Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New River Trail Challenge and MMTR training

hey! it's been awhile since I've last posted. I had a fairly easy and quick recovery from Cheat mtn 50. I was THRILLED because last year I REALLY struggled, and it hampered my fall training, thus resulting in a lack luster experience at MMTR 2010.
SO back in the swing of things the past couple weeks, I've gotten some great training runs in with the IMTR's and solo. I'll just highlight a couple of my longer runs on single track for a minute:
1. Beth, Joey Licata and I ran Orange Dot 17 miler on Sept 10th. Beth ran REALLY strong. Really happy for her where she is with her training. I feel she is going to tear up Ridge to Bridge marathon. Orange Dot is a very challenging route ( at least I think so) but I have to say, we all tackled it and ran much faster and stronger than in previous runs on the same route. I think it just means we are getting better and not bonking when we run! :o) It was just a very nice day, good weather and it was bittersweet because Joey is moving away pretty soon. :( bummer. It's been so awesome to get to know him the past 2 years. Some of my favorite trail running memories are from running with him, and he was just so great to be spontaneous-- I could call or text him at 10 pm on a friday and say "let's run 20 miles tomorrow at 7am!" and he would answer back immediately with "AWESOME!" So few people are like that. fun, adventurous, reliable. etc. Joey is good peoples, and I wish him the best at his new project-- hope to meet up further down the trail!

2.Then Sept 17th-- I was feeling a little flat and tired wussed out on racing Bays Mtn 15-- and beth got 2nd and Pr'ed big that day! go beth! I ran 16 miles on the AT with Tim Lamie, Guy Love, and Kevin Townsend and his border collie named "holly". It was cool, rainy and foggy and we started there behind aliese and jim's house on the AT and ran towards abingdon gap shelter ( out 8 miles) and then descended back down the mtn 8 miles. It really is SO much climbing to run it this way, but I really need that for masochist. and the last 8 miles went by SO fast.. it's amazing how much faster and easier it is on the way down:o)

3.Then on Sept 20th I ran 17 miles from Summit cut ( where the AT crosses 58 before lost mtn shelter) I ran this one solo and got a shuttle from sundogs. Again it was kinda a rainy, cool and foggy day. I really didn't mind at all because I feel we've had such a hot summer. I welcome the cooler temps! I started off this run on a weird note because really ALL summer I've lamented to anyone who would listen, about the fact I hadn't seen any bears. The past two summers ( 2009 and 2010) I would see them almost every run! Well, I was feeling GREAT running down the mtn past lost mtn shelter and I rounded a bend just HAULIN it and there was a cub running about 5 ft in front of me freaking out scared and he scrambled up in a tree. I was pretty shocked because he was such a little bear and i knew his mama was somewhere close. I had my iphone in my front pocket so I took it out and snapped a picture.. it's SO blurry but I was in a super hurry and wasn't about to try to stand there and focus and take a better one. I was surrounded by rhododendrens and the bear cub was in a tree on the right side of the trail.. in front of me. So in order to proceed on, I was going to have to go under the cub.. I couldn't back track because the shuttle was gone and my car was 17 miles away in Damascus at Sundogs.

THEN I kept hearing this weird noise... to the LEFT of me on the other side of the trail.. and it was MAMA.. she was making this jaw popping and snorty/wuffy sound at me, and when she would do that the cub would climb higher. I never SAW the mother, I wasn't about to get down and look in the rhododendrons for her, but I FELT her there and HEARD her and she was close to me. SOO, I just did what we did at SNP riprap 2010.. I just raised my arms to make myself look tall and calmly just started walking and talking in a calm voice.. and went on down the trail about 100 ft past the cub I turned and no one was still moving.. so I started jogging away.. i was afraid to run fast because I just wanted to be "casual" and not give anybody ( IE MAMABEAR-- no relation to IMA) any reason to think I was afraid or any reason so chase me. lol here is the picture I took:
in hindsight, I should of went WAY around the situation and just bushwhacked, but I seriously was just not thinking out of the box there.. it was like I had blinders on. I was just thinking go up the trail or go down.. I really hope common sense prevails if I ever have a next go around with mama and cubs.
The rest of the AT run was uneventful, but I did have a good run and ran strong, I was back to the car in 3:05. I didn't think it was that bad of an effort. and I made some new friends who work at sundog ( namely Joe, the super nice driver who took me up the mtn) and I got to have a trailside chat with Steve Webb, who is one of my favorite residents of D-town. He was really the first friend I made in damascus in 2005.

