Yesterday I took an adventure across the Ohio River with an ultramarathoner, and good friend, Troy Shellhamer to check out a new trail that neither of us had ran on. With the weather the way it was the night before with rain turning to snow we decided to wait until mid morning to head out just in case the roads were bad.
As usual, Troy did his homework on researching the trail. He said that it was approximately 24 miles long with only 1800 feet of elevation gain during it. He did preface it with he wasn’t sure how accurate the GPS file was he was looking at was. I figured we would be out there for about 3.5 hours and packed food and mixed up enough Infinit Go Far formula to accommodate such a run. I also decided to take out my new pair of Swiftwick Socks that I just bought a few days ago. It was a different style than I had run in before. This time I was using the Aspire version of their sock line.
With all the rain and snow during the last few days, the trails were not only hillier than expected, but also very slippery. We crossed several small creeks and streams. Just during the first few miles. We eventually arrived at the Junction where the loop of the Adventure Trail starts. The trail was in need of some maintance at the beginning, but as we got deeper and deeper into the woods, the trail actually became better. We ran beside Indian Creek, the Blue River and even the Ohio River. Little did I know, until Troy enlightened me, that we were also running through the most cavernous place on earth per square mile. Who would have thought that in the middle of no where in Southern Indiana that there would be more caves than any other place in the world? The park also made improvements on the trail and added some camping shelters along the way. I took a quick catnap while Troy explored the camp:
We went up and down several ridge lines… and because of that, I’m positive we went over the estimated 1800 feet of elevation gain during the first 10 miles! We continued crossing more and more creek beds. If there is one thing I hate while running, it’s wet feet. But even with all that water, my feet managed to dry out quickly thanks to the moisture wicking quality of Swiftwick socks.
About 4 hours into the run, I took my last gel and was getting a little worried since my Infinit was about to run out. We had no sign of the junction. Thankfully, Troy’s wife, Kara, made him pack more food than normal for this trail run since we weren’t sure how well it was marked or how accurate the GPS files were. I began to get a little worried as we reached the 5 hour mark and still hadn’t made it back to the junction… and crossed the 24 mile mark about a mile ago. I started having visions of finding shelter in a shelter and camping out for the night. I began to get a little light headed and dizzy. I told Troy that I was zapped and needed some food, badly. He helped me out and it was just enough to stomp through the mud a little further. Long story short, we made it out of the woods after about 5.5 hours. We stopped at a gas station and bought some snacks and drove back to Louisville, where I was about to meet the Maverick Multisport’s Kid team for practice at Mary T. Meagher for a run workout.
I arrived at Mary T. and switched shoes. I went outside to wring out my socks, and was shocked that I couldn’t get any water out of them at all. The Swiftwick socks were nearly dry enough after all that water we ran through and being in wet shoes during the car drive back to Louisville. We did a warm up and then did something that my coach calls K-pump workout: 30 seconds at mile race pace, 30 seconds recovery in a series of 5. We did that 4 times while watching the sun set.
By the end of the day, I covered about 32 miles running. I’ve used a lot of different moisture wicking socks in the past with a 8 year history of racing triathlons, but swiftwick is far superior to any other that I’ve used. They dry out faster, keep my feet from getting blisters.