Sunday, December 30, 2007

Not a snowy year, so it must be a muddy year

Josh Dillingham gives his 2007 race report on the weblog "On the Run."

His goal was 25 ultras for 2007. The 2007 HUFF was his 25th ultra of the year. Goal met.

He finished in a time within 8 seconds of his HUFF finishing time in 2006.

Josh writes:

I expected to feel pretty good going into HUFF because I hadn't run in two
weeks, so I thought I would be fresh. WRONG! I guess I really underestimated the
impact of the CrossFit workouts I've been doing. With the squats, burpees,
rowing and snatches I did this week, my quads were toasted before I even started
the race. Not to mention the 5k I ran yesterday, probably not one of my smarter
HUFF is a 10.8 mile loop course repeated 3 times (you're correct if you
think that doesn't add up to 31 miles.) It is run around J. Edward Roush Lake in
Huntington Indiana. It's a pretty flat trail run. The course is usually either
muddy or snowy. This year it was muddy.

At the start of the race my quads felt heavy and a bit fatigued but I
didn't think it would be a big deal. I ran HUFF last year so I knew what to
expect as far as pace and terrain. My rough game plan was to run the first loop
in a comfortable time, something around 1:45, then pick it up on the final two
loops to run negative splits and finish with I time somewhere between 5:10 5:30.

That worked pretty will for the first loop.

I came in at 1:48, but I knew I was in trouble. My quads were already
completely fried.

If it wasn't for the fact that I was trying to keep up with Mike, I would
have ended up walking most of the 2nd and 3rd loops. Every time I slowed down,
he caught up to me and cracked the whip.

We ended up running the entire either together or within a minute of each
other, not by design, that's just how it happened. Believe me, I was trying to
drop him, It just wasn't happening today, he was strong!

At the beginning of my third loop I started re-tooling my game plan. 5:10 -
5:30 was way out of the picture. Now I would try to beat last years finishing
time of 5:56 (I couldn't remember the seconds. Not a big deal right? You'll
see.) But as I started the third loop that goal began to slip a way steadily.

I felt so bad during the second loop, it really didn't get any worse for
the third.

My quads were useless, and something weird was going on with my ankles (I
was worried about it during the race, but afterwards I notice both ankles hurt
in the same spot so it most be due to the two week running break.)

I kept plodding away until I got to the last aid station, with about 3.5
miles to go. I looked at my watch, which said 5:23. That meant if I could
maintain 10 minute miles I could finish under 6 hours. That would be easier said
than done, seeing as how I hadn't been maintaining consistent 10 minute miles
since the end of the first loop. They were now hovering anywhere from 10-14
minutes depending on the muddy sections and the road sections.

Regardless, I thought I would give it a shot.

Mike was right on my tail at this point. I tried to get him to follow me,
but we were both giving it all we had. I decided to make my final move. when I
got to the 1.8 mile to go point, I looked at my watch: 5:39.

I was keeping a steady pace. This is when I started thinking again about
beating last years 5:56. It would be tough but I though I had a chance.

I kicked it into gear. I reached the final .8 miles with 7 minutes to go. I
kicked it into the highest gear I had left and speed to the finish. The final
.25 miles is on pavement. When I hit the pavement the clock read 5:55, I crossed
the finish line in 5:56:41.
till unsure if I had beaten last years time, but pleased with my effort on
a day when I had far less than my "A" game.

I really only had one running goal for 2007. That was to complete 25
ultras. The Huff was number 25. I'd call that a successful year.

Congrats to Mike on a fantastic gutsy run. I'll let him tell you the

This is Mike...Josh rocks. He dragged me around that lake all day and got me a PR by 15 minutes (even on a course longer and muddier than any other 50k I have run!)
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