Saturday, September 19, 2009

bays mtn 15 mi trail race.

wow. Today was a tough day racing!! I woke up at 5:30 AM very well rested. I had went to sleep at 8 PM the night before! had my pre-race oatmeal and blueberries with 2 cups of coffee, and headed on down the road to kingsport.
I arrived at bays mtn park about 7:15AM ( kinda on the early side) but that helps me with all my little pre-race preparations and mojo. I am VERY routine in getting my gear ready. I had decided to wear my nathan racing vest, and carry an anthropod hand held instead of my nathan pack. I was VERY torn about that decision because I really enjoy the security of a hydration pack:o) but I knew that this race was going to be fast and that I needed to not have all that weight to lug around. I was also very torn about which shoes to wear for this course but I decided upon my inov-8 talons and inov-8 gaiters instead of my brooks cascadia 4s ( which I LOVE LOVE LOVE I can't say enough GOOD things about the cascadia line) but for my first time running in the talons on technical terrain and for the distance I covered, I can say.. happily, my feet aren't sore... plantar fascia is HAPPY.. and I had NO trouble with rocks, roots or stumbling around in the talons.. haha RESPONSIVE SHOES.. it has tweaked my interest enough to want to try to roclites and mudrocs in that line..
I also wore my garmin for the first time since I was on vacation at the beach. ( am I boring yall yet?) I had gotten a SUUNTO Observer for my birthday, so I had just been wear that every time I went out to run and haven't really worried myself with my pace for awhile.. but the garmin was very useful today because I was always extremely curious about where I was on the course.
sprayed myself down with ben's deet, and slathered on toms blister shield and I was good to go! About the time I had finished all my race prep.. Rick and Tammy Grey pulled in! It was so great to get to visit with them and discuss the race, other upcoming races, shoes, gear.. Rick was doing a great job making me UN- nervous by jokingly pointing out that I was nervous.. I swear having such support and positive people around you like that before a race is spoiling me to death.. I have been so used to years of being by myself at a race, not knowing really anyone else, making small talk with strangers.. so the security of running races with my trail buddies has been such an added bonus for me. Then beth and JJ came YAY! THEN I saw my good friend Gill furr ( who I hadn't raced with in 2 yrs!) I was SOO happy to see him and Jim Bowers both. family reunion there in the parking lot. the gang was all assembled. the clock was nearing start time so we ambled on to the wolf habitat to start the race.
mark skelton the RD gave some quick directions and we were off! I felt great the first section going to the fire tower. It has alot of climbing on that section, but I knew if I could make it past the fire tower I had a LONG section of rolling hills/decline. The 2 leading females I stayed with until a steep uphill section then, I decided to let them go on because they were running up the steep inclines, I was only 2 miles into the race and decided that even though I felt good, I needed to conserve some. Then i ran ALOT of the race back and forth with Anna Kennedy. Anna is such an awesome person! I really enjoyed running with her today. She is one tough gal! I will get into her story towards the finish. but it was kinda taking a toll on me mentally to have let molly and allison go on ahead and then to be going back and forth with Anna. She is a strong runner and fast and I knew if I had to actually RACE anna.. I'd lose because her leg turn over is so much better than mine. so I was kinda at a low point trying to figure out HOW I was going to get through this race and do well.
After all the service road section I FINALLY got to turn onto some single track on Indian pipes trail and I LOVE that section it's SOO much fun to run.. I felt awesome on this part of the trail. it really didn't matter if I was in the middle of a race or what, it felt more like playing back in the woods when I was a little girl. Very fun section of trail. My mood was somewhat lifted and when I turned onto pretty ridge trail, I was feeling pretty good about how I was running, and decided to just enjoy myself and not worry so much about the race(I had already felt like I had blown it any ways)
THEN.. I ran upon allison and molly.. so I passed them KNOWING that i was going to have to haul it or they would catch me on the lake road coming up.. I knew I at least had to TRY!! THEN I passed anna who I noticed had fallen.. but was in good spirits laughing and talking.. running strong..
so by the end of pretty ridge trail, I was in the lead!! You would of thought this would of motivated me to get my hind end in gear. I tried, but on the lake road here come allison and molly..they blew by me, then going up the hill at mile 10 another girl passed me( she seemed very cool and I gave her a BIG high 5 at the finish for kicking so much butt!) so all the air was let out of my balloon. I was mad at myself for not trying harder.. I just was very non-competitive.. or very tired.. maybe both...I was struggling a little.. drinking water. eating.. (I had taken motrin and a S! cap at mile 8.) I think I was just really starting to get tired.. and Anna caught me but we were running together just trying to pace off each other .. but at mile 12 on lake side trail she let me pass.. I felt like ANY moment though she'd come running down the trail and pass me since we were so close to the end..

