Monday, March 25, 2013

Terrapin Mtn 50k 2013 9th OA woman and 11 min PR

  WELL I have to say I really am pleased how Terrapin Mtn 50k turned out. Like Holiday Lake 50k, I trained straight through and didn't taper really other than I took a zero day on Friday the day before the race. I ran 800m repeats Thursday not all out, but certainly at a really good clip-- about 3:00- 3:10 for each of them. 
 I was really excited to get to run the terrapin course where I missed it last year, and it was so great at packet pick up to get to see so many old friends!!  Instead of camping ( because it was so cold and I have been battling sinus junk) Brock and I opted to stay in bedford at the swanky super 8:)

 I had a plan in my head when I went to sleep but when I woke up at 5am. I had a completely different race plan. I was going to carry my Salomon Advanced skin 12  hydration pack with a full bladder and just be self sufficient, BUT that morning I decided to pull the bladder out, and just use it for a race vest for my gels and carry handhelds of Gu brew and water for the race.  I just didn't want the weight of a FULL pack for a 50k. I think longer distances I enjoy having my hands free and wearing a pack, but not for 50k, makes me feel sluggish and slow. 
2. another thing I did that I NEVER have done before.  I had forgot to charge my garmin.  SO I decided to just wear my timex ironman and GO OLD SKEWL. I got out my iPhone, looked up my friend beth minnicks splits from 2010 where she ran a 5:53 and decided my goal was to break 6 hrs, I needed to write her splits on my arm and just follow that. I knew sophie  raced this way, but I often am SO undisciplined when it comes to trying to hit splits and I'm really bad to go out hard, and then fizzle out in the end. but as I wrote the splits for each Aidstation and read them aloud to Brock for what time to expect me, I really decided that "yes, I'm going to run it this way just to see if I can"  I knew that  it's a great way to run 100s. and garmins battery life very rarely last for 100 milers, so it's just a way of running I need to reclaim. ( I LOVED my timex watch when I ran track and XC in high school and college) I knew if I can use it correctly and pace myself then, I can do it for an ultra. 
 I also knew the field for terrapin was DEEP.  There were some fast women coming out for this race.  Since I was using Terrapin for a GOOD SOLID training run for OD 100, I didn't want to get sucked in by all the competition in this race. I have much bigger fish to fry.  So mentally I just told myself to let it all go ( this is hard for me, because I AM COMPETITIVE and I LOVE TO RACE) but I knew for this race I needed to just do my own thing and not be seduced to absolutely kill myself just to get in there 10 min faster. 

 post race shot of my pre race goals:) 

 The race started and I quickly found Beth minnick and Rick Grey. We shadowed beth frye up the climb to camping gap, talking and just having fun. I told beth of my sub 6 goal and that I had to be strong to remember why I was here. Beth agreed...  and told me OD will be here so soon. and we both got a little quite.  She was with me those last 7 hours of umstead last april 1. it was very painful, bloody, teeth chattering, death march to the finish-- and it was like "YEP. 100s." 

So I just paced off beth, I knew she would take it easy the first half and then hammer the descent so I just stayed with her and rick.  UP camping gap I was feeling a little wonky so I ate  some GU roctane and instead of waiting to dissolve some  GU brew.. I just ate a GU brew tablet, ( just chewed it up and ate it-- yummo!) 
figured it would give me some much needed sodium and potassium.  I felt it did the trick:) 

 thanks blanks blankenship for this picture!! camping gap 2:)  I headed out to go run then WOR loop and felt a little flat. it was really cold up there. the ground is usually soggy and it was frozen and hard.  my feet felt fine ( really feel I picked the right shoes for this race -- Salomon S labs 5 soft ground
 but I just found myself wishing to get some miles behind me and to warm up some..  but Alas! once I began descending back out of the loop and down to camping gap 3 I felt much stronger. 

  made a friend along the way and we made great time back to the CG3.
     I was happy to chat with Vernon ( another friend i made who is training for  his second leadville 100)  on the climb up to terrapin rock and Fat man's Alexis Thomas caught me here and she like beth is a great downhill runner, I just let her go, happy she was looking strong and healthy. and  content to talk to vernon about 100 mile training and happy to know I was gonna meet my goal. We get to the last Aid station, and I feel good knowing in about 7 miles i'm home.  I love the terrapin lane section.  previous years I couldn't even enjoy this part because I was hurting so badly..  I was so thankful to be running ( not walking) feeling GOOD, and my feet didn't even hurt. if anything I felt super strong.  so I just kept rolling

 Got to the road where I saw Sophie and Alexis waiting for me!! xoxo love you girlies! 

Volia patience does pay off!! 5:55- 11 min PR from my 2010 time, snuck into the women's top 10 without really trying ( too awfully hard) ,  and I felt like a million bucks at the finish.. lets go run it again!! 

