Jack Bristol Lake Waramaug 100K, New Preston, CT 2,1

Elevation: 177'

April 21, 2013 - One of the overriding objectives I took on this year was to go
for new Personal Best times at the distances of 50 miles, 100K, and 100 miles.
Having not taken up ultra events of these distances until I was in my fifties, the
true extent of my ability to cover these distances in a shorter time will never be
known.  Nonetheless, it is satisfying to continue to chase a dream of faster 
finish times as I continue to hit the roads and trails in my fifth decade of racing.
With the completion of this event I was able to walk away very satisfied that I 
had achieved two of my objectives in one fell swoop

The reputation of the Lake Waramaug event for fast times and good 
organization was just what I was looking for - a break from the brutality of 
trails, with relatively level terrain on pavement where I could let my legs run.
Training on hard roads, mostly, for a few weeks enabled me to get a little snap
back into my legs, so I was confident I could go the distance without too much
compromise.  My goal was to run the first 50K in five hours, followed by the
second in six hours.  For the most part, it was a good plan and one that I was
mostly able to follow.

After the six-and-one-half-hour drive to Connecticut, I crashed in my rental
car, parked directly over the Appalachian Trail outside of Kent.  It brought a
smile to my face looking out at the AT winding up the hill through the woods
in the moonlight.  Arising early after a good night of sleep I picked up my 
number and unceremoniously went through my pre-race rituals before the 
0730 start of about a hundred runners in three races - 50K, 50M, and 100K.

The starting temperature was right at 32 degrees with a forecast for sunny
skies and temps into the fifties.  Expecting chilly winds off the lake I dressed
in layers to prevent hypothermia.  The ambient warmth of the sun was great,
but gusts of twenty mph and more made me glad I had a wind vest to hide 
behind. As I never got too cold and never felt too warm, I guess I made the 
right choices with my racing attire.

The field was friendly as we started out on our first 2.2-mile out-and-back leg
before returning to the start/finish where seven laps of 7.6 miles around Lake
Waramaug awaited before finishing with a final out-and-back leg of 2.3 miles.
Despite a week of rest my legs still felt heavy at the start, so I moved along
carefully until I could find some sort of rhythm - the so-called "sweet spot".
The first 4.4 miles back to the start seemed to take a long time, so I was 
surprised to see a time of 38:32 or 8:45 per mile.

     Larry Creveling  	11:35/M   62.200    12:00:12.6
Lap 1 38:32.5 8:45/M 4.400 38:32.5
Lap 2 1:13:20.6 9:39/M 12.000 1:51:53.1
Lap 3 1:14:21.1 9:47/M 19.600 3:06:14.2
Lap 4 1:21:39.4 10:45/M 27.200 4:27:53.6
Lap 5 1:27:14.3 11:29/M 34.800 5:55:07.9
Lap 6 1:41:24.9 13:21/M 42.400 7:36:32.8
Lap 7 1:36:59.9 12:46/M 50.000 9:13:32.7
Lap 8 1:47:37.9 14:10/M 57.600 11:01:10.6
Lap 9 59:02.0 12:50/M 62.200 12:00:12.6 By the end of the second of seven laps around the lake, by mile 20, I had found my sweet spot and settled in to an all-day pace, completing the first 50K within five and a half hours and slowing in the second half by only an hour over the second 50K because of muscle spasms and cramps. There never came a point where there was any doubt I would finish. Had the race continued on to 100 miles, I believe I could have maintained a slightly decaying pace to the end. The scenery running along the shoreline held my attention most of the way, without any ennui setting in. The route reminded me of running along the bays and inlets at Acadia National Park or around Lake Geneva in Wisconsin with the mix of gingerbread cottages at the water's edge and grand mansions on the overlooking hillsides. Running along streams and lakes such as this has always been invigorating in a positive ionic sort of way. With near perfect temps it was hard not to have a good time in such a race with gorgeous views, especially with the super supportive volunteers and locals hiking and biking along the route. Many friendly exchanges along the way with participants and volunteers made the time zoom by, so it seemed. In fact, after about thirty miles, when I changed into dry layers I purposefully abandoned my watch and no longer concerned myself with time's passage - slow or fast. If I learned anything it was that my racing these days is based more on "tough" than on training. The little voice in my head no longer receives much of an audience when the going gets painful. Pain is a more constant companion than in the years under my belt. With injuries in every body part and perhaps more scar tissue holding me together than connective tissue, I am pleased that I can still shuffle along as well as I do. A time will come when I bring this craziness to a close - by deliberate decision. I've already decided that I am not going to be one of those old guys dragging along his carcass in a best effort to salvage some youth from the effort. I plan to stop before I make a spectacle of myself, and aim to end on a high note. "Better to burn out than to fade away." But this day was not to be my last good effort, as I now turn my attention to dreams of the next one. Some day I'll be old........................ but not today.