Womens Running

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wet weekend (over 40) (Read 25 times)

Anonymous Guest


Batgirl!

    Okay, here's my super-long race report. I haven't even read through what I wrote so I hope it makes sense. Now it's almost time to go meet Cindy for dinner. Will be back after for some personals, finally.

     

    I came across the Mount Mitchell Challenge a couple years ago and decided I would run it one day, before I’d ever run trails or an ultra. I mean, come on, I’m a Mitchell, and we Mitchells are a proud bunch. This is the 16th year for the Challenge, and it has become so popular that this year they started a lottery for entry. Over 2,000 people vying for 200 spots.  Since we’ll be moving in a couple years, I figured I’d better enter the lottery so I could hopefully get in while we’re still in driving distance. I really didn't think I’d get in. Well, I did, and the hand-wringing and worry began.

    As winter storm after winter storm hit the mountains my anxiety grew. The weekend before the race the RD hiked to the top of the mountain to give us a report. Some ice and snow on the marathon course, quite a bit of snow on the trails between the marathon turnaround and the summit. So on Monday I bought a pair of Kahtoola microspikes and hoped for the best. I haven’t really run in snow before, so I was really just hoping to finish.

    I drove down to Asheville on Thursday. Mike couldn't take vacation again so soon after our trip to Arizona, so I was on my own. Friday brought rain, lots of rain, with ice and snow on the mountain. I was really worried. The RD posted that because of the weather the course had been modified, and that instead of running trail from the marathon turnaround to the summit, we’d be running on the state highway (closed to traffic due to weather) up to the summit. I was secretly relieved for two reasons. First, the new course was only 37 miles instead of 40, and since I haven’t gotten in a lot of long runs, three less miles sounded great. And second, I’m a much better runner on pavement than I am on trails.

     

    Saturday morning I woke up to rain and 37 degrees. Lovely. I went with tights, a long sleeve shirt, a long sleeve ¼ zip pullover, my Marathon Maniac Brooks vest, a baseball-type hat to keep the rain out of my eyes, and gloves. I had a stocking cap stuffed in the back pocket of the pullover, 2 gels in my hand held, 3 gels and a camera in one vest pocket, and one pocket empty for gloves if I took them off and empty gel wrappers. The Challenge and Marathon course is the same for the first 14 miles. There the marathon turns around while the Challenge heads up to the summit. In order to continue to the summit, you have to hit the marathon turnaround in 3 hours or less. If you don’t make it, you turn around and finish the marathon. We took off right at 7 a.m. from downtown Black Mountain. The first 2.5 miles are on pavement, and I ran those pretty fast (considering I was going to be running 37 miles), because my speed on roads is I think disproportionally faster than on trails (a lot of people I can pass on the road will pass me like I’m standing still on trails). From there it is on to a nice single track trail for about 5 miles. Some really nice views. I’m making good time. I walk and take a gel at about mile 6. Roll into the first aid station and refill my hand held. The aid station volunteers in this race are awesome. They head up the night before with all the supplies and camp out overnight. So while I was in my nice warm bed while the last round of rain, snow and ice came through, they were up camping on the mountain!

    From there we head into a double track trail. Extremely rocky and hard to run. And any place without rocks is mud. I start thinking about the cutoff, even though I should have plenty of time. The next aid station at mile 10.3, I grab some chips and keep moving. The trail gets messier and rockier. We’re all doing a lot of walking and I’m starting to worry more about the cutoff. The marathon leaders are coming back towards us – somehow they are able to run on this crap! I am walking as fast as I can (thanks to all those uphill TM miles I walked!) and running when I can. Really starting to push, which I shouldn't do this early in an ultra, but I feel like I don’t have a choice. A girl near me worried out loud about making the cutoff, and I picked it up even more. About ½ mile from the cutoff the trail is covered in ice, and pretty much stays that way the rest of the way.  I’m breathing hard, slipping and sliding and worrying. I make it to the mile 14 aid station (and the cutoff) in 2:55. That girl didn't make it. In fact a lot of people didn't make it. I stopped for a couple minutes at the aid station to catch my breath, and there were several people doing the same before heading up to the summit, surprised that the time was so close.

    Once I made it past the cutoff, I knew I could relax a little. The cutoff time is based on the original course of another 6+ miles on trails, not running the last 5 miles on pavement. I ran, then ran/walked, then basically walked most of the uphill to the summit. I figured if I walked at a 15 minute per mile pace, I’d hit the summit in about 4 hours and 15 minutes. Since my only goal was to finish under the 10 hour time limit, I walked. I took a couple pictures. The weather was not that bad, although it got a little cold the last two miles as I ran “into the clouds”.

