Another fantastic Trail Nerds Event… Another 50K Race is in the bag!
Official Time: 7 hours and 16 minutes. I think I’m getting the hang of this.
This past weekend, I had friends racing all around the midwest! There were runners in Des Moines, Kansas City, Saint Louis, and as far away as Detroit running marathons. My Facebook page got notification after notification with race updates. Loved it! Friends were out doing what they loved and staying healthy. I simply chose to run where I’m happiest…finishing with 36 other ultrarunners on a trail in Kansas. Oh yeah!
Saturday morning was beautiful! Sunny and cool, just warm enough I didn’t need long sleeves. I’m pretty sure Ben gave some last minute instructions but I was busy visiting with the Mudbabes! Let’s see…thanks for saying hi Bryan and Lisa and Dee and Jen and Mel and Coco and… OK, Bryan isn’t a Mudbabe but he is pretty cool. Anyone else check out the new tat? I look forward to the camaraderie and support from other trail runners almost as much as the run itself.
Oh, but the run… When I recall Lake Perry Rocks, what I remember is… well… the rocks. Not just rocks, but rocks on top of rocks.. with leaves sprinkled on top. The first loop was wonderful. I enjoyed visiting with lots of the 1/2 Marathon runners. This was actually the first race where I actually talked with people during the race. I liked that! Dee talked about her hiking this summer, I met one of the incredible Psycho Psummer volunteers and thank you aid station volunteers! Oh, and I stubbed my toes only six or seven times. ON THE ROCKS! …and a few tree roots…
My first loop was pretty fast for me–done in three hours!
I remember getting these pics taken. I told the photographer, “You’re gonna make me run this hill, aren’t you?!?” Thankfully, it wasn’t much of a hill! And yes, this is me, running.
Notice a few things.
1. I’m looking down. It is dangerous to take your eyes off the trail on a technical terrain. Trail runners look where they are going!
2. I’m smiling. See, I may not be the fastest runner, but I am one of the happiest… Usually.
3. No one is around. One of the things I like about longer trail runs is the serenity and the time to think.
4. It’s pretty!!!
To be honest, loop two was a little tougher for me. No, I didn’t get lost. I just got in a funk. I kept stubbing my toes, I was by myself, and I think I needed some calories. The 4.5 miles to the first aid station seemed to take hours. I heard barking for at least fifteen minutes and continued to search for Regis and Luke. I was so thankful when I saw them… that I stayed and visited for probably longer than I needed to. However, I do appreciate getting my water filled, chips eaten, gels pre-opened (since my fingers weren’t working great) and the moral support. Ernst and Luke got me running again. Thank you!
As I continued running, I’d be thinking, “Have I even ran here before?” Now, I know I had. I see the pick ribbons and yellow trail markers. What I had forgotten is there are miles of running with few rocks and even fewer hills. It was simply enjoyable. Made me laugh. I was having fun again!
Have you heard of hubris? It is extreme pride and arrogance. At mile twenty-six–or twenty-seven– I had it. Hubris. I was so proud of myself. I ran further than a marathon and was doing well. I had not fallen… Ahh…
Oh, how the mighty have fallen. I lay in the leaves being beaten not by a rock, but a tree root. At Lake Perry Rocks… a tree root! Granted, it was the rock to the knee that had the tears in my eyes… but the tree root started it! As I looked up at the trees above me, gingerly checking out my knee, I realized, I couldn’t be done. I had to get out of the woods. So, I got up, dusted off my hands, and started walking.
Albeit, grumbling a bit. But I was moving. I started a power walk. And pretty soon, I was jogging… then a bit faster… and a bit faster… and my smile returned…
At 3:15pm, I was cresting the hill for the finish line. I did it! 30+ Miles on the books again.
I love to run! Even if it is for one mile or two, won’t you join me?
Thanks to SeeKCRun‘s Kristy West and Kevin Gray for the incredible pictures!