RD: Clark Zealand
Elevation: 7560 / 7560 ft
Shoes: Pearl Izumi Synchro Fuel XC
Patagonia shorts and top, Nathan Pack, smart wool gloves
Consumed: 6 Vanilla Gu, some honey stinger fruit smoothie chews, 3 nuun, maybe 4 scaps, a choc chip cookie, 3 grapes, one sip of coke and a 5 hr energy.
Prelude: Rick & Tammy Gray, Will Jorgenson and myself spent a sleepless but laughter filled night at the Super8 in Bedford. I will definitely be camping @ Promise Land this year :) We met up with Jenny Nichols in the parking lot @ 5:30 a.m. and drove to the Sedalia Center. I realized after 1 bathroom trip before the ride over and 2 once we arrived at the start that I might be in trouble. I forced down some Pepto and a tums, made my way to the start, Clark hit the GONG>>>>>> and we were off on another adventure. I love the gong at the start!
|The Hellgate part of the course photo-Blanks Blankinship|
Start-AS1(4.1miles) We hit the pavement and the excitement everyone has been bottling up since their last race burst down the country road. I said hellos and good mornings as we made our way to the trail and I spotted Robin Grossman in the pack. I hadn't seen her before the start so I was happy I was able to give her a good luck hug and run with her a bit. Jamie Darling came along trying to run and take a layer off and run at the same time so I offered a hand and held her pack while she ditched the long sleeves. It wasn't long before we hit the rocks and began to climb. I watched both of them disappear up the trail. I felt slow in this first section but then again it always takes me a while to get going, when I look now at the splits, compared to last year I realized that in all reality it actually was slower, 3 min. slower!
AS3-AS5 (7 miles) I took a minute leaving AS3 to recover from that "road race" section but quickly convinced myself that if I wanted to improve from my time in 2010 I would have to work harder in this section and not get lazy. It's gravel road that is at such an incline that it is still completely runnable but steep enough to tire you out and make you want to walk. I played the "run to that pink ribbon" game in this section to keep motivated and listened to a bit of music. Run-walk, run-walk, repeat until my favorite section of Terrapin, this stretch and is part of the Hellgate course I believe. Nice technical single track, the downhill is heavenly. I relished every minute as I knew we would soon be back on the gravel road back up to camping gap. I'll just focus on the positive things I remember about coming back up the gravel road...
1.I love that every year there is someone out on this section picking up trash, giving back. We all need to follow his example and take care of these places that are so important to us.
2. I met Mark Iscool in this section and enjoyed chatting with him. It was his first time running Terrapin and he was stoked about it. I dig his overall attitude about trail races.
3.ok there weren't a ton.
|Me, Eric Fogleman, and Marc Griffin leaving the WHOR Loop - by Blanks Blankinship|
I could see Guy Love up ahead, he is an abingdonian too! but as I would catch a glimpse of him, he would be gone around the next turn. Luckily Marc caught me and kept me entertained with stories of his years of competitive skating. super neat! I had no idea there was inline skating of that caliber. We came out of the loop and cheered on the other runners who were going into the loop. Eric caught us coming down the gravel road and I really enjoyed swapping stories with those two as we made our way back to camping gap for the 3rd and final time.
|IMTR peeps mixed with VHTRC peeps|
|Finish Line photo by Eric Grossman|
Jenny quickly informed me we were 3rd and 4th female?? really??awesome! it hadn't crossed my mind that there would be a chance to possibly place. I'll have to say after I gave it some thought, as Annette would say, my dorsal fin emerged. I'm not super competitive but I decided I would work hard to maintain. I had hoped by this point I would have caught up to Rick and could hang on his coat tail as I have in the past. He is so awesome at the end of a race to keep you focused and hammer out those last miles. He has been running so strong lately that I haven't had that luxury. So I turned on some tunes and just focused on getting to the next aid station. Eric told me a hilarious story about he and his wife paddling when we got to the uber steep part of the rock garden that took my mind off those stupid rocks. As we descended into the last aid station I saw Rick! no way I could catch him but it was great to just see him for a minute.
I tried to make it quick at the aid station and head right back out. I love the last section of trail, how it winds around the side of the mountain at a gentle grade with wide open views of the countryside to your left, it's beautiful. I died on this section last year and felt like a zombie, but this year I felt stronger, more focused. I was digging deep, trying not to take walk breaks and one of my favorite john butler songs, ragged mile, came on my ipod. Perfect! thanks to Jenny for turning me on to this album! I ran along just happy as a clam.. Marc caught up to me and quietly passed by, we had yoyo'd back and forth so many times throughout the day, I tried to keep him in sight but he steadily moved on. **I don't typically wear a watch and if I do I tend to forget I have it on. I can never remember to start the timer at the beginning of a race. I have to say I was happy I had remembered to put it on this time. I happened to look down and realize we had been out around 5:30. hmm it would be nice to break 6hrs. I'm not sure how far we have left exactly but....**
I caught up to Jack Broaddus and was happy to chat with him, we just recently met at Catawba. We finally "charged" thru the last creek crossing and hit the road. I tried channeling Rick, imagining him in front of me looking back giving me that come on, you can do this! We passed the mile to go sign and I glanced at my watch, we can do this, we can break 6! after turning the corner on the final stretch I remembered back to 2009 when John Bocek and I walked that last little rise before the finish. I've learned a lot since then and still have plenty left to figure out.
I was thrilled to finish under 6hrs and 3rd female. It's still a far cry from some of the top times put down at Terrapin by fast chicks like Justine Morrison, Jenny Anderson, Donna Elder, and Sara Angel (2011 winner) but there is always room for improvement! 2009- 6:28 2010- 6:01 2011-5:53
|Sara Angel (1st), me, Sophie Speidel (2nd)|
|The IMTR Gang|
|Nice Green Bag to match my green jacket|