Croom Zoom 100K, Brooksville, FL 2,3

Elevation: 402'

January 5, 2013 - Someone might say that driving eighteen hours to run a
62-mile trail race and then turning around after it was over to drive another
eighteen hours home - all in the same weekend - is outright crazy.  That
someone was probably spread across their couch all weekend watching four 
NFL playoff games.  I guess the perception of crazy is all relative.  I prefer
to see it the way a fellow runner did when learning of my exploits, saying it
sounded more like a triathlon to him.  Great observation!  "Yo no estoy loco" :)

After a good night sleeping in the parking lot of the start curled up in my little
rental car, I arose dark early to begin my pre-race ritual to guarantee I didn't
have any excuses for performance shortcomings.  The temperature was
somewhere near fifty degrees and seemed mighty welcoming to my winter
thickened blood. The forecast was for sunshine, mostly, and temperatures
into the seventies.  That's what I came to Florida for.

With headlamps or flashlights in hand those running the 50K or 100K set out
at six o'clock to hit single track on the first 2.2-mile loop through the 
Withlacoochee State Forest.  Plenty of roots kept our focus on the ground as
everyone got into queue and quickly made our way back around to the start
before beginning the ten-mile undulating loop which was to be repeated 
until the desired distance was achieved.

I took up with a group of about a dozen younger 50K runners who moved along
at something close to a 7-mph tempo, keeping me entertained with their
contagious enthusiasm and enjoyable chatter.  Despite enjoying their company 
I found a chance to step off the trail for a nature break after the first aid
station to let the group continue without me, realizing that I would pay for this
pace after they had finished their day as I continued with the 100K.  I eased
back to most of 6-mph from half way through the first loop back to the 
beginning, arriving at 12.2 miles in 2:08, quicker than I would have liked.

Nonetheless, the tempo felt comfortable and I continued without strain in the
cool morning temperatures, picking up another companion in the second loop
to keep me honest in my pacing, finishing the second loop in 3:47. With warming
mid-morning temperatures I stripped to short sleeves and proceeded alone
for the third loop, enjoying the scenery of the typical central Florida scenery.
Somewhere along the way a combination of the heat and my latent weariness
from more driving than sleep began to labor my efforts.  The legs were good, 
but I slowed to curtail a slight sense of dizziness.

After completing the third loop at 5:47, averaging 5 mph for the previous ten
miles, I ventured onward in my quest for a 100K finish.  By 35 miles or so the
dizziness was becoming a factor and wouldn't relent while walking.  I had this
happen a couple times before when racing in Florida and Texas in January
when my blood was just too thick to handle the heat.  Before I completed
the fourth loop at 8 hours I decided I had had enough fun for the day and that
to continue another four to five hours in such a condition was counterproductive
to my core objective for adventure.......... so I abandoned after four loops, 42M,
without regret, resting a little, then bolting the eighteen hours back home.

It was a good day.  I enjoyed it.  In retrospect I was able to maintain a tempo
that generally exceeded any effort during any race in 2012.  Except for the
heat I am where I want to be, condition-wise, and ready for the next 
engagement in a month in Hilton Head.  I'll re-evaluate the issue of crazyness
at that time :)