Stampede Trail Run 50K
March 7, 2015 — Lincoln, NE
I knew going into this one I wasn’t going to PR. Of course when I saw the weather would be nice, I entertained the idea, but that didn’t last long. I’ll get this out of the way early — I am not a trail runner. I’m not good at it. Or at least I’m not used to it.
With my first 50-mile race [Heartland 50] on tap for May 2, this 50K was simply meant as a long training run. Easier said than done when in the moment, though. My run 8/walk 2 plan worked for the first hour and a half or two, but not for nearly as long as I’d hoped it would. My recurring hiccups hit me around mile 12 this time — a bit sooner than usual. I really wish I could get that figured out, especially if I’m going to maintain hopes of finishing a 50-mile race. Anyway… With the inability to breathe combined with sore legs and more mud than I’ve ever seen in my life, I was resigned to walking much of the rest of the race, with brief run intervals mixed in. I was also unable to eat much of anything, as always. I imagine that’s probably related to my struggles to breathe, but again, I have no real idea…
I had never seen so much mud. Must have had lots of melted snow in the woods. As the temps rose, the mud got worse throughout the day. For long stretches, moving forward simply consisted of clogging through the mud and hoping my shoe didn’t come off with each step. The shoes were subsequently trashed post-race. They’d had 600+ miles on them anyway; they went out as heroes.
The course was at Wilderness Park in Lincoln, with three loops of 10ish miles. The second loop, I ran/walked much of the way with a girl named Emily. She decided we should finish together, which I was fine with since I wasn’t there to race and couldn’t run much anyway. But she had a pacer show up for the last 10 miles, and as I suspected they would, they took off without me. When I saw them take off, I knew I’d be finishing in last place.
I mean, technically, two (that I know of) had to drop to the 10-mile due to injuries, which is why my placing post at the top is an estimate. But… Among the people who finished the 50K, I was last. That sucks.
But I did say going in that my goals were to finish the race, and to not get injured. Those were accomplished.
Now to the fun part…
With just under a mile to go, I busted my ass in the mud. Splashed all over. My hands, my legs, my arms, my eye. So, I decided to make the most of it (picture below)… If you’re gonna be slow, be fun.
Thanks to my wife, Kami, for being amazingly supportive as always. She swears she didn’t get bored while waiting out there, but who knows. Also thanks to RD Jim Craig for putting on a great event. I even got a green cotton race shirt. My favorite race shirt yet. SO tired of tech shirts and tired of the whites, yellows, and oranges. I’m bummed that I was so slow, but glad I did this race. Fun experience in the end.
I now have just 7+ weeks until Heartland 50. Time to start panicking.