Monday, May 17, 2010

Getting my ass kicked by the SHT

Boy oh boy was it a crazy trip up north for the Superior Trail 50k. The trip started in the parking lot of TC Running company as all 13 people ( yes I said 13 ) loaded into the TCRC RV. I new from the second we left the parking lot it would be a fun trip with all these good people along for the ride. When Adam asked me like a year ago what I thought about us getting a store RV this was exactly what I was thinking about.

With all the people heading up north for the weekend it was a bit slow going at first but before we new it we where in Duluth and ready to get some food. Keeping with our group tradition we stoped at Grandmas for food. Maybe the only downside of such a big group is how long it takes to get your food. After eating it was off to Lusten and the Mountain Inn. Now there was lots of good stories all the way up which made the time go by pretty fast I thought. Then aging maybe it was Adam and his music that was doing this? Once we got there most people just realy went into pre-race mode and hunkerd down in all the rooms. Heck that was fine by me as I was pretty ready for bed.

Beep beep beep was the next thing I heard as it was race morning. I was excited to get up and get ready to get it on. After getting my race packet and doing all my pre race stuff ( a little food and my Vespa ) I headed down to the starting line ready for a adventure. I knew this would be a hard day as every race I have ever done on this trail has been real hard on me. Lets just say all the dam roots kill me each and every time. After a great team picture we where off and running. I felt strong as I setteled into a nice pace with my friend Erik. After getting to the first aid station at mile 7 I tried to take up the pace a bit. Things where going well the next 3 or 4 miles until I cranked my right ankel on a small bridge pretty good. Then I had a pit stop a few miles later. Hell before I knew it I was seeing my race fall apart before my eyes. As I headed out from aid station 2 which is at like 12 miles I was starting to feel like maybe I was doing ok as I had not seen the leaders yet comming back from the turn. It was like 1 1/2 miles later I came across Chris G the race leader. He looked good as he flew buy me. Not long later came some of my TCRC teammates Brian, Lundo, Joe and Tony ( we had 12 runners in all in the 50k ). Seeing them cranking along picked me up. At this point I was making my way up the climb to Carlton Peak and the half way mark. As I turned around and made my way back I knew I was in for a long trip back. Not only was my body just not rolling very well at this point, but my mind was going in the tank fast. Oh well I thought lets just make this a good long run and not hurt anything. Some things as easier said than done. Lets just say the last 7 miles seemed like a long time to be out there. I finaly made my way to the end of the trail and onto the short road section to the finish line. I knew my body had lots in it as I ran like 6:30 pace to the line, my mind just did not want to go with it. I finished in 5:10. Not bad but not good either as I felt like a 4:30- to 4:40 was doable based on my fittness leval. This trail is just not made for me. I am not the best super rocky/rooty trail runner out there. Then just add lots of mudd and bang a super course. Hell thats ok, I am what I am. I have run many races on that trail and none have ever gone as well as I wished. I am glad I just keep trying as in the end I got to run on a beautiful trail, see lots of great people from the MN trail community and test myself once more. I guess better luck next year huh.

Well the trip back as you might guess was even better than the trip up. Aging more great stories, Burritios from Burrito Union in Duluth and some adult drinks to top it all off. I think I could get used to doing this every weekend. Now I just need to think of another good trip for the RV !!

I now leave you with a song from the great new Dead Weather album !!!


SteveQ said...

I know how you feel about that course - it takes a terrain specialist like Gardner to do well. If it ran from Carlton to Lutsen and back, I think I'd do beter; having two killer uphills at the start just kills me.

Still, 5:10's nothing to sneeze at. I'd take it!

nwgdc said...

Great run! I feel like I run on some technical stuff around here...but I keep hearing about the SHT. This run is on my list.
5:10 sounds like a great time...probably not as good as the ride home in the RV, but still a great time! Congrats!

Anonymous said...