Monday, March 28, 2011

Terrapin mtn 50k

Wow. What a great weekend. Terrapin Mtn 50k and half marathon is truly a special race. I was really looking forward to this race because I had ran it last year, and LOVED it. I was very excited because I knew the course and was looking to improve my time, AND I knew I would it would be such a wonderful opportunity to see all my trail/ultra running friends. The iron mtn trail runners had a pretty good group coming to represent, and I was excited for us all to be running the same event together.

I arrived at the Sedalia Center friday evening, and the first person I see is David Sniper!! Who immediately gifted me with some gummi bugs to eat during my journey the next day! Thanks so much Sniper! I really appreciate the gummies! :o) The Sedalia Center was filling up fast with campers and people coming to pick up their packets, and it was so exciting to see so many friends! I went for a little shake out run with Grossman for about 2 miles and came back and listened to a couple running stories David Horton was telling to a captive audience he had gathering around him:o) I was sad to leave. I had booked at room at the ultra-illusive days inn of bedford, and I was kicking myself for just not bringing my tent and camping out with all my friends. I definitely plan on camping at Promise Land! I have to say I was THRILLED with the terrapin mtn running tank. It's made out of the new patagonia silk weight capilene.. NICE!!

I went back to bedford, ate at ruby tuesdays ( where I saw kenny wheeler!) and Then proceeded to go back to the room. I had already laid out all my gear for the next morning, so I took a shower and then watched a movie on my laptop.. okay it was PRE... I had to get a running movie in there to psyche me up! and I fell asleep at 9! DORK! BUT... I got up at 4am.. feeling good. I ate breakfast, and got ready, loaded the car and checked out. Went over to super 8 where the rest of the IMTR's were staying. Beth jumped in the FJ with me and we followed the family van to the Sedalia center. It was packed! wow! this race is growing! Excitement in the air! It was great seeing even more friends! :o) I was nervous.. not as nervous as last year, but I think the task of what's ahead settles with me and I always get a little nervous just because I know alot can happen in 31 miles ( even though way MORE can happen during a 50 miler haha)

We line up and GONG!!! We're running... we're running.. I'm feeling good going up the first big climbs. SO I just keep on rolling. I left all my friends but I seriously didn't feel like I was pushing it too hard. big hills are kinda my thing.. downhills are not. I knew this, so I felt that I should just seize those moments when I felt GOOD. because I knew I'd have a hard time with the downhills ( and everyone else would be flying by me if I hung back on the hill)
I got the the first aid station 2nd female.. NICE.. but then I knew I had a good 8 mile stretch of down hill. so I ran as fast as I could in a controlled non red-line fashion which ended up being 6:50ish avg miles for 8 miles ( really?! maybe I need to run some road races..:oP) but I did feel SO good it didn't even feel that fast.. even on the flat. I felt like the scene in forest gump where he breaks out of his leg braces and starts running.. I felt like whatever had been burdening me or holding me back for the past year ( ie heavy legs and slow paces) I had escape their hold on me and "and I was running!!" ( love forest gump) I was just grinning ear to ear the entire time.. gone were the tiny steps I was striding out and moving and a groovin.. I thought to myself HOW amazing it would be to run an entire race this way!!!
but all good things must come to an end. got to the 3rd AS still 2nd female and you have an ENORMOUS hill ( and then some single track -- that is part of the hellgate course) I still was feeling REALLY great. When we were almost back on the road to go UP camping gap with marlin, sophie and rick gray caught me. marlin and sophie were powering up camping gap and I couldn't stay with them, so I followed rick.. I was now in 3rd.. but I was really happy because I knew I was having a good race. I felt MUCH worse at this point in the race last year. This was where beth tackled me last year. So I just tried to get up camping gap as quick as I could. I was happy to get to the AS to fill up my bottle and start the WOR loop ( white oak ridge) I saw the leaders here last year.. but this year, I past 3rd and 4th place.. which was fun because I got to yell "margaritas!!" at Jeremy Ramsey as he past me. I couldn't help but think how AWESOME it would be to get out of the WOR loop.. but I worked hard on getting through it. I just tried to run as much as I could and take care of my nutrition on my climbs. got my first punch for my bib and before I knew it, too was running out of the WOR loop and high-fiving my buddies who were going in.
Still happy I was feeling good and strong.. I was ready to tackle the crazy insane climb to terrapin rock and fat man's misery. I got out on terrapin rock with GUY ( who I had pretty much been running with all day long ( and that was awesome!) got my second bib punch and made my way to fat man's guy went through first.. then me.. I didn't fall like I did last year ( and won best blood!) Thankfully, BUT I didn't see the punch and just ran on through the rocks and Guy and I proceeded to make our way off the mtn.. THEN I realized I didn't punch and turned around and so did GUY. CURSES!!!! :o( for a split second I thought about going on-- but then I knew it wasn't right even though I had ran the entire course.. you are supposed to have 3 punches for your finish to be official so I ran back face burning at my stupidity. I got to the punch and there is my best buddy beth! she was like" what are you doing?!" and I told her what I'd done.. we ran together for awhile but we got to a hill ( for those of you who read my blog you know what happens when beth and I get to a downhill together!) bye- bye beth... she looked strong and was running great.. I still felt strong but nothing like the rush beth was on

