Sunday, January 25, 2015

The Trail Run

It says The Monkey Trails, but Chimp Haven which is where this event is held will be quick to inform you that Chimpanzees are NOT monkeys. Then I was told that the trail was named first. Then I was told that it was named that because the haven was coming. Nevertheless, what a great event!!

I have only done one trail race before, in Hattiesburg. The Tuffburg 5K Trail Run. That was the one where I broke my finger when I fell. Thank goodness nothing like that happened Sunday.

It rained all day long on Thursday, and drizzled some on Friday morning. It was going to be a hot mess on the trail. Chilly temperatures, that's a good thing. The 10 mile run started first, and those of us doing the 3.5 miler started 5 minutes back. Next year they are going to give it 15 minutes. Within the first mile we were catching the back of the pack of the 10 mile runners. It was single track and very technical with lots of punchy ups and downs and switchbacks. It made trying to pass people very difficult. Added to the difficulty were the runners wearing headphones and listening to their (quite loud?) music. Really? You're running in nature in the woods and you can't leave your music at home? More than once I had to physically touch the person I had caught so they would know someone was trying to pass them. I was calling out On Your Left (or Right) and some of them couldn't hear me. And it's not like I was leading the group, so  numerous others had to have already passed them.

Race Tip: If you are going to do a trail run on single track leave your headphones and music at home. Or at least... wear ONE earbud so you know what is going on around you. Please.

The trail was really challenging. I ran my guts out and it was a 10 minute pace. Way to make you feel like you're out of shape! I should have worn a heart rate monitor to see what max I hit. There was a lot of slippery sections, I ran on the leaves and moss to the sides of the trail a lot to try and avoid the mud. I'm sure it slowed me down but I just didn't want to slip. Towards the very end there was one little place where you had to get your feet wet, but I leapt over it and only got a tiny bit of water in my shoe.

Two girls finished ahead of me, one was 18 and the other was my friend, Denise, who is 27. I passed two guys who were ahead of me at the beginning of the race. So I placed 3rd Overall Female and 5th Overall!!

Volunteered after the race to help out, went to where the 10 milers were finishing and were having some confusion about where to go. So I cheered them on and directed them to the finish line. Told one group of 3 to just stay between the little flags and veer to the left and up to the finish. One guy had his EARBUDS in and said "What?"........ grrrrrrrrr......

Never to disappoint, Sportspectrum put on a great event! The shirts are really cool! 

And the awards are my personal favorite, the sweatshirt blankets!!!

Clark's Tailgate Catering was out grilling up hamburgers! Clark is the same guy who runs Running Dog Sportswear, he is the one who printed my Team USA uniform!

After I got home from the race I was looking on Facebook and I saw this post on Reshareworthy. It was about Chimp Haven!  More than 100 government-owned chimpanzees from research laboratories have started a new life at Chimp Haven sanctuary in Louisiana. Hope you take a minute to watch the video, I pretty much guarantee that it will touch your heart to see these guys get to experience freedom for the first time in their lives. How ironic it was that it was posted the same day where I had just been? Meant to be.

This morning when I woke up I realized I AM SORE! Like, REALLY sore! Mostly hip flexors from lifting my knees to make it up the sharp inclines, and calves and glutes have jumped on the pain wagon too. It's getting worse as the day goes on. I spun on the bike for a while this afternoon and did some stretching to see if that would help.... nope.

Next Up:
Frost Yer Fanny Duathlon is next weekend! The Cobb Mobb has made it an early season team event! And Team Cambridge has it as one of it's team events too! Get to see a bunch of teammates at the race!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Dustbuster Duathlon and Some Other Good News

Wow.. I've been super lazy/bad about blogging....

Partially because not a whole lot has been going on, but.... mostly laziness.

Sportspectrum's annual Dustbuster Duathlon was a week or so ago and true to form it was stinkin' cold out there! But what do you expect from a race that's held in early January, right? Last year a front blew in as we were waiting for the race to start, we had wind, and rain, and freezing temperatures. This year no rain (thank goodness) but it was in the low 40's and we had a north wind at about 18 mph. Last year's Race Report.

Warm Up Run
Long, long ago when I did a couple duathlons one season (back then they were still called biathlons - that tells you just how long ago it was), I was given some really good advice. "Don't take the first run out too hard!" If you do you will pay dearly on the second run. So that's what I did, held back and watched 4 girls run away from me. It's tough and you have to remain calm and "hope" that you'll catch them on the bike. Ran the first 1.5 miles at at 7:26 pace (last year 7:45 pace). Caught two girls in transition and then passed the third just after we got on the bike.

The bike course was two out and back loops of 4 miles each so half of our ride was directly into the north wind... ah... but that means that the other half was with an amazing tail wind!! Averaged 18.8 or so, but maxed at 28.5 mph, not bad considering that I haven't been on the bike hardly at all (last year my average was 17.3 - bleh horrible).

Run 2 was another out and back but into the wind for the first half. Some kids had fun the night before on the grass with their ATVs and made a mess out of a little section of the run, making the path muddy, and dirty, and slippery - had to watch your footing over that little part. Averaged 7:55 by my Garmin on the second run - 12:09, course is a tad long so online results show it a little slower (last year 12:28 - but had extremely frozen feet from them being wet). My goal was to have my two run splits about with no more than :30 seconds per mile pace difference. Came pretty close. Looking over the results I can see a lot of people who either took out the first run too hard, weren't prepared for the bike (lack of winter training?), or went too hard on the bike. Many of the run comparisons were over a minute difference in pace per mile.

1st and 2nd Overall Females
COBB MOBB and Sunrise Tri Club!
All in all had what I consider a pretty decent race, bettered times from last year and won female overall. The award for this race is kind of quirky-cool. A real Dustbuster! The age group winners got fleece blankets (I wanted a blanket, and Matt Brown from Sportspectrum was nice enough to let me have one the next day at the store! - Thank you Matt Brown!!!)

Long, long ago I won overall female once before at a duathlon. It was the Strutters Duathlon 5K/30K/5K in San Angelo, TX. I dug around and found this online! 1991 - 23 years ago - I was 30!

Race Hints:
I put hand warmers under my toe covers to keep my feet warmer, this especially helps for the second run. Getting off the bike and having blocks of ice for feet makes for a very uncomfortable second run. I had a thought day before yesterday about my hands. I was in the car with  my husband and we were talking about the heated steering wheel on his Jeep. I mentioned how it would be neat to have heated handlebars. A friend of mine in North Carolina posted a picture on FB the other day of the 4 layers of clothing he used for a ride, it included 3 pair of gloves.

So... what about this idea - taping a couple hand warmers to the inside of your aerobars up toward the shifters?? I'm going to give it a try!! When I did the TriTyler triathlon last year I suffered some minor frostbite on a couple fingers of my left hand from the temperatures, this little hand-warmer trick may just work! I think it will also be good for winter rides. I put hand-warmers in my gloves but it's my fingers that really get uncomfortable.

The other good news:
Won the Sunrise Triathlon Club Female Athlete of the Year!
Picked up for a second year by the Cobb Mobb Triathlon Team, and chosen to be a Captain!
Made USAT All American again!
Serving as Director of Publicity and Public Relations for The Sunrise Triathlon Club!

2015 Sunrise Tri Club Officers
Next up - Frost Yer Fanny Duathlon! Last year's Race Report.