On sept 24th, I ran something a little different!! a couple of weeks ago follow IMTR Dennett Dwyer asked myself and Paul Gadola to be on his relay team for the NEW RIVER TRAIL CHALLENGE. The relay is held on the New River Trail and it consists of a 40 mile bike ( Paul recently biked the Contential Divide Trail and avg over 100 miles per day so he was in great shape from his adventure) 12 mile Kayak ( Dennett is a really accomplished Kayaker so that is his forte) and 13 mile trail run on the new river trail ( which was my leg). I had ran New River 50k last year, and knew it was going to be flat and intense for both the bike and running legs. ( and I didn't really envy Paul for what he had to accomplish! Really didn't envy Dennett either because the longest kayak section I've ever done in a race has been 3miles and that was tough for me! so I was happy to just merely be running:o) I was really excited about trying something different, with some new friends-- and super happy to be on the team "DAMASCUS MOONSHINERS" and yes, I really did feel some pressure to step up and run hard to prove myself worthy to be called a "damascus moonshiner" because, while I don't live in damascus, I do spend an awful lot of time there, and have many many good friends who live there and wanted to make them proud! :o)
The name of the game for TRI relays is "hurry up and wait." I was running last leg so I had like 4 hours before I had to run once the race began. That part was enjoyable. I spread out my yoga mat and laid by the river for an hour and just chilled out and looked at the trees above me swaying in the wind and that was nice-- Jenny doesn't get too many downtime moments like that!
Long story short on the Tri relay: Paul got us in a solid position, he rode 40 intense and fast miles and then had to peace out and go to work. He did such an awesome job!!! Then Dennett on his kayak leg passed people and got us closer to the front, and then I passed 2 more teams and we ended up 1st in the mixed divison and technically 3rd overall. ( but of course, we were awarded the 1st place trophies for mixed) STILL it was a very cool and fun event. Definitely plan to run this again next year. Where I had ran New River 50k in 2010, I knew what to expect has far as the half.. and to be honest, yes i had to run way faster than for ultras but it was SO freaking awesome to be finish with a race after about an hour and forty min!!
Also having my first official wolf hills double ipa from a growler nonetheless, made new river challenge a great day.
Cool shirt that Paul gave me the morning of the race! and my trophy:o)
Team leader Mr. Dwyer and I with the trophies ( while poor paul was prepping for oktoberfest with a toothache)

going to C-ville to stay with Sophie and run "hot twot" ( the wild oak trail) this saturday with the VHTRC and then check out the Crozet music fest and then Run on the AT afton to the humpbacks on sunday before heading home.
more training in the form of another big back to back weekend in a couple weeks and then haunted half craziness and MMTR.


Christian said...

Nice training runs there Jenny. I think you did well with the bear-situation, I would have been freaked out. See you on Saturday, I am planning on doing the Hot TWOT as well.

Rick Gray said...

September has certainly been good to you!

Sabrina Moran said...

Great mileage, Jenny! I can't wait to hear how you do in MMTR. Hooray for the coming of Fall! Keep it up. :)

Triple F said...

This is all a tribute to your training! Way to go, my friend!

nctrailrunner said...

Sounds like your training is going well Jen. I see that you were able to register for the U100, it will be neat for you to be there too. See you there, if not before.