Well, I didn't strike oil this year, but it was truly one of the best experiences I have ever had. First, I cannot even begin to say enough good things about this race. It was so well organized, and there was never a doubt about being lost on the course, or missing any turns. The pink reflective flags illuminated the entire way and kept us moving through the wee hours of the night.
I could not imagine a better experience. I met great people along the way, had my parents and partner crewing me, and my brother pacing-it was truly a fantastic experience. The course was an amazing 50k loop. No matter how many times I read and re-read the course description it was certainly more technical than I was expecting. It had a bit of everything to offer-single track, mud, gravel, good climbs, and rocks and roots. Tom Jennings is an amazing race director with an amazing race, the volunteers are just as amazing.
I could go into a full write up on the time I spent on the trails, but that's for me to keep and use to fuel me for next year. I'm already counting down the days until registration. I know I need to get more dense calories in, take care of blisters when they first pop up, and keep re-applying body glide. Rookie mistakes, all of which I am ready to keep in mind for next year. I honestly cannot wait. I keep planning and re-planning my race schedule for next year. I love the planning, the building of a plan to culminate in Oil Creek again...adding longer races and planning on keeping them in the schedule just continues to open more and more race opportunities to explore. I love running, I love trial running, and I love that deep down burning pain that makes you figure out how your brain keeps your body moving. I can't wait to get back into it!
This year was a good running year; I took on two new race distances, had a new personal best in the 50k distance and still came out ready for another year of running. In the past year I have dropped almost an hour from my 50k time. I want to keep dropping those minutes this season; same goes for my 50 mile time; and that 100...that will be mine.
I am taking time off from a running schedule to give myself a break and focus on strength training. My only miles until January will be through my part time job as a dog runner. It'll be about 15 miles a week, and that sounds pretty good to me.
I admit I'm looking forward to the changing season, I love cold weather running gear, and plan on posting plenty of reviews.