It was a long weekend that didn't go quite as planned. I was up in Wisconsin with the family looking at running on the Kettle Moraine Ice Age trail. As I looked into it, I realized hunting season was going on, and in fact hunting is allowed all along the ice age trail. I thought this rather peculiar as it seemed you would need to run on it at your own risk. I called the DNR and they guy I spoke with said "yeah you'll see hunters out there". I asked him if it were safe, he was like oh yeah, but wear something bright. Well that wasn't very reassuring, I'd rather not get shot or an arrow stuck in me. I decided to bag the Ice Age thing altogether.
I ran for an hour forty minutes total on Saturday. Did some harder efforts in there but nothing long. I was having some doubts on the whole ultra thing. The race is on the ice age trail, so the whole hunting thing kind of put it out of reach.
That was until Sunday. Sunday called for some showers, but I drove out to a trail with my wife and Dad tagged along. I paced my wife for an hour, it was her second 1 hour run in a row, so that was good for her. Upon getting back to the car I told her I was going to keep going, so I turned around back down the trail and kept going. About another 30 minutes in it started to rain, but I wasn't too worried. Just rain not lightning. I kept going until I popped out of the trail and found a water fountain where I filled my hand held up again. I had plenty of Gels to keep me going. I decided to head back to my parents home which would put me at about 3hrs 30 minutes.
It started to rain harder, but I kept the pace controllable. Anywhere from 9:15 to 9:35 a mile. It was fairly hilly in some sections so that was good practice. As I approached I was thinking to myself, well I feel good, maybe I'll just refuel and keep running. Maybe even hit the 5 hour mark. I got home, filled up my bottle with Accelerade and took back off. I figure hey, and hour and a half more no problem. I ran my way back through some rollers and good climbs to the beginning of the trail and kept going. Still raining. I hit the 4:15 mark and decided I should turn around and head back. I still felt pretty good. It was longest training run I ever had so far.
Legs felt ok, getting a little sore. I could feel some soreness in the quads, but as long as I kept going I was fine. Got to the home, and realized I just ran 50K, which is an ultra marathon in itself! I was pretty happy with myself and realized I was ready for the 50, despite the hunters. I'm sure it will be safe during the race. I'll get something orange to wear just in case.