"If you’ve raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in thickets by the Jordan?" (Jeremiah 12:5). Our journey is intended to be more than simply "stumbling" through the days while the world "wears us out.” We are made to experience the thrill of "running with horses” and to navigate life amongst the "thickets." The RWH blog focuses on both the spiritual race of which Jeremiah speaks, and the physical act of running that I absolutely love. In short, it's where "the miles meet the Message" to provide insight, perspective & encouragement that might enable you & I to successfully run either of the races set before us. May our course be purposeful and may we be passionate in our pursuit of the abundant life He desires for us.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Perfect Timing for Salem Lake 30K!

UPDATE: Post-race, 9/24 - I did say "rain or shine," right?  Well, we got both. The morning forecast was for clearing skies by race time, but rain held on for over an hour into the run.  Ultimately, the rain was not directly the issue, it was the mud. On the back side of the lake the trail tends to hold water and we got our share of sloshy and sloppy.  Additionally, due to the rain the course could not extend toward WSSU, so a very good alternative was devised and the track became a 18.9 miler.

The Ultimate Bling!
I will definitely be back next year and encourage any of the Winston-Salem runners to check out either the 7 miler or the 30k.  I was fortunate that it fit into the schedule and I got a great opportunity to work on pace and refueling along a moderately up and down trail.  I came in around 2:52, which was slower than I had hoped for, but with the mud and the uphill slip and slides, I'll take it.

One other note from today, I went without music, which was definitely the right call on a crowded, rainy trail, and it allowed me a few additional conversations that I otherwise would have missed; i.e., Justin, the recently graduated Wake law student at the start line / miles 2-4 with the fellow from Wilmington regarding marathons / miles 7-9 with the Tenn native talking SEC football and the "good ol' days" / miles 16-18 with the young lady that actually dragged me home through the final hills.  I will be back to the iPod for the marathon, but today was a nice change of pace when it came to social interaction.  Maybe it's just the nature of cross-country.

ORIGINAL POST: 9/23   Tomorrow morning I'm running my favorite route, at a distance and day that fits perfectly into the marathon plan, with aid stations, t-shirts, and unique pottery finisher medals all thrown in.  How perfect is that! In addition, proceeds from the 22nd Annual Salem Lake 30k Trail Race benefit trail maintenance and improvements.

Rain or shine, (which right now is still tough to call), I am really looking forward to this event. My good buddy, Kentucky Paul, has regularly encouraged me to race a half-marathon approximately 5-6 weeks out from the full. He believes it is a great training exercise and can predict marathon performance even more accurately than the Yasso 800's.  I'm thinking that if 13.1 is a good predictor, 18.6 might be an even better one. We'll see.  

The 7 milers run one full loop.  The 30k group is out and back to WSSU
Also, this will actually be my first trail race, despite spending a great deal of training time on the soft surface. As you might have picked up from numerous prior posts, I have a standing reservation at Salem Lake every Saturday morning.  By now, I know every twist, turn, rock (see: We Will Rock You!), and tree root, along the path. So it's really a bonus that my first venture into distance trail racing is set for my "home turf."

It's not too late.  Registration is available at 4 Runners Only today and possibly at the Lake in the morning, although you should call first as participation is capped.  See you on the trail for what promises to be a Psalm 126:2 morning! 

Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongue with shouts of joy! - Psalm 126:2


  1. Don't lose heart if you finish slower tomorrow than you'd like. The weather looks like it will cooperate tomorrow but this is not a great predictor because the course is a bit slower than the MCM. I ran it last year and was disappointed with my time, but the MCM went much better than expected.

  2. Have fun with it Dave!!!

  3. Justin, thanks for the reminder. I'm guessing the uphill cutbacks on the way back around will probably slow me down a good bit. I'm hoping to run marathon pace for the final 13, about a minute off for the first 5. We'll see. Worst case, a full out training run with slower pace. Will be just another excellent morning around the lake! Thanks again.

    Paul, will do. Know you would really do well on this. Can you be here by morning?