I decided that I would attempt to accomplish this goal again in the fall before hunting season started. I picked the final fall weekend that the entire trail would be open and invited a few friends to join me.
The sunrise on the way to pick up Todd, I made Mike stop as per usual
Saturday was the day to attempt my second try at running the entire trail. Due to Mike's sprained ankle, he wasn't going to run (he is better, he is just letting it fully heal now that he has no more races left for the year). He did drive around all morning while the rest of us ran, which I really appreciated!
At the start, excited to do this!
The five of us, Todd is really excited about running
Only a few friends joined, which worked out well. Todd and Prem started the run with me at the generator (the official start to the Seneca Trail) at 7am. We met up with Alison and Jen, who also planned to run 25-26 miles, about a half a mile into our run.
The five of us ran together for about 9 miles. Prem had to leave early due to another commitment, but it was great having him there! Jen and Alison got ahead of me and Todd a little bit, but we all ran through the final 2-3 miles to the halfway point together.
Into the woods we go
I like this photo
Still feeling good
Mike met us at the halfway point, and I was still feeling really good! I drank Tailwind the entire run and ate some energy chews here and there. At the halfway point I ate a banana that Todd brought, and I think that really helped me feel better.
The four of us started out together to head back to the start of our run. Alison and Jen got ahead of me and Todd again, but Mike made sure to check in on them at each of his stopping points.
Todd and I are good running partners. We didn't talk much, only when we needed to, but we complimented our strengths/weaknesses well. Todd is a better hill runner than me and he would get ahead of me a bit, but then I would catch up on the flat/downhill part.
When I hit 20 miles, I knew I was going to finish. I could tell that I was getting tired, but I kept pushing on. There were a few miles in the end that had a bit of walking, but I just kept going.
Up we go
Right before we reached a spot Mike planned to stop at, we saw Prem! He came back and said he couldn't miss the finish. I really appreciated his support and the fact that he wanted to come back. After refilling my Tailwind (with some confusion between me and Mike due to my unclear request, ha) the three of us pushed on. This was the hardest part for me because it is a slight incline for awhile. Todd pushed me to run as much as I could, though I did walk a bit.
The final mile and a half went by really quick, especially after the last two uphills. I was surprised to see the parking lot where Jen and Alison finished, it felt like I shouldn't be almost done yet!
I love how Todd and I are making the same face!
So happy to be done!
Todd, Prem and I pushed on to finish out the last half mile of the run. When I saw Mike in the distance I was so happy. Even though this wasn't a race, it was a huge goal of mine for the year. I am proud that I tackled the Seneca Trail again after a failed attempt in the spring.
I feel like my time, 6:02:12 for the 26.39 miles that my watch registered (which includes all stops, about 15 minutes total of stopping), is a good indication of what I am capable of at my 50 miler. We'll see!