Snowboarding left me a bit stiff in the ankles today, along with a sore butt!
Today was the 14th Annual Lake Harriet 50K Fat Ass. There isn't a whole lot of racing or group runs going on in Minnesota during the winter. When I was first invited to this run 4 years ago I was thrilled. I have been thrilled each December since! I love this run.
Tom A and Carol Z sent out an invitation a few weeks ago reminding me of the FA today. I immediately responded that I would be in attendance, and would be up for the full 50K. I must say, I was a bit curious as to how the running would be since joining the Elite membership at LL. I wasn't going to change my pre run diet at all, nor my post run. I was planning on eating gels, Heed, the regular ultra food, however, during my run.
We met at the Lake Harriet Band Shell at 800 AM, for the 815 start. Tom had me fill out the obligatory sign up sheet and waiver. I was going to run 50K, I believe 4 of the guys were running 50K. Some were running 24 miles, 20 miles, and everything in between.
I recognized most of the faces; I introduced myself to a woman and she responded that she was Kelly Keeler. My jaw dropped. I don't hide what I'm thinking very well. I was thinking "holy shit. Kelly Keeler. Minnesota Runner of the Year. PR marathon of 242; PR Masters Marathon 243. holy shit." Instead I said "I certainly recognize your name, it's nice to meet you". Wow. Shit. Wowshit.
Her husband, Jim Ramacier, another incredible runner, who runs ultras as well, came up and asked if I had been entered in the 100K at Ed Fitz. I told him yes, and that I was disappointed that they had cancelled the race. Someone came up and asked how my 100s were going. I said 'well, I entered 4 this past summer and I finished 4, so they went well!'
Kelly asked about the 100's, Jim stated "i haven't yet run a 100" and I found myself acting very strangely in front of these two. I began to say things like this "well, you are very fast, I run them very slow..it took me 24 hours to run 100 at Vermont at 35 hours at Superior! You guys would probably run them in 16 hours." And I continued on, making excuses for my races, telling them that I wasn't fast, that they were fast and I found I couldn't accept their recognition that I ran well. It was very odd. I didn't even realize that I was doing this until I was running the last few laps alone, then it dawned on me, and I began to wonder why I acted this way? I am proud of my accomplishments, really, I know that I am. In front of Kelly and Jim, I felt like I wasn't. I'll have to think on this one some more.
Anyhow, Kelly was running 24 miles and Jim the 50K-he finished first. I didn't see Kelly out around Harriet at all. She was probably flying via legs!
Tom gave us the lowdown: Begin at the bandshell, run up to Queen Ave S, through the Linden Hills area, to Bob's house. Check in on the board with time, back to the Lake Harriet Bandshell, around the lake, up to Bob's. Repeat 7 times. On final lap, up to Bob's down to Bandshell, up to Bob's and check out on paper at the Bandshell for final 50K. Got it!
Tom said GO and off we went! The check in house had all the ultra foods available. We went into the back porch where Powerade and water were available as well as pretzels, M&M's chips, Cliff Blocks, Salted Nut Rolls, etc. I stuck to gels, Blocks and Hammer Heed. Each lap I wrote in my time.
E Fisher Drew and Jan O Brien waited for me to start out with. We ran a good 10 miles together. I had a great time chatting with E and Jan. E spoke of this blog, and stated that I make her laugh! It was fun to get a reader's view. Jan has run Leadville once and Western States twice; E has been at Leadville pacing or crewing many times. We had a lot to talk about!
After 10 miles or so I picked up the pace and headed out. I had a blast. I felt great the whole time; I was amazed I wasn't bored with the Lake Harriet loops. I shouldn't have been, loops never bore me! I smiled openly at the Border Collies on leash. I saw 3 of them with different owners. One gal stopped and said "do you have one" I responded yes. She said she knew I did because every time she passed by I smiled and laughed. She told me she saw love and joy in my eyes! How cool.
I ran up to the check in house one final time, wrote in my time, grabbed a finishers award that Tom made. He runs near the Canterbury Downs Horse Race Track. Our award was a mounted horse shoe! I ran the final stretch carrying my award and bottle. Final check off at the Bandshell and the run is done. I was the third finisher of the 50K. Jim finished first, then Doug Thomas. E finished the 50K in 553. Great run, E! I know that Les Martisko was running 50K as well. He had one loop left and finished in 653. Woohoo!
My final finish time was 531. Not bad for a 50K! The footing was very good, a bit icy in spots, but not bad at all. I really enjoyed this run.
My intent was to stop by Dunn's Brothers for a coffee with the group at the end of the run. E was just finishing up her run. Carol and Tom were going to Dunns and E and John would be meeting them there. I was planning on it, too.
I began driving toward Dunn's. My goodness, I had passed it 17 times during the run, and guess what? I took a wrong turn from the lake, ended up on a one way and didn't know where the hell I was. Eventually I found Calhoun and made my way to Hennepin on homeward. Sorry that I missed out on a fun visit, ending the great day.
Thanks again for the invite!