I always tell people I am a road runner. A few reasons I do not run much on the trails:
1. I do not take the time to drive, often I dont have a car, to travel to the trails
2. I like to run with my dogs from my home
3. It is rattlesnake season
4. I am not great at running downhill on trails.
5. I like to run fast, at least fast for me. 20 miles on the road takes 3 hours, 20 miles on trails takes 4 hours
I ran track in high school and started training for triathlons in 1992 while living in Michigan. There were not a lot of dirt trails. I moved to Colorado in 1995 and was still not a huge trail runner. Don’t get me wrong, when I do run on the trails I love it.
Last year after Ironman Lake Placid I was not ready for my season to be done so I entered a 50 mile trail race in Steamboat, Run Rabbit Run. Read my race report here. Since I only ran 2 times on a trail in 2011 I owe this race some training so decided 2012 Run Rabbit Run would be my A race.
This year my friend and race director for Run Rabbit Run added a 100 miler with prize money. It did not take long to convince me to sign up. My Ultra training kicked of mid May with 25 mile trail runs every weekend gearing up for a 50 miler in June. My friend signed me up for the Estes Park Marathon June 17th and the following weekend, June 23rd, I would Running with the Devil, 50 miles around Lake Mead. I assumed running in Estes Park would involved some trails and running 50 miles would also be on trails so I agreed to run both.
The weekend of Estes Park, my plan was to run the marathon and then jog to my friend who was walking the marathon and finish with her aiming for 35 miles that day. Planned changed since my legs were tired race morning and the entire marathon was on the road which hurt my legs so I opted to finish my marathon, hang out and wait for my friend. I placed 2nd overall.
It was not till I arrived in Vegas that I would find out Running with the Devil was all on roads. Great for me, right, because I am a road runner. YIKES, after running the marathon on the road the previous weekend, I was not looking forward to running 50 miles.
Race day in Vegas was 107 degrees. Surprisingly the heat did not bother me. The wind kept us “cool”. I ran the first 25 miles in 3:53 why ahead of my goal time of 10 hours. By mile 31, my legs were hurting, I slowed to a 15 minute mile pace. This is the point I changed my mind and was no longer a road runner.My legs hurt
I grabbed some pepsi at the next aid station and rallied. I did not want to be out in the desert for 12 hours. I had to do some self talk to get me though the last 19 miles. I kept my 10 hour goal in mind and and ended up finishing in 8:58, first overall female (out of 6) and 4 guys beat me.
Unless I train for BadWater Ultra, there is no reason to run more then 26.2 miles on the road.