.. but sweet lord, I was HEARTBROKEN in my extra .8 miles ( total .4 to the punch and then back again) I had allowed people I had a good 5 min on to catch me.. and now i was tippy toeing through the rock garden.. PERFECT.. GRR. and here comes Jamie Darling.. running seriously with reckless abandon through the biggest sharpest scariest rocks I've ever ran on... and she looked so happy -- zoomed past me while I was seriously just standing there on the trail...

5th!!! I seriously just wanted to take a page out of my 3 yr old's book sit down and cry at this point.. my perfect beautiful race--- it was ruined.. ALL MESSED UP and getting worse by the second. I just want it to be over.. WAH!!!! :o( but I didn't.. I think that is the crazy thing about ultra running you are seriously on an emotional roller coaster with so many highs and lows. I quickly pulled myself together and told myself if I didn't get my butt in gear I was going to do FAR worse than 5th place.. just don't let anyone else pass you! SO I resolved to work hard the next 5 miles. After the last AS I saw super sweet chelsie viar and liz barry where totally RIGHT behind me.. both of these girls are FAST and I ran with both of them alot at holiday lake. I knew the next 5 miles was single track but very runnable trail. So that was enough for me to keep on rolling and not let up until I reached the finish line. 6:07 5th overall female. Last year I was 9th and ran a 6:13.. so I'm happy to see improvement.

haha.. I hate that I made some stupid mistakes but really other than the hole punch and maybe not being such a wuss running off terrapin mtn through the rocks.. I wouldn't of changed a thing about my race. Beth still probably would of caught me because she ran VERY hard the last 8 miles. I didn't have enough UMPH at the end to have done what she did I know she really cranked out some solid miles. Beth is tough, tough, tough.. I'm just waiting for her to start winning these things. I looked the only way I got the drop on her was the first climb where I took off from everyone. and some on the other climbing sections. She avg 6:47 per mile for the same 8 mile stretch between AS1 and she ran even faster on that stretch than I did.. maybe we both need to go run a 10k.. :OP The finish line was wonderful. I was so happy to be finished and not stressing about finishing anymore. It was great to cheer on my friends as they finished and hang out with ALL the cool people who finished ahead of me. I feel this race really has a super special vibe at the finish. Everyone is SO nice and SO positive and supportive. It's really a beautiful collective of runners. I'm so happy to be apart of this community.

So I'm looking forward to promise land in a couple weeks!! the IMTR's are planning on camping out! WOO! can't wait!! I'm also looking forward to training for promise land. I know there isn't that much time, but I'm looking forward to getting some good work in to prepare me for the 34 mile journey! :o)

here are some pictures from the finish line!
beth with her LUS jacket and new matching patagonia messenger bag for being third overall female!!
RD Clark Zealand and 2nd overall female Sophie Speidel with her "patagucci"

me and jaime darling ( 4th overall female) at the finish. I have NEVER seen anyone run down such a technical section as fast as Jaime ran down terrapin mtn!! ( and not fall!)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

late winter/spring training: JAX WY, CRA and the tacky leprechaun

Hey it's been FOREVER since I've posted it seems! I've been pretty busy with life, training and other adventures all the while preparing for my next race: Terrapin Mtn 50k. I thought I would do a post and share some pictures from what's been going on with me the past month.

