped several times between myself, John Muir, Ty Dranney and Matt Hart. Around that point my legs started to feel tired as they had only run around 6 miles of actual running put on them since the accident. I also had to make a pit stop behind a pile of rocks. "Note to self." NO TACO BELL THE NIGHT BEFORE A RACE... At that point I lost contact with the lead group and ran in no mans land for the next 18 miles. After the pit stop I tried to regain contact at the very least try to run the pace I thought they might be running to cover my loses. Everything was good until the river crossing just before the halfway mark. Stepping down into the water, which was moving very rapidly after all the storms in the area. My foot gave a little slip on the wet limestone river bed and in response my leg gave a little twinge. Nothing serious but enough to cause me to dial the pace back some. The competition was over for me at that point and I switched my frame of mind from racing to training without hesitation.
Like I said for awhile I was in no mans land and with Joshua Nordell the only one of the 3 dayers in the front I was still in second for the individual overall. Not too shabby with a leg that was 50 percent at best. Then around mile 29 I looked back and saw Matt Clay a very talented runner from Norman Oklahoma bearing down on me. I let him go around but managed to stay in contact crossing the line less than a minute behind. It was a tough day. I ended up running the stage 37:53 faster than I ran stage one last year and it was only good for sixth place on the day. Third Overall stage runner starting the second day felt pretty good but I was already at ease with the fact that I would be pulling out at the first aide station. I just wanted to start and see how it felt. My friend Paul was running with me and to tell you the truth it didn't feel bad going up. But after the first couple of downhills the leg started go south on me. At the 5 mile mark I turned around and went back to the car at the start finish area. Just before I reached the parking lot at the trail head. The skies opened up and the rain began to fall. IN BUCKETS. I'm glad I was heading back to the cabin to take a hot shower and crawl back into a nice warm bed.
I decided to start and run the third day with my wife. Last year she signed up for the 20km but due to a tough course, asthma and lack of experience she had to call it a day at 9 miles. This year though she was going to get that finish in. I told her that I would stay right by her side no matter how bad the leg felt. She was relieved to not have to be out there by herself. It was a lot of fun the last stage running with my wife. With the exception of a two mile stretch without a course marker. We were still on course but we felt like we were lost. Its pretty isolated out there. Things started to look familiar to me again and it was easy sailing to the finish. That was Jessica's first trail half marathon. I say half marathon because of the extra Horton miles thrown in. She finished real strong and I even got a good cussing from her in the last mile. Yup shes turning into a real trail runner now. All in all it was a great weekend, despite. I feel real good about my effort this weekend and for the first time I can see a change from the runner I used to be. To the runner I am quickly becoming. Winning and losing I'm afraid are still important to me. Its in my nature but to have gained the wisdom to go for it when I feel good and lay back when things aren't just right is something new to me. It felt great to sit back and enjoy the ride the trails and the company of close friends. Hope everyone has been running well lately. I'll see ya out there.