Rick Grey and I at the finish.. my trail dad talked me into running my first 50k, then my first 50 miler, then my first 100 miler-- this is ALL YOUR FAULT, Rick!!! :P 

 while I don't recommend this slackerish laid back approach to racing-- if you are going to RACE a race.  However,   there is really something to be said for having a plan and sticking to it, just doing your own thing and looking at the big picture, and just being happy with your own personal success.  Enjoying time on the trail with ALL the WONDERFUL people in our community.  there is NO way I would of ran that much mileage, with that much vertical climbing 13,000 and broke 6 hrs on a solo long run. I feel using shorter ultras for 100 miler training is a GREAT GREAT idea. Its great  way to experiment with nutrition plans,  working through rough patches etc it's a win win

 and I LOVE my terrapin mtn mug.. CLARK ZEALAND-- THANK YOU!!! 
Thank you for all the work you do putting on these well organized AWESOME events. Thank you to the wonderful volunteers who froze their buns off to give us aid. :) 

So I'm really feeling good about my fitness and where I am on my training cycle leading up to OD.  My next adventure is this coming weekend! I can't wait to blog about it!! not going to reveal what it is--  okay here is a hint-- I'm not competing but sophie and I are going on a girls trip to crew, volunteer and spectate at one of ultra runnings most INSANE events in the world. I'm so excited!!!!! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

late winter training to terrapin 50k-- Springing forward full of gratitude

  I'm so completely excited that today is the vernal equinox!!
Im so completely filled with  hope and  enthusiasm for  2013 spring and summer. I'm really enjoying training, feel I'm in a good place with it, balancing running, work, family obligations. I've had some amazing long runs  since holiday lake ( and some fleetly tempo runs and hill repeats) and I'm just feeling strong. Excited for the journey that will lead to me Old Dominion 100 on June 1st.  I have many many adventures planned the next couple months, so training for OD is going to be VERY FUN:)

 I really have been trying to  INTENTIONALLY and PURPOSEFULLY focus my energy in a positive direction this past week. Remind myself daily of all the things in my life I have to be thankful for.. there are so many!  My wonderful kids and family that loves me and cares for me, my friends that I run with---
 I love all the communities I'm lucky enough to be apart of: Ultrarunning, local road running scene, my yoga friends, my Pilates friends, my golf friends, my mtn sports family.   My coach, Eric Grossman --thank you for saving me from myself. I am always messing up my running, and he patiently tweaks my training here and there to get me back on track.  YOURE THE BEST:)

Sophie: who is just one TOUGH DIRT CHICK, and I really aspire to be more like each day. She leads such a FULL life-- but always makes time for me when I need advice whether it be about life or training, and has welcomed me into her home so many times the past couple months.  even on thanksgiving-- she fed me the most amazing meal. :) Love you, sis!! xoxo

I'm so extremely appreciative to Salomon for being so good to me, being supportive of my racing, Sponsoring CTR10k aug 10th, and giving me the freedom to plan some cool events to expose more runners in Southwest Va and Northeast TN to their awesome shoes and gear. Everytime I go to put on my new Salomons they sent me, I feel like doing the happy dance. Thanks for being so  nice to me, Uber group and  Josh/ salomon running. This is a good company  guys, go buy their shoes!! :)
  I'm also very thankful to be on the GU crew. Gu Energy Labs is fueling my training, recovery and hydration. I have to say Ive been really happy utilizing Gu brew recovery drinks and the Gu brew electrolyte tabs. ( they taste SO GOOD and I feel really work just as well as comparable products on the market-- I was surprised to be honest-- didnt' think I would find something other than nuun-- but I really do like them better)

Next race up for me is Terrapin Mtn 50k this weekend. I'm just ready. Ready to go run hard and HAVE A BLAST in the mountains. This was my first 50k in the LUS series in 2010,  part of terrapin is on the hellgate course, and  Clark Zealand is the RD ( I LOVE MMTR and GRINDSTONE too) , this is just homecoming for this gal. "Clark" races are special. "horty" races are too ( love ya horton!) . But Clark races just have this chill laid back vibe pre and post race  that just  really resonates with me.  THANK YOU, Clark for all that you do. I know RDing an ultra requires so much work and preparation and it's a labor of love. Thank you for providing these high quality, extremely organized FUN events for us.

okay-- YOU GUYS: Please think positive thoughts, prayers, vibes, energy for  me as I go run Saturday morning.  I really need it, and it would mean SO much to me!! :)
 without  further adieu: here are some pictures of what I've been up to since holiday lake:

Marlin Yoder and I on the Grindstone Course when we ran a loop of The White Oak Trail with Sophie

                                                   Sophie  being her lovely self
                                               View  of the mtns from Old FS 84 in the hurricane section of Mt rogers

 I LOVE my  S Lab Advanced skin 12 hydration pack. I have pretty much carried everything: nathan, ultimate direction, ultra spire, and this pack is by far the nicest. SO many cool features other packs just dont offer. 

 I  have been running alot in S Lab 5 soft ground.  really love these shoes.  very comfortable, 8mm drop heel, listed as stability shoe, but SO cushy. it's a nice ride running in them. 

                                     Quality Trail time with  Maverick the super Aussie.

                                                 I love running with my furry bestie.
                                          Laurel's Falls in Church Hill, Tn this little park backs up to Bays Mtn Park, so the trail systems connect. :) love running from here into bays.

                                          View from the AT near bear tree park ( maybe 2  miles from the spur to cross rt 58)
                                           View from the top of Big bald.  Shew that is a HAUL.

 Cool thing about salomon ambassadorship- cool things randomly arrive on my porch! I LOVE these gloves.  I channel my inner Karl while wearing these:P) 

                                   IMTR st. patty's run: LEPRECHAUN LUAU Rob French made the drive all the way from high point, NC just to run with us!!!

 Dennis Norris, Lou, Tammy Grey, Sid Hood

Jenny primm, beth, ava's BF,  Ava, Doug Blackford

Beth Frye, Paul the BA Belgian, Ed Marsh

 Beth and Dave Frye