SO I just tried to focus on finishing and was at the dam and running back through the animal habitats before I knew it. I finished in 2:31:29. I was 4th overall female and ended up winning my age group.
Anna finished a couple minutes behind me as soon as she finished did I realize that she had dislocated her shoulder when she fell and she got someone to help her pop it back into place! I had ran with her all that time and she never complained! kuddos to her for finishing hard and never giving up!! what a tough runner!!
some observations about today: I still have alot to learn about trail racing.. I think I have the hydrating and eating part down fairly well. I think I just need to get tougher.. I should of ran harder rather than giving up my race positions so easily. Need more trail training runs. so I can get stronger!! meaner!! :o)I just had so much extreme highs and lows during the course of this race, and my focus wasn't what it should of been. So i can chalk that one up to experience!

Monday, September 14, 2009

bays mtn practice run

This past saturday I ran over the Bays mtn trail race course with the IMTR's. It's 15 miles with both service roads and single track. I feel it's a great mixture of both. It's going to be a difficult race because I feel it's going to be MUCH faster than IMTR 16 miler. I'm already getting my game face on, and trying to formulate my race plan. I looked at last year's times, and I feel I can finish it in about 2:30 or so. However, in order to achieve that I am going to have to work very hard the entire race!:o)

This course is very pretty and teaming with wildlife. We saw many deer, heard owls and the bays mtn wolves howling from across the lake.
The where several highlights of the run saturday for me: 1. climbing the fire tower with beth, rick and jj. I had never been up there before and the views were AMAZING!!

There were some VERY nice sections of very runable single track that I REALLY enjoyed especially pretty ridge trail, going around the lake ( lakeside trail) and the wet lands.

upon finishing the run, we headed back to the parking lot and out of a cooler, JJ produced a fresh baked loaf of bread he made the day prior in his brick oven ( aptly named "breadzilla") and some red zinger tea ( again that he had made himself from hibiscus) BOTH were so wonderful! and really hit the spot. I have to go on and say that running with the IMTR's is such a positive experience for me. Everyone is so nice and encouraging, patient. They are such an inclusive group of people. Not to mention, they are all GREAT athletes!! I really am so appreciative to them for taking me under their wing, and I really love my new friends:o) ( and 2X love my old friends ( beth:o) it's really been awesome to be able to run with her again!!

well, I'll let you guys know how saturday goes!!! WOO! can't wait. I can't believe I am already nervous about this race! My brain starts HUMMING everytime I even think about it! It's only monday!! yikes!!

Monday, September 7, 2009

IMTR 16 mile version

50 Mile Results
PlaceBibNameFinish TimeTime of Day
151Adam Cassiday8:09:1715:09:47
260Micah Scott9:01:0716:01:37
365Roxanne Zobava (F)9:21:2016:21:50
361Mike Pflieger9:45:3916:46:09
564Rick Gray10:27:5217:28:22
667Steven Frank10:41:1017:41:40
652Dale Fleckenstein10:59:3118:00:01
857Jay Finkle11:14:1418:14:44
953Denise Davis (F)11:34:4318:35:13
1054Ed Kirk11:43:3018:44:00
1162Peter Musgrove11:52:5018:53:20
1259Matthew Kidd12:28:4019:29:10
DNF56Gary Campbell
DNF55Gail Leedy (F)
DNF58John Balbuena
DNF66Scott Taylor
30 Mile Results
PlaceBibNameFinish TimeTime of Day
13Charlie Wassum5:07:1312:07:43
236Lani Anderson5:19:4612:20:16
332Chris Lancaster5:40:1812:40:48
333Jerry Anderson6:30:5013:31:20
538Michael Phillips7:06:1514:06:45
631Albert Ligator7:15:1314:15:43
639Sandra Melton (F)7:26:4814:27:18
837Michael Patterson7:26:5114:27:21
16 Mile Results
PlaceBibNameFinish TimeTime of Day
18Jennifer Nichols (F)3:02:0010:02:30
27Jared Bailey3:06:3710:07:07
310Julie White (F)3:07:0110:07:31
315Pegi O'Hagan (F)3:07:0110:07:31
516Richard Tyner3:09:3810:10:08
64David Blair3:18:0710:18:37
69Mike Womack3:18:0710:18:37
814Michael Helton3:20:5010:21:20
918Travis Fuller3:42:0310:42:33
1035Ken Meyer3:45:0010:45:30
1111Kay Ziemer (F)3:45:0310:45:33
121Anita Finkle (F)3:59:3611:00:06
132Billy Mullins4:15:4411:16:14
145Donna Bays (F)4:44:5011:45:20
1512Larry Fuller4:44:5311:45:23
156Heather Bland (F)4:44:5311:45:23
1719Lance Godsey4:59:3212:00:02

