Well, I have been humbly reminded that I may be able to fake my way through a respectable marathon on minimal training and perhaps even a 50k. However, 50 miles is a completely different story. Today was an exercise in perserverence. I started of with Carol O'Hear and felt pretty good through about 15 or 16 miles. As always, I enjoyed the time running with Carol and we got caught up with a lot. Unfortunately, things started to come apart a little at a time after that. The race had also relocated some aid stations and I hadn't paid attention to the pre-race announcements. My bad. Ended up running out of fluids on the way up to Rattlesnake Lake. Just past the parking lot, the cramping set in. I spent the next three plus miles hobbling slowly and trying to get on top of the cramping. Any attempt to run brought me to a complete stop with fully locked calves. Eventually, I was able to start running very slowly a little bit at a time. By the turn around at 35 miles, I was moving better. I kept trying to run as much as possible and stay ahead on water and electrolytes and did fairly well until the golf course. Then the cramps came back, although not quite so intensely.
To make a long story a little shorter, after running under seven hours last year, I ran 8:00:20 this year. My knees are aching and I'm feeling pretty beat, but I got to see a lot of good friends and was forcibly reminded that it doesn't matter what you've done before, without the training, it's not going to be as fun or as fast.
I plan to get in some miles before the Watershed 12 hour in May.