Saturday, December 11, 2010

LoviT Trail Marathon Report

After a disappointing fall, I hoped to squeeze another trail marathon before Christmas.  My running has not gone very well since Leadville and I just have not felt like I could run effortlessly.  Sciatic pain definitely has been a chronic problem and is worse than usual.  To make matters worse, every time I did race this fall, it was really warm and I certainly do not run well in warm weather.  I run much better in cold weather - temperatures in the twenties is about perfect for me.

In November I ran the Tulsa Route 66 Marathon and dropped at mile 15 or 16 because it was just so warm, humid and miserable.  Unlike a few other DNF's (Leadville especially), I still have no regrets about dropping.  Road marathons are just not fun when it gets to be a struggle like that and it was only going to get worse.

I have wanted to do the LoviT Trail Marathon since they started it several years ago and not having just run the Memphis Marathon, I figured I was up for it.  My goal was to just treat it as a good long training run and try to run a strong reverse split.

I left at 5:30 in the morning and it was a pretty drive though there was some rain but that would not return once we began the race.  I also noted that temperatures were warmer in the morning than when I had gone to bed the night before!  A cold front was on it's way but it would not be there in time to help me.

I forgot the camera so here are some pictures from the web:

We began the race and Leah Thorvilson (Olympic Trials Qualifier and sub 2:40 Marathoner) and Scott Eason went out to the front.  I had no interest in racing today and even if I did, I'm not sure I could stay with them.  They have both been running very well lately.

Stan Fersguson, Po Dog Vogler, Paul Turner, and Darby Benson and I formed a nice pack on the way out and ran at a nice pace.  I thought if I could run a reverse split and a harder effort on the way back, that would be a good race.  When we hit the turn around, I thought about really going all out but decided not too.  It was just too warm and I was sweating profusely.

Thanks to Trail Zombie for these great pictures.  There were a lot of neat rocks like this one.  This is after all diamond country and there is even a state park not far from here where you can hunt for diamonds.

So I went about 80 to 90 percent effort down the mountain and Darby was close behind.  Then at the bottom, Darby sped up the pace.  I had mixed feelings about it.  I was kind of glad because it felt good to move fast but I also was enjoying a more laid back race.   But Darby kept pushing.  I was having trouble keeping up with him.

Finally around mile 20,  he pulled away from me.  For a few minutes I just walked and struggled.  Sciatic was really hurting and the heat was draining me.  But after a few minutes and after I settled the pace back down I began to run well again.  Then with only a few miles to go before the finish, Darby shows up behind me!  He had gotten off the trail.  He reminded me that it had happened to us before at the Buffalo River Run some years ago.  Only I had been in the lead and had gotten lost.

Darby started pushing the pace again.  Especially on the uphills.  This time, I figured I could could stay with him and push through the pain with such a short distance to go.

We finished together and came back in just about the same amount of time as the front runners.  They had just over 20 minutes on us at the turn around and that is what they had at the finish.  So I felt good about that.

The course is scenic.  Much of it goes around Lake Ouachita and it crests at a nice Vista at mile 14.  The course is very runnable.  I think if one tried to really burn this course, you could run the entire thing.  I would rank the course as easier than Sylamore for example.  It does have quite a few little ups and downs as it goes around the lake because it has to traverse drainage creeks that dump into the lake.  But these drainages are not as rolling as other course I've run like OT 50. 

It was a great little run and those who put it on did a fabulous job.  Entry fee- 0 - They only ask for a donation.

So I squeezed in another trail marathon and 2010 is in the books.  I will write again at the end of the year to reflect on the past year and look forward to 2011. 

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the write up Tom...I always have to remember that runnable to you is quite different to runnable to me. Have a blessed Christmas season.

    Leah won the St. Jude the weekend before!