So there are the pictures I have that beth minnick took of me @ FS90 aid station at mile 8 of the IMTR trail run, and above are the results.
This was such a fun event! I had a blast I will definitely be back next year and am toying with the idea of running the 30 mi option. :o)
I woke up at 430 saturday morning and I ate my prerace breakfast of oatmeal with blueberries and rasberries, a banana and a huge cup of coffee. I left the house at 5:15 am to get to Damascus at 6am. I wanted to get my packet and then just sit and chill for an hour and get in the zone. I was extremely nervous about this race. Even though I had gone over virtually all of the course a couple of times with beth and even though I knew this was a smaller trail race. I think I just really had something to prove to myself that I was capable of running a more technical trail race. I also really wanted my friends whom I train with (beth and aliese) to be running the race as well. I felt like I needed someone there for security.. not so much to run with, but just someone to give me a high five and a positive word as we passed each other at the turn around.
before the racers meeting, I saw rick and tammy gray got some big hugs and positive words of encouragement from them. That calmed my fears some and all of a sudden my inner attitude and confidence had changed from "don't hurt yourself-- just try to get through it." TO " WORK HARD AND GO FOR IT!"
So the race started and I jumped out ahead and just tried to run my normal pace for when I'm on the creeper. Beth and I had discussed this in length how I needed to use the 6 miles of the creeper to my advantage because I knew there would be sections of the 10 mi of single track that lay ahead that would level the playing field for all involved. SO surged on ahead.. almost embarrassed and self conscious about what I was doing.. everyone else was holding back and just jogging.. shouldn't I be doing that to?? In my mind I thought maybe everyone thinks I'm just green and don't know what I'm doing.. maybe they think I'm going to choke once I get back in the mtns?? haha maybe I should just focus on the race and not worry so much about what everyone behind me is thinking..... Then Rick and some 50 milers came along..and caught up with me, that made me feel more secure because "hey they are doing a 50!" and going my pace, and I got to chat with Rick some more which was nice.. Then from straight branch it was UP UP UP we climb for about a mile... I was still ahead of the rest of the 16 milers so I just tried to work as hard as I could going up beech grove.. I would speed hike on steep sections but revert back to running on ANYTHING I deemed runable. I had NEVER worked so hard going up that trail before.. but I felt good, strong and so I continued.. I opened a pack of honey stinger chews and ate a few here and there because I was at an hour and felt like I needed to refuel some..
Once I got to the top of the ridge the iron mtn trail I just caught a rhythm I had never had before trail running. I think it was the familiarity of the trail and just focusing on the task at hand.. I just became obsessed with making it to FS90 as fast as I can. I was passed by 2 men both 30 mile runners in this section. I was trying VERY hard to not let anyone else catch me!

I knew I was almost to FS90 when I saw the shelter and there were 2 hikers there finishing up breakfast. I waved and said "HI" and they both cheered and one yelled "pretty in pink!" haha so I yelled "WOO!" back to them-- very funny moment.. a mile and 1/3 more of running and I finally made it back to beth, gypsy and tammy at aid station FS90.. They acted quickly beth got a pack of gu chomps out for me.. I downed 2 motrin and a coke and took off again once they let me know I was in the lead.. not just for women but OVERALL for my race.. NO PRESSURE!! so I didn't linger at all. and I became very nervous at the realization that the race was mine to lose.. I had it .. I just had to hang on for 8 more miles!! so I started running back. I listened to my ipod and just really got lost in listening to bluegrass and running as hard as my feet would take me. I would eat gu chomps every few minutes and drink water every half mile or so... I tried to NOT walk at all.. I was just wanting to haul my little happy hind end to damascus. I passed an unmanned aidstation was water and gatorade and was going to stop.. then I saw a sign that said "4 miles to finish"...
I shook my nathan pack.. slosh, slosh.. still plenty in there. I remembered rick telling me I had enough to do the whole race without using aid.. when i was talking about being afraid of running out of water.. so I just said "GO FOR IT!" aloud to no one but the birds and trees and zoomed on down the trail to mock holler I go!!!
I ran on down the dreaded downhill section of mock holler trying my best to have nimble feet leaning slightly forward and just going fast and not really thinking too much about it all... I have no idea how I did because I usually have all these AMAZING runners to compare myself to when I do training runs.. I just tried to get through it as quick as I could and not let anyone catch up with me..
i saw the light from the end of the trail and beginning of the pavement at mock holler and yelled out "praise the Lord!" and there was a guy sitting on his porch.. I know he had heard me.. he chuckled softly as I ran past his house. OUCH! the quads were REALLY feeling it now.. I think this was the first moment the whole race I became aware of ANYTHING hurting.. I had felt fine the whole time until now.. but I just tried to regroup and focus GET TO THE FINISH FAST!! so I just rolled on out of the holler down RR ave.. and onto the creeper..
I was almost sad to finish once I was on the creeper. Everything had went by so quickly I was a little sad to see it end.. but before i knew it I was at the gazebo for once of the most anticlimactic finishes of my life.. haha. I know that it's very rare for me to win over all female, but to win an ENTIRE race has never happened to me before and probably never will! I finished with kevin checking his watch and I little girl sitting there eating an ice cream sandwich..she was so cute with vanillia ice cream on her cheeks squinting up at me through the glare of the sun. Really what better way to finish.. I wouldn't change not one thing about it. ( except maybe have brock and the kids there)
I headed straight for the lemonade and guzzled three cups! then I got my awards( which I LOVED that kevin just gave them to me) I got a nice gift certificate from sundogs and a jar of apple butter( that is SOO yummy) and I very nice tech-t IMTR finishers shirt.
I cleaned up and then my buddy aliese and I volunteered to take a cooler and table to rt 600/skulls gap for kevin! I was just happy to be given the opportunity to hang out with aliese and talk so off we went on our little adventure!
it really was a great race and an awesome day!! :o) can't wait until next year!!