Monday, June 17, 2013

Pagosa Springs: Act I & II

Let me set the scene:

When my good friend Kenzie informed me that her wedding was going to be in Pagosa Springs, CO, I swiftly began to Google to see if any races were going on the same weekend.  I knew it was a long shot, but lo and behold there was a trail marathon that morning.  The Turkey Track Trail Marathon.  After confirming that the wedding would be in the evening, I registered Nick and I for the race...we're making the most of this vacation.  (Aside:  I know I'm not the only person that does this, but I do believe that this is a problem... Oh well, we all have our issues.)

We drove to Moab, UT Thursday night, set up a tent, woke up with the sun and set off to Durango, CO.  After a bit of cowboy shirt and trail shoe shopping, we continued on to Pagosa.  It was a beautiful drive!!!

YEA!  The race starts at 8AM...we'll come back to this later...

The plan was for Nick to run with Sage so that I didn't have to worry about poop scooping, etc... and I could race it.  The race was all single-track through pines, meadows, and aspen trees, but with no scenery climax ( a mountain overlook..).  This was fine, though.  Single track within the first 6 miles of a race can be challenging, but we all settled in eventually.  I was following a female without any water or handhelds, so I thought for sure she would be done after one lap, but when we hit mile 13 and flipped around I could see she was heading back out, too.  This was a cool way to see where the field was and how spread out everyone was.  I was in fourth place (female) about 0.5 miles behind 3rd female with 5th and 6th within 0.7 of me.  But as most marathons go, mile 13 re energized me and the count down began!  

Mile 13-19 was strong and fun!  I didn't pass anyone, but there was no way anyone was going to catch me, either.  Mile 19 brought an AS with the most adorable older adults with cold, wet towels.  After the milking that towel for all it was worth, I was ready to finish strong ( I thought).  I did just fine until mile 22.  At this point I was closing in on noon and it was HOT!  These trees offered spotty shade, as in no real shade. I did my best to drink as much as possible, but I feel like I probably could have used much more COLD water and more salt.  The last four miles were pitiful and I am not proud, but I ended up finishing strong and placing 3rd overall female, 1st in age group (one of the top girls got lost).  Basically until mile 22 I was on point to finish in a 3:50, but ended up at 4:07.  Oh well.  
Nick finished within 20 minutes with one tired pup and we gorged ourselves on popsicles and ice water... There was beer and burgers, but it was a little difficult to eat in that heat!  PLUS, we had to get to a wedding!
Wash dog in hotel tub.  Filthy!!!  Wash self in shower.  Filthy!!! But, clean up nicely, huh?
Photo: Such a beautiful wedding, but not too serious...
PhotoThe wedding ceremony was lovely.  It was on Kenzie's Family's property with a river and lake, complete with EPIC rope swing for drunk wedding goers and bonfire pit.  We last until 10PM...basically right after we ate dinner and hopped on the shuttle to head back to the hotel.  CRASH.

The End.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Pacing (literally) Bryce 100

As it usually does, pacing this past weekend went great.  Harrison did, in fact, run me into the ground, but I was able to keep up and literally paced his race from mile 66 on. I saw Harrison at mile 25.5 (Blubber Creek AS) and he and Jon were looking strong.  By the next time I saw them (Mile 50) both boys looked a little worked and I had the sense that Harrison had a rough patch sometime between 25.5 and 50, as often happens during these distances.  

PhotoPhotoPhoto: Blubber Creek (25.5).

Around 9PM (plus or minus), Harrison's mom received a text from Kathleen in Pennsylvania relaying the message that Harrison was feeling good, was 2 miles out, and not to go easy on him.  "OK!"  I readied my hydration pack and started mentally preparing for a long night (AKA downed 16oz of coffee/hot cocoa).  The boys did look good and headed out.  We were to see Harrison's parents at mile 90.

Harrison and Jon were a pleasure (ish) to pace.  They are like Tom and Jerry chit chatting back and forth (not as much as usual).  I felt a little left out (mostly because I was listening to music in one ear...a tactic to lessen the blow of the sound of vomiting), but realized I probably didn't want to know what they were talking about anyway.  Harrison did exactly as he said he would; latch right on to my pace and Jon did the same to Harrison.  I fell in the dust once (the boys did not) and I got us lost once (the boys found us).  GREAT job, right?  To be fair, we didn't get too far off course and it WAS marked poorly at a sharp left turn.

Proctor Canyon was mile 80 (ish) and by this time Harrison was feeling a little sick and didn't want to wait around the AS very long.  He was now running on broth, Mountain Dew, and Lifesaver mints.  We left Jon caring for his battered feet and off we went!  I will say that Harrison and I RAN all flats and downhills.  I can honestly say that.  We hiked some seriously sneaky uphills.

After a serious climb we descended into King's Campground where Sami woke from a nap by the fire and Harrison's dad met us.  A few quiet words were spoken between them and off we went.  This next section was HARD.  There was about 5 miles uphill, followed by what was supposed to be a 5 mile descent into the finish.  Poor Harrison...  I counted down the miles for him and when the finish line didn't come in any sort of timely fashion after my "1 mile left!" proclamation WE were ticked.  At this point we had no idea how much further we had to go, so Harrison tucked behind me and we ran.

All in all, Harrison was a rock star and I will give myself some credit for a job well done pacing.  We passed some serious people and they never passed us back!  Harrison ended up finishing in 9th place with a 24:34.  His goal was a sub-24, but, by my watch, the course was 4 miles long.  Matt Gunn claims 2, but I'm sticking with 4...maybe it was the little bit we were lost that put us over.  In my mind, Harrison accomplished greatness!

Other stuff:

  • Dust was everywhere!  Sage was Pigpen from Charlie Brown and got a bath in the lake prior to leaving
  • My shins hurt from sunburn
  • I am still catching up on sleep
  • That is all.