Sunday, November 29, 2009

Say it ain't so.........

I just got the news that the first ultra event I ever did is now history as Wynn has canceled the Chippewa Moraine 50k for 2010. What a bummer, my thanks to Wynn, his family, all of the volunteers and to the Chippewa Moraine section of the Ice Age trail for putting on a great event. It will be missed.

So now what, great question. I was planning on using Chippewa as my focus to get through the winter with the intent of having a PR day there. I felt the course beat me last year, actually it was a partner in that but I was the main reason my wheels fell off, now I won't have a chance to redeem myself. .

What to do, good question but I have all winter to figure it out.

First I have to discuss my Bears who are in the tank officially with tonight's loss to the Vikes. Maybe, now the media in Chicago will recognize what I have been saying for years, it's the defense stupid, and/or it's the offensive line, and/or it's the offensive coordinator (please Lovie before you are gone, fire Ron Turner) and/or it's the running game, it's not Cutler or the QB's before him - Orton, Griese, Grossman, Hutchinson, Krenzel, Quinn, Stewart, Burris, Chandler and a whole pile of other QB's (ok some of them were the problem but Cutler is not the problem, he is the best we have had since McMahon) then again could it be George Bush's fault, it sure seems like some folks from Chicago are blaming him for about everything else?

No, folks it's the defense, O-line and Ron Turner. You see in Chicago, the Bears play defense and run the football, then the QB comes into play. That used to be called Chicago Bear football. Ok, at least that is off my chest, the only way this season won't be a total loss is if we beat the Packers and Vikes when we play them in December in Chicago.

Chippewa history, the Bears 2009 season history, can't wait to see how work goes tomorrow............

Saturday, November 28, 2009


My wife and I ran the local Drumstick Dash 10k on Thanksgiving day, it was 2 loops around Lake Harriet and happens to be the first "road race" that I have run in over in a year. It was so weird to be at a road race versus a trail race or an ultra. There were so many people, probably like 500 (actually I just checked and there were 852 finishers, no wonder it seemed so crowed, it was).

Anyway, this is not a race report although I should say my wife and I ran a nice consistent pace and finished with a negative split. This is a report on spitting, I have often wondered how many times I spit during a run, for this run, I counted. When I took my last spit, I was on count 61, so that pretty much averages to spitting 10 times/mile, 1 time/minute, I am not sure this is normal but it does seem to be what I do. I do know that I had to consider my surroundings (said differently my fellow runners) for each and every spit and I can safely say that to my knowledge no other runners were negatively affected.

My guess is it might be allergy related or it might just be a learned behavior, the one thing I know is that it is a whole lot easier to do on the trails, yet another reason to stay off the roads.

Monday, November 23, 2009


I was talking with Wayne and Karen a couple of weeks back about my relationship with treadmills which basically is that I don't like them and they don't like me.

In my almost 20 years of running I have run on a treadmill somewhere between 40 and 50 times (tops) and I have been thrown off of the treadmill at least 4 or 5 times. I was telling my wife and daughter the same story and they basically said what? My daughter's comment was (said as only a 16 year can say) "How can you run trails and not handle a treadmill"? Good question but I tend to drift as I mindlessly meander on a treadmill until I drift to the edge of the belt where I step on the belt and the side of the treadmill which stops the belt and propels me backwards onto the floor or into the wall. This has happened to me at home, at work and on a treadmill at a hotel. I still remember the funny look I got at work when it happened, thankfully when it happened on the hotel treadmill no one was in the room nor has it been witnessed at home but believe me this is something you don't plan or make up. The good news is that I have never been hurt (other than my pride) but I think it's only a matter of time when something bad might happen to me, so give me the trails, the roads anything but the treadmill. Heck, I will gladly take cold, darkness, wind and snow over a treadmill.

Now that you know my relationship with the treadmill, I have a new plan for using it this winter.

