Well I finally made it up to the northern Kettle to experience the Glacial 50k trail run. The weather was beautiful, a tad bit warm in the afternoon but that just made you want to finish all the more. The scenery was amazing, with leaves of bright yellow and gold all throughout the woods, and reds and oranges all over the prairie sections. This race was very well put together, Robert Wehner the race director does an awesome job making this race one you want to come back to year after year. I had the priviledge this year of seeing Cassie (LPTR) come out from Colorado and smash the female course record by over 30 minutes, takin second overall! Go Cassie!
As far as my own race, well it was an experience. I started off well, setting a good pace and running with Todd Egnarski. At mile 4.5 I was flying down this hill and my left foot caught something and twisted my foot to the left, I actually heard a slight pop-pop noise and pain shot up my leg. I literally yelped and stopped myself immediately to asses the damages. I was so worried that the race was already over for me... I started walking on it and it hurt but didnt feel extremely bad so I tried running on it- seemed do able so I continued on, figuring I would just see how things went. Well for the next 11 miles I felt pretty good, back on pace and making good time. At around the turnaround point (15 miles or so) the pain started to gradually progress, of course the trails many rocks and roots didnt help my situation, as I was continually stepping on things that made my ankle wince in pain. At about mile 24 I was reduced to a walk. Running was no longer an option. My ankle was trashed, and I felt like an idiot for trying to run practically the whole 50k on it anyway...I just couldn't bring myself to just give it up. I figured I would run/walk the rest, but my ankle just kept getting stiffer and more painful so I had to walk the last 4 miles or so out of the woods, just watching everyone I had passed throughout the race come on by while I just kept reminding myself," you are injured, just finish and its done..."
Boy you really forget how long it takes to walk a few miles when you get used to running them! My Garmin would beep at a mile and inform me that I was on a 20 min/mile pace-ouch. Seemed like it took forever to get out of those woods! However, I stayed positive and used all my extra time to look around me and take in the beauty of fall that was on display. Once I made it to the road, I managed a slow jog (flat surface made me pretty unconcerned about twisting my ankle any further) and made it into the finish. 6:09. By no means a PR, but I made it. Had a great time socializing with friends and other runners afterwards, icing the ankle and forgetting about my 20 min. miles...I would say I all in all I had a good race. Be back next year.