"There's only one hard and fast rule in running: sometimes you have to run one hard and fast."

Sunday, November 2, 2008

A break from the break

Well, I made it 5 days without running or blogging.

I did not plan to run the Surf the Murph, but got to the start (after several wrong turns; there was a caravan of cars going from parking lot to parking lot, looking for the start) and found myself writing out a check. The race being put on by Les Martisko, whose been ultrarunning since the term was coined, there were a lot of people there that are legends but don't do a lot of local races. We started before sunrise, so there were a number of people new to these things who hadn't brought headlamps - the race really should start an hour later.

The course is spectacular. This is where I would run every day, if it weren't too far from home. I think I prefer it to Afton; there was a lot of discussion about whether this or Afton is tougher and the consensus was that it's even, with Murphy-Hanrehan having fewer long hills, but unrelenting short steep hills. Those who know the park say it's unrunnable in the summer because of the flies, but it's great in the autumn, with the biggest obstacle being loose rocks covered by leaves.

From the start, I could tell my knee hadn't recovered, but it seemed solid enough to finish - until it didn't. I had serious problems with bonking about 18-19 miles, didn't have anything on me and struggled to the aid station where I ate everything in sight for 5 minutes.

On my third lap (the 50K is four laps, I didn't finish), Julie Berg passed me, saying, "You're back is covered in dirt. Did you fall again?!" Yes, indeed I did. Best part: my water bottle flew out of my hand and landed in a pile of horse manure, spout down. I ended up walking the end of the lap with Mitch Rossman, who feels guilty for introducing me to the place where I broke my hand.

After the race, I got to spend time with a bunch of guys I don't get to see often enough. Pete Anderson reminded me of an incident I forgot to add to my description of the Superior 100 - I petted a friendly lap dog, who bit me on my broken finger; it was one of those things where you laugh or cry and I laughed.

That night was the UMTR awardsfest. Good times. My favorite parts were the unscripted ones, like the revelation that, while I tend to have the more spectacular falls, Helen tends to bleed more. There was a slide show that had a photo of me falling in a river, me covered in dirt after a fall, me showing a splinted finger... but, mostly, it showed that every woman who has a good race has to get her picture taken with Julie Berg.

Everyone, and I mean everyone, commented on how well I clean up. I do tend to be scruffy, but I don't think it was THAT big of a deal. And a lot of people told me I did a good job in announcing awards for the Fab5 series. But how hard is it to tell people you like that they did well?

I hope someone's blog will have a pic of the Larry Pederson bust made by Wynn. I have a feeling it will make many appearances at races over the years.
Back to resting now. I've got a minor knee sprain and nothing left on the calendar.


Kel said...

Yesterday was a great day for MN trail runners! Personally, I liked the pre-dawn start at Surf the Murph (it inspired me to buy an upgraded head lamp on sale at Zombie Runner). Couldn't have asked for better running weather, especially in November! Murphy Hanrehan reminds me a little of Afton too - steep gravelly hills that tend to be a little slippery - kinda like running on marbles. I'll be running out there more!

The UMTR awardsfest was a blast! Wynn outdid himself with the Larry head, which is displayed on Julie's blog in a couple of photos. I have a feeling some new traditions will arise at certain trail races as a result ;)

Sorry to hear that you got dinged up again, though I can't help laughing about the water bottle landing spout first in the horse dung. Hehe.

Julie B said...

It was a fabulous race and a great evening. How wonderful it was, to be able to spend the whole day with people that I like! Thanks for all of the hours you put into the Fab 5 50's. Spectacular!

bryan said...

Don't believe the hype about "flies" in the summer -- those are just people trying to keep the park to themselves! I've never had a problem like that. Murph has been my favorite place to run since I discovered it last fall. Anytime you want to hit it, let me know. Got to do it soon though, that trail is truly brutal once it's covered with snow. I'm not sure I'd agree that Murph is even with Afton, but it is worse than Afton when they're snowy.

Great seeing you on the trail.

SteveQ said...

Bryan, I expected a comment on my reading positivism and pessimism at the same time. I don't think I'll be doing much running, there or elsewhere, soon.

Kurt said...

Get healthy man. There is always next year !! I am in the same boat.

Jean said...

Sounds like a beautiful park! I have never been there. Falling in a race is painful enough, but having your water bottle land in a "road apple" is just downright cruel!

Enjoy your rest and recover well!

WynnMan said...

Fresh poem Steve. You have a way with words. I second that notion, I hope someone took a picture of Larry with his bust. I remember when I was making it in class with my students. They constantly kept asking who it was. In the early stages it had a striking resemblance of the Unibomber, it then started to take shape, and most students thought it was some great philosopher like Plato or Archimedes. Larry! You are legend!

I say the bust be present at the finish of Superior 100 and finishers kiss the bust kinda like Hardrock. A picture of everyone kissing the bust! You are then a true finisher.

btw: anyone who was at the UMTR one of the best moments is one Steve awarded himself his own award for winning Fab 5, it was priceless. Well done that evening. And ladies... Steve- you were looking debonair that night!