Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Mud, blood, and beauty! Timp Trail 2011

Timp Trail Half Marathon - FUN!
I'd be on the fence with this race for several months.  Well that's not really true.  I'd been planning on it and looking forward to it for several months, and then it proceeded to just DUMP rain the entire week of the race.  Not usually a problem for a race, but if it's on trail it could be.  I love to trail run, I love dirt, and I'm even halfway fond of mud, but not suck your shoe off-squishy squashy mud, so I kind of talked myself out of doing it.  Then it stopped raining for a whole day on Friday (amazing I know), and some other plans I had to help my husband out with our Altra booth at Ogden fell through, so there I was at 9pm at night texting race director and friend Shaun, asking if I could still get in.  He said yes, so I threw some stuff in a bag, grabbed the kids, and headed to my awesome mother-in-law's to sleep the night with the kids.

Timp Trail Half Marathon started at 8am at a park a mile up Provo canyon.  Race morning was a bit chilly.  I had to use both jackets I had to go get my packet, then hung out in the car for a few more minutes till it was time to get out and race.  Of course upon walking to the start I noticed I wasn't cold at all, should have listened to my instincts and taken layers off, but I didn't, waited till the first mile in.  Not a huge deal and I actually really like my Nathan 4 bottle belt because I can carry 20oz of water and still leave 2 slots open and they are great for holding stuff like a vest or arm warmers.
I just loved running fast through the scenery.  Beats the pants off hot dry highways and neighborhoods  :)
I started in my Intuitions, wool socks, gaiters (shoe and ankle covers to prevent dirt/rocks from getting in the shoes), shorts, a tank, a wind vest and tube sock arm warmers. Like I said, had the arm warmers and vest shed and stuffed in my 2 empty Nathan bottle cages by a mile in.  I was concerned about getting lost since you have to follow flagging and there are other trails you could run and be off course and there aren't herds of people all around you all the time, but it was marked just great!  We followed the pink tape tied onto trees or bushes, then a pink and yellow together signaled a turn.  Was just fine.  Anyway, there was probably about 25 min of walking terrain that I walked up as fast as I could, and the rest was runnable. The last 3-4 miles was all downhill, some gentle where I could really open up and fly, and some steep where I hoped my legs and footing would hold up. I floated between 2nd and almost 4th woman most of the race until I mile 8.5 or so when I spotted the leader ahead of me, talk about excited! I know her and she's an Xterra athlete meaning she races all off road triathlons. I had no intentions of winning the race, or even podiuming for that matter, didn't feel like I was in great shape, just wanted to go out and enjoy the race.  Once I saw her though, I kicked in  :)  I spent the next 1.5 catching up to her and eventually passing her when I gave her one of my water bottles as she had nothing and aid stations were anywhere from 30-60 min apart. From there I took off and tried to build as much lead as I could, fearing her. About mile 10.5 I tripped on something and went down hard scraping up my knee and taking a nice chunk out of my hand. Took no time getting up worrying I'd just blown my lead.  That was seriously the first thing I thought of.  Took me a minute to get past the pain (thank you endorphins, where were you that afternoon when I cleaned the wounds out??), but then really ran hard those last 3 miles and never looked back out of fear she'd be right behind me. I felt so amazing the whole time, it was just the last mile that I felt it get hard because of steep downhill terrain, it can be hard to keep your footing and legs underneath you. I was SO excited to be finishing 1st! The finish line was not as exciting as I'd hoped for, no cheering or announcing, but I guess that's just how trail races are. It's ok.  Everyone was very friendly.  I finished in 2:06, which is a good 37 min off my road PR, but I bet I raced close to as fast. 2nd place was about 2 min back. I haven't been training very well or very consistently, so to feel that good running fast and catch a girl I was sure I wouldn't was so great, a great moral booster for me that I have really needed. I say this humbly and honestly, remember we're all on different levels, but the races I'd win last year became mundane, not that exciting anymore, and I hated that. More than winning or beating anyone, I was just so glad to feel excitement again. It was so amazing racing in such beauty too, man, I could leave road racing behind all together if it came down to it. A great race all around! I highly suggest you all take the opportunity to do a trail race, its an amazing experience. If you're in Utah there's a Cascadia series that has shorter trail races 3-7 miles. 
Did I say how fun and great the race was?  :D
This race was just so much fun.  Thank You body for surprising me with such a great and enjoyable performance when I least expected it.  The longest trail race I've done and I'm absolutely hooked! 

1 comment:

Jarvis Family said...

Just realized I never commented on this one. Huge congrats! I am so excited for you! I can tell it meant a lot to you and I am glad you had so much fun! Love trail races... but like you said, there is a season for everything, right? :-) And I have to say I am excited you ran Erin down. That is impressive. Way to go!