Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Buddy Bones Tanglefoot Trail Marathon

A bright sun was lighting up a blue sky when me n Buddy Bones drove away from 333 West Monroe Avenue Tuesday morning December 16th. The excitement was palpable as the long awaited Buddy Bones Tanglefoot Trail Marathon was only a couple of hours away in driving distance and time.

Since I meet Buddy and started training with him, my running has taken a definite upturn. He is so easy to get along with, only talks when talked to, and is ever up for whatever I want to do. A perfect friend and training partner. Of course, I have John for the pool swimming and weightlifting, but for running, Buddy is the man.

We drove up to the Whistle Stop in Algoma about 10:00 am and were thankful for a place to park and use the bathroom before starting. Somewhere around 10:20 we were off with plans to go 13.11 one way and turn around. We headed north into what was for us unknown territory. The air was a brisk 48 degrees with a light wind blowing into our faces. A few birds chirped and occasionally the wind whisltled through the pines, but mostly the day was silent save for our footfalls and breathing sounds.
Despite the fact that it was a weekday and a winter one, we saw several cyclists, a few walkers, and a couple of runners. But pretty much we were alone the whole way.

We saw some lovley woods, a beaver pond, a shooting house, and bean fields. We crossed over a highway, ran past some ball fields, and saw houses hidden in the woods. Occasionally we crossed a road, until we came into Pontotoc. It took a long time to get through and out of that town. Oddly, there was no Whistle Stop there. There were signs on the Tanglefoot with arrows pointing into town announcing bathrooms and food, but nothing on the trail itself.

Finally north of Pontotoc, we were in the country once more. As we approached the thirteen mile mark, I could see up in the distance what looked like and proved to be a Whistle Stop. When we got there, 13.85 miles from Algoma, the sign on the building read Ecru.
When we made the turn and headed back south towards Algoma, I was surprised at the level of my fatigue. I had been hoping to hold up better on this one that the last two. For this one, I set out shuffling 3.25, shifting into marathon goal pace (9:30) for a mile, and then walking for a half mile. I only did two 9:30 miles before my legs just didn't have it in them anymore. On the way back it was all slow shuffling and some walking. The first Buddy Bones Marathon I finished in 5:57. I know that is pathetically slow, but bear in mind, except for Buddy, I am alone and I have to run the marathon as well as work the aide stations. The second Buddy Bones Marathon I did in 5:33. I was hoping to break 5:30 today.
By the time we had made it back through Pontotoc, somewhere around seventeen or eighteen miles, it was looking like I was going to have to ditch my run/walk strategy and shuffle all the way in. I walked one solid mile through town and when I started back, I determined to shuffle all the way to 26.2 and that is what I did although my pace kept getting slower and slower. 

We finished in 5:21 a new Buddy Bones world record. The drive home in the dark was tiring and when we finally made it and got out of the truck, I discovered I was the Tin Man. It felt like all my joints were rusted solid. Seriously, I could barely walk at all. Nothing hurt. I was just so still I could hardly move. Muscles and joints both had rusted everything shut while I drove home. But I did get inside, spent some time with Luvie, took a bath, and slept well.

Buddy wants to do another marathon next week. Stay tuned.