Monday, March 26, 2012
Part of me (who wants to identify herself as a rough tough ultramarathoner) is still rather chagrined about how much Saturday's 15 mile trail race wiped me out! McKay Hollow Madness really put me through the wringer!
After effects (besides a slightly bruised ego) : one multi-color bruise to my right upper arm (slammed a rock during a slip & fall in slick mud), and one lost toenail. Also had bumped my head against a stone outcropping early on; that was worth a few choice words and feeling foolishly clumsy. Felt achy and knotted up, lower back and hips, leg muscles, ankles and feet, even my upper arms. Oh heck, everything ached afterward.
On Sunday, I did manage to go the gym and do some strength training and an easy 2 miles on the Arc Trainer just to stretch out. (did feel better afterwards) Other than that, with almost no exaggeration, I spent the day sleeping or eating.
So, 32.5 miles total last week.
I'm going to work that number up some over the next few months, but I am going to do it gradually. I also need to figure out how to bring a smidgen of speed back into my pace, either that or just give up the ghost and consider myself a walker and not a runner. Whatever, its all forward motion.
Mckay race results are posted; was actually kind of surprised (and pleased) that I was included as an official finisher.
a couple trail pics:
at ten miles in
coming UP to the finish
recovery day: 3 mile walk
Sunday, March 25, 2012
In Brief: I finished DFL. (Dead F-ing Last). I made the cut off times at both aid stations, but then bonked badly. I pretty much snail crawled the last third and all toll It took me over 6 hours to finish this 25K trail event. Was happy that I still got a finishers tshirt for my effort.
Overall pace 23:40. First 5 miles: about a 18:00 pace. Second 5: about 20ish. Last 5.5 :about 28 minutes per mile. Yep, I was definitely the slowest snail on the trail. Can't say I "ran" it, but I jogged, slogged, walked, and dragged myself to cover the distance.
The weather was perfect, not too hot, not too sunny, a nice breeze at times. Lots of lovely spring greenery and blooming trees and wild flowers. (I kept thinking someone was hanging banners in the trees, which closer up were white blossoms in the trees themselves!)
But the weather earlier in the week had been rainy, and so the trails were the MUDDIEST I have ever seen them. Bringing up the back pack of 200+ runners, that mud was well churned up by the time I came slogging though. I'm not sure how many of the 15.5 miles were though mud, but it sure seemed like a majority of them. Alternately sticky and slippery. Puddles and deep mires; shoes were quickly soaked through and caked. Red mud; chocolate brown and yellowish mud. All the rain meant the creeks and waterfalls were all flowing too, but the several crossings did wash off a bit of mud for a moment or two and actually the cool felt good. Still, soppy sloppy socks and squishy shoes are not my favorite foot attire.
I *tried* to convince myself that "Mud is soft and rocks are dry." But could only maintain that silver lining mindset part of the time. Funny, I don't remember this course being nearly so technical when I ran it in 2010, but they did change the distance since then from a half marathon to a 25K. Oh, and how about the one section of what I call "horizontal tree climbing"? Having to cross over a gully choked with large downed trees. That was a different kind of fun. ;/
Did have company for parts of the course. Got to chat with Mona and Janet for a bit right at the start, but thy quickly out paced me. There was a small group of runners and one sweeper who were around me for most of the first 5 miles. I was sorry to leave Patrick behind at the first aid station, but he needed to have his knee stretched out before continuing on, but he eventually dropped out because of it at 10 miles. Sweeper boy Owen was yummy looking and he did try to be upbeat and encouraging. *shrug and shakes head*; still, there is something amusingly odd about a stranger young enough to be my son continually referring to me as "babe". Owen ended up twisting an ankle and opting out at a trail detour about mile 7ish. So, I ran the rest of the way to the second aid station (at mile 9 .8) by myself. After that, the final sweepers, Carol and Marty Eaton, caught up to me (dragging my tail) with still about two miles to go, so I also had company from that point to the finish.
Kudos for the RD and race staff. The course was well marked. We were on a lot of different park trails with other trails frequently intersecting, but there was never any confusion over which way direction to go. Let's see...North Loop, Sinks, Panther Knob, Logan, Mountain Mist, Goat, and Warpath trails just in the first five miles. Then Mckay Hollow, and a lot of miles on Arrowhead and/or Natural Well, throw Big Cat Hill in there too, and of course the final uphill 3/4 miles of switchbacks. The aid stations were sufficiently stocked, even for the last runners. The sweepers were doing their trail job and did a good job babysitting me without making me feel like a baby (lol, despite being called babe). Carol was great getting me through those last miles! And even though the time clock was down, there were still race workers waiting at the finish line for me. It you're gonna be last, this was a decent way to do it.
1) Fuel correctly; I didn't take in enough calories on this run and bonked during the third section of the race. Got tricked by thinking, 'it's only 15 miles, I won't need much." Yeah, 15 miles of gnarly trails I wasn't really prepared for... I know better! I don't always like the taste of it, but the protein powder laced gatorade B. likes to give me does add a boost plain liquids do not.
2) If you are going to run trail races, do some trail training! (I think I'd been up to the Monte Sano trails ONCE in the last couple months. Point Mallards' riverside path is NOT a trail.)Again, I know better!
3) On technical trails, wear the Nathan Race Vest instead of using handheld bottles; I could have used BOTH hands several times for some technical scrambling. Also, if I'd worn the race vest, I could have easily stashed some energy snacks. note: once of the sweepers gave me a couple Cliff energy Bloks; kinda nice gummy energy chews, have to remember those.
4) Magical Thinking: "I did 42 slow easy miles at Delano Park two weeks ago, I can do 15 hard ones no sweat." Plenty of sweat, and those two events are two entirely different beasts. Duh, I know better! (also refer to #2)
5) Another Duh...I did this race back in 2010, but I can't really compare this year to that , because they changed the course, making it a bit tougher and 2 miles longer!
So, actually there weren't any tears (although I'll admit being frustrating close a few times), but the mud and sweat were there. And. B was there for me, waiting at both aid stations and at the finish. :)
Oh, when we got back into town after the race, we stopped by GiGi's Cupcakes (who was having a free tasting of some of their new flavors). I had two mini-cupcakes; both southern themed--one hummingbird cake (a fruity spice cake with cinnamon frosting) and one Mississippi-Mud chocolate flavor. LOL...that was definitely the most enjoyable Mud of the day! :)
So, the trails beat me and beat me up. BY no stretch of the imagination, was this a good race for me. But, know what, it didn't feel like a failure. I'm still glad I was out there and that I did it!
Friday, March 23, 2012
Wed: 4 mile run. 3 miles on arc trainer later at gym and weights session.
Fri: 2 mile walk at lunchtime.
McKays Hollow Madness trails 25K tomorrow. I'm going to give it all I'm worth, and it'll probably take all that and more!
Will probably be muddy.
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Part of me is rather chagrined at being a pop culture Jenny-come-lately overage fangirl of teen lit, but I almost called into work "distracted" this morning because I wanted to stay home and finish reading The Hunger Games!
Lol..it also occurred to me to (side braid my hair) and channel some of Hunger Game's heroine Katniss's determination this weekend when I'm out running the Mckay Hollow Madness 25K trail run. The other runners may be all allies, but I'm sure the Gamemaker RD who set this extremely challenging course is trying to kill us.
other random stuff.... if I'm craving something particular to eat (that is repeatedly thinking over a couple of days about how good that might taste), then go ahead and have some! Today I am having crisp fresh apples and salty roasted almonds for lunch!
a little motivation from Gibson's Daily Running Quotes FB page:
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