Local flavor in the inaugural Harbison 50k & 10k trail race taking place in the Harbison State Forrest here in Columbia SC. It sure was nice to have a short drive before and after. Perfect day with clear blue skies and a chilly breeze for a run in the woods.
Where to begin? Well from the start I knew it would be best to go out slow. Take the opening Lost Creek trail very easy. Strike one! It happens every time I pin a number on. Take off too fast. What felt like a nice stroll through L.C. but in following Todd and the eventual female winner, it would turn out to be a disaster in the making. All the while every thing seemed to be clicking well. Through Spider Women, Mid Mountain, Fire Break back to the S/F area. Look at my watch 2:25. Oh no! At the halfway point I was 35 minutes ahead of my anticipated pace of 5:45-6:00 finish time. If I were to hold this pace and finish sub 5 hours. What was I thinking.
Onto lap two, as the lactic acid begins to fill my weary body. Slow down and just make the best of it. As I mentally start to wonder off heading back to Lost Creek, BAM! Rolling around on the ground. What just happened? I just hit the deck on the easiest section of trail out here. This action just intensified all the lactic build up. Back up and now limping down the trail. It will be fine just another 15 miles to go. Fast forward to the second pass on Spider Woman. As Jim C. and Bill J. come right on by with the steady pace they have had all day. It just looked effortless as I struggled to put one foot in front of the other. Lesson 2 - find a good feasible pace that can be maintained the entire distance. This is my 3rd ultra so it's about time to figure this one out. thanks Jim.
As the miles just slowly ticked by. Bribing myself at every incline to just to keep jogging up to that next ridge. After the Bluffs the ability to move at a steady clip surprised me. Going through the motions and shoulder checking at every turn. No one wants to get passed so close to the end. Finished in 5:33, a PR for the 50k.
Oh my hip flexers are on fire!!!!!! As I wonder how to load myself into the car as not to embarrass my wife with the shriek of CRAMP. Next up Mt. Mitchell Challenge.
Photo credit top pic to Ray K.,