Saturday, November 5, 2022
Start/end: a triangle of gravel roads nearby the Coldbrook Cemetery and a Ware River boat ramp
Elevation gain: 597′
Total time elapsed: 4:41:39
After driving for 1-1/4 hours, I parked at the start of the Ware River Rail Trail on the side of the road at a gravel road convergence. There was a port-a-potty within eyesight, at a small boat ramp. I prepped my gear and headed out right at 8:30am. It was in the low 60s when I started, but quickly headed into the mid 70s; it had rained the day before and was humid as well. The trail itself is very runnable, though a bit deceptive. It looked like the footing would be smooth packed dirt and while there were sections like that, it also had portions with standing water and thick mud, as well as many very sandy sections where I acquired more than 1/4 cup of gritty sand in my shoes. There were also a lot of ping-pong ball-sized stones that tripped me and tried to twist my ankles a number of times, and these made me be more deliberate in my foot placement. I made decent time to the turnaround point, taking a few minutes nearby to walk while I moved water from my pack into my bottles.
Due to the humidity and high temps (for November anyway), I was sweating more heavily than I’d anticipated for my effort. I ran out of water with 4 miles to go, and I’d been trying to save my water for a while. For the last 45 minutes, I felt dizzy and nauseous. My right knee and my left ankle were both bothering me quite a bit and I felt incredibly tired, but I kept my legs moving through sheer willpower. I was so glad to see the gate, pass it by, and be able to stop and sit.
While my time did not beat either of the men’s FKTs, it was a very solid effort. My estimated road marathon pace is right around 4 hours and given the heat and the slower terrain, this was a hard workout for me. I’m glad to get a non-men’s time on the board!