Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Traprock 50k Race Report

Well, my second 50k, but my first Race Report, so we'll see how this goes....
My original racing season didn't start until April 28th, but I knew of a few others signed up for Traprock 50k, so I looked into it. The race is practically in my backyard so I felt a pull that I needed to at least go and do something. I had it in my head that I wasn't prepared for the race, but I looked up registration one night anyway. There were 2 spots available... and only 4 hours left for registration... I felt like that was a sign! Saying, Hillary, take advantage and SIGN UP! So I did!
Race day arrived and I was still unsure about being physically and mentally prepared, but I thought, OK, this will be a great training run for Promise Land in 2 weeks, so I just kept telling myself that before the race. Before the race even started, I saw a lot of people from the surrounding areas that I knew and everyone was so supportive and postitive, and finally got me in a great mindset for the start. The race was 3 10 mile loops, going through the Start/Finish area each time. I don't know if that was a good thing or bad thing for me, because I knew that if I wanted to, I could always bail on the 2nd or 3rd loop.
As the race started, I started running with Rachel, Fearsome, we had some great chats about running and yoga. Made me remember how much I missed yoga and how much I think it truly helps my running, both mentally and physically. Great, tough, trails in the beginning, then BAM...
We hit the Stairways to Heaven, and it was a sight! I love being able to look straight up and basically see a wall of people climbing, up, up and up. There were lots of shouting and wooing so at least we were all "enjoying" it together :)  Just hard to think that we would have to do this 2 more times! After a bit, I lost Rachel and ran by myself for a bit before meeting up with Carrie, Loppy. Was great running with both ladies. Then almost to the wicked pavement, I lost Loopy.
Trails were great, with great views and a few fun, windy points along the ridge. I really enjoyed the Lollipop, fun to see people ahead, and behind you, cheering you along. Some races can be so lonesome, so it's nice to see friendly faces every few minutes, at least for a bit.
Hitting the pavement for 20 minutes after about 6-7 miles of trails is BRUTAL!!! But someone next to me reminded me that it was a sign that we were close to the finish... true but it was still BRUTAL! But at least they were (sort of) fast miles.
Then, back up, up, and up. The hill before the last bit of the loop were tough. Same trail as the beginning of the loop, so again you were seeing people that were ahead of you that were already through the Start/Finish. Lots of small, short ups and downs. But then before you know it, you're at the Start/Finish. Then to start the second loop...
I knew when I got the start at 2:02, I was going WAY to fast for what I was planning on for the first 10 miles, so I had to distance myself from the group I was running with and went solo, slower.
Second loop was tougher than the first, especially the Stairway to Heaven, just focused on taking my time this loop. Not too eventful of a loop. Finished this one around 2:20 or so, so I was more on my pace.
Starting the third loop, boy was I tired!!! My legs were dead starting up the ups and downs in the beginnig of the trail. I had to stop a few times on the Stairway to Heaven to catch my breath and give my legs a break, they were burning! By this point, it was starting to be HOT too! I was trying to drink, drink, drink, but I don't think it was enough. I was SO glad I wore my Ultimate hydro pack, that way I could drink as much as I needed between each aid station. I finally re-filled at around 24 miles. I wasn't able to run many of the hills I had earlier, so I was really starting to slow down my pace (guess those hill repeats before didn't quite help).
My "I'm dead tired" mantra is from Finding Nemo: "Just keep swimming, just keep swimming" so I kept telling myself to just keep moving regardless of how tired I was...
Finally I hit the pavement for the LAST time and knew that I was almost done!!! Went back up the last BIG hill and knew the rest was tough, but not as bad as the rest. I was glad to be done!!!! I finished at 6:50, so about an hour less than my last 50k so I was very happy with my time, and glad my training has been paying off... I guess I was more ready for this race that I originally thought :) My legs were dead though, and all I wanted to do was go home and lay on my couch, which is what I did :) ...And had a cold beer in my Finishers Award pint glass :)

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