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Run Efficient: Mindy's 40 for 40

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Mindy's 40 for 40

Mindy decided to celebrate her fortieth birthday with a 40 mile trail run at Bradbury Mountain. She chose an 8 mile loop of rolling, rooted, semi-muddy and rocky terrain to ring in her new year. With almost 40 people showing up for her event, it felt like an actual trail race with an early start time of 7 am on a gorgeous Saturday morning.

First and foremost I am super impressed, and happy for Mindy for following through on this epic venture. She trained consistently and with a determination that impressed me throughout her summer of awesomeness.

Lap one was a huge group of people with some charging on ahead to do their own thing, and some kicking it back to smartly pace themselves. In our group we let Mindy lead for a while until it was apparent that the many months and many training runs through the deep woods of the Brad were not enough for the squirrels memory. The first couple of intersections were just too much for her focused brain and we were all almost lost for good. Luckily we had a few skilled navigators in our group and we found our way. Valerie was doing her due diligence and marking the course with flour, which I assumed was as much for direction as it was for carb loading should the need arise.

After a nice relaxing respite after lap one we were on our way again. I started off with what I thought would be most of the group but realized I was with a bunch of people I didn't know. Nathan Augustine I'd run with a bunch but Martin, Brett and Shaun I had only seen around here and there. The pace was much the same as the first lap, a bit under 12:00, and we cruised along in silence for a while. Then the rain started in, and we all got even quitter. We all broke out of the "funk" eventually though and had a few conversations along the way.

The next couple laps are a bit of a blur. I definitely remember the 3rd lap feeling tough on my legs and having a bit of fatigue. Val ran with us a bunch and did a fantastic job keeping Mindy's spirits high. She seemed to appear randomly on sections, drop off, and appear again like Mindy's birthday angel. The weather was clear now but the humidity in the woods remained, and the heat of the day kept us all wet and soggy. Back at the table/aid station Pete and various Trail Monsters were there to help anyone in need and offer support for the runners. Ryan and his youngin' made a few appearances with smiles all around. The mix of people joining the run at various parts and coming out to cheer Mindy on was just fantastic.

The final lap was just awesome. This is what ultra running is all about. Joe had gone ahead and was working on finishing the 40. Mindy, Emma, Zak, Ian and I took off together to charge on through the final humid 8. The mind-set at this point of a run is the determining factor in distance running. We all had our own issues, discomforts, mind-games. But we all dug down and got through it. I've had a bit more of an issue with this over the last bunch of long runs. I'm usually great at mental acuity and can push through anything, but lately struggled a bit. I was so impressed with the four I ran with, especially Mindy, for their toughness. I was relatively fine but legs were tired and I wanted to be done. The longest Mindy had gone was a bit under 28 miles before this run and she was surely showing her strength for the long haul. She definitely inspired me during the final miles, as did the other TM's.

Just when we thought it was all done. The realization sank in that we were a bit short of 40. That meant adding on around a mile, just-in-case. Rough. We survived, Mindy thrived, and all were super happy for her. I was a bit sick still at the end, and toast for sure. Ryan at one point offered me a Pringle after stating "I looked green." What an excellent time, with excellent people and a proud moment for our Trail Monster-Squirrel friend, Mindy.

efficiency: Brooks (spandex) shorts = no chaffing, at all! Hydration was great. Salt intake was great. Food intake was good. Might have been nauseous from the Nutrifit drinks (although they've been OK in the past). Legs were still tired from three tough workouts early in the week and a few awesome surf sessions from the hurricane. But wanted it that way.

distance: 40
duration: 8:11:00 (I think, this does not include stops)


At September 5, 2011 at 6:45 AM , Blogger vja said...

Awesome write up! Mindy was inspirational. You may have been green at the finish, but it never showed during the run. TMs rule!!!

At September 5, 2011 at 9:24 AM , Blogger mindy said...

This post is a gift in itself - thank you Jeremy for being a guiding voice out there, encouraging me, making sure I was at my own pace, making us laugh and keeping things fun. Glad you dialed in the shorts and sounds like you really got in a killer training week!

At September 5, 2011 at 1:43 PM , Blogger Sparkplug said...

Nice work! And yes, Mindy is definitely inspirational. So impressed with her, and all of you guys!


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