Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dances with the Dirt Devils Lake 2012

Matilda had fun hiking at Devils Lake

All Done...
2 days ago I was a few hours into my 31 mile run - the Dances with the Dirt Devils Lake 50k. I can't believe it's over - it was great fun! My sister & brother in law and I drove up leaving plano around 3pm - we got to the campgrounds around 7pm. Our friends, Mike and Angela Way & their 2 daughters, ferrit, and dog Snoopy had left earlier and picked up our packets for us and made dinner (very much appreciated!!) We ate spaghetti and flat iron steaks - and my sisters monkey bread which I ate way too much of, but felt it completely justified because I was running 31 miles in the mornings....Everything was really good. After that we walked the dogs and went to bed. I slept well once everyone got settled in, the cabin had very thin walls, so if someone was up moving around everyone could hear. Mike, Angela and Debi said they had trouble sleeping, but I did not, I think I woke up once - my ear plugs helped. I didn't have a pillow the first night, because I thought the cabin provided them, but thankfully I had brought a sheet thinking i would
Corned Beef Cabbage Pizza
put it down for Matilda....Poor Matilda just got the hard floor that night. I used my towel as a pillow that first night. We were all up at 4am getting ready - it's amazing all the preparation that goes into these things - We ended up heading out a little later than we had planned, I ate my PB&J in the car and drank some water - we made it just in time to gear up & use the outhouse. Another runner from back home, had stayed right at the resort with his wife and kids- we met up with him in the morning - turns out he forgot his running watch, water bottles and belt to carry jels and stuff. We
pretty much got to the starting line and started running - Matt (the guy who forgot everything) and Mike paired up and Debi and I paired up. I started at a nice easy pace - sticking with my plan - the first leg was 4.5 miles up the ski hills and on to the bike trails. It was steep, but really not that bad -  not as bad as I had thought- we walked the steepest part up the hill and ran right past the trail entrance, thankfully a runner ahead of us noticed and we all went back before we got too far going the wrong way. The trail was pretty rough, lots of trees down and rocks - once we got out of that we went down the ski hill - I took it slow down like I had planned, trying not to destroy my quads. Before I knew it we were at the end of the 4.5 mile loop - I drank 2 cups of water and had a piece of banana - and off we went again on to the ice age trail - We had un fortunate timing, because the marathon started right when we passed the start again - we waited till the faster people went by and continued on. The frist part of the trail had a good deal of ups - we ran some, walked some, came across some cool people to talk to - just trotted along, Around mile 8 Debi was about to give up - Hert ITB was killing her - she later found a finger nail mark in her palm from how hard she was clenching her fists because of the pain - poor deb. She walked a while and I walked with her, She said to go on, but I walked for a bit longer and when I started running again - so did she. She discovered a
Look out
different gate that did not bother her ITB so much - it involved not bending her knee so much which resulted in 2 really bad falls, one was a tumble, and the other landed her other knee right on a pointy rock. NOT GOOD it bled. We got to road kill, which happened to be a busy road crossing, and the aid station was right on the trail after that. They had gue and water. I had a gue and some water and so did Debi. I was not going to make the mistake of not feeding myself this time. We headed on, and got to Stineken - I don't know if it's spelled right, and I did not know how to pronounce it - but they had good stuff their
Debs Rock imprint
- Boiled potatoes with a container of salt, Pringles (personal favorite) cookies, M&Ms, PB&J cubes, Gue, water, Gatorade... it was good, I ate chips and potatoes and a PB&J cubes and another gue.... some water... My electrolyte mix in my camel back was getting pretty gross and warm, so the cold water was wonderful and I was still really enjoying Pringles. The temperature had been pretty humid for the first 2 hours, but after that it seemed to improve, clouds were out, and it looked like rain. We headed on up - the miles flew on and I was having fun, Deb was swinging along as well. We got to see Angela on her half marathon rout, she looked to be running strong - going past the opposite direction as us. The next aid station was on the East Bluff trail with a
Aid Station on East Bluff
beautiful view of the lake. We had to check in their - More water,
At the Aid station on East Bluff
