Dirty Dog 10k 2011

(PS: don’t forget about the 2011 Indoor Cycling Series!!!)

All smiles before realizing what a sufferfest we were in for!!!

Without a doubt, I can say that the Dirty Dog 10k race this year was one of the least-fun races I’ve run.  The entire time I was running I was thinking about what I might write as a recap.  Rather than bore you with lengthy blabbering about how I thought I’d do better than I did, or how much my ankles hurt, or how I couldn’t get any footing, or how I swore to never return to this god-forsaken race,  or blah blah blah (do I want some cheese with my whine?  Why yes, yes I do), I’ll leave the reporting up to the other members of SSSMST who ran the race with me.

BUT, before I do that, to really set the stage you must first read the recaps from 2009.  Specifically that from Rob Reddy.

Don’t worry, I’ll wait.

Okay, now, on with the recaps.

From Anne Callahan:

It was a great time!!  The Legendary Dirty Dog is now in the books as a “Did It” and “Must Do Again!”  The temperature was great unlike years passed as the stories have been told.  This year, however, the cross country course was a brutal game of footsy with part of the course packed down from a snowmobile, rough cuts of ice over snow, uphill stretches that felt like a stair climb as we ran by the church then downhill sections that ended in a few muddy, ice patches.  Brandy’s right leg plunged in deep!!    It was slow.  It was painful.  It was the Dirty Dog!  One foot in the door of The Rood Homestead you could smell cinnamon baked goods that made the pain leave my tender feet and ankles.  A shower followed by tasty oatmeal and french toast was, well, perfect.  Actually what made it perfect was the conversation, Jackson and Noah underfoot and the warm hospitality of the Roods!  Somebody took a few pictures, Krol was handed a Black Label beer at the finish and I think a few of you tried Krol’s latest home brew…With or without beer…the double D is a MUST DO!  Cheers and Thanks Aaron and Jocelyn and Mr. and Mrs. Rood!

From Kevin Krol:

Having done next to nothing since the Vermilion Tri in August, I wasn’t planning on doing much at this race.  To tell you the truth, I wasn’t even real keen on running at all, given that it’s February and there’s nothing redeeming about running when it’s 11 degrees, let along trying to race.  Luckily, it turned out to be pretty balmy, so not starting was off the table.  Great turnout by the SSSMST crew, who populated half of the entered field. 

As of several minutes before the start I was only considering running with Annie and Paul and basically just running, not racing.  For some reason I went into race mode not long after the start – probably the first singletrack section of uneven, packed down footing, where I got antsy about sitting behind 4 other guys.  I went around this group at the first sign of snowmobiled section where you could get your legs to turn over without having to fight your feet and ankles from going 3 other directions and bridged to Murphy, and ran with him for about a mile.  Seemed to be settling into some sort of pace, saw Jocelyn up ahead and ran with her for maybe a mile and a half.  About this time I was starting to wonder where the hell we were, as some sections of trail just seemed to go on and on and on.  Now I know how pro cyclists must feel riding in a small group at Paris-Roubaix on the cobbled sections thru the Arenberg Forest.  You aren’t catching up to anyone ahead and the end can’t come quick enough, from a mental, rather than physical standpoint.  We finally make it out to the road with a few yards run on cinders, but not letting us get too comfortable with that, we make the turn to follow alongside the road in the 8″”-20″” deep snowdrifts, ice baths (which Paul grew very fond of), and only the 7 or 8 people in front of me blazing a trail.  Joc dropped back as we started so I was just trying to get thru as quickly as I could.  I could see two guys ahead of me that were stopping to walk from time to time on this 3/4 mile section, and was doing everything I could not to.  Hip flexors went to the cleaners here.  There’s only so much high stepping for these legs, and that was done at the end of my HS football career.  Finally make it to the Church, which Murphy told me was the “”pretty much done”” point, as well as only aid station.  The guy working the table sort of gave me a 4-mile guesstimate here, which I wasn’t real happy about, but little did I know that for me, the most torture was about to begin.  Another singlewide track for most of the next mile, but it seemed worse than any of the previous sections.  My feet were all over the place, they hurt like hell, and I was just waiting for my ankle to snap.  I probably didn’t make things easier by thinking I could catch the two guys I could see ahead of me, and I really didn’t – at least not on the singletrack.  When we hit the next snowmobiled section I sort of put a little surge in and ended up bringing them both back, along with another guy who either had gone off course or turned to wait for someone.  Kind of knowing we were within the last mile I was trying to make things difficult, but not blowing myself up.  I felt like I was hammering – if you can call it that – to the tune of probably like an 8 minute mile, but didn’t have any kick to keep two of the other three behind me into the finish.   Rood was waiting at the line for me with a Black Label in hand.  Good stuff, but I really coulda used it about 2 miles earlier.
So, all in all, it was pretty respectable considering my condition.  Would love to run this race sometime when it’s just say….muddy?
Three days later and my lower legs are still smarting.

Breakfast, stories, and beers at Ma and Pa Rood’s was most excellent, even if my stomach wasn’t ready for the expanse of it.

From Paul Lentini:

We started the day with a recap of Reddy’s race report from 2 years ago.  I got a little worried.  There has to be something said for a race that starts and ends in a cemetery.
When we exited the car I exchanged looks with a local yokel who was off loading his ice fishing gear.  We shared a “mind speak” moment in which we had the same thought “What the hell is this idiot doing out here”.
It was cold and there was 2 feet of snow on the ground… covered by 2 inches of ice.  After a ¼ mile of running on pseudo-groomed trails (courtesy of the local snowmobilers) we turned into the woods for a couple miles of single track.  The course switches back and forth between these two mediums.  About 35 minutes in I heard a gunshot.  Good thing I’m wearing neon green.  Around mile 4 a guys warns us about a small creek that we “should have no problem jumping”.  He was right I cleared it no problem.  He forgot to mention the second creek and as I attempted to leap it the ice under my feet gave way allowing me to splash down well over ankle deep.  A mile later and I couldn’t really feel my feet anymore.  Another mile and I never thought I’d be so happy to see a cemetery.
Off to the Rood homestead for a hot shower, a GREAT home cooked breakfast and a recap session with all the other SSSMSTer’s that made the trek out East.  3 (4 counting a team spouse) out of the top 10 for the team. 

And short and to-the-point from Scott Zubricky:

Slowest race time yet. Great eats after. Makes the trip and race worth it.

While I will admit that the awesome breakfast afterward was quite a treat, I questioned my sanity several times on Saturday.  I can’t wait for next year!

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