This weekend was one of the most fun weekends I've ever had in my life.
This weekend was the Yankee Springs Trail Run Series, which consisted of a 10k on Friday, a marathon and double marathon on Saturday, and a half marathon on Sunday. Montrail got down with some sponsorship and threw us Max King for the weekend which was super fun. My only previous experience with an elite athlete has been Scott Jurek and the only thing that came of that is the running Jerker jokes that Joe and I sneak into our conversations whenever possible. I expected something of the same from this weekend, but what I got was completely the opposite. I talked shit to Max King and he gave it right back to me, and there were many fits of laughter along the way. Max King is a real person, and he's a fucking awesome real person. If you're wondering who he is, go spend some time with Google.
I drove up Saturday morning to pace Mike for his last loop of his double marathon. Joe was also pacing someone for their last loop, so we drove up together. We got there around 730 and had some major hours to kill. I met Derrin (I probably murdered that spelling) from Grand Rapids Gazelle and we stood around and talked to Byron (a Montrail rep from California) for a few hours. Max cruised in winning the marathon at something like 3:05, and he joined our little group. Also Kate and Zach from Grand Rapids were there. I had just met them, and they're both super cool. I hope I get to spend more time with them at some point in life. I asked Max if he really pierced a bib through his skin in college, and after questioning how I knew that, he confirmed the story. Someone (good God I can't remember their name, but he's from Kalamazoo) came up and asked Max how to train for Pike's Peak, as he's doing the marathon this summer. I exchanged half a smirk with Joe and walked away from the circle. We went to the Deep Lake aid station to hang out with Michelle, who was volunteering there. We stayed for about 20 minutes, and I had to hold my abdomen because I felt like it was going to explode from laughter. After eating somewhere between 8 and 12 Oreos, I decided we should get back to the start/finish so I didn't miss Mike coming through. We did so, and when Mike came through he looked pretty good. Better than I would look after loops on that goddamn course. I'll never do that shit out there. Anyway, he was in first and we were off for our lap. Thank god he was in first, because I told him I was pacing whoever was in first place, no matter who it was. We walked a little so whatever the fuck he just ate could digest, and then we were off and doing ridiculous speed work in the first 4 miles. I was cursing the 8 to 12 Oreos that weren't sitting well. Goddammit, it's always the Oreos. I just can't say no. Seeing Michelle a second time was super awesome and she confirmed the first place position. I also ate another Oreo. The rest of the loop was a bit rough, but still kept a decent pace for vomiting and feeling like hell (him, not me) (Oreos had digested by then). I was thrilled with some of the sections we ran, it was a nice steady pace and comfortable downhills, and a very forward hike up the uphills. I wasn't really sure how to act as a pacer, so I tried to act like maybe someone I would want to pace me. I almost started to spit some Kanye, because that's how I get through the tough times, but I wasn't sure if Mike even liked Kanye (but who doesn't like Kanye? Lyrical genius). Anyway, we jogged in and Mike took the win for the double marathon, which is really fucking cool. I let him sit in my winner chair and he tried to drink a beer and threw up. I laughed and took pictures. The second place finisher, Drew, joined us shortly after and we had a real good time. I really hope I see Drew again, he was a blast. They were trying to award him with second place and age group winner, and he just looked around confused and replied with "Right, cool, but where's the beer?" I sat on the ground and drank a few beers. Joe finished with the girl he was pacing and he joined in the beer drinking, and soon the race was over, but we stayed sitting there, drinking and talking about sheep sex. Mr. King soon rose from his cabin and joined us again. We eventually moved the party into the lodge and had some pizza. We talked real talk with the King and I told him to feel free to tell Dakota Jones that there's a girl in Michigan that would be open to the idea of dating him. And also that if he needs to get a 50 mile jog in at the end of the month, I'd be open to the idea of him pacing me for the last half of my 100. At some point, between PBRs and oatmeal cookies, I asked Kim, the race director, to give me a free entry to the half marathon in the morning. I told her it'd be for the benefit of the race, and that I'd bring competition as I took 2nd in it last year. She gladly handed me a bib as I filled out an entry form. About an hour before this my phone had died, and I was in no condition to drive home, so I crashed on a free bunk in Kim's cabin. I used a seat cushion that I found in the lodge as a pillow and a beach towel that I found in the cabin as a blanket.
