If this title looks familiar (and it should, because I know you have nothing better to do than read and re-read my race reports) that’s because I ran this race last year…and ended up with a distance PR for the Day, Week, and Month (And then I turned around a ran a 9 minute marathon PR at Twin Cities 7 days later – Woot!).
Not only was it a PR heaven, it was incredibly fun. This is on my schedule no matter what. Permanently.
This time, I had no pesky goal marathon the following weekend to get in my way. However, I also had to make sure running this didn’t totally screw up my Bass Pro training*. HOWEVER, I needed another 50 Miler for the Year of the Muskrat and this was the perfect race to get that done.
*If Coach Greg is reading this, he’s already sent me a text calling me a dumba$$**
**Too late, he saw my Facebook status
I picked up my friend, Melissa (my fellow Raisin – Racin Asian), at 6 am on the dot. She was planning on a full 24 Hours so she had a lot of supplies and it took us a while to get everything in order. We missed the 8 am start by about 20 min. No big deal for me, but I knew Melissa was going to try to make up time.
Sunrise on the Lake
The trail is a 1.52 mile loop, which makes it easy for people of all fitness levels and a far cry from your average scary ultra. It’s what I love most about this race – long distances seem less scary when you’re saying “Just one more lap” over and over.
Last year I ran 2 laps, walked 1 for the first 20 miles. This year run 4, walk 1 (when I said it out loud “Walk 1” always came out as “Walk run” Every. Freakin. Time) felt better. Fifty miles meant completing 33 laps and for some reason breaking it up into 10, 10, 10…and I’ll worry about the other 3 later…made a ton of sense.
Kid running a lap with his dad…in jeans. How can you not be in love with this race?
Only my body wasn’t happy. I started cramping and aching only 10 laps in. Finishing walk break #2, my feet hurt. In my Cascadias. The shoes I wore all 50 miles at Rocky Raccoon with no issues. WTF shoes, why cant I trust you? Moronically, the only other shoes I brought were my Montrail Rogue Racers…the shoes I last wore at the Frosty 50k, in which my feet hurt so bad I almost chucked them into the woods and finished barefoot. Next year I’m bringing all the shoes!
I sucked it up until I hit 16 laps (24.32 miles), then went to my car to get my phone and my extra shoes. I was really scared they weren’t going to work and I’d be stuck in the Cascadias for 25 more miles but it turned out those shoes were exactly what I needed. And some S! Caps. And 2 Alieve. And a slice of pizza. And some Coke (the soft drink – it wasn’t that kind of party).
Someone posted a pic of this lady on Facebook and there’s me pigging out on boiled potatoes
Speaking of food, I went by the “Whatever appeals to me” rule. I’ve been struggling with fueling long runs sticking to paleo…and there really is no better race to play with nutrition than one with a real bathroom no more than 3/4 mile away at all times. I actually felt better once I stopped trying to do raisins and dates and just went for the potatoes.
It got a little warm…nice to run under the mist every few laps
All the laps blur together…but one that was particularly memorable was seeing the cops. Apparently there was a very agitated snake on the trail and they stared at it until it went away. Rumor on the trail was they were looking for the crazy person. I like that so much better.
They got overwhelmed with the crazy so it was easier to look at the lake.
As Melissa slowed down, I started to run with her when she’d start to lap me. It felt awesome to open up…and I think all the walking breaks and slow pokey-ness of the beginning contributed to the blah feeling. I’d keep up with her for a few laps, then let her go and I’d jog some recovery laps. It was almost like interval training ultra style. The weird thing is, I completely axed the run/walk plan and just kept on running faster/slower…and I think that’s part of what made me feel so good.
The part that sucked about keeping up with her is that it made me need to pee! I guess that’s good because I was hydrated…but annoying because we’d start a lap and I’d realize I had to go. As you completed a loop you could go left to get the lap counted and get food…or you could go straight and hit the bathrooms on the corner of the loop. I’d get so excited to complete the loop so quickly, I’d forget to stop. And in this race I’m basically a NASCAR driver….I only go counter clockwise. If I miss the bathroom there is no way in heck I’m turning around. Nope. Gotta hit it on the next loop.
I am not an ambiturner.
Melissa, John, and Me. I need a cool neon tank too (and a sponsorship).
I managed to fall a few times but some wise trail runners once told me “It’s not a real trail run unless you fall and/or get lost” and there was no way I was getting lost on that loop. Just a little blood…and every time the other runners described my falls as graceful.
Sunset hit around 7 and that’s when the real battle in an ultra begins. Luckily, I was almost done and only had a few laps in the dark. I linked up with some maniacs I knew from other races until Melissa and John picked me up again and I actually ran the last few miles with them. I didnt wear my Garmin (even if I had it would have been dead by that point) but according to the good ol’ Timex, the last laps were faster than my first laps.
With Maniac Friends. Chem lights, headlamps, and friends…what more do you need?
It’s kind of mind blowing how different hitting 50 miles felt here vs Rocky Raccoon. I know I never blogged about it…but the last 7 miles were crazy hard there. I knew I was going to finish and that made me happy…but it’s really hard to describe how defeated I felt in that moment. This was such a different feeling. Hitting 50.16 miles feeling as awesome as I did was better than any PR I’ve ever experienced….and I’ve never felt more like a real runner.
It was really hard stopping at 50. I was tempted to go for the 100k but I figured I was riding the line between feeling awesome and feeling like poop. I took all my stuff to my car (walking totally fine) and came back to cheer for/say good-bye to Melissa and John. As luck would have it, they were going on a walk lap…so I decided to join them in my flip flops.
I ended with 51.68 miles. The one extra lap for a distance PR seemed fitting. Comparing to Rocky Raccoon again, RunninBrotha walked the last 4 miles with me and Linnea. I was miserable and RB asked,
“If I gave you $1,000 to do another lap (16.67 miles), would you take it?”
I think he got up to $100k before I said I’d think about it. This time around, I would have done it in a heartbeat if I didn’t have to get back to marathon training. Even if I don’t get my Bass Pro Goal. this race was totally worth it. I felt great the whole last half…and the next day I felt great. I walked down my stairs like a normal person! In fact, the ONLY reason I felt poorly after the race is because of all the junk food I ate during it! Yes folks, pizza hurt me more than almost 52 miles.
So there you go, folks. Mileage PRs galore, (51.68 day, 74.7 week, 208 month). And I jumped back into training Monday. Boom.