Saturday, February 25, 2006

Mud, Mud....AND MORE MUD

Anyone want a slightly used pair of trail shoes? My wet and muddy shoes weighed a bit over 3.25lbs, post run! Nuts....I guess you can train for this race by running in boots.
Well, not much to report besides the fact that I got my ass thoroughly kicked today at the Hagg Lake 25K trail run. In retrospect, I probably should have taken Steven up on his offer to join him for a ride. The course is known for its mud but with the light rain the last couple of days, I didn't expect it to be as bad as it was. The start of the race wasn't too bad, we headed out for an out and back on a gravel fire had a nice incline and provided an opportunity to get up near the front pack. As we headed onto the actual trail, it was a nice mix of rolling single track. I was enjoying the run at this point but it was hard to take in any of the beautiful scenery since you had to stay completely focused on the trail or risk going down. I was ok on the flats or climbs but lost time on the downhills....I'm still not used to bombing downhill and didn't want to take a chance on going down. We had several sections where we veered off the trail and hit the paved road for a bit...a VERY welcome change for me after we started hitting some of the mud.

Re: the mud, it SUCKED....literally. In a couple spots it almost sucked my shoe right off....I can't even remember how many times I almost went down....the mud during the first 1/3rd of the course didn't seem too bad...this is where we had to deal with alot of the hills. Once we got on the last half of the course, it flattened out but the mud was horrible. I was sliding all over the place....very frustrating to be on the flats and have to run so slowly or risk going down. If you tried to run off to the side of the actual trail to avoid the worst of the mud, it was pretty off-camber and uneven so you risked twisting your ankle. In certain sections this was unavoidable so just crossed my fingers and prayed I wouldn't twist anything. I finally shuffled to the "1 mile left sign" and was thinking how lucky I was that I hadn't actually wiped out with all the near misses. I guess I should have saved that thought until after I crossed the finish line. We hit a really long & slick/muddy section of trail and I tried to lift my pace just slightly- big mistake. Shuffling along at this point really got old so when I tried to increase the speed just a tad, the next thing I know I was on my ass...real nice!! (NOT). I did a blazing 10+ minute last mile including my wipeout....I guess I wasn't alone in the wipeouts based on the amount of mud several people had plastered on them post-race. One poor girl was fighting off tears as she was tended to by some staff after twisting BOTH her ankles on the course! I can't imagine doing two loops of this course for the 50K....those guys/gals are monsters! As for the 28 people who finished ahead of me- big congrats!! I am definitely not worthy! ;-)

Hagg Lake 25K Trail Run
2:13:08 Total Time (8:35 pace ave)
171 Ave HR low Z3

I don't think I will ever do this race again unless it is totally mud-free. It is just not worth the risk of getting injured...twisting an ankle, etc. I really enjoyed the single-track though...will definitely hit some DRY trail runs / races when the sun pokes out a little more consistenly up here.

The rest of my day was pretty darn lazy......Hope you all had a much better training day then I did! :-)


Blogger Lora said...

Fun race report!! And, yeah, I agree--Mud Sucks!!

7:50 AM  
Blogger Steven said...

Nice job, Mike. I told you it would be dirty! My PR on that race is 2:01. I wanted to try to go sub-2 this year but as you know passed on the that HUGE entry fee...compared to other years, anyway.

9:09 AM  
Blogger robtherunner said...

I ran the 50K at Hagg last year and was completely defeated by the second loop. I cleaned up by soaking in the lake afterwards, all though it was a bit cold, but it did wonders for my legs. Nice Job!

3:04 PM  
Blogger E-Speed said...

one 5k cross meet in college my shoe did actually get sucked off, right around mile 2, I ran the rest of the race with one shoe!

1:43 PM  
Blogger olga said...

This course is NEVER without mud:) And I say you come next year and run the WHOLE 2 loops to show it a finger! Anyway, awesome job, and a great report.

5:43 PM  

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