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Vulcan's Fury Trail Race - Run

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Nottingham, New Hampshire
United States
Acidotic Racing
50F / 10C
Total Time = 2h 57m 25s
Overall Rank = 102/134
Age Group =
Age Group Rank = 0/
Pre-race routine:

Slept on Jon and Liz's couch. Ate oatmeal with apple slices cooked in a crock pot overnight-- very smooth. It was in the upper 30s when we got up. Drove to the race-- missed the turn-off but had just enough cell coverage to GPS our way in. "Trust the Google."
Event warmup:

Got our numbers and stood out by the car where the sun was warming up things nicely. Milled around with runners and listened to the new Meat Puppets lp on the iphone hooked up to Jon's car speakers.Jon made fun of me for wearing it, but decided to bring the mp3 player along. Decided to bag the belt with the water bottle. Didn't really need to drink water during training runs of 2+ hours in warmer weather than this and there were to be two water stops. Prerace speech informed us that the trail markers were bright yellow and that due to the fallen leaves they'd pretty much blend in. Fortunately there are white blazes on the trees too. Loosened up a little but no real run warmup.
  • 2h 57m 25s
  • 11.87 miles
  • 14m 57s  min/mile

The first half wasn't too difficult, but I found myself huffing and puffing early, for some reason, until I settled in behind a group of women who were setting a good pace for me. It was a different kind of rocky terrain than in PA-- less rocks, but they certainly kept me alert to keep from hitting them wrong and turning an ankle-- did have a few of those moments but nothing major. I was probably overly cautious because of not wanting to fall-- i was more conscious of this than ever before because of concerns that if I ended up with a cast I wouldn't be allowed to work (which had happened to someone at work recently despite the non-physical type of job we have)-- and didn't push the pace much at all. I knew that there were two major climbs, the second larger and steeper than the first,and after I did the first one I kind of rested up in anticipation of the second one. After what I thought was the second one was over, I was cruising along on a smooth, wide section, and although there were still some short steep climbs, I was thinking that this was easier than any of the Pretzel City trail races I've done. The long log that we had to balance our way over was the first sign that I was wrong-- some people were freaked out about it, and I wondered if my aging balance system was up to the task, but I kind of just motored quickly and it was done. Then I hit the yellow tape markers and realized that the second climb was just starting-- it was so steep and long, that not only did I walk most of it, and had to pause twice to rest before reaching the tall girl with a cowbell who encouraged everyone up the last bit to the top. At the top there was a fire tower and a great view. Now I wished I'd brought my water belt, only for the iphone pocket so I could've taken pictures. Got lost for a moment up there and momentarily panicked when I realized I couldn't see any trail markers. Finally I saw a runner across a rock gully and climbed down and up to the trail I saw her on. I was at the top of the climb and had run only 7 miles so far. They said the course was "somewhere around 9-11 miles." I was sweating and my legs were weary, but started running down on trembling legs, with the balls of my feet starting to hurt. When I hit the second and last water stop at 9 miles, I thought I was in trouble because I was unsteady on my feet, my energy was low, and I thought that there were still four miles to go after the last water stop. Fortunately I caught up to a girl with a dog (only because she kept stopping to loosen up a cramp) who told me that there was no more than two miles to go. Then I knew I could make it, although I tripped twice and nearly fell both times and this made me walk a minute or so each time out of caution, not because I couidn't run. I discovered that feeling completely spent going up or down a steep hill didn't affect my ability to run on a flat section at all. Must be a much different group of muscles involved. The biggest challenge of the last mile or so was not fatigue, but keeping track of the path, which twisted and turned a lot to get around the boulders, some as big as a Hummer. It took every bit of my concentration to scan for the white blazes about eye level on the trees while also watching for things to trip over, and I did have to stop a few times to get my bearings when I couldn't see the path, and couldn't find a blaze either.At this point I was mostly alone, too. I turned on my music for some added push. When I realized I was close to the end, I stepped it up, and heard a couple of people by the side of the road yelling, "go, Bobby!." As I wondered how they knew my name, I finally saw Jon yelling the same thing, and I sprinted in the last 500 yards, grinning widely. It was the hardest running-only race I've ever done, that I still enjoyed (Philly marathon was painful and miserable for the last half and I hated it).
What would you do differently?:

Train more, obviously. I really only did three long trail runs in the six weeks leading up to it. Definitely need to strengthen my ankles, glutes, and quads. While I was a bit thirsty in the middle section, I'm still not sure that it's worth the aggravation to carry water.
Post race
Warm down:

Walked around a bit to steady myself, poured myself some delicious, full-bodied brew from the keg (some kind of pumpkin flavor local brew), and sat and chatted with Jon, and a couple of the runners I'd encountered on the trails. Also talked to Chris from Acidotic Racing about his plans to do two races the next day-- a trail 5k and then a mountain bike race. I snarkily questioned if that was all, and what about the swim? Turns out he was a competitive swimmer in high school and did sprint and oly triathlons back in the 80s when very few other people did.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Being overly-cautious, and not in good enough shape.

Event comments:

Jon finished an hour ahead of me. He was 23rd overall. A beast.

We went to a juice bar in Concord afterwards where I, all pumped up from endorphins,(and that great keg of beer after the race) went into full Bill Bryson mode and questioned the poor waitress about the source of the hemp protein, whether there is gluten in wheat grass, and so on. Jon wanted to disappear. Good times.

Pictures by SNAPacidotic. #1 me #2the winner with his pumpkin #3 Jonwadd40

Profile Album

Last updated: 2013-10-17 12:00 AM
02:57:25 | 11.87 miles | 14m 57s  min/mile
Age Group: 0/
Overall: 0/134
Performance: Good
Course: Much of it was singletrack with rocks and roots covered by leaves and pine needles. Some mucky sections, a few wooden bridges, and a "bushwack" section which was a steep course up through boulders. There was one log to tightrope across.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2013-10-26 9:42 AM

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Subject: Vulcan's Fury Trail Race

2013-10-28 12:25 PM
in reply to: #4884985

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Extreme Veteran
Horsham, PA
Subject: RE: Vulcan's Fury Trail Race

Congratulations.  It sounds like a fabulous race!  Were the trees in fall color?  I might like this one for next year!

2013-10-28 2:05 PM
in reply to: starrlinda

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Subject: RE: Vulcan's Fury Trail Race
Yeah, it was fun. The trees were a little past peak color, and the colors aren't as vivid this year with the warm October, but there were enough yellow leaves around to make it hard to see the little yellow flags on the ground marking the trail.
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