March 14, 2009
My training has been somewhat limited (cruise, jury duty, etc.). I am having a few soreness issues, especially my lower back, plantar fasciitis in my left foot and some unknown pain in my right arm.
I tried to take all of it fairly easy… my goal being to finish and not to injure myself.
In the first section (the loop around Cool down to Highway 49) took me 72 minutes (about 13 minute miles). The muddy parts slow me down, but it makes the surface easier on my feet.
The next section, which always seems endless (almost all of it is single-track and there is a 8-mile gap between aid stations (and the “gap” before the aid station is ankle to thigh deep water crossing)), I finished in 1:53, which is closer to 15 minute miles (aka “walking”).
The next section is my favorite, even though it is pretty dang difficult. There is a mile-long ascent out of the aid station, followed by a steep descent back to the river, another water crossing, 3/4 mile of flat, and then Ball Bearing hill (0.7, 700′ climb). The entire section took me 1:15, including just 15 minutes for Ball Bearing. Except for the Top 25 finishers, I think that is a good time for that section.
Then back across the big water crossing and a similar traverse on the single-track, but a slightly different way back up Goat Hill… nearly another 2 hours. My total time to this point was 6:05 and right around a marathon. Guess I’m not going to improve on my 2002 time (6:24)… unless I can do the last 5 miles in 19 minutes!
From Goat Hill back to Highway 14 (about 3 miles) takes me 53 minutes. Getting tired now.
The last section is a little under 2 miles and I do it in 20 minutes to finish in 7:18 (or about 14 minutes/mile).
Every year I seem to get slower, but I always enjoy the adventure.