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Yes, that was me last Saturday during the Clinton Lake Ultra 30 mile trail run. FAIL!!! No good. 41 races - 1 DNF.

I have been having a little knee pain (left leg) when I first get up but it goes away and I  only feel it when I sit for a long time. I am getting old. It comes with the territory. Get over it. Go on and do the run.

So I should up and a friend of mine should up to be at both aid stations throughout the day. After a few last minute instructions we are off. 200 ultra runners one from as far away as Utah (sorry JoannaRuns I never talked to him to see where but the plates said Utah - maybe he was here on spring break?). 

Anyway, the rabbits took off and most of the rest of us slower got into a single file line. Now, I know what you are thinking - Central Illinois -what hills?. yea, well they are there. This trail has about 33 hills of 30-50 feet each. It eventually takes a toll. For me that toll came all to soon. It wasn't long - less than a mile - and I was favoring my left leg. 

 not my knee - mine is far more handsomer...
Knee pain!!! and it was worse on the downhills. I had 29 miles to go. So I keep chugging along at my pedestrian pace. The pace that was going to lead me to an incredible time.  By the time I made it to the Iron Bridge aid station (5.5 miles) I called it quits. No more. No mas. I would walk back on the road to the start. 

I could have taken the trail back to the start. I didn't. I took the roads and conversed with my friend. My friend that had braved the chilly morning and was riding his bike up and down the hills on the road to get from aid station to aid station. But I think quitting was in my best interests. I have other races I want to do - though I really did want to do this one. 

I got a really cool hoodie in my gear bag but I feel like I don't deserve to wear it.

Sunday rolls around and I have pain in my right thigh is very sore. Apparently I favored the left so much I over used or tore my right quad. Tender to the touch. Extreme tenderness. Today, it is starting to fill better - GOOD!!!

Plans - get an appointment schedule with my doctor (he runs marathons himself so understands my complaints). Get back to walking and moving the legs. Friday I have a 5k night time race (I will be walking it with a few friends) and Saturday a half marathon trail run at Allerton Park. 

My problems aside - The aid stations were fantastic. All the good ultra food, great volunteers, course was very well marked and in reasonable condition considering the rain we got 2 days before. I recommend this ultra if you are in Central Illinois in March. 

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A year gone by

It has been well over a year since I have posted and I think it is time I start again. I last posted. I posted about running the Siberian Express in January of 2013.

Guess what now??

It is the end of March 2014. Given a lot has happened. Running has not been one of them. Oh I ran last year. Even ran well at times. I ran the Siberian Express, Kirby Derby 10k, a 5K at the Arboretum, the Allerton Half Marathon. Not a bad year, not a good year. There was very little running in between those races.

And there were even better things that happened - my son got married, my new daughter-in-law is expecting, they got orders to go to Germany (they leave April 8). My new grandson will be born in the Motherland.

This year hopefully brings a lot of new changes - including blogging more often. I ran the Siberian Express on Jan 4. Temps were good, Snow was only a few inches deep in most places. It was peaceful and serene. Even enjoyable.

then it happened. I ran my first ultra on Jan 19. Swamp Stompers 50K. I signed up for it when it opened as it sells out in a matter of hours. I got lucky and I got in. It is was incredible. It was hard. I was unprepared - not terribly, but definitely not ready. This race was in Meeman-Shelby Forest near Memphis. It was beautiful. It was incredibly hilly from my perspective. But I finished in 8.38. Only 8 minutes off my fantasy time. I hit all my splits except for the finish. A lot of that due to a good friend that went down and met me a different locations offering age and a sound tongue thrashing to keep me going. Thank you Tom. And the Buffalo  that went down to run - they are awesome and friendly people. These are some of the best people that I have started to become acquainted with. I am not sure why I stalked their email group for 2 years before speaking up.

Since then very little running. My treadmill gave up. Now, I hear you groaning. I like the mill. I would rather run outside but it has been a very miserable winter here in central Illinois. I volunteered at a 5k for the Second Wind Running club. That made me feel good and I got to cheer on some of the Buffalo that braved that chilly 30 degree morning (the day before it was 60).

Now this weekend I will be running my second ultra. Clinton Lake 30 miler. This is a 10 mile trail loop. While the hills are not as tall as but still about 33 hills of 30-50 feet in one loop. I have run this trail 3 times (only one loop each time). It has an 8 hour time limit (16m/mi). I hope to run better than that. I will let you know next week.

Future Races (not all guaranteed to happen)
Allerton Trail 5K night run - April 4
Allerton Trail Half Marathon - April 5
Illinois Marathon  - April 27
Lake Mingo 7.1M Trail - June 14
Bix 7M - July 26
Evergreen Lake Ultras - Sept 14
Wild Wilderness - Sep 28
Forest Glen Trail 50k - Oct 18
Marine Corps Marathon - Oct 26 (more on this exciting race later and how I got in)
McNotAgain Trail 30M - Nov 8

Til next time - Happy Feet

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