Sunday, July 11, 2010

varmint half marathon

hey guys. I know. I know I am SO far behind with my blog. The past couple weeks have been so much fun! so much to tell and share! I've been very busy travelling, running, racing, AND getting things ready for my brother's 10k ( CTR10k on the creeper trail in abingdon, va) on august 14th.

I can't wait to blog about colorado and back to back hurricanes. but first things first:


This was the 5th time I've ran the varmint. I first ran this race as a college freshman in 1997, and it was my first half marathon, and oh my!! what an eye opening experience. The Varmint is held in June ( so it's usually always hot and humid) and the course is VERY VERY hilly.. and has some monster climbs through out the course. It's definitely not what I would consider your run of the mill half marathon experience by far. it's a CHALLENGE. I can honestly say I've been humbled pretty much everytime I've ran this race. it's a hard one. My good friend Charity McDaniel is the founder and RD of this race( this past year was it's 17th year) and she works very hard and does a tremendous job.

here is a brief history of "varmint" of burkes garden and how the race got it's name, and the meaning behind those coveted sheep trophies.

Burkes Garden is in the same county where I grew up and my parents still reside: Tazewell Co. Va. So, I always enjoy returning to this race year after year to see all my friends and family from my native county. The views for this race are so spectacular. I really have such a big place in my heart for this race. it's HOME for me:o) LITERALLY! I spent the night at my parent's house in richlands, 20 min away, the night prior, and woke up at 5am to fog and about 70F it was very humid already outside and I knew the temps were supposed to reach 85 by 10am. yikes. I quickly ate breakfast, and
drove on over to the school/community center and got up with beth and JJ, two of my fellow IMTR's and best buddies. They had camped the night before at the school house ( which is totally okay and even encouraged)
. I tried to wake up, not be nervous...Beth and I tried to formulate a bit of a game plan so we could both score some 1st in age group sheep ( not that we didn't want overall sheep) we just knew we at least had to try to win our respective age groups.

There is a 5k that is ran with the half, and my sister in law, Tammy Richardson and her sister Remona Cordle each ran their first 5k ever! so proud of both of them. Tammy has gone on to run another 5k over the past couple weeks, and plans to run CTR 10k this year as her first 10k.
I have to add that the Varmint has grown so substantially over the past couple of years. It used to be less than a hundred participants.. now, just the half marathon alone had 300 people. For the few races that Tazewell county boasts, that number is staggering.

The race began and I quickly settled into my pace. I had promised myself that I wouldn't get caught up in the 5k traffic, nor would I go out too hard or fast the first mile and put myself into debt the entire race. I had decided that would try to run about 7:30 pace where I could. I knew all the climbing would mess up my pace and momentum, but I felt if I just could just keep my heart rate at a certain level during the climbs, recover on the downhill, and then just run 7:30 pace where I could, the rest would take care of itself. I knew my avg would more than likely be more like marathon 820 pace with the hills and climbing, but it was still a good plan.

So I did that. I started out with a hand held of HEED, my ipod, and yeah, that black north face singlet. and I finished with none of them.
about mile 5 I got SUPER hot and just took off my shirt threw it to the side of the road and ran in my sports bra ( which is what I should of done from the start). I was SO hot and exposed no shade really at all on the road so every aid station I would dump water on my head, and try to drink water and gatorade. I got tired of my handheld and I left it at an aidstation. My ipod quit at mile 8 and I just wasn't thinking so instead of putting it in the gel pocket of my skirt. I left it as well. STOOPID.. I know.. I was NOT thinking straight AT ALL. but MAN, it felt so great to not have anything weighing me down or burdening me. and with no music, I was more focused than ever on solely finishing as opposed to bidding my time to the finish. I took a salt tab and a gel, and noticed I was still doing a good job on keeping on my pace, and I started passing people. it wasn't so much that I was speeding up.. I was just going the same speed, but I ended up passing a couple more girls, and finishing 4th overall female, and winning my age group.

It came a HUGE thunderstorm so the sheep and the awards ceremony was held in the gym of the community center. Here is a picture of the male overall winner-- LOOK how massive his sheep trophy is!

Beth won her age group as well! we had a matching pair of little first place AG ewe's AWWW. :o)
and I love my sheepie so much!!:o) I was extremely happy upon receiving it Thanks so much to Beth for capturing this moment for all eternity:
and when I got back to my parents farm, my Mom had to twist my arm to take a picture of me with my sheep and my medal:o)


JJ Jessee said...

Good work on taking the coyot by the tail and taking charge. Congrats, again. We heard Rattlesnake will be no more. So next year may be Grandfather unless you know another hot race.

Rick Gray said...

The Varmit is a great race and you ran great, but I don't know what this is all about with you losing all of your stuff. I don't think you lost your mind on a half marathon, but you were just so focussed on that SHEEP. We missed you at Rattlesnake and as you already know, Beth took the win for the women. You would have been proud. She rocked!!!

jenn said...

thanks jj and rick! I hate I missed rattlesnake. I really should of tried to run it. I was just afraid of being too leg tired to do well.
I am SOOO extremely proud and happy beth won overall for the females! She was due an overall win, she has been working hard and has PR'ed like every ultra she's ran this year!! I just hate I missed being there to celebrate!
JJ: I say we run grandfather mtn marathon next year and party like rock stars at the highland games:oP kilts for all the IMTR's

Anonymous said...

Do you happen to have a photo of the medal? I can't seem to find one anywhere! Thanks so much!

Congrats on your win of a sheepie too... so awesome!!