barkley and straw plains

barkley license plates
entry requirement for the original Barkley race is a license plate from the state you’re from

barkley 30 miler

I just signed up for the Barkley Fall Classic 30 mile race in September. It’s likely the closest I’ll get to running the original grueling 100 mile race that is known to “eat its young”. I’m not saying I’ll never give the original a go at some point, it just doesn’t appeal to me at this stage in my life. There’s also the little fact that I’m not prepared for that race in any way, shape or form. So a 30 mile race in the same area seems perfectly fine to me. It’s nice to have such a famous, or infamous race right in the back yard, so participating in anything Barkley related seems a no-brainer.

straw plains half marathon

This past weekend I ran the straw plains half marathon for the second time. I shaved off about 7 minutes from last year. Progress has been made both in fitness and in correct pacing. Avoiding bonking has been good for my times. Now it’s time to shake off more of the winter blues, increase mileage and start pushing towards the 1:30 mark for the half. If I’m to reach my 3:00 goal for the full marathon I’ll need to put in the work over the next few months.

Oddly my MAF scores have slipped a little while my race results are maintaining. I’m starting to think the switch to a new watch and heart rate monitor have skewed the numbers. Either the old watch or new watch are off. Or perhaps MAF is not that closely tied to race results.

getting used to pain

Thoughts of pain were knocking around in my head during the race. I was keeping a consistent pace while not feeling the greatest. There were moments where I was pushing myself more than usual, where I told myself this was a race and I’d better at least try to step on the gas and pass some people. Looks like much of the training and racing is getting the mind and body used to pain. Pain is probably not the right word to use, discomfort is more accurate.

I can’t even imagine the amount of discomfort an elite marathoner has to endure through daily training and keeping a suicide pace during races. Or perhaps it’s just all relative to the person. Taking over 4 hours to run a marathon brings it’s own kind of pain and struggle. You don’t have to be the fastest to feel the pressure.

even splits

I ran fairly even splits, I was hoping at the halfway point to be able to negative split, but I had enough just to hold onto the 7:00 ish pace at the end. I started red lining the last mile, but a flat finish helped in that respect. There were a couple people right in front of me who also helped motivate and draw me in.

A-B-C

This was supposed to be a “B” race but I might have overcooked the pace just a little, not sure how much faster I could have pushed. It’s not a good idea to make all races “A” races by pushing so hard. Luckily I’ve recovered nicely afterwards. Seems I recover faster from each race I’m in. I’m sure the easy training runs that I put in help. I’m not taxing my body with grueling track interval workouts.

Next up is Dark Hollow Wallow 11 mile trail race and perhaps Cummins Fall Marathon, both next weekend.