What a FUN day. The day started EARLY. 4:30 AM wake up alarm , coffee, pre-race cream of rice cereal with almond butter , berries, agave, and almond milk and I was off to LaGrange, WI. I wanted to get there to see the start of the 50K as I had a lot of friends running in it. Got there in plenty of time (took about 75 min.to get there). Chatted with friends and reminded them to just be grateful they were out there and to HAVE FUN. Funny as I was there telling them to have fun while out running 31 miles. As I limped around hoping that my blistered foot would hold up to the 13.1 miles I had in store. So I have not had ANY blister in 4+ years of running and yet I managed Tuesday to do this to my right foot.
Thanks to Mike at Froedtert, it was treated daily leading up to the race and Wed through Friday I wasn’t even able to keep a shoe on through the day. Who knew a blister could hurt that much? Guess who needs to get tougher? Friday Mike put on 2nd skin and wrapped it up. Fri night when trying on an array of shoes realized that it needed more padding. So Sat. AM was able to find some moleskin to put on top of the great wrapping job. Put on my shoe and said to myself, “you got through 3 back surgeries, shut up about the blister and go run the race”.
I was nervous as I had only been on trails 1 or 2 times since last summer. It was a 2 loop course running the same loop. The course was in perfect condition and was a lot of fun. There were some STEEP downhills that I had to be a bit more conservative on as I knew they would wreck havoc with my spine. It still amazes me the difference in pace from road races to trail races. But I will definately say that trail races mentally go by faster (even though slower in time) than road races. On trails you are constantly thinking and concentrating where on the road I simply get into a somewhat zen mentality. The first loop was approx. 51 minutes and 2nd loop was approx. 54 minutes. The blistered foot was problematic towards the end and at times took my mind off the hills, but also slowed me down especially on the steep downhill sections. The uphills were equally tough and just proved that I need some more time out on the trails to be faster and more comfortable out there. All in all, I am really happy with my effort as I ran my own race and stayed within myself. With Boston Marathon 3 weeks ago and MedCity Mayo Half in 2 weeks I am just starting the season. I ended up 1st place in the 30-39 AG and 5th overall female among some really talented trail runners.
The course was fun, there was one specific hill I won’t forget, thanks to a race photographer shooting from the top of the hill. Great motivation not to even think of walking that hill. And the signs on the course with such names of Ann Heaslett, Ann Trason, and the Bunk’s; just made me realize what a great tight community we are part of. Those names signify not only amazing runner’s but individuals that have given so much to our community.
The best part of the day was seeing my friends and fellow competitors out there, sharing stories pre and post race, cheering those on, and watching them accomplish their goals. What a great community to be part of. Race Director, Jeff Mallach, put on an “A+” event along with the many volunteers. I am already excited to race at Ice Age next year and the many years after.
I do think that the longer distances are my calling both in my strengths as an athlete and the enjoyment I get from running longer distances, time will tell. 😉
I’m super excited and grateful to be back racing and hope to see some PR’s this year. Regardless I am forever grateful for the hard work and dedication from my entire team of coaches, Dr.’s, trainers, and friends. You all inspire me and continue to help me in doing the best I can on any given day. Many thanks!