I have thought about the current barefoot running craze that seems to have taken off thanks to "Born to Run" and I thought about running barefoot myself. Then I thought about where would I try it? It's getting colder here and I figure I would look pretty goofy running barefoot plus I really like to run in anonymity and I think running barefoot would pretty much end that. Then it occurred to me, why not run barefoot on the treadmill. I would only run 2, 3 or 4 miles which means the odds of me falling off would be reduced. The other thing which my wife has reminded me of that a treadmill is good for would be to run speed workouts on it, basically some fast, hard controlled workouts, again this time of year it gets harder to do this outside, so between barefoot running and the desire to work on my speed, it might just work out.

So this week, I will give it a go and see if it helps change anything about my relationship with the treadmill.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Buying trail shoes online

Some might say I am bit obsessive, compulsive, self-absorbed, focused and probably a few other adjectives when it comes to my running shoes. Ok, maybe I am but this post isn't about that it's about buying shoes.

I used to buy shoes only at running stores and I will still if they have the brand I want. If I need road shoes, they have great selections but for trail shoes the running stores I usually go to only offer a couple of brands usually Inov8, Nike, Brooks and/or Asics and none of these really seem to fit my foot. Very few sell Salomon, Vasque, Teva, Merrell, Montrail, Saucony, Asolo, Oboz and all the other brands of trail shoes that are available.

In the last year though all of my shoes have been bought on-line. I have bought from Sierra Trading Post, Backcountry or REI (make sure you check out BackCountry outlet and REI outlet in addition to their main sites). I have looked at shoes at ZombieRunner, Zappos, Altrec, Running Warehouse, Holibird,, Road Runner Sports, OnLineShoes, RnJ Sports,, Kellys Running Warehouse and I am sure many others.

The way I go about it is fairly easy, I know my foot type very well, somewhat wider forefoot and a narrow heel. What I have always called a Saucony foot. Anyway, what I do is read reviews at Zappos, REI, Backcountry, Sierra Trading, Altrec plus many of the other websites above have reviews along with the running magazines (Running Times, Trail Runner, RunnersWorld) and a handful of other sites like Trailspace, Outside Online, Competetive Runner and then many runners who blog do reviews, there is just a world of information available. Just google the shoe you are looking at and add the word review and you will get links to look at.

One other thing, always assume you can get a coupon for extra dollars off and/or free shipping. I have found with Sierra Trading and Backcountry that by signing up for their email deal notifications they send me coupons and all of their specials. Then when I see something that strikes my interest, I take a look, do the research and if I have a need, I buy otherwise I just continue to look for other shoes which I might consider later. In the process, I usually discover a model or a brand I wasn't aware of and then I make a mental note of it for the future.

As an example of this, one of the shoe brands I would like to try is Oboz and the model that I think might work for me is the Ignition which just so happens I could get at Sierra right now and to give you an idea of the prices, take a look at the Oboz Ignition. I am not sure if the link to the Obozs will work but if you went there you should see the cost for these shoes would be $40 (with the coupons and discounts) plus $7.95 shipping. So for a total of $47.95, I would have another pair of shoes, tempting but right now I am doing ok for shoes. (Update 11/22 - Got an email from them this morning, reduced again to $35.97, total = $43.92, patience can pay off, still not buying though). They do send you a return shipping label if they don't fit (no extra expense for you - make sure whoever you buy from offer this as it does remove the risk if you do have a bad fit) and the receipt says that you can return them if problems arise for credit or replacement. I should mention that usually the shoes they have are last years model which doesn't bother me but might some folks.

With Sierra Trading or Backcountry Outlet and probably most of the online sites, you have to be patient with sizes and shoe availability so if you always run in the same model of shoe, you might have trouble finding your shoe at the 50+% off discounts. If you need a certain model, shop around and you just might find a deal.

If however you are like me and willing to experiment a bit (and like to do some research) or are still in search of the perfect shoe, it's a great to way save some money and time. I like the fact that I can usually get 2 pairs for the price of 1. The way I look at it is, if one pair doesn't work out more than likely the other pair will and then I am no worse off in the pocketbook. Truth be told, I have had as good of luck buying on-line as I did when I bought in the store, might be do to the research I have done or the fact that there is no pressure to buy so I don't just settle for what's in the store.

