What started out as a bit of a frustrating slog later turned into one of the most fun runs of the year. I signed up for the Speedgoat 50km at the beginning of the year given that it was 3 weeks post-Hardrock this year (past years it has been 1 week after). My process of recovering for Hardrock is an interesting one. Usually 1 week after I feel fabulous and then about 3 weeks after I drop into a pretty low point. This year I was feeling better than usual though, so I figured I may as well run it. Right from the get go I was a few dB down (didn’t feel great). My legs were tired and sore, but I was psyched to be out. I kept wanting to push harder, but my body wasn’t allowing it. It was probably the slowest I’ve ever run up to the tram, but I didn’t care too much. It was so much fun seeing friends out on the course and volunteering. Then, over to Baldy and the rocky descent off the east side. I hit Larry’s Hole and chatted with friends Kevin Lawlor and Kelly Lance who were running the aid station. Then, the short but fun climb up to the saddle. Once at the saddle there were 2 ways to go, one heavily marked to the left and one lone marker straight down. 2 other runners were confused and I was sure that it made sense to go left given how marked it was…. wrong.
So, we all took off to the left up Miller Hill and down to Roch Horton’s aid station. When I arrived they asked which way I had gone and I said left, up/over Miller Hill. I was then told that I needed to do a “penalty lap” to stay in the race. A bit frustrated I left for my penalty lap. Running through it in my mind it didn’t make sense to me , but I just rolled with it. As I came back to the aid station, I picked up my stuff and headed back out determined to make up the time I had lost. On my way out I crossed paths with Pat who was coming into the aid station; he had come the correct way. I passed him, ran for a bit, stopped and then turned around and ran back into the aid station for a 3rd time. It hit me what I should do today….. run with Pat to the end. From that moment forward the whole experience changed in a very positive way. Up until this point I had been trying to push my body to “race” and it didn’t really want to. And, now I was cruising along with Pat and having a much better time. We made quick work of the climb up Miller Hill, stopping at the refreshing spring near the summit. The remainder of the race was great, all the way to the finish.
Unfortunately Mindy wasn’t able to finish due to some nagging IT band issues, but in her usual form she was at the finish line to greet us in with a big hug and a smile.