Farm Park Challenge – Part II

One last post about the race for those who prefer the details over my deep thoughts.

The Farm Park Challenge consisted of several types of events.

The marathon; a 3, 6, or 10 hour challenge where you have to run a lap each hour, within the hour, and each new lap starts at the top of the hour; and a fun run where you run as many laps as you want, in whichever order, and the race crew keeps tabs.

There were *maybe* 150 people total at the event, and only 16 running the marathon.

The marathoners started 10 minutes before the challenge groups, so we didn’t encounter a large group of people until we hit the turnaround which ended up being the case each lap.

The course was made up of two ~5.18 mile loops + a baby loop at the end for the marathoners.

For the duration of the event, we alternated loops each lap.

Much of the trail was through grass on a left-right slope. There were a few abrupt hills– enough to create landmarks in your mind for subsequent laps, but not entirely noteworthy on their own.

With the recent rain, there were sections of the trail that were very muddy. The mud posed an interesting challenge and looking at my feet/legs afterwards, made me feel like I earned the finish.

I was surprised to find that running in the grass was more challenging (for me) than the rocks and roots I’m used to. Possibly because it was wet, thick, several inches tall, and slopped. It created a fatigue I wasn’t expecting.

The going in plan was 8/2 minute run/walk, expecting to alter the combination on subsequent laps.

I quickly put Nick in charge of time keeping where my only request was he find me 2 minutes of walking within each 10 minute interval that made sense– i.e. walk the hills, make sure we’re running the down hills.

I kept that up for laps 1 & 2, switched to 6/2 on lap 3, 5/3 on lap 4, and lap 5 was mostly power walking with running intervals where it made sense.

I spent time the night prior planning my breakfast and pre-run insulin. This was one of those times that I got it right.

I trusted the math and my body, and it worked out pretty perfectly. My blood sugar was high at the start, which I expected.

I had a nice gentle decrease throughout lap 1, I got a sharp decrease halfway through lap 2 so I ate a packet of Honey Stingers.

From that point on, my blood sugar was super steady between 150-175. Yes, that’s still on the high side, but I find it’s an ok place for me to be when I’m doing long endurance activities– not so high I feel sick, but high enough that I don’t fear a sudden emergency if I start to drop because there’s buffer to make a correction.

Like most of the small scale club run trail events I’ve been to, this one was well stocked, everyone was friendly, there was pizza/beer for the runners, and the race shirt actually fit.

It’s a completely different experience than your big road race. I find that, yes some people are serious about their race, but not so serious that they can’t enjoy themselves and say “hi”, “great job”, “looking good” to each runner they pass.

Most people are there with a common goal of pushing themselves while enjoying a long run on a trail and having fun.

As you may have taken away from my last post, I’m prone to getting a quitty attitude when it gets hard.

I didn’t this time.

My mind was in the right place. I felt strong mentally and physically. I pushed myself, but I was also protecting my body.

Today I’m stiff and sore, but I’m not injured. Even my feet held up better than usual.

Today I will go to yoga, take a long walk, soak my feet in epsom salt, and take care of my body

🤍 amanda maureen

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