Tuesday, July 24, 2012

the better late than never highlands sky 40 2012 RR

 I have been such a busy mama this summer, my blog has been on the back burner somewhat. I'm so sorry to my one or two readers out there. Well, since umstead, I focused on recovery. I didn't run pretty much for 7 days, then SLOWLY resumed running and my resuming running I mean. I ran 10 min pace for 5k because my feet were SO trashed. I think I have some sort of weirdo nerve damage because the bottoms of my feet ( even though the blisters were healed) would start hurting SO badly if I ran for more than say 30 minutes. but that lasted for maybe a week and definitely about 30days after umstead, by may 1st I can say I felt "normal" when I ran.. I didn't hurt, I ran about the same speeds.. and if anything I felt strong.

Then I started training for highlands sky 40.. Well, I honestly had an issue with my long runs.. I never had what I felt was a great long run the months of may/ june leading up to highlands sky. I did them and would grind them out until I got back to the car.. never bailed,  but I would bonk hard and suffer. I assumed this was several factors: the heat, humidity ( that I hadn't really gotten used to yet) AND I was maybe still in a little debt physically from umstead.

However, I was quick to communicate how i was feeling to Grossman, and he helped me adjust my schedule. The week before Highlands Sky 40, We went to the beach for a family vacation. I felt that would be the perfect way for me to taper and get used to the heat and humidity.  I felt that both my taper and being in the heat and humidity for extended periods of time REALLY helped my race. BUT wednesday before the race, I got an earache and had to go to urgent care. EAR INFECTION.  they prescribed ear drops and they helped, but fast forward to friday the day before highlands sky--

I got EXTREMELY dizzy and car sick on the trip up. and puked several times. I was very dizzy ( did I mention that already?) and nauseated even after I puked. usually I feel BETTER after puking ( oh, wait that is only when I'm ultra running!)  so I pretty much stagger into the pre race meeting grab my race number do ZERO socializing.. which is SO unlike me.. but the smell of the pasta was rough and I was dizzy and had puke breath. :/ I did stop and talk to Adam Casseday for a couple min and explained my plight.  THEN I went back to the room, showered, laid out my clothes sipped on nuun PRAYING that it had super magic powers that would heal me and make me feel better the next morning. and ate 2 cliff blocks. not much of a dinner. :/
brock made me promise if I still felt bad in the morning that I would DNS. I hated the thoughts of driving ALL THAT WAY to Davis, WV and then not starting the race. but knew it would be a LONG LONG day if I started it feeling terrible.
I went to sleep and slept well. woke up at 4am.. and actually felt okay. I didn't feel I was bluffing myself either. honestly felt 20 times better than when I went to sleep the night before. so I got up, ate, got dressed and to the start line I went.

here are some pictures from HIGHLANDS SKY 40 2012

 It was great to see so many friends old and new at the race. I had a goal of running about an hour faster than last year.  I had a very tough race last year due to underestimating the toughness of this super challenging course and POOR, POOR shoe choice ( montrail rogue racers-- I lost 7 toe nails post HS last year) This year, I opted for MONTRAIL MTN MASOCHISTS and had a healthy respect for the course. I felt ready.  I started with my good buddy keith moore and I ran ALOT of the first 15 miles with him and rick gray, Keith was running awesome, and I lost him on a down hill section before we started climbing up to the road across the sky.  I have to comment on the sheer BEAUTY of this course. Roaring plains wilderness is amazing ( rocky and technical, but amazing) the mtn laurel was in full bloom and the weather was just perfect. sunny, cooler, and with some wind.  it was a fun morning. I worked well with Rick Grey and the miles just clicked by. I knew just getting to the road across the sky was a test in patience.  I also knew I had ALOT of work ahead of me the second half of the race and the mercury on the thermometer was raising and the road across the sky is full exposed 11 miles.   I was happy to see brock ( yay! for my sweet patient husband who is the best crew ever)  and tammy gray. i got to them in 4:20 however I was HAPPY to be off the single track and just got in gear and rick and I really worked this section  to make up time. We caught keith and I had a great time talking about yoga mats, bikram practice of yoga and stinky friends who shower but just have BO anyways.

 once we got back to the single track, guess what?! I was ELATED to be on the single track. HAPPY that I remember every inch of the course from last year, and really just started grinding  to get finished. I listened to my iPod and stayed within hollering distance of rick.  I really was happy to get to run so much of this race  with a good friend. Rick has really been there with me on some journeys: my first ever trail run on the AT,  my first 50k, first night run,  first 50miler, first 100k, first 100 miler. But as many of you ultra runners know, it is EXTREMELY hard to run an ultra with a friend. it just usually never ever works out because when you're bonking, they are feeling great, and vice versa. But for some odd reason, rick and I were in sync and on the same page for the majority of this race.  It made me feel good to get to share so much trail time with my "trail dad"

once we descended down and got back to the road we started smelling the barn and I listened to my iPod AGAIN. and focused on finishing I knew I was going to PR big. and I was happy to almost have it in the books. I was humbled by the fact, I was SOOO sick the evening before and I still had while not stellar-- a solid, consistent race.  I didn't feel fast... I didn't feel slow. did I stay in the same gear all day? yep. probably because of umstead still? maybe? maybe from not eating dinner and being a little dehydrated?  I ended up finishing 8:39 so my second half was one min faster than the first half.. 8th overall female. HERE ARE THE RESULTS FOR HIGHLANDS SKY 40 2012

 I feel just running the hour faster is testament to my training and just a good fitness indicator in comparison to where I was this time last year.  for that I feel grateful. so extremely grateful.

so what else?? since i'm cramming the past 3 months into one blog post?? I ran the bear! I was 15th overall woman and PRed by 4 min compared to last year. that was cool.  YAY!  love that race THE BEAR INFO/RESULTS

I'm working hard getting everything prepared for CTR 10k
This is my brother's memorial race and it's our 5th year. I feel each year I just meet the most amazing people and it's really been a positive, healing journey for me to RD this race. I never in my life thought that I would RD a race, but life is full of twists, turns, peaks and valleys, dark times, and happy times.  I think it's best to just embrace it all and be thankful for the journey and never take a second fore granted.

in addition to Todd's race,  I'm training for my second 100 miler, Grindstone 100.  This is a different animal than Umstead, and am greatly looking forward to this challenge on Oct 5th.  other than that,  I'm  having a great summer full of spending quality time with my two boys: going to the pool, camping, riding bikes, hitting golf balls,   catching fireflies,  roasting marshmallows and telling ghost stories and their current favorite " you might be a redneck if: " jokes by the fire pit.  When I  hear their sweet giggles, I feel so extremely blessed to be living this life and having the family and friends that I have in my life.

                                             RD Dan Lehmann and I at the finish.

                                                 trail dad rick grey and I at the start line

                                           Me finishing my second highlands sky-

                                            healthy dose of post race sarcasm and reality checks courtesy of Dho

 over all winner and record holder Frank the tank and myself

 Dr Horton being HIMSELF!! love ya horty!! 

Well that brings us up to speed, i will definitely post more about CTR 10k as it draws closer, and my 
Training for Grindstone 100. happy trails y'all.  xoxo.


run4daysbill said...

So glad you're knocking it outta the park these days, Jenny! Grindstone is your kinda course for sure. Can't wait to see how well you do there.

Mike Bailey said...


I agree with Bill, you are really coming into your own as a runner, and getting stronger at all distances. Congrats on your fantastic HS40 run. I'm sure you'll crush it again very soon.

-Mike Bailey