     I got to the summit, had another runner take my picture, took his picture, and then chatted for a minute with the volunteers at the aid station. I heard a woman ask the others if they thought they were half way through, and I told her I left the cutoff with only three minutes left, so there were probably only another dozen or so runners behind me. She was quite surprised yet happy to hear that. Switched from water to Gatorade in my hand held and headed back.

    I headed back down the mountain and made up some time. I felt great and reeled off a few 8:45 minute miles. Stopped at a porta potty at about mile 21.5, so that mile was 10:30. Back to the cutoff aid station. A volunteer asked me how the view was and I told her you couldn’t see anything. She told me to tell that to all the people she had to turn back that missed the cutoff. Back through the icy section. A little less ice, a lot more freezing cold puddles of water. Back down through the rocky section. It seemed even worse going this way and I had a couple of 17-18 minute miles. At some point I had to go to the bathroom again. The trail was along the side of the mountain, with a steep drop off on one side. I literally couldn't go off trail more than a foot on either side. I finally went off to the side, sort of hidden by a tree but not really. As soon as I started to go I saw legs coming down the trail. Shut it off and got the tights up just in time! I let that runner go, went along a little farther, same drill but this time I got it done! Not my finest trail running moment.

    The trail was a complete mess coming back down. 400 runners turned the non-rocky spots into a muddy, sloppy mess. Eventually got to some drier, sandier stuff and was able to run. Finally made it to the last aid station and was told there was only 4.5 miles to go. I was soooo happy to hear that. Back onto single track, but this time it was super steep. I passed a couple runners that were on the side stretching their quads. I just looked at the down and said “ouch”. Told them I might walk that and they agreed it was a good idea. So I did.

    The last two and a half miles were back through town. Some on the road, some on a trail through a little park, then down a paved walking path. It was really cool – a couple people out on their front porch cheering, people walking their dogs stopping to cheer and tell me I was almost there, a couple cars slowed down, rolled down their windows and cheered for me. I think the whole town gets behind the event. The finish is at a little lake in the middle of town. Of course you get to the lake and then have to run all the way around it first before you finish. I got there in 7:56 and thought “I could finish under 8 hours”. Then I realized that the lake was bigger than I thought and maybe I couldn't  Then I realized I didn't really care. I just kept running. I actually passed 3-4 people going through town just by not stopping and walking. It hurt, but walking would have hurt too, and by running I would be done hurting faster! I crossed the line at 8:01:01.

    I picked up my finisher’s fleece, ate some food and hobbled to my car, mentally thanking the RD for suggesting we park at the finish and walk the half mile to the start rather than the other way around.

    Since everyone else is blogging: http://karenrunsfar.blogspot.com/
    Upcoming Races: 5/17 Bridge the Gap to Health Half Marathon, 6/14 Baltimore 10 Miler, 7/13 Maryland Duathlon, 7/26 Endless Summer 6-hour, 8/3 Fort Ritchie Duathlon, 9/14 Erie Marathon, 10/18 Baltimore Marathon

    MarjorieAnn3137


    Run to live; live to run

      Depends on how much you want to spend  There are awesome places downtown.  Some B and B's and some great hotels

       

      Marjorie- Do you know of any place special to stay in Charleston? I breezed through the city years ago and have always wanted to go back. DH and I celebrate 25 years in September and this could be an easy option for a trip.

       

      Carolyn

      Marjorie

      MarjorieAnn3137


      Run to live; live to run

        In other news my dad is engaged.  We knew he wanted to get married.  This one lives close by and is his age.  They have dated maybe 3 times.  Considering he wanted to marry someone else last week (that he subsequently scared away) nothing surprises me now.  I hope it works out.  He did give her the ring and she said yes.  No plans or date yet

        Marjorie

          Gatsby-yes, less colorful but better looking than profile pic!  Looks beautiful!  maybe when I come out beginning of June to Mountain View we can find some trails??? pretty please....

           

          Karen-awesome RR!!  Congrats on a hard fought finish.  I may have to copy your fast incline walking on tm workout.  If I even have to go back to a tm that is. Trails are tough and take a lot out of you mentally as well as physically. You can't zone out really on a trail. Not in any hurry myself to climb a mountain.  Katie and I opted for snow covered pavement over the snow covered ice ruts on Saturday. The few yards we did on teh trails convinced us of that. Nervewracking and ankle twisting for sure.

