Last Saturday I ran the HUFF 50k at Chain O’ Lakes State Park near Albion, Indiana. Just two weeks earlier I had to skip running the Tecumseh Trail Marathon because of a strained calf. This time the day before the HUFF I had some serious sinus issues that threatened to sideline me again. Fortunately on race morning I was able to make it to the starting line.
I wasn’t expecting much and didn’t have any serious pre-race goal. I thought I would just take it easy and see what happened. Well, taking it easy didn’t last very long and by 10 miles into the race I was running at a pace to finish around 5 hours or so. That of course did not last. I started to slow down in the last 5 miles of the first loop and continued to slow in the second loop. I wound up running 2:44 for the first loop.
The conditions were not great. It was snowing at the start and continued to snow most of the day, nothing serious really just a few flakes in the air. The course was wet and muddy. For the second loop the mud was churned up and was much harder to run through. The video below shows the worst of the high water on the course. There were several other wet spots but none as bad as the one in the video.
My feet were completely numb each time after going through that. The second time through the ice cold water actually felt good on my sore legs.
The second loop was a struggle mentally. I was constantly fighting back thoughts of throwing in the towel but I kept going and after coming out of the water numb the second time around with only 3.6 miles to go I was re-energized a little thinking I might still beat 6 hours. Well that didn’t happen but still I feel good about my effort considering the conditions and my health at the time. My second loop time was 3:24 for a total time of 6:08:03.
Resting and recovering for a couple days then hitting it pretty hard. I’m still trying to hit 1500 miles for the year and need to run about 105 miles between now and December 31st.