It was another weekend of muddy trail running...evidenced by the now requisite 'muddy legs' photo. Northeast Ohio is the place to be if you enjoy cold, wet Springs followed by slightly warmer, wet Summers. Is there an export market for mud? With the weak dollar, the economically depressed Rust Belt area could be revitalized as the Mud Belt.
At least, should the rains continue into July, I will be well prepared for a very mucky Buckeye Trail 50k. Most veterans of the race have said that is unlikely. Although there is a chance it will be wet, it is more likely that by the third week of July, the weather will be less wet. I frankly don't see how it could get much more wet.
On Saturday, we met at Lock 29 as usual. We ran a loop starting south on Akron Peninsula Road, then east on the trail that runs parallel to Quick Road. Again, there were fewer runners than typical, since only a few who ran the Mohican 100 Mile showed, and even though the Western States 100 Mile was called-off due to the wild fires, those who went to run or crew had not made it back. Steve G. led the way, and took us on some interesting 'nearly' trails. At one point, he claimed to be avoiding the poison ivy by taking bush-whacking through the woods, only to run us right through a huge patch of...you guessed it...poison ivy. I rinsed my legs at the nearest creek, and I think it helped.
Sunday was an interesting run, basically covering half of the Buckeye Trail 50k route. More thunderstorms and very heavy rain on Saturday afternoon and evening made Sunday a pig-slopping good time. We ran a 15.2 mile point to point from Oak Grove in Brecksville, to Pine Lane in Peninsula. We all met at the Pine Lane trail head parking lot, consolidated and car pooled north to the start. I rode with e-speed and Daisy Duc and started the run with them as well. I decided to push the pace a little, so I caught up with Shaun, Aron, and George (Doctor T) from Vertical Runner.
We kept an aggressive pace through-out the 15 miles, despite the mud which was recharge by heavy thunderstorms on Saturday. George, who was our alleged 'guide' took us on a wrong turn after only four miles or so, and we had to stop and back track. Shaun and Aron kept up the good pace and eventually, at around ten miles, I noticed that we had left George behind. Not too much farther than that, I heard footsteps behind me which I though might be him, catching up, but it was not. It was Beth, a very good runner who I have seen on a few of the BT50k familiarization runs. She ran with us the rest of the way. I think she will have a good shot at a first place finish among the women but e-speed will be right there, so it could be interesting.
Again this week, I tried my new fuel belt, and it worked out well enough. I snugged it up as tight as possible, but it still flopped around a bit. Also, despite the Sports Shield I smeared on at all friction points, in the first three miles, I felt my shirt abrading my nipples. The fuel belt apparently tugged just enough on my shirt to draw the fabric down across my nipples and increase the friction. I took off my shirt, tucked in into the belt, and the problem was solved.
This might be the last of my Sunday BT50k preparation trail runs, as I will be in New York next weekend, and then tapering the weekend after that.
2 hours ago