Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Recovery and Taper

The last couple of weeks I've been engaging in more of a variety of activities to help recover from the Cayuga Trails 50 and prepare for the Finger Lakes 50s 50 miler on July 5. The entire month is sort of a recovery/taper period, without any big training weeks or 20 mile runs. It's important to give the running-specific leg muscles a rest, and this can be done without losing much, if any, fitness. With that said, I did run a couple of local races at a comfortably hard pace in order to get a few "speed sessions" in.

Saturday, June 7, saw the Tortoise & Hare Trail Run at Buttermilk Falls State Park. The course winds up the park's Rim Trail and Bear Trail, ascending about 900 feet in the first few miles, then circles around Lake Treman and descends via the same route. Only a week removed from the Cayuga Trails 50, I felt pretty fresh at the starting line. I definitely felt the fatigue in my legs during the long ascent,

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Cayuga Trails 50 Race Report

In the Devil's Footsteps

There I sat, dejected, head in hands, less than halfway up the 222 stairs standing between my first DNF and the final five miles to a hard fought personal victory. My secondary goal of a sub 11 hour finish had just gone down stream, washed away in the current and sucked over Lucifer Falls, well beyond reproach. Although my body and organ systems were, for the most part, still intact and fully operational, my spirit was suddenly crushed beyond disrepair and my mind completely fried. 45 miles into the beast known as the Cayuga Trails 50, I had come to the base of the 222 step stone staircase that ascends adjacent to Lucifer Falls at Robert Treman State Park. The first climb up these stairs, 20 miles and six hours ago, had left me lead-legged and light headed. This second climb seemed certain to finish me off. I'd gladly have sold my broken, lactic acid filled soul to Lucifer himself for an elevator ride up the gorge, but surely even the Prince of Darkness himself could not contrive a hell any worse than what I was experiencing at this God-forsaken moment. Had six months of training and nearly 10 hours of continuous running ultimately come down to this? How had I ever come to this point, on the verge of such a breakdown?

Buttermilk Creek.



First, a bit of background leading up to the moment of truth. The Cayuga Trails 50 is the brainchild of Ian Golden, local trailrunner, ironman, race director, owner of Finger Lakes Running & Triathlon Company and Confluence Running, and all around great guy. The race is a double loop, beginning and ending at the east end of Robert Treman State Park in Ithaca, NY. The course runs entirely along trails, features roughly 11,000 feet of vertical gain and an equal amount of descent, and showcases