Several days after Holiday Lake ( I had a pretty easy recovery from that race, I feel given the fact I ran the first half so slow and conservative) Brock and I jumped on a plane and spent 5 days in Jackson Hole, Wy to celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary. We had a blast. We stayed at our fav place in the teton village: the snake river lodge:o) We skied 3 days ( it was AMAZING skiing there this year, it snowed tons everyday!) I got in some great runs in the snow, We went to GTNP and got some great wildlife pictures, and we hung out in Jackson a couple afternoons and ate some yummy food! Oh, and I got to see one of my favorite bluegrass bands live at the Mangy Moose: HOT BUTTERED RUM :o)

The snake river in GTNP
a mature bald eagle chillin
a moose ( cow) laying down in the trees
The majestic Tetons ( and some clouds) I love, love, love wyoming...
Brock and Jenny on the banks of a very frozen Jackson Lake and it was about 10F that morning.. BRR!
me in Jackson town square. across from the million dollar cowboy bar and the cadillac grille ( I love the cadillac grill-- they have moose drool on tap :o)

As soon as Brock and I returned back to Va. I had ANOTHER adventure in store for me and I couldn't wait!! I was lucky enough to get invited to go run Catawba Run Around ( thanks sophie!!) which is a 36.04 mile adventure on the AT.. that includes: dragons tooth, the tinker cliffs and McAfee's Knob. SERIOUS climbing over 9000 ft of vert on very technical and rocky trails. Beth, Rick and Doug Blackford also were running, along with SO many of my friends from the VHTRC and WVMTR :o)
The weather forecast wasn't very good. high 40's and rain. :o( boo. I knew going into the run, I probably wouldn't get to see all those amazing overlooks. BUT I knew 1. I'd get much needed time on my feet 2. and get to have alot of fun in the mtns with my friends!
Beth, Rick ( who had ran Mt Mitchell Challenge the week before) and I ran with Dave Sniper and Doug Sullivan and we just had a blast "fun running" We pretty much goofed off for 36 miles.. but the good thing was we were smiling and laughing and pretty much pain free at the finish.. so that was nice! :o) I WILL be back next year to run this event and see all the views and run in the sunshine!!
here are some pictures from that adventure:
in front of dragon's tooth

The IMTR's on dragon's tooth and Sniper captured Rick at a vulnerable angle ( hee, hee)
There were bottles of knob creek all over the place during the run... ( cough gary knipling cough)
Beth and I expressing our opinion of the view from McAfee's that day
Beth, Doug Sullivan, Me, Rick Gray

And this past weekend was the IMTR annual super awesome event: The Tacky Leprechaun trail run. This year we ran our bread and butter 9.3 mile loop on the AT/ IMT in Damascus ( last year we ran 24 miles) but given the fact we had WAY more people this year, we decided to have a fun, light run and stick together as a group. Post run we noshed on guiness cupcakes with bailey's frosting and then went to the whistlepig cafe ( trailside on the Va creeper trail) for a wonderful lunch.
I also have to add that we had a couple new members to the group. Rebecca and Dana Loyd ( love yall!) were nice enough to come run with us! and we hope to share the trail with them VERY SOON! And this is so random, but when we were in the parking lot getting ready to leave this guy ( who was there visiting from Winston- Salem NC and there to bike the Creeper Trail) asked us what we were doing. Rick told him trail running and invited him to come run with us, and he did!!! Viveka: you are a super cool dude for being so spontaneous! I think so many of us could take a page out of your book and live a much FULLER life to step out of our comfort zone and try new things, hang out with new people and check out new places! Thanks so much for spending the morning with us! I know we'll run again together soon!! :o)

Tacky leprechaun Group shot

Kathleen Cusick and I chatting it up before the run
JJ and Dana in their kilts!
socializing with grossman and Annette before climbing up beech grove trail
Eric Grossman in his batik sarong
I love this picture.. sorry kathleen I had to post it even if you are making a weird face... I love JJ's expression in this picture!
my running buddies: eric, annette, kathleen, rick and beth-- love you all!
beth and aliese contemplating... WHY eric's arm sleeves are so baggy

Our newest members: Viveka, Dana and Rebecca

the IMTR's fav hangout THE WHISTLE PIG!!