The way I can tell if shoes work out is the mileage I put on them. Thus far I have bought 9 pair of shoes on-line over the last 2 and 1/2 years. I have retired four of the pairs with an average of 400 miles/pair, I have four pairs that I am running in right now and I expect the same mileage from them (meaning no losers) and I have one pair that I love but the shoes have prematurely started falling apart in the heels. I have not quite 250 miles on them and I plan to nurse another 50+ miles out of them this winter and if I am lucky I think I may have figured out a way to repair them. Yes I can be cheap but when I like a pair, I like to get my miles from them.

So from my viewpoint, buying trail shoes online has worked out great. Just remember that I know my foot type, do my research and I have never found a model that I will or can buy year after year. So if you are somewhat like me give buying online a try, you will save money and the part I enjoy the most is doing the research to find the deals and the shoes and being willing to experiment with different shoes.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Something to Ponder????

Warning - not running related

I generally try not to post on politics or religion and this one is really on neither but some might think it is criticism of the current President since I am questioning his stimulus package at least indirectly. Now truth be told, I was criticizing the past President for the same thing. Moving onto my soapbox, we should spend what we collect in taxes, fees, services, etc... and we should not print money we can't repay in my lifetime. Ok, I am now moving back off of my soap box.

Anyway, what led to this post was our church had the annual stewardship speech (what are you donating next year) last Sunday, except they invited a guest speaker. Turns out he is local high school teacher who teaches economics and he gave a great example during his speech that helped me understand our current deficit spending in a way that really made sense (minor side track - I should clarify that he did not at any point criticize the current administration nor make any political comments, his talk was on stewardship). Back to this post, as an Electrical Engineer, math has always been something I have been fairly good at but when it comes to millions, billions, trillions I tend to have visualization issues. His example was to think of the money as time.
  • 1 Million Seconds = 278 hrs = 11.6 days
  • 1 Billion Seconds = 277, 778 hrs = 11,574 days = 31.7 years
  • 1 Trillion Seconds = 277, 777, 778 hrs = 11,574,000 days = 31,709.8 years
So to complete the visualization, he said here is the way to look at the spending. If it really did equal time and you would go backwards in time based on the amount of time you spent.
  • 1 Million Seconds takes us back to November, 5 2009
  • 1 Billion Seconds takes us back to March 10, 1978
  • 1 Trillion Seconds takes us back to 29,700 BC (no clue what month)
I thought it was a great example that helped me understand the bizarre spending in Washington over the last 12+ years. So when they talk about a budget deficit of a Trillion+ dollars it has a whole new perspective to me. I should also add that he did cover a few more topics concerning stewardship and he did provide an interesting perspective on that as well.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Disney and Ultra Running?

The other day when I was on a run (it was one of my last longish training runs before Surf the Murph) and for whatever reason "Disney" popped into my head.

My family last went to Orlando back in 2006, we were there over Thanksgiving with 2 other families we have know for almost 30 years and we had a great time. I do like many things Disney offers but not all things. And as I was thinking about Disney I got off on random track of comparing Disney to my upcoming 50 miler and to ultra running. This may also provide insight to why I love running longer distances as I have many great internal conversations and tons of random thoughts, my only problem is that most of them I can't remember a mile later let alone a day later but for whatever reason this one has stuck with me.

Anyway back to Disney, anytime my family has gone to Orlando to experience Disney, I have always had mixed feelings. I enjoy the rides, the shows, the experience but I hate the crowds, the lines, the costs. Did I mention, I hate the crowds. So as I pondered Disney, I decided that there are some similarities between Disney and the Ultra experience.

First, at each ultra I have done all of the volunteers (and race directors) have been very friendly, courteous and they try to make our experience a good one. They make us feel welcome, like we belong even though I know I am just a back of the pack runner, why even the best of the best runners usually smile and say hello. When you go to Disney almost all of their workers are friendly, courteous and they try to make the guests visit a good experience. Then you have the start, kind of like when Disney opens it's doors, the energy of the crowd is very similar to the energy we all have at the start of a race.