more gue. Then we went down the bluff and through the ice age trail camp site - it was nice to be in familiar territory because Debi and I had camped in that camp ground - they had an aid station set up for us in one of the picnic areas - they had oranges and grapes, I had oranges and Pringles and I think another gue.... On we went back down, down and more down to bug pit. I was thinking how going back up was going to suck, but really was not all that concerned for some reason - I was still having fun WIERD. On the way down we saw Matt - he was probably 4 miles at least ahead of us coming back up the hill he said "Ostrander Girls!" and gave us a High Five...about a half an hour later I finally realized Debi got called an Ostrander and told her "Haha, you got called an Ostrander" (she just HAD to go and get married) it was just funny at the time that I happened to think of it a half hour after it happened.... running does strange things... Once we got down through the woods to a meadow we saw Mike, probably 2 miles or so ahead of us - the next aid station was bug pit, that's where our extra shoes and clothes were - I did't touch my bag, didn't feel like I
Mile 20ish
needed anything. Turns out I should have picked it up and put it in the return box though - i'll remember that for next time. I had more Pringles and some gummys - I was sick of gue. we ran down past the aid station to the turn around, and then back to the same aid station. Debi was getting discouraged and sick of the pain. she needed to walk more because exhaustion was setting in, I knew her
Matts Ankle Right after the race
pain... but didn't have it at that time FOR ONCE. So we parted ways around mile 20. It started to rain right when i was running through a big open field, I was thankful for that. I got to the woods and started making my assent up - up and up and up. I ran up some, walked up more... After the turn around point I am happy to say no one running the 50k or 50 miler passed me. Lots of people looked really tired and were walking a lot. I finally got all the way up form the pit and was heading back towards the bluffs - it doubled back to the point i had turned on after the bluff and continued on in the same direction I had been going before - Those last 10 miles went fast - it all did actually I really dont' feel like I was on that trail for 6:55ish - but I was. I had watch troubles so I didn't exactly know what mile I was on, but I got back to Stienken - had more boiled potatoes and water - I knew it was 5.5 miles left at this point and I was happy to see the sign with a arrow pointing that said "to 50k finish" I headed back up the trail to road kill, and then down the rest of the 4.5 miles to the finish. I kept thinking it was just around the
Beer after the race
bend - I really didn't feel that bad, I wanted to run faster, but my ankles were
right after my finish.....
so week and sore that I couldn't. I had fallen twice and twisted both of the several times.... it was all I could do to stay upright down the rocky hills.... Finally I got on a black top trial and had to ask hikers if they had seen pink and orange flags - they had, so I was still on track. I got to a corner and some people sitting in chairs said "one more turn to go!"And sure enough, people, music and the finish line! I had enough left to pick up the pace and finish strong. I had hoped to see my parents at the end, but the ended up not making it. I was so happy to finally finish a distance race strong - I still can't believe it.... I had fun running for 6:55 hours.... Yeah. I really have
At the Cabins after the race
lost it. At the finish they gave me cold water and my meadle and asked me my age and I got a flash light, they said I was 3rd in my devision - turns out I was really 4th. It was exactly the finish that I had hoped for in the Skyline to the Sea run - The feeling of accomplishment, happy to be done, exited to have finished and still able to go farther.... Matt and mike were at the finish already of course - Matt had finished
After Race photo
33rd in around 5:30 and mike around 6:10 both great times - Matt had sprained his ankle really bad and around mile 24 and it was already really swollen. Debi came in around 15 minuts later looking angry and happy to be done at the same time. we had some Shandy beer (they had a trailer of beer and you could have as much as you wanted!! now thats a good race!) and the meal ticket got us brats, burgers, yummy chips, fruit and more.... My brother in law brought Matilda to the finish along with our protein drinks. So I got good food and protein right after.... the shirts were really cool too - we all had a good time. After that we made our frozen home made pizzas - took a nap and
Matts Ankle the next day
later had drinks and played uno - everyone was ready to sleep by 10:30 though
Hiking the next day
and I think I only woke up once. The next day I was sore, but NOTHING compared to CA. I guess proper after race care really makes a difference. We hiked devils lake before we left and headed home. Today is Monday - 2 days after the race. I'm sore, but not too bad. Thinking of running tomorrow..... oh wait... I guess I already committed to run tomorrow didn't I? OOOps... so much for a week off, now how did that happen?
Pizza after the race