           

          Marjorie-I swear it's not me.

          Lisa

           


          Bad Ass

            Marjorie, great job on the run.


            Gatsby, great picture!

             

            Quick check-in after my HM this morning.  Here's my picture from the summit of Montara Mountain.  Not quite Mount Mitchell but I was sure glad to have made it!  Lots of ups and downs, mostly single track., and some of it pretty rocky  I managed to run more of it than expected and my ribs seem to have held up okay.  Be back later to chat.

             

            Montara Mountain

            Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner

            Next:  RnR Country Music Half Marathon

            Blog

            "The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."


            Bad Ass

              Karen, awesome RR and yes, you're bad ass!

              Damaris, Marathon Maniac, Ultra Runner

              Next:  RnR Country Music Half Marathon

              Blog

              "The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire."

              MarjorieAnn3137


              Run to live; live to run

                Carolyn  check out Charleston Place.  It is very, very  nice, on the market so by everything.  You can ofetn get good deals

                Haha Lisa!

                Marjorie

                MarjorieAnn3137


                Run to live; live to run

                  Karen what a great RR.  Sounds tough.  You rock!

                  Marjorie

                    So happy to finally be a part of a group where "bad ass" is a good thing.  I have arrived.

                    Lisa

                     

                      Karen, love the RR!   You’re got some impressive mental fortitude to keep going through such tough conditions.  And I’m so glad that you made the cut-off.

                       

                      Lisa, bad asses welcome here, I say!  You bet we’ll get out on some trails when you’re in Mountain View.  Are you going to be here on a weekend or just weekdays?

                       

                      JulieD , I second your nomination of Karen for the Queen of the Mountain award.  Sounds like you’re training for a 10K?   Speaking of letting go of monthly mileage goals. I hit a whopping 30 this month (less than Marjorie runs in the average weekend!).  I’ll be glad to put February behind me.

                       

                      Marjorie, I hope your dad and his bride-to-be are happy together.  Hopefully that means no more internet scammers.

                       

                      Damaris, sorry to hear your HM didn’t go well.  Migraines suck.  What’s next on your race calendar?

                       

                      Hi Cindy, Ginny, Camille, Carolyn, and everyone else.

                       

                      Oh, and this link has photos of all of my birds, including Gatsby Bird, who's in my avatar (around 5th post down):

                      http://www.runningahead.com/forums/topic/aeebee6707314314b74d659e4be3f907/0  

                      They are a bunch of real characters.

                      Anonymous Guest


                      Batgirl!

                        Look who I found halfway between here and Winston-Salem - Cindy! So much fun catching up.

                        fe

                        Since everyone else is blogging: http://karenrunsfar.blogspot.com/
                        Upcoming Races: 5/17 Bridge the Gap to Health Half Marathon, 6/14 Baltimore 10 Miler, 7/13 Maryland Duathlon, 7/26 Endless Summer 6-hour, 8/3 Fort Ritchie Duathlon, 9/14 Erie Marathon, 10/18 Baltimore Marathon

                        Arimathea


                        Tessa

                          Karen, nice picture, excellent race report and GOOD JOB on the race! I hate being that close to cutoff, you are brave.

                           

                          A polite trail runner will take no notice even if someone is squatting right next to the trail IMHO. I have done my share of finding something very interesting to look at in the other direction when business is being taken care of.

                           

                          Hee on the "please tell all the others who didn't make the cutoff that you couldn't see anything because of the weather conditions".

                           

                          Gatsbybird, seems like most of California looks the same...chaparral, manzanita, and scrub.

                           

                          Marjorie, sorry you have hives, hope you feel better.

                           

                          Camille, yes it is a good thing to be a gym member!

                           

                          Ginny, how is the tooth feeling?

                           

                          Lisa, never doubt that being badass is a good thing. And we are definitely badass.

                           

                          Cindy, if it's any comfort, DH was 53 when DD was born and 55 when DS was born, He is a much older parent, comparatively speaking, than you are.

                           

                          PCT run: cold, snowy, icy (I slipped and went down once, sore shoulder/arm today), mountainous (duh), and we saw tracks that we couldn't identify at the time but  looking online afterwards we think they were mountain lion. Eep. Other than that, it was a lovely run.

                           

                          So 15 yesterday, 6 this morning before WW, 5 this afternoon.

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