The past two Saturdays, I've planned to race and it hasn't happened. On March 19, I woke up at 4:00 AM with a stomach virus (I'll spare the details) that just made getting out of the house impossible. An easy run was out of the question. A race? No way.
On the 26th, I planned to race McKay Hollow Madness 25k, but nature had other plans. I was actually feeling pretty good and I was curious about what I could do on that course on that day. But it was lightning. HTC will not run a race while there is thunder and lightning. There was no chance of the weather clearing up any time soon, so Blake had to cancel the race. It was the right call. I know several were disappointed, but it is part of the risk of paying the entry fee of a race.
A dozen or so of us decided to run the course anyway. What a blast!!! I've never seen the course in those conditions. It was raining and had been. It rained harder. It was lightning and thundering. I know it wasn't the smartest thing I've ever done, but it wasn't the dumbest, either. We joked that it was the "unofficial" McKay Hollow Madness.
I was just amazed by the way the elements changed the course. The last few times I've run this, it has been bone dry. On Saturday, there were several places that were over knee deep. There is no way I can describe the course. I ran with a smile on my face the whole time. Waterfalls were everywhere. Streams that I don't remember were just rushing. Slush Mile was the wettest I've ever seen it. I loved just playing in the mud and water. It was just a great day to be out in the woods. Today restored a good bit of joy to my running. I enjoyed the company, the trails, the elements, the little bit of danger of the lightning, and the tired feeling I had at the end of the run.
I didn't run it very hard, but I did get the feeling that it would have been a better race than I expected. But I would have to put that in perspective. I am not as fit as I was at this time last year. I have a lot of work to do this spring and summer.