>> Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Or "Where's the Mud?"
Or "Oh That's Right... Trail Running is HARD!!"
Sunday was the MDRA Mudball Classic. It's a 4 mile trail run in Theo Wirth Park in Minneapolis. But let's rewind to Saturday night.
Saturday, Pharmie hosted a bachelorette party for her sister, and I knew a bunch of (potentially) drunk women would be spending the night at my house. So I took action and asked Pharmie's aunt if I could spend the night at her house. That was smart for 3 reasons. 1: No 3 am wake-up call by drunk women. 2: I spent all of Saturday out in her area judging an art contest, so I was close to her house already. 3: She lives near Theo Wirth Park (kinda), so it would be a quick drive to the race site on Sunday.
Pharmie's aunt was actually at the bachelorette party for most of the night, so I arrived at her house and I was alone. Proof Pharmie's aunt knows me WELL: she left out a bag of chips for me. Proof Pharmie's aunt DOESN'T know me at all: she also left out an "O" Magazine:
Racing buddy Chris and I ran up to the kids race to take photos and cheer. I swear that EVERY mom now-a-days has some sort of "flip" camera to take video of their adorable child! They were everywhere! The kids lined up for the start, and they were off! The "big kids" did 2 loops for 0.5 miles, and the "little kids" did one loop for 0.25 miles. Here are 3 quick photos from the kids race:
Well, I threw my camera back into my bag, and got ready to run my race. Now Heidi was up by us, and she was snapping photos. Here I am (off to the right in white) as I was in between chatting with the guy in the white hat (who beat me by 4 seconds at this race last year), and this super nice high-school kid with the poofy hair on the other side of me:
"On your marks... [ringing bell]"
So I felt like I was running SUPER easy. I was in the lead pack of 5. Soon, 2 guys fell off the lead (including David), and I was running in third, just behind first and second. I thought the pace was too easy. I was wondering when I should pass them. But I'm not used to running on hilly trails, so I didn't REALLY know how to handle this.
Mile 1: 6:17. Feeling great.
Over the next mile, it started to feel harder. This is where my "non-trail running self" started to realize he was running on trails. ;) All those little climbs and sharp turns were already taking their toll. I was still running in 3rd, but I was already working pretty hard. I didn't know if I could maintain this pace.
Coming down the hill to finish the second loop, Heidi snapped a photo of me:
At the start of each loop, there's a downhill followed by a nice little climb. On that climb, I looked ahead to 1st and 2nd, and I looked back to 4th behind me. I was about 12 seconds from the lead and 10 seconds ahead of 4th. And I was hashed. I just tried to maintain that pace.
We were passing "lapped traffic," and I still had enough energy to say "hi" to about 80% of the people out there. Everyone seemed to be enjoying this GREAT day! I was watching 1st and 2nd slowly pull away from me in the distance.
Mile 3: 6:20. Depressed that I had 1 more lap to go - I was hurting.
So I felt like I had 3rd place locked up: there really wasn't any way to catch first or second (I couldn't even see them now), and there was no sign of anyone behind me. I just tried to keep it strong. I definitely stopped saying "hi" to most of the runners now - I was out of breath. I passed Molly near the end of the race, and said "Go Molly" under my breath. (She teased me later, saying that I could have NOT passed her and still came in 3rd... ha!)
Mile 4: 6:14. That was tough. But a good race!
3rd out of 76 overall
2nd out of 3 in the 20-29 age group
(The MDRA is an "older" crowd, so yes, there were only 3 guys in that 10 year age group!)
I was 45 and 36 seconds behind 1st and 2nd, and I was 1:21 ahead of the next runner.
Heidi was at the finish with her camera. I finished, and then put my hands on my knees as I caught my breath for a few seconds while still in the finisher's chute. Heidi snapped a photo as soon as I stood up, as I was turning around towards her, and this is quite possibly this worst photo of me EVER at an event!!!
...but it does show exactly how I was feeling...
Down the hill
Around the final corner
Headed into the chute
(That same guy finished 1 spot in front of me this year, too!)
Hitting the line from the OTHER way last year
Not too far behind Chris was Molly who finished as the 5th female:
(Running history side-note: The MDRA Magazine "RunMinnesota" has a GREAT article about running in the 60's this month. Click here to be able to read the magazine online, and go to spread 30-31 (pages 21-22) to see article. The stories of Minnesota's "running forefathers" are so interesting! 40-50 years ago, there were no running stores. Runners LITERALLY took apart many different kinds of shoes and put together the pieces that would make the best running shoe! That's crazy! Every runner in the Cities knew every other runner in the Cities. Pat Lanin had a great quote regarding that: "...if we saw another runner, and we didn't know them, we'd stop the car and get out. This was an emergency." Runners were true hardcore outlaws, and everyone else thought they were crazy.)
Well, it was time to head home. Chris and I walked back to our cars together, and we talked Ironman training on the way. (Chris is doing IM WI this year!) David, the high-school kid spotted us and said good-bye. As I was ready to hop in my car, I realized that I didn't get a photo of me in a porta-potty! What would a race report be without a photo of that?!? So I snapped one final photo in the Wirth Beach john:
Thanks everyone! Have a great week!