Then you have the courses, hills, rocks, roots, lakes, creeks, birds, deer, snakes, foxes, coyotes, eagles, hawks an amazing variety of nature and beauty all of which change each time you run the course yet they always seem familiar. Have you ever run a trail and not enjoyed the experience? Have you ever run the same trail over and over and then stop and you see something that you had missed or taken for granted. Kind of like Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Buzz Lightyear, Test Track, Mission Earth, Imagination, Rock n Roller Coaster starring Aerosmith (I have to admit that I like this ride as it brings back memories of seeing Aerosmith back in 1973, man are they old), Everest Expedition and many more. Each time I go back it all seems familiar but I see things that I missed the previous time through, ok, maybe this is a stretch as the trails are definitely more enjoyable.

Then you have the bad stretches that almost always happen in an ultra, kind of like the long lines and the crowds at Disney, if you are patient and don't lose your cool the time passes and you are back enjoying yourself. You also have the food, good at Ultras and ok at Disney and both venues have some strange food. Like mash potatoes or potatoes you can dip in salt (when I mention these type of foods to other runners, you should see the look on their faces) or the foods of the world at Epcot, ok now I am brain dead, I know they have some weird foods there, just can't remember them. You have the weather, always a concern at Ultras and at Disney. You have people from all over the world who run ultras and people from all over the world who visit Disney (yeah, not probably the same group). You have old and young, fat and thin, men and women, families, costumes, strange clothing, rules and many other things at both. Ok, my comparisons may be getting lame but I am still amazed that I remembered any of them.

So sometimes when I am running my training runs and I start thinking to myself why am I doing this, all of a sudden "It's a small world after all" pops into my head and everything seems ok. So if you see me zoned out I might just be meandering my way through Walt Disney world, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, MGM, Blizzard Beach or various other Orlando locations and if you see me struggling just mention "would you rather be here or waiting in line for Buzz Lightyear?", I am sure you will get a smile and a very quick reply, "here!", as I do so hate crowds.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

What next?

Now that is the question, what am I doing or training for next?

My first 50 is complete and the next race that I have signed up for is the Chippewa Moraine 50k but it's not until April 24th, just 166 days and a long, cold, dark Minnesota winter away (you can see that winter is not my favorite time of year :-). I know that if I my training focus is only on Chippewa I will drift aimlessly towards it and then sometime after January 1st, I will actually start the training. As I usually respond to the panic of an approaching race by getting out the door despite the fact that I don't like to run longer in the cold. You see, I know if I don't get out well then Chippewa will be a longer day than I would like and this year I want Chippewa to be fun, no dehydration, to have no snow and yes this year I want a PR. What this panic training does instead is it leads to a plan that will get me through the distance but I may or may not have time to improve as I am way too busy re-building my base. I could also just forget about running and do cross training like XC skiing, snowshoeing or do indoor training (boring) but I know that these although occasionally enjoyable don't really get me out the door or into working out on any kind of regular basis.

So I have decided on a different approach, I have added a second countdown except this is to the next race that I am simply thinking about. Which for me is the Psycho Wyco Run Toto Run 50k. I ran it last year with Wayne and Les and I had a blast slipping and sliding around that wonderful Kansas mud so I wouldn't mind doing it again. It is on February 13th and is 96 days away. Now with that on my calendar I can focus on it and if it doesn't work out, no loss. Regardless, it will simply help me get out the door which will help me maintain my base and that will get me to Chippewa faster, lighter and if nothing else it will help make the time of winter pass.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Surf the Murph pictures and other facts

A few pieces of additional info which I failed to include in my race report.

First I read Kel's report (great job Kel) and she reminded me about the bridge which we all were sliding off of. My thanks to Steve L. who pulled me up.

