Delirium Ultra 12 Hour, Ridgeland, South Carolina 1,2

Elevation: 79'               RESULTS
February 8, 2014 - After a disappointing outing in Texas the previous week
I was thinking I need a good race during my three-and-a-half hour drive to
Hilton Head from my new home in North Carolina.  After checking in I found
I was able to sleep in my car at the start/finish line, which served me doubly.
The price was right for my accommodations and my car was a convenient
place to lay out all my "stuff" to grab when needed on my thirty trips past it
during the event.  I had run this lowcountry event last year and enjoyed it.
However, the course venue changed to the grounds of the R & M Plantation
near Ridgeland, so it was like an entirely new event.

It was kind of cool looking up at the stars and moon and high clouds during 
the night, thinking about the history of this place - a southern plantation
that probably grew cotton that was picked by slaves, etc.  I wondered 
about the people.  Parked in the middle of a grassy field that had probably
been seeded in cotton and known the tears and joys of a time that has
long since passed.  What was it like?  Did the energy of that time still echo
off the trees, up from the swamps?  And could I get a feel for what it must
have been like?  I must have thought long and hard on the matter as I did
not sleep very well.  Maybe the energy was a little stronger than I thought.

The forecast was for rain in the morning with quick clearing and sunshine
by afternoon.  And that's exactly the way it played out.  The first two hours
were a steady cold rain, but it was very pleasant all afternoon.  The course
was a loop of 1.695 miles around the grounds of the property, mostly on
soft surfaces, around a large pond, through a typical lowcountry long leaf
pine forest.  My objective was to run for twelve hours and see how many 
miles I could tally.  Some set out for a six hour objective, but most were here
to go for the full 24.  Thirty rounds equated to 50 miles.  That was my

I wanted to gauge how I felt doing fifty miles back-to-back, weekend-to-
weekend, after doing 50 the previous weekend in Texas.  Since I am doing
multiple back-to-backs this year, I can use the feedback for my preparations
and reparations.  The course was easy, but the good rain at the start made
it a mudfest, which would last throughout.  My shoes tell it all.

I made some new friends, which is easy to do on these loopy runs.  And
saw two old acquaintances that I hadn't anticipated - Joyce Ong and Fred
Davis.  For the most part I enjoyed the spontaneous flirtatious encounters
and relaxed converation and exchanges that are a large part of the appeal
of this sport.  Time moved along quickly, not that I was paying much attention
to it.  Tempo was mixed due to a requirement to slow to negotiate the
muddiest of sections and then resume a good stride where the water had
drained off.  I was fascinated by the evolution of my tolerance of running
loop courses.  I never got bored.  Not at all. And I most always get bored
doing rounds like this.  Not today.  And I didn't drift into ennui doing loops
in Texas the previous week either.  Very interesting.  It is something that
I have purposefully been working on or I wouldn't be entering such events.
Mental patience is a huge part of success in these events.  And I have
very little of it, generally speaking.

Somewhere around 35 miles my right knee began to get tender.  I strapped
it, but it was becoming intolerable.  I believe it is just muscle and tendons
that would heal if I ever gave it a rest, but nonetheless I hate to continue
to run on it and aggrevate it further.  But I really didn't want to stop either.
So, I stopped for a change of clothes and used an Ace bandage to wrap
a tight support below my knee.  It hurt at first to run on it before it eased up,
enabling me to run comfortably, for the most part, without bother.  So
I carried on to complete thirty loops or fifty miles before stopping to save
any injury from further aggrevation.

Finishing in under 10 and a half hours I stopped before it was dark while the
rest continued on to complete the balance of the 12 or 14 hours.  I was
satisfied.  Grabbing my finisher's bling and some food to go, I drove home
directly and slept in my own bed after washing the mud off.  While it was
a satisfying effort it does point up the fact that I ran all day on muscle memory
and no training. I do need to get out there and train, despite the doldrums of
winter.  Three weeks until the next 50 miler.  Will rest the knee and a tender
Achilles a few days, then get back out there.