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.
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!!!!!