Sunday, October 25, 2009

TTR Bear Canyon Loop

Well, my internet at home has been down and I have limited capabilities at work, so I'm behind on the blogging. Apparently, someone went up the Quest pole and stole our internet! Didn't know you could do that...

I joined TTR for the running of Bear Canyon loop in Sabino Canyon.  This is touted as the trail run that has, 'been run by more Tucson trail runners, more times, than any other trail run in Tucson.' This was my 3rd running of it. The last 2 times, I came back on Phoneline trail, which takes longer, but this time, I came back the last 3.7 miles on the road (which is the 'traditional route'). So, if you are in Tucson, or just visiting, definitely check this trail run out.
Distance: 17 miles
Time: 3:49
Total cumulative elevation gain/(loss):  My Garmin reports some fantastic gains sometimes, so I'm not going with what it reported. From other sites, looks like it is around 3,000 feet gain/(loss). Looking back on the switchbacks:

I had to hike a bit of it. I'm still recovering from the 60k I ran last week. I took 7 days off of running to help recover, but I still have sore hips and a sore left foot. However, once I got on the flats and downhill today, I was able to run fine!
Well, except I toe-hooked on one rocky spot that I was hiking and got a minor flesh wound! I fell down and hit my hand on a rock.

It bled a little, but luckily, I had a bandana with me that I use to blow my nose, so I wrapped it up in that. It turned pretty bruised looking later on the in the day - looks like I wacked the top screw that is in my wrist from my previous wrist fracture (I have 9 screws altogether). So, it was pretty sore. 

I ran into a lot of my good friends today, but it was particularly good to see my blogging friends, Troy (I ran with Troy at the Red Mountain 50k a while back) and Angie (I did the Zane Grey 50k the same year she did); I haven't seen either of them in a long time! Troy will be running the Ghost Town 38.5 in January that I'm doing, also. Angie is just getting back into the running scene again and is taking it slow.
I'm still taking it slow after my race - one more week of low mileage and then I'll start bumping it up again. Next week: Half Mary race - Everyone Runs
Next race after that: Tucson Marathon in December.
Time to get some long runs in... I'd 'secretly' like to qualify for Boston at the TM. I'd have to get a 3:50:59! Not sure if I can pull that off.
Note to self: It is all about the fun. Don't forget that.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Nashville Ultra 60k Race Report

Be prepared - there are a lot of pictures in this post! They are mostly for me to enjoy when I look back at my post later, but hopefully, someone else enjoys them, too.

This is what I was greeted with on the chalkboard when I woke up on race morning:

Don't I have a fabulous family? My sister in law Carol wrote that - she is always thinking of others.

I stayed at my brother Ken's house in Nashville. My sister Theresa lives there, too, and then my sister Andrea moved there 2 weeks ago, and my other 2 sisters, Jennifer and Lisa, and their families and my Mom traveled up for the weekend. An ultra created a family reunion.

My brother got up early with me and drove me to the race. Thank you, Ken! We had a nice talk on the way, which got me in a good mood for the race.

Well, here is how it all went down:
Distance: 60k (37.2 miles)
Time: 6:27:43
Pace: 10:25 min/mile. I was averaging about 9:30 to 10:00min/mile pace until about mile 26 and then the wheels came off. I had to do a walk/run combo that last 10 or so miles.

I came in 2nd out of a total of 12 finishers in the 60k! They only gave awards to 1st place men and women in each distance (a really cool sweatshirt), but all finishers got imprinted glass mugs (and t-shirts of course), which was nice.

There were other distances you could choose to do - 50k, 70k and 50 miles. I knew I could do 31 miles, since I've done it several times before, but I wanted to see how I would do with a little more distance, which is why I chose the 60k.

It was 100% pavement, with a great deal of concrete in the downtown Nashville area. Painful. I never take NSAIDs during races because of the risk of renal failure when runners get dehydrated, but I was in so much pain at mile 19 that I relented. I just made sure I drank a ton of water.

The leaves were falling and since there was a good breeze, it was raining leaves on me at times which lifted my spirits.

It was fairly hilly at the beginning, with lots of green grass and pedestrian bridges and water. There were definitely a lot of bridges on this course.

