Sunday, November 30, 2014

Fiery Gizzard Trail Race

MY LEGS ARE SORE! WONDERFULLY SORE! I  was very excited to be racing. I had not raced since July and was ready to get back to it.  There have been some races that I have wanted to do but they always fell at the wrong weekend. When I received the email from John Hardwin that they were doing this trail race, I was pumped!  John is crazy! His races are always fun and he always puts in a little extra to make sure you receive the full trail experience. To make it even more perfect it was on the weekend we would be in Mont Eagle.  I began training using the First Plan.  I love that plan as I only have to run 3 days a week and 4 is my max I ever run so it is perfect. I also like the track work outs but the tempo runs not so much. I felt like I was in pretty good shape going into this race. The week of the race I started with my typical I don't feel good sickies.  This is usually a sign of nerves and a good race but this week I was surrounded with kids at school with the stomach bug, a stepson with the flu and my molar's filling broke the day I left for Mont Eagle. I just knew I would either be sick or in major tooth pain by the time race day dawned   We spent the days before the race hanging in Chattanooga and spending time in Mont Eagle with about 35 of Stewart's extended family.  Let's say I went into this race extremely carbo loaded. I  am still not sure that race took care of all that food!

Race morning dawned and it was perfect.  Chilly but not too cold. John talked to us about staying on the white blazed trails, not getting shot by Hunters, and making sure we did not get lost in the Gorge. He also told us the half was going to be about 14 miles, a fact I was very glad I knew at the end of the race.  My goal was to be top 3 women. I never have a time goal really for trail races. I just try to run the pace that I need to run to stay up front. I started the race in 2nd, moved into 1st followed some guys on a wrong turn and quickly moved back to third as we got back on the right trail and worked my way to first. Where I soon began to realize the 2nd place girl who eventually won was messing with me. She pulled one of my moves way too well. She stayed right behind me until the last mile and a half. It was nice to have someone to talk to. I was pretty sure I knew her plan but thought maybe she was just struggling to keep up.  A couple of times I would pick it up and she was right there. And she ran like a damn Indian. She was so quiet I would think I dropped her and nope she would be there. I even caught and passed some guys during this time and she would go with every surge. Then I knew she was F@&king with me. I have to say once she made the final pass, I was just relieved and had already talked myself into being happy with second female.  This is where maybe my lack of racing or fitness got me. Lack of racing because I had forgotten how to push or hurt and to not  just give up easily.  Lack of fitness because I know now I should have trained on some Hillier trails.  The course was described as few parts having climbing and the rest of it mostly flat on the ridge line.  I trained mostly flat and always forget that Chattanooga mostly flat does not equate to Memphis mostly flat until I am racing it.  I do believe although this chica was 20 plus years younger than me if I would  have ran more at the forest, stanky, and herb I could have beaten her. My legs were tired  We did have some great creek crossings and pretty much hand and knee rock climbing at parts. It was gorgeous!!! More than one waterfall. As we were heading back, I caught up with a guy who was a climber on those trails so he was able to give me a nice play by play of what we had left.  In true hardwin fashion instead of running the trail straight back to the finish, he had us take the climbing acess all the way down and then climb all the way back up. This was hard but great for many reasons. First it was beautiful, we had the huge foster falls waterfall roaring behind us, lots of rock climbers were out on the trail climbing and they all spoke to us, and Stewart, Richard, and Stewart's uncle had hiked down to wait on me which was a big surprise. I was very happy to see them   Although I miss Stewart running and racing  with me he has been an incredible Sherpa these past few months. Even mtn biking on my long runs and carrying all my fuel and he is a great race day supporter.

I was pleased to be second female. Last tri season I decided I would never end a race with should have -could haves and just be grateful that I did the best I could on that day. I also am extremely grateful to have the ability to continue to do what I love. Things could be a lot worse than missing an overall win by a minute.   They had do e sweet awards. We all know I love an award and am always happy when they are a little over the top. I also got a breakaway gift card. Yay for some new racing flats

I am not sure what is next. I had thought about taking it willy nilly for the month of Dec but I also Am looking at the herb parson half and the village creek 25k.  Whatever I choose I continue to work on just enjoying and doing what I love. I. I of course will continue with my new boxing craze until tri season starts

Happy Running!

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