Tuesday, June 19, 2012

60 Miles in 3 Days

Raccoon Mountain
Day 1 - 18 Miles
Time: 2.23.03
Avg. Pace: 7.56 mi
Place: 22nd
Woke up at 4:40 this morning to eat breakfast and to make sure that I wouldn't be late to the race since I had no support crew a.k.a my dad (family is heading to Florida for the whole week). This was the first race I have gone to by myself. On the way over I realized this race was lower key than the others since there were not as many people but the runners are way more serious. People that were here have done this before and I could tell it from my lower ranking on Ultrasignup.
Started off pretty fast and that's when I realized that these runners meant business. I eventually settled into a pack until the aid station at mile 8 to refill my bottle. Before the aid station at mile 6, I was "chicked" (From Eat and Run - Girl catches you in an ultra) and I couldn't believe it happened so fast and she was hauling!!! After I left the aid station, I ran to catch up with Rock Creek Race Team Member Lance Steele. I cruised with him for the rest of the race until probably about 2 miles left when I let him go on. The exciting part happened at mile 15 when I "unchicked" myself and passed the leading female to retain my manhood which is hard to keep in these long races. I finished smooth and strong around the time expected.
The true test will come tomorrow and definitely Sunday since the trails will be longer and a lot tougher. Overall the legs are currently a little tired and sore. I'm just hoping to survive tomorrow, taking it day by day; it's all I can really do!

Miles Lookout Mountain/Lula Lake Land Trust
Day 2 - 22 Miles
Time: 2.48.35
Avg. Pace: 7.40
Place: 19th
Overall Place: 18th
The alarm went off this morning and I thought to myself "what am I doing?" I was sore and stiff. However, once I got to the race I started to loosen up and started to feel normal. I was just hoping that once I started I wouldn't feel like crap.
Once the countdown hit zero we were off. I started off slower than yesterday and I cruised until the aid station around mile 10. Within the 1st mile, there is a rope that you have to hold onto while climbing up the side of the mountain, and on the way back I took it a bit slow going down it. For the first 6 miles, 2 female runners were ahead of me. I passed the 2nd place female around mile 6ish and caught up to Rock Creek Race Team Member John Wiygul. I followed him until probably a little before the 15 mile aid station and he went on. At mile 10, I picked up the pace along with Wiygul and we headed back down the mountain. The nice easy pace was over and it was race time! Once I hit the last aid station around mile 15 ish I passed right through it and started up the other side of the ridge and did not walk at all going up. I ended up passing the 1st female (wooo, just don't choke tomorrow!) and caught up to Rock Creek Race Team Member Lance Steele and passed him also. Once I ran through the creek that was knee high deep, I ran strong to the finish. Once I finished, I made a B line to get my chocolate milk from my car and headed to the creek and laid in it for 20 minutes (nice and cold).
I honestly cannot believe that I felt so good today. One of the big factors had to be the temperature. It was way cooler in the higher elevation. Also my plan to take the first 10 miles easy (training run pace) worked to perfection for me. I was even more in cue with taking my fluids. I basically felt like a machine out on the trail today, I was just so in tune and focus that it was almost ridiculous. Every person I passed I was feeding off of their energy. My only hope is that it continues tomorrow. I am feeling great and confident about tomorrow!!! Bring it!

 Signal Mountain
Day 3 - 20 Miles
Time: 3.17.34
Avg. Pace: 9.53
Place: 16th
The third and final day is over with! No more waking up at 4:40 in the morning. I woke up and realized that all the excitement of running really well yesterday was gone. I was a little sore and stiff but not too bad, but it was my ankle that was really stiff from rolling it the day before. Basically just had the aches and pains of running 40 miles and to my surprise it wasn't all that bad.
With the countdown hitting zero I only had 20 miles to go and it would all be over with. The first 6 miles I took pretty slow at 28th place(I know because the first 3 miles were out and back) and once I got back to Mushroom Rock I started to pick the pace up. I ended up catching the lead female rather quickly and stayed behind her until around mile 10. I wanted to get around her before, but it ended up working in my advantage that I stayed because the trail would get very technical soon after I passed her. Once I got to the top of Signal Point I got my second wind but it would not last too long because of more rocks and roots to come. Once I hit the aid station around mile 15ish the trail opened up and I started to push the pace (it was nice to finally get a rhythm going). I finished really strong all the way to the finish.
All I can say is that if the first 40 miles do not kill you, the last 20 will! The trail today was so technical it almost wasn't fun at certain points. It was a good feeling to cross the finish line today. The weather was not as cool today and for some reason I decided I would wear a shirt. My plan worked well and I'm very pleased how my body felt. No cramps at all!!! Just a sore ankle is about it after putting in work in today. Overall great day!

For the race overall it was awesome. I definitely plan on doing it again next year if my life will allow (honestly I’m hoping to be in PT school next summer). I am extremely pleased of how I felt considering I hadn't ran as much 3 weeks prior and was fighting lack of motivation. This race really pumped me up. I can honestly say I won't be running for the next several days, oh recovery! Great race, great weather, and great people make for one GREAT trail race. I am also very pleased with my results since it was my first time doing this race. Each day I raced, I improved my ranking which I am very proud of. I highly recommend this race. It is very achievable to do this race and the volunteers are top notch!

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