On Sunday God gave me the strength and mental toughness to endure the Tussey Mountainback 50 Mile in Boalsburg, PA. This was redemption for a previous DNF in 2008. The best part is that God far exceeded my expectations of what I thought I could finish in. My final time was 10:18:42, which is 53 minutes faster than my previous PR. Glory to God! He also provided a beautiful day just made for running and being outside in His creation. The race does take place in a gorgeous setting with many picturesque views to be seen all around the trail, especially this time of year in Pennsylvania with leaves changing.
I am happy to be done with Tussey. 1- Tussey hurts. It is entirely on paved roads or hard pack dirt and gravel roads. I love the trails, but there are none on this course. During and after the race I found myself wishing I had some of the Hoka One One shoes to take the sting out of all the descents. 2- I really really don't like all the relay team vehicles and support vehicles on the course. Fortunately this year the dust stayed down because of all the rain earlier in the week. When I am running I prefer a course that is completely or at least mostly closed to all vehicle traffic. 3- It takes place on a Sunday now. It used to be a Saturday race, but at some point since 2008 they changed it to Sunday. I prefer to be in church on Sunday morning and rest/relax with family or friends the rest of the day.
God has really blessed my running this year and this was my second PR in 2 weeks. The previous Saturday I PR'd for my half marathon time at Buffalo Creek. Redeeming a previous DNF here meant a lot to me. It also opened the door for me to attempt to redeem another DNF from 2007 at the Mountain Masochist 50 Mile in Lynchburg, VA next year. I know one of the big factors in Sunday's race is that I have grown and learned some lessons from all my other races to this point. I am now much more mentally stronger and I know how to dig deep and keep pushing when adversity hits. God is my strength and thankfully He is my healer too. The soreness in my knees is almost all gone now. Should be just fine for the Inland Trail Marathon in Elyria, OH in 2 weeks.
Run Like a Horse,