Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Last 3 Months!!

Ok I'm way behind in blogging so it's time to catch up - here goes...

Surf the Murph 50 mile - first 50 mile finish - 13:40:36

Started out with Karen and Rick and Kel and Mike... and everyone else I guess. Was with Rick and Karen a number of times throughout the day, also with each of them at different times. I know we spent a fair amount of loop 2 together and even a decent amount of loop 3 - which is the latest in any race I've been with them. I liked the north side of the course and did a better job there. The south side of the course really wore me down and I think that's where I lost them each loop.

I also spent some time with Kel, and Bill, and a lot of time with Mike (Westy) - I leap-frogged a lot of the day with Mike. We'd be together, he'd get out of the aid station before me and then I'd be chasing him down the trail. I think we did that about 3 or 4 aid stations in a row. Finally towards the end we just stayed together the rest of the way. I think we walked it in from the horse place on the last loop and then the out-and-back section as well... though for the life of me I can't figure out why we did that. :) Ok now I remember, we were tired... and Mike was doing the math and determined we'd make the cut-off and didn't "need" to run so we didn't. Congrats on your first 50 mile finish, Mike... and thanks for the help. Congrats to you too, Kel, for your first 50 mile finish. It was a good day out there.

Karen was the first to announce she was wearing a costume so then the pressure was on for Rick and I. It was fun to wear the jailbird/escaped convict costume and people seemed to enjoy it. I'd sometimes forget about it until someone would make a comment... or Karen would look over and start laughing. I was worried the stripes would make me look fat. Somewhere along the line we (ok, Rick and Karen) decided that to more fully play the role of an escaped convict I should be swearing more. That was kinda fun. And then there was talk of Bubba and baby oil and someone said "you're easy" and that was totally mis-construed. Also Karen telling us her body is a hostile environment (for viruses) ... yeah, we had fun there's no doubt about that. :)

UMTR - Trail Person of the Year award

Pretty blown away about getting this. I'm not sure what to say besides "Wow" and "Crazy"... ok, how about "Look at me, I got my picture taken with the Trail Runner of the Year!!" :) Congratulations, Helen!

Bridge to Peace 5K, Duluth - 1st place male 40-49 age group - 24:13

Yeah, it's a really small race. I might have to make this a yearly event until it gets bigger. Ran ahead of Leslie for about 3 seconds just for fun, before she went blasting off. It was fun to push it and try to run fast. I knew a number of people at this race so it was fun hanging out... and the post-race food was very yummy - think "baked goods at a church potluck". Put in some extra miles with Rick and Lisa after the race and that was fun too.

Tuscobia 50K - 8:54:59

This was a different event, basically a training event for the Arrowhead 135 - it was held on a snowmobile trail and the idea was there'd be little to no support so everyone had to carry their own stuff. There was a 75 mile option where the runners pulled sleds. Most runners in the 50K wore backpacks... Karen was the only one to pull a sled.

My main memory is slipping around a lot, all day long... and then just wanting to be done. I ran/walked the whole thing with Karen - Rick was with us at the beginning, as were Vicky and Mike. It was cool having some spectators - Lisa and Leslie were at a number of road crossings, and then even ran with folks at the end - Thanks for being out there!

There were a couple memorable events: the shared rootbeer barrel experience and the tripping incident. :)

2009 mileage, races

Total miles
2006: 617miles; >101 hours;
2007: 1094miles; >192 hours;
2008: 1290 miles; >268 hours; [158 runs - 8.16miles/run]
2009: 1362 miles; >317 hours; [157 runs - 8.67miles/run]

Race miles
2006: ?
2007: 22 races; 282miles; >48 hours;
2008: 26 races; 385miles; >85 hours; [12 races in the MNTRS]
2009: 20 races; 424miles; >111 hours; [counting Ragnar as 3 races]

White Tail Ridge Snowshoe Challenge - 20K - 2:50:05

Ran hard, 2 laps on a fun twisty course in the woods. Tore up my heels a bit - think I had a couple straps too tight. I've been running more aggressively this year and this race was the beginning of that, pretty much by accident: the course hit single track almost immediately and the pressure was on to not hold up the show. So I ran hard from the start and then pretty much just hung on as I tired out. It worked out pretty well and was a nice confidence boost.

Northwoods Snowshoe Championships - Marathon - 7:16:07

standard pre-race photo
Rick, is that you???

Doing this race was a big deal as it has a tight cut-off. I was running scared all day - trying to stay ahead of the cut-offs and get in under the 7:30 limit. And I wanted a little cushion, I didn't want the stress of being within only a couple minutes of making it.

The plan was to run any time the course was runnable. I needed to run the 1st half faster than the last 2 years (when I just did the Half), and then do it all over again. For the 2nd installment of the 2010 "run more aggressively" campaign I figured I'd push from the start, eventually run out of gas, and then just hang on as much as possible.

The sugary snow was really tough going... especially when trying to go fast. Thankfully on the 2nd lap I knew there were spots where it got better. I managed a faster first half by about 17 minutes. I basically pushed all day which is a new thing for me... and it worked out.

I'm certainly happy that I completed the race in the time allowed, but I'm probably most proud of the fact that I actually tried it in the first place (in the past I decided I would never attempt the marathon). Doing a certain distance is one thing, doing it in a certain amount of time is a whole 'nother thing. Congrats to Karen for finishing under the 7:30 limit as well... way to go!

Securian Half Marathon - 2:01:23

I totally crashed and burned at this race in 2008. I was too chicken to run it last year, plus it was bitterly cold. I didn't want to repeat 2008 so I ran comfortably the first half... visiting with Karen and Les along the way. And then I took off and ran hard the 2nd half. Splits of ~1:06 and ~:56 might not be the smartest way to go, but I was happy with the result. :)

Whew... I think I'm pretty much caught up now -- just one little race to cover yet and then I should be good for awhile. Congrats if you made it this far... :)