We just returned from Independence, Kansas for my second run of the FlatRock 50K. That's 31 miles for my non-running friends. I ran the race for the first time in 2007. I had only been running again for a short time and the last race I had run was a failed attempt at a 50 miler. So in 2007, finishing a race to restore my ego was my main goal and I set out with a conservative, I'm just going to make it to the end, pace. It took me over 8 hours! Partly my fault, because my training just wasn't sufficient, but partly, and I like to think mainly, because the course is incredibly tough. I chose the race the first time because it was only 3 hours from Springfield. This time, I was going to run the race to quiet the inner voice that was telling me I could do it better. The stated goal was 6 hours.
With about 7 miles to go, I was starting to cramp in my calves. You know that feeling when a muscle tightens into a ball, like a charlie horse that comes on suddenly and immobilizes you. Both calves were feeling on the edge of a full blown lock up. I was able to keep shuffling at a decent pace but when the trail would climb I was having to slow and some times use my hands to climb up the steeper sections.