Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I'm racing again!

Life has been hectic, to say the least. The running has been great. We are still exploring Duluth's many trails.

The Girl ran (and won) the Superior Sawtooth 50 mile race. She will have a report up soon, I think. I had to work, unfortunately, but it sounds like a fun race. Alicia, who is an expert of extreme ultras, has her report here. She has the Arrowhead 135 Mile women's record and fastest known time on the entire 442 km Superior Hiking Trail (although I believe the trail was a little shorter when she set the record).

The Girl's win was a pleasant surprise, although not completely unexpected. She also set a PR of 18:49 at a 5K in Oconomowoc. In running, you can't compare the quality of two such efforts, but an 18:49 is quite an achievement. In this day and age, where longer always seems to be better, a lot of even semi-serious runners are not familar with quality times in the classic long distances. Well, 18:49 is fast. And I believe she will improve from there. She is running interval times indicating low 18s.

I ran a 16:11 at the same race, so I'm getting into decent shape. The race consisted of long, boring straights of asphalt with a few hills. Yes, boring.

Last Wednesday, I got to run a trail race in Lester Park. It's part of a trail series in and around Duluth that lasts all fall. There are races almost every week, actually. It's been a long time since I had so much fun racing. It's 3 loops of mildly technical trails with lots of ups and downs. Each loop goes mostly up for a mile and then back down for another mile.

The warm-up area teemed with fast-looking younger men. A few guys ran in spikes! Many ran shirtless, which is always certain to make me feel old. My hairy, pale torso is not and never will be acceptable for public display.

What a cool race. Up and down, twists and turns; never a dull moment. I felt ok on the climbs and had a hard time holding on on the downhills. That's always the case with me.

Coming through after lap 1:

That's Chris Rubesch, who is a top ultra runner. Chris played no tactical games and just ran his own race, leading out the pack the first mile. The eventual winner, Gage and Adam are up ahead.

After lap 2:

We had caught Adam. The three of us ran a lap together..

And at the finish: (not exactly a toe striker, eh?):

I was able to sneak away on the last long uphill. And by sneak away, I mean red-lining it, while my legs were simultaneously numb and burning with lactic acid. When I got to the top, I had maybe 20 seconds on Chris and Adam (and at this time Erik Elmstrand was catching them). The downhill was a crazy all-out sprint, hoping to stay on my feet. Thankfully, they didn't catch me. Results here. Did I mention it was a fun race? Tomorrow is the next race in the series. Since the Girl is still sore from her 50 miler, she will watch the kids and I get to run this one, too!

I should write about Christian starting school and Mattias saying "Mommy" for the first time, but that's another time and another post.