I had kind of a bad race at Mac Forest last year, running injured and having to take about 4 plus weeks off afterwards. So this year, I figured a PR for Mac Forest was easily in the bag. I have no injuries going on and I thought I was in at least as good as shape as last year. Guess not. My time was slower than last year and I was really thrashed and tired through out the second half--lots of walking!
I really felt good for the first part of the race and ran well, but at mile 15 I found had no better gears to move into; by mile 20 my achilles tendons were yelling and at mile 26 my calves were crying too!
First of all, it's obvious I just haven't spent enough time on the trails. It's been extremely hard to get the time between my work and other commitments in addition to my kid's schedules.
And secondly, it eventually became obvious to me that part of the problem I had was due to fueling. I had some time to go over it in my mind on a long drive to visit my Grandma the next day. (An eight hour trip.) I started to think about how few calories I got down and realized that was part of why I had a good 15 miles followed by a rough 16.6. I only managed to get one full gel packet down. I opened a couple other gels but only got myself to take about a third of each of them.
I would think about food before I would get to an aid station but when I got there nothing looked good. Before I approached the aid station at Dimple Hill (18.3) I was thinking about getting Coke and some peanut butter sandwich. I only crave Coke when I'm already in trouble fuel-wise so that already a signal I needed to do something different. I did not see pb and j so I just had the coke.
Between there and the next aid station at 22.4 I saw my hands were a bit puffy so I took an s-cap and seemed to be good by the time I reached the aid station but still unable to get down much food. (I think I grabbed a piece of banana.) In short, I spent much of the last ten miles nauseated and had to walk too much of it.
I am happy to report that I had only very mild soreness the next day and no disasters like last year's recovery. This past week I ran, but took it easy with the exception of one run where I pushed the pace a little. I feel good and that is exactly where I need to be--I'm ready to enjoy some work on the trails.
I hope to get better trail time worked into the coming weeks and I need to work on a better fueling plan! Nine weeks to S.O.B.