I am pretty surprised as to what was sore the next day, mainly my shoulders and back. My feet seem fine and my legs are fine. I did take it real easy on Sunday but on Monday I was able to walk the stairs at work with no issues. Today I had planned to get a run in but it didn't work out right after work and then I wimped out going in the rain and the dark. So a few days later all is well and here are a few things about the race some might enjoy.

Imported from BimActive

Route Name: Surf The Murph 2009
Location: --
Distance: 51.34 miles
Elevation Avg: 953 ft
Total Uphill: +4868 ft
Total Downhill: -4868 ft
Elevation Net: +0 ft
Difficulty: 4.5

Elevation (ft.)

Pace by loop per my garmin (as I left the start/finish on each loop)
Loop 1 - 16.01 miles - 3:47:15 - 14:12 min/mile
Loop 2 - 32.06 miles - 7:54:55 (loop 2 time = 4:07:40 - 15:26 min/mile)
Loop 3 - 48.22 miles - 12:39:19 (loop 3 time = 4:44:24 - 17:36 min/mile)
Loop 4 - 51.34 miles - 13:40:36 (loop 2 time = 1:01:17 - 19:39 min/mile)

Pretty easy to see how I ran out of gas as the fueling issues and the pain increased. When I looked at my mile splits I was where I wanted to be up through mile 44. Now the last 6 miles, I believe the best way to describe them is as "a walk in the park". I think my training worked out except the longest back to back mileage days on a weekend oddly enough was 42 miles, pretty much where I tanked. I may want to push an extra 6 miles out on a few weekends and see if that helps next time. I also have to admit I was fairly freaked out during loop 2 as I was afraid of what I would experience in loop 3. Once in loop 3, I was afraid if I would be able to walk the next day. Now that I know what to expect, I think I can push it a lot more in loop 3 and a bit more in loop 2 especially if I get the fueling working a bit better.

One last thing, although I thought I was on the verge of dehydration at times, when I got home I weighed myself and I was only a pound down so I think I did get myself rehydrated with the slow down in loop 3.

I also wish I had a camera with me to take a few picture out on the course. Maybe next time I will have one to take with me but here are a few my wife took during the race.

Wayne and myself coming in with loop 2 almost complete.

Me after I stooped to talk with my family, feeling good still but if you look close you can almost read my mind and based off of the look on my face it probably was "I can't believe I have one more lap".

Wayne and me coming into the finish

At the finish, yes I was happy to smile and I felt better than I expected but I was tired.

Ok, maybe I wasn't doing that good after all, feel free to laugh at me for this picture but I couldn't resist posting it. I could not believe how hungry I was when I got done nor could I believe that I ate pizza. It normally takes me a few hours to be able to eat after a race.

I still know I am forgetting a few things but that's it for now.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Surf the Murph 2009

Here's my short report:

I finished my first 50, great course, great family support, great volunteer support, great aid stations, great job Les and Cindy and great runners to share it with.

Here's my long report (and it is long):

I got to the race a little after 5 which gave me plenty of time to get things organized. I had already dropped a bag at the horse trail station so that was a go. I picked up my number. Along the way I saw Wayne and Karen. I made a few last decisions as to what I wanted to carry versus throwing in my other bag. The weather was brisk with a bit of breeze but all things considered it was looking to be a good day. As we waited around, I even stepped out of my shell and introduced myself to Carl G. I have seen him at many races and figured I should say hello. Before I knew it, I was standing in line and we were off. We had four loops ahead for our day, the first loop was a short 3.2 mile loop followed by 3 longer 15.6 mile loops. Since I had run my training runs down in Murphy, I wasn't too worried as I knew the course well. We would be running 9 or so miles in the northern section which was hillier and more sheltered and the other 6+ in the southern section which was much more runnable. The time seemed to fly by and we had to be nearing the right turn that would start our return back to the start/finish and end the first short loop. Something didn't seem right as I thought it should have come up already. Did we miss the turn? No way, I knew the course we hadn't come to the 2nd gate. Granted it was in the dark and I was following a group but there is no way I could have missed it. We were trying to decide what to do as we were all getting nervous that we had missed it. The first loop was 3.2 miles and we were at 2 miles (I was thinking we missed it but how) then 2.5 miles (I knew we missed it) and then we came upon the first aid station (Yup, we missed it - this aid station was staffed by a friend from work, Paul and Steve G). Which caused another concern the aid station wasn't where we thought it should be. We had thought that we would be taking a spur back into a clearing, if so we missed it too. We figured we might as well continue to run the big loop and make up the short loop on the 2nd loop and we were hoping that since the aid station was moved maybe Les had changed the course, let's hope so.

