The Green Swamp 50K is in the books. The day started rather cold and damp and within minutes it was time to consider the sanity of what was to come:
For 5-6 miles, the course was a total bushwhack.
We were stumbling through nettles and brush, carefully placing each foot strike due to the terrain. Christie explained that Cypress trees need to take additional oxygen into the components they extract from the soil, so they push "knees" up from the surface. They may look like knees to you, but to me they seemed more like impaling devices!
Two runners behind me were chattering. One said to the other, "this is the type of run that if you fall, don't spin your butt toward the trail!"
For some reason I thought that joke was appropriate at the time.
We had to belly crawl across a downed tree to transcend a creek and then belly crawl again to get under a barbed wire fence. At one instance I started to mutter to myself that I'm too old for this type of behavior.
But just a few miles later we were into the open air, jogging through lush pine trees with a wonderful soft ground cover.
This is who I am. This is what I do. I am an endurance runner.
I plodded along, taking advantage of the day. I was listening to a 155 bpm soundtrack from Poddrunner, sort of a jazzy, Latin beat. I am somewhat inhibited in "real" life, but on the trail I can sometimes come alive. My feet started to tango and I improvised a dance/run combo that still maintained a semblance of forward motion.
If you'd like to listen to the Podrunner track, click here:
Ultra dancing was so enjoyable I am planning to expand the ultra dance scene...can you imagine tackling a 50K dancing the entire way? Maybe finishing time and a judged dance score could be combined for the overall positions in the ultra dance category.
It was Christie's first 50K and I followed her in for a 6:21 finish. The after party was great, with a catered BBQ (veggie burgers too!) and an eclectic mix of music. My knee was aching and my back hurt, but all in all a good finish and another great endurance day.
Today, I hit the gym after church and tomorrow I'll be running again. Days off are way over-rated. It's time to prep for the Guana 50K near Jacksonville at the end of March and I'm thinking about capping that with the Croom 50 mile in April.
What an amazing life. And I'm extracting every possible drop of excitement as I go.