Thursday, July 17, 2008

Making time on the downhills

It's time for bed, but I couldn't sleep and was feeling rather satisfied about the course of life over the past several years. There have been ups and downs and bumps in the road, but also some great memories and fine athletic performances.

Check out this photo from 2004...this is prior to my move to Florida, when I was still dealing with my Ohio bred stocky body. Though a bit more thick than I like, that old frame used to pull me up and down the hills with surprising speed.

This is the descent portion of the JFK 50 mile...the first 15 miles are pretty much on a rocky, rough stretch of the Appalachian Trail. Then, a series of switchbacks takes runners down, down, down until you merge onto the towpath along the Potomac River.

The 2004 JFK represented my PR for 50 miles - 8 hours, 53 minutes. Not fast my elite ultra standards, but fast for me. I made it through this section on an 8-hour pace, and then faded during the final portion of the race. But, on that day on the descents, I was magic...moving well, concentrating. The highlight occurred when I came upon a group of young marines running the event. It's not often I get to call out "runner on your left!" and make a decisive pass.

So it goes. That's what dreams are made of. Wonderful times to enjoy oneself at the limits, knowing it's the best you can lay down on that day.

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