We're all going to die. Seriously.
D and I ran at Pineland today. The goal was to check out the side of the course that I skipped last week. D has already run a good chunk of this part of the course, and she warned me that it was a bit more difficult than the Oak Hill Section. Well, it's not only a bit more difficult, it's fraught with death. Holy schnikees. We are all going to die.
In the vein of not overdoing it, my original plan was to run with D for a couple miles, and then make my way back via a shorter route, while she completed the rest of the course on that side of Pineland. I was hoping that my calf and whatnot would be OK through at least five, perhaps even seven miles.
The course is really hard. And, I mean, really hard. There are no big hills, but there are no flat sections. I think it might be easy for about 10 feet over the 25k. At about 5k D said, "Take comfort in the fact that you didn't sign up for the 50k." The trail is rough and the hills just keep coming. It's not going to be pleasant.
Just before 6k, we arrived at the yurt. I had originally planned to turn back here, but I decided to run the winter field loop with D because I was feeling good. To those of you that are running this race: When you look at the course map, do not scoff at the field loops. They are hilly, uneven and evil. They will eat your soul. We are all going to die. Seriously.
After this loop, the course heads back into the woods, and I told D that I thought I'd like to continue on with her. She didn't complain as this meant she wouldn't have to read the map by herself...that never ends well. So we kept going along the course. We skipped one of the field loops because...well, we kind of wussed out. Anyway, we made our way through the rest of the course and began the Campus Loop.
At this point, we had probably run 13k, and I thought I was going to die. I was pretty beat. That's when it goes uphill. The next 2k are basically all uphill. All of it. Uphill. We are all going to die.
We made it back to the car in 1:34. We figured this was about 9.5 miles. I then whimpered at the car. D begrudgingly went on for more mileage. She wasn't psyched about it, but she was hoping to run longer. I was glad to see her suck it up and go for it. Most impressive. For me, I'm really psyched to finish this run without pain in any of my many vulnerable parts. Very good sign.
With that in mind, due to the difficulty of the course, my expectations are even lower. I just want to survive. We are all going to die. Here's my recommendation if you've already signed up: Go to the race, pick up your number, skip the run and just drink the free beer.
It's gonna be hard.
We are all going to die.