We soon were looping our way to the horse trail aid station when another group of runners were coming back, they too had missed the turn and were trying to decide what to do. We told them we had too and that we were going to continue on and let Les know, figuring that as long as we ran the loop we would be ok and if not well, a DQ would be a first too. I felt pretty good as we ran along and then I looked at my watch 56 minutes into the race, I had not taken a drink. I had been so pre-occupied with where we were that I had forgotten to drink or take any S-caps. Great, my first 50 and I was well on my way to dehydration, I told myself to relax and start drinking. Onto the horse station where Londell greeted us warmly. We would be coming back to his aid station another 5 times since the southern loop basically starts and ends at the aid station. I was running with a small group that included Wayne, Karen, Rick and a few others and I was catching up on the fluids and S-caps so I was thinking it was going to go well. I should also mention that I did not have the gumption to come in a costume but Wayne (convict), Karen (SuperWomen) and Rick (an outhouse complete with toilet bowl) all did. I hope someone got a picture of Rick's a it was real creative.

Soon we were into the next aid station which was staffed by Helen (and I think Don), Helen is a great ultrarunner. Yet another fact that makes me love the trail and ultra scene, when was the last time you saw a marathon winner staffing an aid station? She had brought banana bread which I declined, I asked for a beer which she said she had, I then declined and said maybe on loop 2 or 3. It was neat leaving her station as we had a quick singletrack section that took us back to the trail, we continued on around and I was starting to pick up many other course changes from the loops I had run in training. It had me a bit lost but I loved the fact that it was different. We continued around the loop until we came back into Londell's station (there were some folks who helped at his station so my apologies for not knowing their names). I ended up running with Wayne for a lot of this loop, it sure made the time pass quickly. From there we had some more single track and then back into the northern section where Les gave us another course change from our training runs. We turned left and climbed a hill, it was the hill that would give us a view of Minneapolis. We continued up the hill and where I figured he would loop us back for the view of Minneapolis we continued on up the hill further and then went back down a steep hill when all of a sudden we turned right onto a singletrack trail that I didn't know existed and the truth be told this one was much more like a deer trail than anything else. We worked our way through it and then we climbed up a very steep hill where we popped out of the woods with the view of Minneapolis. It was a great change to the course. We worked our way through a bit more singletrack, over a few logs and on back to the start/finish. Loop 1 took about 3 hours and 45 minutes, right on my goal pace, my fast goal pace but it meant I was on track for my time goal of 13 hours. We talked to Les who said not to worry about missing the turn on the short loop he would have us finish it at the end.

As we started loop 2 I debated what to grab for fluids as I had it all planned it all out for the short loop and then a big loop. Now what to do. I again told myself to relax, grab what you think you need and get going. There were plenty of aid stations if I needed more. I had lost track of Wayne at this station but I knew he would be coming by me soon enough. Sure enough he did and we again ended up running much of the second loop near each other. I did enjoy a comment Paul made to me as I came into the first aid station, he said something like you look tired. I was as had been running with Karen. As I continued on, I was trying to slow my pace down in this loop and had encouraged Wayne, Karen and Rick to get ahead of me. I ended up staying fairly close to them which wasn't good as I was convinced I couldn't keep pace with them. My race plans were to allow 15 minutes more per loop that way I wouldn't freak out if I started to slowdown, my goal was just to keep moving. Now I did hope that each loop would be consistent but I had no idea what I would go through in loop 3 so I wanted to err on the conservative side. As we neared the end of loop 2, I had a nice surprise my whole family was there to great me (my wife and both of my daughters had come out, what a nice surprise). We finished loop 2 in about 4 hours, again right on my planned pace. I remember coming into loop 2 thinking how nice it would be to just be running the 50k.

