Dauber’s thoughts on Louisville Lovin’ the Hills Trail Race @ Jefferson Memorial Forest (Saturday 02/08/2020)

PAX: Abacus, Le Pew, Brown Water, Potter, Whitney (R), Hamm, Bob Ross, Gump, Dunphy, Tammy Faye Baker, Gringo, Dauber
Not sure this really constitutes a back-blast, but wanted to share some of my thoughts on the LLH Trail race…
Before starting F3 last summer, I had never run further than 5 miles.  Louisville Lovin’ the Hills was my first trail race and it was an awesome experience both completing the race and training with my F3 brothers.
Shoutout to all the F3 HIMs who slayed the hills today…F3 was well-represented in numbers, effort, times and fellowship. 
A great example of F3 being “more than a workout” is Whitney.  Whitney and I started F3 at just about the same time.  We have rucked and worked out together a number of times, and one of my best early experiences with F3 was when he sang the National Anthem at The County on the Fourth of July.  He has done so several other times over the last 7 months and each time it is motivating and uplifting.  I knew Whitney was nursing an injury but also that LLH was something he has done in years past, so I reached out on Slack earlier this week.  When he told me he couldn’t run but that he would be sending us off with the National Anthem, I was pumped.  As expected, he nailed it (need to get a speaker for next year!)
Brown Water joined us two weeks ago for a training run on the trails at JMF.  We were talking on the drive out about hiking and trail running, and I misunderstood Brown Water and thought he had done a lot of trail running.  He had actually done a lot of hiking, and I didn’t know until he had cranked out over 7 miles that this was his first trail run and longest distance run!!  He killed it…was feeling the pain…and promptly signed up to run the 10k which he completed with a blistering time taking 1 min off his average pace from the training run….wow!
I knew Potter was a runner as he was active in setting up pre-workout runs on the F3 Runners channel.  I am just getting to know Potter (for example…he has an algorithm he runs in his head when playing Rock-Paper-Scissors that he claims is full proof…I won’t argue as he seems to always win), and ran with him for the first time on our final trail tune-up last Sunday on the Parkland trails.  The trails were sloppy, my knees were aching, and Fructose was taking out Parkland trees like a grizzly bear chasing a picnic basket…but in the middle of all that I had a great conversation with Potter and knew his VQ was the next day at South Posh.  I really wanted to go…already had FOMO for missing a VQ…but I needed to rest my legs and Potter was going leg heavy.  So checking Slack early Monday and seeing that Potter had Fart Sacked his VQ was not only hilarious but also felt like good mojo since I can now catch his VQ later this month (assuming he shows).  He knocked out 15 miles today as well.
Speaking of Fructose, he is a bear on the trails (literally) and although he cursed me both before and after our Parklands training run last weekend, this HIM has signed up to run the Knobstone 10k Trail Race in March!  
Abacus is a MACHINE.  Everyone in F3 already knows this as he was a finalist for the Spartan Award, but he confirmed once again today finishing 50k in under 7 hours…50k…on the trail!  Leading up to the race, my goal on training runs was to try and keep pace with Abacus and Little Jerry.  I absolutely knew if I could get close to their pace for even a relatively short distance, there was no obstacle on the trail that I could not overcome.  On the early training runs I was generally in pain and just trying to breath as Abacus and Little Jerry chatted casually about 50 milers, societal issues, and deep existential philosophies.  I am not sure I was really keeping up, but they pushed and encouraged me…and genuinely celebrated with me as I hit distance milestones.  In the last few runs leading up to the race, I really feel like I was “there” with Abacus.  This was a huge confidence boost.  I know he is running that pace for at least twice as far as I would run, but it was still a big boost!
Last but not least, I can’t say enough about Le Pew.  I owe him a ton.  He would not give up on getting me out to F3 originally, and he simply would not allow me NOT to sign up for the LLH race.  I don’t think I would be part of F3 or running this race if it were not for Le Pew.  He is the epitome of “walking the walk.”. He challenges others to set big goals, sign up for long races and push beyond what you think you can do.  But what’s even more motivating is he is doing it himself.  He ran the Red River Gorge 25k Trail Race in the fall without training over 10 miles (legend has it he chugged a coke at the finish and splashed merlot), he sprained his ankle pretty badly about a month ago and has continued to train and just ran the LLH trail race (that is some serious mental toughness!!).  On top of that he is already signed up for 50k trail race in March and for the Breaks 45 miler in September (45 miles!!).  These are just a few tangible examples…HIM.
Ok, so like I said at the beginning…before starting F3 last summer, I had never run further than 5 miles.  Today I ran over 15 miles at Louisville Lovin’ the Hills Trail Race.  Want to know how or why?  Re-read above. – Dauber 

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