Wait, have I told Ellie about SCaps, and the Leinie's at the finish, the "TFH?" brb...
Oh. Apparently I did. Sorry, Ellie.
So what if I'm still on a "runner's high" from my first ever trail race? Does it get any better than that? I don't think so. Reasons why (yes, I'm reverting to bullet points):
- I NAILED the nutrition. A bag of Sport Beans early, then a bit of nuun and mostly water and SCaps any time I felt even the slightest bit queezy. I also sucked/chewed on a shot blok of varying flavors non stop. It worked perfectly. For the first time, my stomach didn't give out. With 2 miles to go my legs were simply done. I couldn't lift them any more, and was stuck with the push-your-legs-into-the-ground walk. But my stomach wasn't the issue! That in itself made my day.
- I'm not sure what to say, being very, very new to trail races, about the course markings. The ONLY place I had any trouble was on the return trip, not far from the turn-around, when I almost took the newly-cut logging trail instead of the IAT. To me, though, THAT'S exactly what I was hoping for in a race. I WANT to be looking around for more trails. It's totally about a 2-way relationship between the trail and yourself. Don't just expect to be let home. One aspect I LOVED about the return run is that I hardly saw anyone. I didn't have an iPod (Adam). I simply listened to my breathing and my inner conversation, and enjoyed every step of the run. Doesn't get much better than that.
- I could have maybe run the first half faster, but I'm glad I didn't. This left me legs to run the 2nd half at a higher heart rate, pushing it the majority of the time, and I got to spend a decent amount of time with Steve in the first half. I have about a dozen (okay, maybe 3 dozen) more questions to ask him about (whether or not he wants to converse...he shared later he didn't really care to talk books with me...but then he still managed to bring up Glaven...who works in a LIBRARY) plenty of other topics. In addition, I'd love to get him in the same room with my brother-in-law, who's an East side St. Paul native and (I thought) knew more about the city than anyone. I'm still relying on him to find the "Mystic Trail" for me though.
- I probably will run Boston next year. It would mean a lot to me, to my favorite marathon running buddy (my older sister) and to my parents. When I told my parents about how amazing the Chippewa 50K was, my dad reiterated to me how "great" it would be to have TWO children running Boston together. Being a huuuuge race face, he compared it to the Indy 500. I'll be there. So will he. I just may not run it that hard...Chippewa will be less than a week away :)
- The course photographers were AMAZING! Here are some pictures of me working the boardwalk (wearing "arm panties," nonetheless) across one of 110 lakes we'd pass. Literally...110 lake isn 31 miles. Hit "next" for the entire sequence. Truly amazing country.
- Again, special thanks to Matt, for sending me on my way at the 25K mark, Wynn, for a great race, and Adam, Helen (by the way, who runs 13 miles 3 days after a 50K?!), and Steve, for really sparking my interest in the event.
- For me, the 50K is a perfect distance. Especially on trails. When training for my 50 miler, I ALWAYS felt like I NEEDED to be running. This run was based on only 3 big days of running a week...something I can definitely manage and still continue to develop my real job and business.
- In less than 2 weeks I'm running Journeys Marathon, and I'm gonna run it hard. I'll let the chips fall where they may at that point. After that, it's speed work galore in preps for Grandma's. I really, really, really want to break 3 hours there. If so, beers are on me for Helen and Adam!
- This fall is shaping up well. After proposing a lock-tight itinerary, the Wife has agreed to the following schedule...Twin Cities on October 4...then I go back to the trails and enjoy them with Glacial Trail 50K October 11, followed by a nice taper and the North Face 50K on October 24. The North Face 50K will be my main event, and if the excitement of my Chippewa experience holds on, look out!