Thursday, June 14, 2012

Capon Valley 50k (WV) 5/19 State #25!

The Capon Valley 50k is held in Yellow Springs, WV. I got to meet Shelly from It's Just One Foot in Front of the Other blog, and reconnect with Abbi from Higher Miles blog. I stayed at the Capon Springs and Farms, an 80 year old resort tucked in the West Virginia mountains, complete with a family style dinner with 70 or so of your closest friends. After dinner, I rode with a runner from New York about 10 minutes away to the start of the race and packet pickup. It is good that I have a decent sense of direction as there was little to no cell phone reception in the area.

Capon Springs Resort

Bedtime came, and what seems to be a new theme with races I travel to (i.e. most of them) there seems to be loud people nearby. In this case there is a huge lawn in the middle of the resort with the cabins surrounding the lawn and lights out is at 11pm. It is a nice summer evening, people are enjoying themselves but making it hard to sleep. I go downstairs to ask the front desk for some earplugs but they did not have any, and I had forgot to pack mine (or so I thought!).

This race runs primarily through private property that is only open to the public for this race each year. It is a mix of dirt roads, pasture land, sweet sweet single track, and single track that maybe gets used only a few times each year. Within a 1/4 mile of running after the start my back felt cold and wet and kept getting worse. I stopped at the side of the road and my super new water bladder didn't have the connector hose pushed in all the way into the bag. Half my water was gone, but there were plenty of aid stations. My initial worry was that there was a hole in the new bladder and it was my only water container! I started running again, dead last but started to pass people on the first uphill.

Me being annoyed about my water bladder issue

The week leading up to the race I had been fighting a cold, making no real decisions about whether or not to run but to play it by ear. I was just starting to improve the day before the race and I gave myself permission to start the race and to drop if I needed to. How this translated on race day was LOW energy all day long. I was really struggling between miles 10 and 15 and started thinking about dropping. When I ran into Abbi (see above) and her sister I told them my thoughts and to help me think them out. Abbi's sister simply said, go to the aid station after the next one and just see how you feel. Not sure if I started having more energy or I had just reached a mileage tipping point where it made more sense to just go ahead with the "run"and finish it off.

Stream crossing action shot
(there were several stream crossings throughout the course)

This race was generally well run, course well marked, great aid stations, good small size race. However, my tiredness tainted perception of the run and the description that the course was "very runnable" annoyed me. But I understand it is all relative, what is runnable to some is not runnable to others. Maybe doing the majority of running in a flat state has made me soft....

Last 1/4 mile

Finished the 50k in 6:45:09 and hot the road pretty quickly before I stiffened up for a 3 hour drive to York, PA for the Bob Potts Marathon the next day (with Abbi's running group from PA that I had originally met in 2010 in Virginia at the Holiday Lake 50k).


  1. It was nice running with you for awhile. I'm happy you were able to find the energy to keep going...and cross off another state!

  2. Not sure how I missed reading this. Probably way too much life going on for me. But I'm catching up. Your racing schedule always amazes me. I really don't know how you do it. Great to see you at Capon!