Sunday, February 21, 2010

TTR Tanque Verde Loop

TTR is the best! These are my people! And my friend Jamil was down from Phoenix - always good to see him.
Distance: 29 miles
Time: 7:32 (I'm slow in snow!)
The fastest person was my friend Dallas, who finished in 5:27!! Unbelievably superhuman.
Well, everyone out there today was just remarkable. Going through the snow was a tough deal. My trail running group impresses the hell out of me and I have a lot to learn from them...
Cumulative elevation gain/(loss): 6,656/(6,697) feet.
We started at the Douglas Springs TH. And, we're off!
We Ran Douglas Springs trail up to Cowhead Saddle (6,100 feet elevation).
We then took Tanque Verde Ridge trail to the TH at Javelina picnic area in Saguaro East Park.
There are many variations at this point, but I took the road to Cactus Forest trail, then the road to Loma Verde TH, where I ran Squeeze Pen, Carillo and Garwood trails back to DS TH.
It was really pretty the whole way - the changing landscape was great.
First, we ran through the desert:
Heading up, up, up - cactus disappearing, desert scrub of some sort starting to appear (that's Adrian quickly gaining on me):
There was a lot of water running from all the rain and snow - we had to cross some streams here and there.

And then, we hit snow.
Lots of snow. Not sure how the Doug figured out the trail (he was first through all the snow and then Dallas finally passed him), but I just followed along with everyone else in the tracks! The footprints had turned icy after a bit, so it was a lot of slip and slide for a while....
Smart - wore my Gore-tex trail running shoes (La Sportiva), so my feet stayed dry and I had my Arcteryx jacket - it got pretty cold on the exposed sections - lots of wind. Gloves got wet from all the snow; I had to slide down a lot of steep downhill sections and use my hands on the snow for support. It was crazy!!!!

The kid in me thought it was great! The trail runner that ran a 31 mile race last week was tired...

It looked like the weather was going to change for the worse, but I only felt a few raindrops near the end of the run.

That's Wayne and a whole lot of fog in that pic in the middle above - he finally passed me up near the top (topout was around 6,970 feet.)

Pics of the descent and the trails through Saguaro East:

I almost dropped at the Javelina aid station (mile 20) but I mentally had it in my mind to finish, so I did (maybe it was those homemade peanut butter cookies that revived me)! I was the only woman out of 10 of us who finished the entire run today. 15 other trail runners did shorter or alternate versions of the run.
Total miles run for the week: 53.5 This was my highest mileage week ever.
Total miles run in the last 9 days: 90 Yep - highest total for 9 days ever.
Time to rest up for OP50!!!! I can't wait to run the biggest run of my life!

'We're crashing
Into the unknown
We're lost in this
But it feels like home'

~ Lifehouse

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pemberton 50k Race Report

That's me at mile 25! I was feeling so happy to be out on the trail and to see my friend Joyce who snapped the pic of me!
Distance: 31 miles (Garmin recorded 30.91)
Time: 5:00:36 (15 minutes faster than last year's time of 5:15:30!!!!) My goal time was 5:10. I was thrilled.
Overall placement: 49th out of 149 total finishers.
Female placement: 13th out of 59 total female finishers.
Cumulative elevation gain/(loss): 2,641/(2,638) feet

The course is 2 loops of the Pemberton trail, which is 15.5 miles (approximately). Race is held in McDowell Mountain Park in Fountain Hills, AZ, which is about 2.5 hours Northeast of Tucson.
Shari and I before the start of the race as the sun is beginning to come up:

Lots of TTR folks out - Tonja, Joyce, Paul, Wayne, Patricia, Chase, Audrian, Julie, Chris, Denise, Trish, and me (did I miss anyone?)

I ran into some people who remembered me from the Cave Creek marathon and others who knew me from my blog! I can't tell you how good it makes me feel when people come up and introduce themselves to me. I feel special - thank you!!!
Thanks to Joyce and others who took pics of me running!
After the first 15 miles (both feet off the ground in the first picture!):
After I passed Joyce at mile 25 or so, she snapped this pic:

My feet are off the ground here at this point in the race, too! How cool is that? Joyce asked how I was doing and I said, "Great!! I'm going to beat my goal time!!" I was a happy gal.
Jamil (a super duper fast ultrarunner) was manning the 2nd aid station. It is always good to see him, too - he is so nice. Here I am with him at mile 26:
I know, I probably could have broke 5 hours if I hadn't stopped to take the picture! Oh, well. It's all about the fun. :)

Me coming into the finish!
I got really sunburned at the finish line waiting for friends to come in, but I wouldn't have missed Shari coming across the finish of her first ultra for the world.  Great job, Shari - I'm proud of you!
I'm thankful for all of the wonderful people in my life that support me and help me be a better me. Thank you God for your grace, for strong legs and for the love that is pouring into my life right now.
"Let it go, let it roll right off your shoulder, Don't you know, the hardest part is over, Let it in, let your clarity define you, In the end, we will only just remember how it feels..." ~ Rob Thomas.
Thank you to the beautiful soul who shared this amazing song with me. :)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Arizona Trail Race - 8 miles

The sun came up right before the race started. Nice.
This is my third time doing this race.
Elaine, Shari and me before the race looking fresh and ready to run on some trails:
Distance: 8 miles
Finish Time: 1:18:59 - I placed 3rd in my age group! And, I shaved over 5 minutes off my time of 1:24:07 at the 2008 race.
Average pace per mile: 9:52 min/mile
2 years ago, my pace was 10:30 min/mile! And, I didn't do a race the day before!
I came in 88th place out of 224 total runners and 21st out of 118 women runners.
Cumulative elevation gain/(loss): 1,124/(1,024) feet. It is a little hilly...
My legs were a little tired from yesterday's race and last week's marathon run. Quads were screaming, but I kept on! They took a lot of pics of us on the course.

The storm rolled in the last mile or so of the race and it starting raining and it got cold! 

I was certainly thinking of the TTR group, who were running up in the Rincons getting snowed on today! You could just see it in these pics:

We received medals at the finish. I also got a really cool tile for my 3rd place age group award!
Here we are after the race, donning our finisher medals and feeling proud that we beat our prior year times! Shari has really become a great friend to me.

And, isn't that what life is about? Connecting to others, sharing our successes, hopes, and dreams. Life is good.

'But if you never try you'll never know, just what you're worth...'
~ Coldplay

Saturday, February 6, 2010

CFR Winter Trail Series Race #3

Well, I was back at it today, racing out at the Tortolita Mountains on the Wild Burro and Alamo Springs trails this time.

Distance 7.4 miles (I got 7.7, but I dropped my camera AGAIN and had to backtrack a little)
Time: 1:40 - 16 minutes faster than last year even with the backtracking. :)
Cumulative elevation gain/(loss): 1,872/(1,863) feet. Several big climbs in this race.
The Tortolita Mountains are beautiful!!!

Ott, the race director, had cleaned up the course before today to get the trails in better condition. He got a lot of rocks and debris off the trail for us. I had never seen this trail in such good shape - it was an awesome run out there today.
Here I am at the end with my friend Becky with our 'catfoot' coasters.
Super cool little gift from Ott for doing the races! There is a trail half marathon out there coming up on March 20th. I would highly recommend it - the course is going to be amazing.
Today was an amazing day all around. The best I've had in a long time.
I felt like I had "Lassoed the moon and the stars and pulled that rope tight." ~ Pink.