Downtown Nashville and Titans stadium:

It was COLD. The high was only 49, which wouldn't have been bad, except for the breeze. I wore sleeves and a tank underneath my long sleeve shirt, and gloves. I would take my gloves off and then put them back on periodically. I never took off my sleeves or long sleeve shirt during the race. Every time I got warm, the breeze would blow and I would be cold again. It was also fairly gloomy during the race; no sun to be seen, which made it hard to stay upbeat.

The mental element was huge in this race. I talked to myself a lot to try and get my positive energy up. I prayed a lot. I sang to myself at times. The runners were pretty spread out, and although I passed quite a few in the end, I never really ran with anyone. The miles really clicked by until....the last 10 miles. I had to dig deep and push through.

The aid stations were about 6 miles apart, which was perfect. I was pretty good about fueling - a gel every 30 minutes. I wish the aid stations had potatoes, because I was really craving some real food after 4 or so hours. The last 6 miles I went without any water or gels, but by then, I was pretty hydrated. I knew when I stopped at the last aid station that I was out of water in my pack, but I was so tired I didn't want to be bothered with refilling it! So, I just swigged a bunch of water at the aid station and off I went. I get like that at the end of a big race. I don't like dealing with anything that is a hassle. I just get focused on the finish line.

My family was there to watch me come in, which was so wonderful. The pics of me coming in and after the race with my family just say it all:

Needless to say, they all think I'm crazy. My Mom said that she was surprised that I didn't have 'noodle' legs afterwards. I think that might be why I was laughing.
I was so greatful that they had pizza at the finish. I was seriously hungry. 

Check out the guy behind me in this one. I think he is trying to eat pizza and run at the same time!

So, we had a house full of people that night after the race for our big spaghetti dinner (a family favorite). My 4 sisters, brother, Mom, spouses/boyfriend, nieces and nephews - I think there were 20 of us altogether.

My sister Lisa caught of a pic of me finally experiencing the post-race tiredness that evening.

Lisa's birthday is Sunday and mine is on Tuesday (and Carol's was last Tuesday), so Carol picked up a cake and we all celebrated our birthdays after spaghetti. What a fun evening. You can really do a lot in a day!

I'm just really proud of myself and so thankful for family. What a blessing to be able to run ultras and what a greater blessing to be surrounded by people I love and who love me. Doesn't get much better than that.

Nashville Ultra - 60k

I finished the Nashville Ultra 60k (37.2 miles) in 6:27:43! My longest race yet.
My family came out in the freezing cold to watch me cross the finish line, which was awesome.
I'll post a report later. I'm tired! :) Just flew back into Tucson today.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

TTR Green Bug Run

Well, I pretty much wiped myself out yesterday, so it was really more of a hike for me than a run! Yesterday, I did a 90 minute hot yoga class, followed by a new workout with a personal trainer in the afternoon. This new workout is really working a lot of muscles that haven't gotten enough action, so I was already sore before the end of the day. To top it off, I did a walk in the deep and sandy wash with the dogs in the evening. I wasn't moving very fast this morning, that's for sure.

So...not much of a taper this week for my upcoming 60k - 31 miles this week, three resistance/core/weight workouts, one 90 minute hot yoga class and 3 miles of dog walking, some of it in a sandy wash!

Here was the run:
Distance: 10.2 miles (There was a longer distance you could choose which was about 19 miles.) I did an out and back from Prison Camp to the Bug Springs trailhead - 5.1 miles each way.
Cumulative elevation gain/(loss): 3,097 feet/(3,125) feet
Time: 3:01 (jeesh! took forever!)
Actually, Kenny and our dog Taos went with me and Kenny was having severe knee pain about mile 3.5. So, I went with Taos to the Bug Springs trailhead and then met him on the way back. At any rate, it slowed things up a bit. We think he might have ITBS. Very painful.

This is a very beautiful trail in the Catalina mountains. Lots of hoodoos and neat rock formations. It was great to see all the TTR members that came out.

Time to rest up for the Nashville Ultra - I'm doing the 60k next Saturday. I get to visit my sisters - Andrea, Lisa, Theresa and Jennifer - and my brother Ken. I also get to see most of my nieces and nephews - 9 of them. My Mom will be there and a lot of spouses as well. Looks like my ultra created a family reunion. My brother and sister live in Nashville, but everyone else is traveling in to visit. Very cool. Couldn't have planned it better myself! Thank you God.

Everyone wish me luck. 37 miles is a long way to run. :)