The 2009 edition of the Blackfoot Ultra offered up something completely different for me: a new perspective. I was excited to be on the road again and heading North for a change of scenery. The Cooking Lake Recreation area sure is a pretty place to hold a race and enjoy a rolling cruising run Northern Alberta Lake Country. It's awesome. The weather and the mosquitoes cooperated and we enjoyed a beautiful day in the sunshine. We rented a fantastic cabin in the woods, to maximize and enjoy a relaxing weekend in a beautiful place.
Keith was stoked to be running his first official 50km race and I was excited and proud of my honey for coming such a long way to get to the start line. He has officially lost 30 pounds and become my trail running stud. I was so proud!
Me, I had enjoyed a leisurely week post-Camp and taken the entire week off to let the legs recover. When I arrived at the cabin after the 5 hour drive and got out of the car, something really strange happened. My knee locked up. Like it was catching at the joint and it didn't want to straighten. And it hurt. A lot. Hmmmm.
The next morning I dressed to race, but my knee was being completely unpredictable. One moment I was running along, the next thing I was brought to my knees with a joint that wasn't working. So I decided to not run. Weird, eh? I haven't had any issue with my knee for 3+ years post-surgery and I have been the poster child for successful ACL reconstruction.
So, I sat out the race and got a different perspective. I got to sit back and enjoy the day from the sidelines. I took lots of photographs. I cheered on my husband! Yaaaay Keith! I got to cheer on the friends. I met lots of nice running folks. I napped in the sun. I talked until I couldn't talk anymore. I love playing cheerleader.
We shared our cabin with friends Iris, Melody and Philippe who were also racing. Iris herself had a disabling knee injury only a year ago and I remember her saying that she thought she might never be able to run far ever again. But she did! Phil had a great race and placed 3rd in the men, with a super speedy performance. He hadn't run a trail race since last summer. The ladies finished strong and it was great hanging with the friends for the weekend.
But of course, the superstar was Keith. In true Keith style, he followed a pony-tail and ran waaaaay too fast for the first 25km. When he finished his first lap, it was evident he was having a lot of fun and enjoying his first experience. But the first thing he said was"I am so screwed!" he proclaimed when he saw me at half-way. "I ran with a girl who chatted for 25km and I knew I was going way to fast, but I couldn't help it! " He did slow down significantly on the second lap, but still hit his "A" goal of 6 hours. Yeeah, Keith!
Sadly, as well as me being out of commission....last weekend's swim in the American River was the death of my camera. We had a brief, but tumultuous relationship. Next time, shock-proof - water proof?? So unfortunately, no photos from the weekend.