To close out 2011, I again ran in Across the Years (ATY), a fixed-time race held in Glendale, Arizona.  For a fixed-time race, the objective is to run as many miles as you can within a given period of time.  The clock is always ticking.  You can take rests along the way, but the clock never stops.  At ATY, there are three different races, running concurrently, 24-hours, 48-hours, and 72-hours.   This year I again decided to enter the 48-hour race.   Last year I also ran for 48-hours and came away with a surprising 187 miles, good enough for the overall win.

This year I set my sights on running 200 miles in 48-hours.  I really thought it was within the reach of my abilities, and if I could achieve that, I would likely win the race again.  But I had experienced a rather disappointing year in my races.  Sure, I had finished nine 100-mile races without a DNF this year, but my times were all slower this year and I began to wonder if my age (53) was really finally slowing me down once and for all.   My speed during my last 100-mile race was disappointing and it seemed that being able to run 100 miles in less than 20 hours was a thing of the past for me.  continue reading…