The Pagoda Paces are a running club based out of PA who hosts the annual Blues Cruise 50K trail run. The run takes place at the Blue Marsh Lake, Reading, PA. This years course featured a single loop consisting of 95% single track. The first time I ran the Blues Cruise was 2007. The course was so much fun the first time, that I decided to run it again.
Usually runners prepare for a 50K similar as they would a marathon, such as logging in long runs of up to 20 miles. Usually that is how I normally would do it, but in this case, I can't resist signing up for events with no more than a 10 or 13 mile long run. So be it, that is how I prepared for the Blues Cruise the first time, and the second. Needless to say, that's the hard way. Either way, as long as you cross the finish line, that is what counts.
Running on trails is a wonderful experience, of putting you one with nature. The serenity of it all, the quiet of the forest, the challenge of the terrain. This year, the terrain was muddy, slippery, and wet. We crossed a nice river, which reminded me of Xterra Guam, but MUCH colder.
Half way through the run (mile 14 or so) I was feeling dizzy. Luckily the aid stations were well stocked with goodies that I was able to get enough sugar in me to recover. Drinking coke and gatorade got me to the finish line. The volunteers were very helpful, and encouraging. They'd say things like, "You are doing great!" They even offered me some beer, since I probably looked like a needed one to numb the pain! HA! All the positive reinforcements they offered were music to my ears. It took quite a bit longer to finish this year, but walking away with 1st. in my age and 5 overall female was, well, an accomplishment. Another 50K under the belt feels good.
I hope to return next year. Cheers! Run on and run strong!