Hiking after the race
So to sum it up - I guess I can run distance. Good thing is I loved pretty much every minute of it - I think anyway, it seems hard to believe, did some one hypnotize me or something? bad thing is that I had so much fun I really want to do it again....
Group walk after pizza

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Getting ready to dance with the dirt

The Dances with the Dirt 50k at Devils Lake Wisconsin is in 4 days. I can't believe that it's almost here. The end of my crazy running spring/summer is almost over. I just added up the miles it's 1010 for the year. I'm a little nervous about the race - but hey, at least I have a goal - beat the last one. I can handle trying to beat my 8 hour time from CA. The course looks pretty crazy - it starts out going across the street and up the bunny hill at Devils Head resort - then continue up the intermediate hill and onto mountain bike trails that may have extremely tall grass making the trail invisible at times (now how would anyone ride a bike through something like that?) then over to the trail leading to Devils Lake State Park, on the ice age trail for some time... and a variety of other trails. The end is down the double diamond ski hill at Devils head. I'm thinking about rolling down it, probably hurt about the same - just different parts. I guess I just follow pink (ribbons that is)- it looks like a pretty complicated trail map... Some of the points have names such as "Nose Bleed", "Road Kill" and "Bug Pit". They say poison ivy is plentiful - time to see if I really am immune to that I guess. Sounds like the aid stations will be nice - similar to the ones in CA. I'm trying to decide that to put in my bag that will be around the half way point. I don't really want to change shoes, I plan on wearing the saucony ones, but I suppose if we get rain and they get wet I will want something to change into. I'm thinking sox, shoes, shirt, shorts, bug spray, sun screen....
Than I plan on carrying a compass, my phone, camera, typical gummys and gue and water.... possibly might get some stingers - and I guess that's it.

Since the last ultra I have been taking it pretty easy - Kristin Wade from Midwest Misfits who has completed 2 iron mans  and many other races recommended that I focus on healing, not do any more double runs - just because I wouldn't have time to heal, build up my mileage and taper again before the race. I figured she knows more than me, and generally I don't take as much advice as I should, so this time, I would take the advice of someone with more experience. So - that's what I did. No doubles - mainly somewhat easy runs, my long runs were 8-13 miles. She did say I could do one 18 to 20 mile run just for a confidence boost, but the day I set out to do that ended up being HORRIBLE hot and humid and I just couldn't make myself do it. Last week I ran 3 HOT miles before a 3k - the Ronald Reagen run in Dixon IL, and then the 5k, so I got about 6 in - my shin was bothering me quite a bit, but I made it, it was SOOOOO hot. About 93 when we got back in the car to leave - Then Sunday finally it cooled off so Judah and I ran 7 miles of trails - it was really nice to get a run in without the heat. Then Monday was an off day, and today I ran 6.5 miles. I plan to bike tomorrow and run 4 in trails on Thursday, Friday nothing - we are driving up to the race right after work. Mike, Anglea, their 2 kids & Debi and Tim and also Matilda and Mike & Angela's dog Snoopie are all renting a cabin with a kitchen and 3 rooms. Should be a nice way to do it. We are making homemade pizzas to bring up and make right after the race. Game plan for the trip is to leave ASAP Friday, go get our packets from Devils lake, Eat dinner at the pasta buffet - then head to the cabin and get up bright and early. The race starts at 5am. My parents might come up later in the day.

My game plan for the race is to take it easy - not pass people, just trot along, conserve energy, slow and steady smooth and easy. Drink lots of water, take lots of pictures, go COMPLETELY at my own pace. Looks like i'll be on my own because Debi's IT Band is bothering her very badly.... I kind of want to do this alone anyway, even if she was not hurt, I don't want to feel pressured to go faster or do anything I shouldn't do - this 50k thing is no joke. Hopefully I will finish in under 8 hours, find some ice and ibuprofen, drink my protein shake.... and recover better and faster than the last race - I DEFIANTLY will NOT be climbing 3 miles up a mountain 2 days later, I WILL get proper ice and protein and rest - so it will be interesting to see the difference in my recovery. Next post should be my race report!!!

Oh, and a side note - this is what I have to bring signed to the race:
“I realize that the course for the (DWD) presents a number of potential dangers to me and I hereby assume the risk arising from all of them. I realize that I will be running on a variety of surfaces, some of them far less than perfect, including but not limited to roads, unimproved trails, mud, swamps, cliffs, lumpy fields covered with waist high grass and river crossings. The roads are open to motor vehicle traffic that has the right of way. I know that broken bones, reactions to poison ivy, insect bites and bruising are common occurrences in this extreme event and that I will be far into the wilderness away from medical support. I realize that the danger of injury and even death exists as well and I hereby assume all the risks that may be present on the (DWD) course.”