Loop 3 was a bear, my feet were real sore, my legs were cramping up and it felt like I was consuming my body for fuel. I had not been able to eat much as I had been on the verge of nausea for part of the first loop and pretty much all of the second loop and of course it continued in loop 3. Every time the nausea got bad I would take an S-cap. I had a real difficult time keeping track of time as it related to my S-cap consumption was it 10 minutes ago or 30 or ?.

My wife and I had discussed that she would pace me in the southern loop which I had hope would give me a boost. Another thing that I had planned on doing was switching coats as I was getting a bit chilled at times. The day was interesting when you were in the trees or sheltered from the wind and the sun was out you would heat up, then the breeze would hit and I would get cold. I was running by myself along the northern section which was fine and I was thinking that I just might be able to do it as I climbed the second hill along a stretch that I call the section 6 hills. They have markings at Murphy that I have never quite figured out and the hills from section 6 are the hardest to work your way through.

I continued on to the horse aid station where my wife was waiting for me. I switched socks and shoes and grabbed my gore-tex jacket. I could not believe how nice the dry socks felt. I also cramped up as I changed into the socks, it was funny when I looked down and saw two toes at basically right angles from the cramping and I would have laughed except it hurt, I grabbed the foot and got the cramp to stop, finished putting on the socks, slapped on the shoes and we were off. Except, I was pretty much useless as my feet were pretty sore, basically it felt like I had plantar fascia in both feet. Every step hurt and it really hurt when I tried to run. We made it to the lake and I knew I needed to do something or I was in trouble. So I sat down and laced the shoes as tight as I could. When I got back up (which I was happy to see that I could do), I was able to bear the pain of shuffling along regardless of the style I was glad to get going again. We made it to the Helen aid station and as we pulled into it I had caught up to Wayne and Rick. That caught me by surprise as I figured they were way ahead of me. As we left the station we kept them in sight all the way to the Londell station. From there my wife was going to drive to the start/finish area and we had planned on running the final 3 miles together. Wayne and I took off and we worked our way through the singletrack and back into the northern section. We both were pretty well content with walking it in. I had hopes that I would recover some and be able to run but as we walked along talking I was real happy to be finishing with Wayne. We both kept telling each other to feel free to take off and neither of us did. As we took in the final view of Minneapolis from the hilltop, we both knew we had it. We made it to the start finish where we were loudly cheered on. They had told us they had placed cones 1.55 miles out and we could not miss them so we headed out. On the other loops I had figured out the turn (each time through I made a mental note, turn right at number 4, second gate) so I was thinking we would do the actual loop but as we thought about the course change they made for us, we figured they were right as we might have missed it again or taken another wrong turn. My wife was enjoying the night run, she had never run in the dark on trails before and I am sure she will doing the 25k or 50k next year. Wayne and I continued the walk to the cones and on the way we passed Karen and then Rick, it was nice to see that they were still going. We made the turn around and on the way back we passed Kel and a couple of other folks whose names I don't know. As we approached the finish, I had a great feeling of satisfaction come over me. I was an ultrarunner.

A couple of other things, my Garmin made it the entire race and it showed 13 hours and 40 minutes and 50.9 miles which when uploaded into SportTracks came in at 51.34 miles.

I have a lot of things still going through my mind concerning this race but I figured I should get this post out so don't be surprised to see a few more posts coming out fairly soon and some of them may have a picture or two. One thing that did go through my mind is 100 miles is still beyond my comprehension but another 50 mile race might be kind of fun.

My thanks to all of the volunteers, you were great, to Les and Cindy for putting this event on, your hard work is appreciated, to my wife and family for putting up with me during the fall training, for your race support and to my wife for pacing me and to Wayne, Karen and Rick and for the many other others who helped me get through this. It was a blast.


Related Posts with Thumbnails