Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Styx N' Stones - Devil's Den State Park 30k - March 19, 2016

The trail feeds the soul.  When one feels fairly empty head to a rugged trail that will take everything out of you.  Devil's Den State Park trails will do that, while draining you of every ounce of energy you have left, it will refill your soul. 

I like to drive up the night before.  Getting up at 3AM doesn't make for a restful night.  Leaving home at 7ish made for a 10PM arrival.  Snuggling down in blankets in the car makes for a peaceful night.

It was COLD in the morning!  The bustle of getting ready to run made for warming up a bit.  Its always like a family reunion to be at a trail race and this was no exception.  Hugs, laughter and statement of cold break the silence as the park comes to life for the day.

At 8AM we are set loose.  There is no use starting out at a run, no use trying to get in front of anyone.  I just hung back and waited till we hit the trail.  I wanted to hike the hills as fast as possible.  It was working!  After a week of eating squeaky clean and getting back on my daily inhaler, cool weather and low humidity, moving was just amazingly fun!   For the first two hours I was running at just under a 17 minute mile pace.  On trails, for me, this is super amazing.  It felt great! fun! and wow!
At about 7-8ish miles I turned my foot on a rock and took a hard fall.  Sitting there for awhile then shaking it off I was able to get up and gingerly start moving.  It shook off and I was able to start running again.  As the miles went by my foot started hurting more, my pace started slowing down.  This is/was a total bummer!  Dang!  I did make the choice to continue on for the full 30K when arriving at the split off, 15K one way 30K the other.  

That may not have been the wisest choice ever made, but gratefully it didn't cause permanent damage.  I was able to finish in 4:54.12.  with an overall pace of 18:06
Hour 1 - pace 16:54
Hour 2 - pace 16:58
Hour 3- pace 18:28
Hour 4 - pace 19:42
Hour 5 - pace 19:01

Those times tell the story!
This trail is rugged, rugged, rugged!  and then rugged some more!  I LOVE IT!

Will I go back next year?  YES!

X-Rays show no breaks or sprains.  So 50% decrease in mileage, no speed work for a week, then slowly build mileage again.  I think this was my last long run before the Ouachita Trail 50 April 16, 2016.  Its time to really focus on strength/core training and be happy to run.

Thank you to the Den Herder Family for once again, pulling of a great part!