Monthly Archives: June 2010

Keyes Peak Trail Marathon Race Recap

I am finally getting around to writing up my race report for last Saturday’s race. Steve and I headed up to Florence, WI on Friday afternoon. After a total GPS FAIL, we finally found our B&B and got checked in. I so wish that I had taken a picture of our room, called “Santina’s Delight.” I actually can’t believe that I didn’t document that, because it was hilarious. Let’s just say it was powder blue and full of cherubs. Let your mind run wild.

After we dropped our stuff off, we walked over to the race packet pick-up. We got our numbers and shirts, and decided to stay for the pasta dinner, since the only other restaurant in town boasted “Italian-Mexican-American Fare” on the sign. A little sketchy if you ask me. The pasta was good, and we headed back to “Santina’s Delight” for some R&R. We did have a very nice balcony overlooking Fischer Lake, so we lounged around for a bit before hitting the hay.  

 5am came pretty quickly, and I got up and started my pre-race ritual. Canned coffee from Whole Foods (no I don’t usually drink canned coffee, but you gotta do what you gotta do), peanut butter bread, and a banana. Here I am all ready to go:  

  

Steve drove me to the race, which had a 7:00 start, and then headed back to get ready for his 10k race that started at 8:30. There was a pre-race meeting to go over course markings and the river crossing and such.  

Photo Credit: Bill Flaws

Let me back up here. The week before the race we got an email from the race director that said this:  

“Bring two pairs of running shoes if you have them.  There is a stream crossing at 17 miles, just before the aid station, and we will drop off a fresh pair of shoes for you if you want them.  About a month ago I saw two deer cross and they made big splashes but made it across gracefully –  barely broke stride.”  

Ok, no biggie. I packed my road running shoes to change into since I don’t have an extra pair of trail shoes. During the pre-race meeting we found out that this was to be a little more than a stream. In fact, it is actually a river big enough for boats.  

The race started, and all 38 runners were off. The start/finish area was at Keyes Peak Ski Lodge, so naturally the area was quite hilly. I settled into a very comfortable pace. My goal for this race was not to run fast, but to run comfortably and really enjoy myself. Here I am around mile 3:  

Photo Credit: Bill Flaws

 One requirement of the race was that everyone had to carry a 20 oz water bottle or other hydration system. The race was all very environmentally friendly, so this eliminated any cup waste. I didn’t have a water belt, so I purchased a handheld water bottle with a strap. I thought it was going to annoy me to no end, but it actually worked out fine. A lot of times there were 5 miles or so between aid stations, so it was nice to be able to constantly have water available. I tried to remember to take a sip every couple of minutes to stay hydrated. Mile 9:  

Photo Credit: Bill Flaws

As you can see, I was just enjoying myself. The trails were beautiful, and I was just trying to pay attention to my surroundings (and the trail markers!) and take it all in. Right around mile 18 I came to the river crossing. There was a sign marked “swim,” which just pointed straight to the water. Then there was a sign marked “run,” which pointed to a little trail leading down to the water. There was a rope strung across the river to hold onto, and a guy in the middle to help people across. Here’s how it went down:  

Photo Credit: Bill Flaws

Photo Credit: Bill Flaws

 Here my feet got swept out from under me by the current:  

Photo Credit: Bill Flaws

 Making it out the other side:  

Photo Credit: Bill Flaws

Photo Credit: Bill Flaws

Right after this there was an aid station where I changed into my dry road shoes. It felt nice to have dry feet, but this may have been a bit of a mistake, as some of the trails after this point were a little more technical, and I was wishing for my trail shoes. The water was cold but very refreshing, and my legs felt great for the next few miles due to the impromptu ice bath.  

I passed a few people in the last 5 miles, and because I had been taking it easy, I still felt really good. The biggest hills were around miles 24-25, because we had to come up the back of the ski hill and then down the front to the finish. Here I am coming down the final stretch:  

  

That guy came out of nowhere and passed me right at the end. And crossing the finish line:  

  

I finished in 4:21:13, which I was really happy with for my first trail marathon. Steve also finished his first trail run ever, which ended up being a little more than a 10k due to some poor course markings. Here we are after the races (yes, Steve ran the race in his Vibrams):  

  

I ended up winning my age group, only to find out the next day that I was actually last in my age group (there were only 3 of us). The other two took second and third overall (I was 4th), so by default I was the only one left for the age group award. No matter, I’ll take it! I won a sweet Mountain Hardwear hoody:  

  

Steve took 3rd in his age group and won the cutest little bottle of local maple syrup. Here we are with our goods:  

  

Afterwards I was too lazy to take a shower, so I just lounged around covered in mud:  

  

My poor road shoes didn’t fare so well:  

  

Once I mustered the energy to get cleaned up, it was time for…what else?  

