Three loops, 60 miles, and that's all she wrote. My optimism never waned, but the firmness of my footing certainly did. As in my previous RR100 attempt, my feet ultimately betrayed me, succumbing to debilitating blisters.
I’ve come to the conclusion that RR is a tough course for me because of the dust. It gets in my shoes, between my toes, and under the balls of my feet. I've used Body Glide, Hydropel, Blister Shield--you name it. I wear gaiters, but nothing keeps the grit out. Without fail, hot spots inevitably form, typically around mile 30 or so. I’ve had to bail on my two 100 mile attempts at RR because of blisters.
Last year, my feet held up better than they ever had on the RR course, and I think it is because the rain and mud minimized the dust. My feet were wet, but blister-free. I felt good after 50 miles through nasty conditions.
And my one 100 mile finish was on a tougher course during abysmal conditions--rain, 20 degree temperatures, complete exposure to the elements.
In any event, I really do think I am done with 100s. With two kids, work, and other hobbies (golf, cycling, lifting, etc.), time is a bit too precious to spend hours on end running. I plan to make 50 miles my longest distance. It is tough but manageable, I can finish in the daylight, recovery is only about a day or so, and the training is much less intensive. I finish feeling like I accomplished something, but without being completely wrecked.
Next up is the Cowtown Ultra, followed by the Waco T’nT 50 km. After that, I am going to pull the bike out of storage and log some miles in the saddle.
Vaya con Dios.
p.s. I did take some video during the run, which I will be posting some time in the next week.