I woke up with my contacts glued to my eyes and a tainted vision, due to still being quite drunk. I rolled over and saw my bib and recollected that I was racing this morning. I groaned for about 8 whole seconds (which is actually a really long time) and then looked at my watch. 7:52 and the race started at 8. Awesome. I already had on my shorts and sports bra from the day before, so I suppose I was good to go. I snagged my bib and jogged to my car to brush my teeth. I cannot stand not brushing my teeth, so thank god I have a toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash in my car at all times for scenarios like this. I jogged back to the start, put my number on, took my shirt and pants off and filled my handheld. Fuck I am so drunk I cannot even race right now. I had nothing to eat and knew I would be quite dehydrated, but whatthefuckever. It's only 13 miles, I've felt worse for longer I'm sure. Gun went off and people let loose. As we were going up the first climb all I could hear was everyone around me breathing so ridiculously hard. I kind of laughed a little. How could I not? Why were people going out so hard right now? Didn't they know this was just the first hill? Maybe I just suck at racing, but panting at mile 1.5 is just not my style. I was behind this lady who had blonde hair and she looked back at me and said "You're my Kalamazoo girl, aren't you?" This question is very confusing. Yankee is about 45 minutes north of Kalamazoo, so I think there were a lot of girls from Kalamazoo there, but maybe not. And, 'your girl'? What? I said "Uh, yeah, I am from Kalamazoo." She said "Yeah, I see you around at races a lot, you've cut your hair a lot shorter though." What the fuck? Of course, I have recently chopped off several inches of my hair, but.. what? I continued with "Haha, yeah, I did. I'm Kelsey." She didn't reply to this, but took off. I cocked my head to the side and scrunched up my eyebrows. I believe I actually said "huh" out loud. I passed her at the first aid station, and never saw her again until post-race. A group of guys were behind me and didn't want to pass, so I started chatting with them. They all wanted to finish in under 2, and asked me if that's what I was going for. I told them I really wasn't going for a time, and that I was still pretty drunk, but I'd probably come in somewhere around 2. "Great, we'll stick with you then!" Shortly after, one of them turned on their iPhone music. Without headphones. Not only is this the most terrible thing but IT WAS THE WORST MUSIC EVER. He also had some app that announced his pace and distance every like 8 minutes or some fucking shit like that. There is nothing worse. I laid down some speedy miles in hopes to break them. While doing so I had a goddamn blast, and as a smile crept over my face I realized I could really race this thing. Unfortunately the people behind me kept up, and the horrible music was almost drown out by their ungodly heavy breathing. We came up on the next aid station and Michelle and Zach were both working it, so I stopped here and talked to them for a few minutes and told those guys to go on ahead. I'd rather jog it out alone than go for a respectable time with that shit blaring behind me - which is exactly what I ended up doing. After I left Michelle and Zach I felt pretty terrible. I was finally starting to sweat out the booze and feeling my dehydration, so I just slowed down and enjoyed the morning run for the rest of the time. As I crossed the finish I checked the trusty Timex at a 2:12. Ouch. That is a damn slow half marathon, but whatevs. I still managed to pull 4th or 5th or 6th or something like that and win my age group. Not bad for a free drunk race. I saw that lady from the beginning again, and she said "I thought you were still behind me the whole time, chasing me down, so I ran so fast! But I guess you had passed me at some point!" She still didn't tell me her name. To be fair, I didn't ask. I said bye to Max and gently reminded him of the message of importance to his fellow Montrail athlete. I drove home with a sleepy smile and finally charged my phone.
I can't stress how fun this weekend was. Meeting Max King and being able to hang out with him with about 6 other really awesome people was so fun. When training was starting to get rough, it was a welcomed reminder of why I have let this life take over. There's nowhere I'd rather be than in the ultra-running world. That sounds weird, but it's where the best people are, and it's where the best things happen.
Max King also set new course records for the 10k, marathon, and half. Obviously.
What a dick, right? I told Max I wanted an autograph and I didn't want anything generic and inspirational. I told him he was old and washed up, and this is what he wrote me. I collapse into giggles whenever I read it. He used the wrong version of "you're" and that will probably bother me for the rest of my life.
This is Mike throwing up after he won.
This is Joe looking really drunk but really he wasn't that drunk. But really I was. Eventually.
some of the most memorable quotes of the weekend:
"you are going to blog so hard about this."
"is it Chelsea or Kelly?"
"All you need is some velcro gloves!"
monday 5 with Michelle at Yankee on Memorial Day. I was at home for the day, so it was close and fun.
tuesday off. Really tried to kick the nasty cold I had going on.
wednesday leg workout at the gym haaaaard, and 6 miles at night with Urban Herd.
thursday 11 at the arbs solo. Went out for about 4, but felt great so kept going. Eventually ran out of water, though, so called it.
friday upper body workout, no miles due to working all damn day.
sunday 13.1 race and then an easy 5 at dirty herd group run. so, 18
total 53 (.2). meeehhhh.
Goal for this week is to be somewhere between 70 and 80, we'll see how that goes. Also looking forward to using the new Salomon handhelds. Er.. not handhelds. Water bottles. Whatever.