  

Mint fudge in a waffle cone. Holy yum!  

So there you have it. I think I may be addicted to trail running now, it was so much fun! I may have mentioned to Steve that Boston next year may be my last road marathon (gasp!). Of course he didn’t believe me, but we’ll see. 🙂

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Filed under The run

Oh yeah…

So I’m running a marathon this Saturday. To be more specific, I am running the Keyes Peak Trail Marathon in Florence, WI.

It was kind of last minute, but I found out about the race, and Steve and I decided to head up north for our anniversary weekend. I am running the marathon and he is running the 10k. I have never run that far on trails before, so it is sure to be quite the challenge. I am not nervous though, I am doing this for pure enjoyment, with no pressure to go fast at all. I am sure I will be walking some of it, especially if it is really hilly. I know the course will be really beautiful, so I am trying to devise a way to carry my camera, but I don’t know if that’s going to happen.

My longest run since the marathon on May 1st was this past Friday, when I ran 11.5 miles on the Ice Age Trail in 90 degree heat and humidity. I really did a number on myself by not carrying enough water, and ended up super-dehydrated and sore. Now I am just taking it very easy until Saturday and trying to rest my poor muscles.

It didn’t help that this past Saturday and Sunday I was pretty much sitting all day and didn’t get any change to excercise or move around to flush out my legs. I was attending a course in Green Bay to become a certified running coach. Now I just have to pass the test and you can call me Coach Laura!

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Filed under Marathon, The run

2010 Miller Ride for the Arts

Yesterday Steve and I (along with my uncle Mike and friend James) participated in the Miller Lite Ride for the Arts, a 75 mile bike ride starting and finishing in Milwaukee at the Summerfest grounds. I was slightly concerned with the weather forecast and possible rain, as last year for this ride it was 55 degrees, windy, and rainy. In other words, not fun.

We really lucked out and it was a beautiful day. It started with a 5:30 wake up call, though I was actually awake before the alarm even went off. I got up, had coffee and some pb toast, and we loaded up the bikes on our brand new Thule bike rack. It looks like this and it is the bomb.

The whole kit’n’kaboodle swings away with the bikes on so we can still access the back of the car. Cool, huh?

Back to the ride. We arrived at Summerfest around 6:45, found a parking spot near my uncle, and rode over to the start. Since we were a bit late, we were way towards the back, which made for a very slow first 5 miles or so. As we headed north on Lake Dr, we found a better rhythm, but we were still passing people for quite a while. The ride took us north to Port Washington (about 30 miles), where we stopped at the “Oasis Station” to refuel.

I had  packet of Luna Moons, half a banana, and half of some sort of chocolate chip energy bar. Then we got back on our bikes and kept heading north. A lot of this portion of the ride is on the Ozaukee Co Interurban Trail, which is really nice. We didn’t stop again for the rest of the ride, and before I knew it we were back in Shorewood and almost finished.

During almost every long bike ride, this is the point were I just want it to be over. I am usually tired, stiff, bored, and starving. I was pretty hungry, but amazingly I felt great and didn’t really want the ride to end! A few miles later we were back at Summerfest. My bike computer says we did about 77 miles total in 4 hrs 22 min. Pretty good!

We loaded the bikes back up and headed into the Summerfest grounds for a cold post-ride beer.

After this we headed over to Water Buffalo for some lunch out on the patio. All in all a great day!

Tonight I am going way out of my comfort zone. I signed up for an open water swim practice at Pewaukee Beach, which will be every Monday night all summer long. My swimming could use all the help it can get, and I think it will be a nice fun change from the pool. I am pretty nervous though. What if everyone else is super-fast? I’m sure it will be fine and hopefully I’ll meet some fun people too!

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Filed under The bike, The swim