STRAVA Summary

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Catching Up! Again!

So you might think that this was planned, but I was planning on doing a race report for Pick Your Poison and hadn't got around to it. Now that it is two week's later I have just finished the Seaton Trail 52k race and figured maybe I could do both race reports in one blog entry.


On a beautiful spring morning we all assembled at the Heights of Horseshoe for the 4th annual running of the Pick Your Poison trial races. It was a nice sunny day, but a rather cool one and just slightly windy. Lots of familiar faces were there at the starting, too many to mention here, but generally the usual Barrie RoadRunners that enjoy the trails and, of course, the many OUS regulars. I went in to the chalet to collect me race swag and was very disappointed to find that they were out of T-Shiirts (WTF!), but shortly after telling me that they discovered a couple of boxes with copious amounts of shirts. So I got my shirt, my jar of local honey and was ready to run. I got all my stuff together at the car (or so I thought) and headed to the start area to mingle prior top the start. Chatting with Shawn, Nancy, Chris M., etc. We listened to the race director Adam Hill give us our pre race directions and then we were off.
My thoughts for this race were to just run a nice easy pace and be consistent and try to at least beat my last time running PYP. So running the few kilometre's were fairly flat to downhill and this spread out the crowd a bit. The 12.5k, 25k and 50k all started at the same time!! Down the old dirt road to a short single track section and across a small creek we were back on double track/road again at about 4k we were into our first short climb and then to the ski hills and the first aid station. This climb was a little bit more significant and would be more of challenge for each loop. THen down a single track and more double track before hitting "heart attack hill". Not sure if anyone would have run this one, I know I didn't. Once at the top another gentle climb to another aid station and back again to some great single track. A hard downhill followed and then some more climbs from the valley floor a few times before climbing the back of the ski hill to head back down to the finish.

THe second loop felt good too, but by the third I was starting to feel the pace of the first 2 loops. A few more walk breaks were needed and I was getting a bit disappointed in the fact that I was not able to maintain a consistent run. The 4th lap was again a bit of struggle, but I pushed my self harder than the last one to finish in 5:12, 3 minutes faster than the last time I finished this race. Not entirely happy but at least I was not injured at all.

17th place out of 50 runners.


I was always say that I won't do this race next year, but keep coming back. Not sure why, but I know it was one of the more difficult races on the OUS circuit. The plan was to run easy and again try to be consistent. And thats how it felt till the creek crossing. A couple of the front runners had stopped to take their shoes and socks off to cross (WTF???). I roared across in my usual fashion and on the other side I found my self alone!! WTF???. I couldn't be in first place could I? Apparently that was the case. I ran on, trying to maintain that easy pace, but I think my sub conscious was taking over pushing me to run harder and maintain the position. I continued Along till about 5k when I noticed another runner behind me. Ken Arnott was slowly reeling me in and this was a good thing. Being in first is not a comfortable position for me, so having Ken pass me at 6k was a relief. Unfortunately I kept the pace up and stayed in second until about 35k. I traded positions with another runner, must have been one of the runners who had taken their shoes and socks off earlier, cuz he did it again and I would leave him behind, only for him to catch up again. THis went on until he passed for good at 35k. At 40k I took a nasty tumble when I caught a stump and my calf locked up on me. My calf was never the same after this and run deteriorated from this point on and a lot of walking was had until the end. I finished in 5:49, not as fast as in the past, but better than last year for sure. This year was dry as a bone, compared to last years muddy monsoon.

Again I wasn't totally happy with the way I ran this race, but not bad. Work still to be done to get where I want to be. Consistent!!!

5th out of 46 registered runners.

Two weeks later it was time for Sulphur Springs 50 mile race. I had been here for this race the past two years, the first of which I didn't finish. That was a year where the results were written, by that I mean it wasn't going to happen. I didn't have the will and knew in my mind my goals weren't going to happen that year. I quit before the 3rd loop was over. Last year was a completely different story and I finished well and felt good about doing it. My drive was much greater and it showed. This year I was a little unsure. Like two years ago I was not as confident, but I still had the drive. The weather was much drier and warmer than last year and again tried to keep a nice easy pace that's what I thought I was doing as I followed and ran with at times Dawn Hamel and April Boultbee. On the second loop Laurie McGrath ran with us. It was a good easy pace and we were walking all the hills. Sometimes I would take a longer walk but would always catch up to them. On th least downhill, which is a couple a kilometres long I left them behind as I love running that downhill. Two laps down and feeling good. I took a long break to refresh, change shoes etc and then back out again. Now I was running alone for the most part and the dreaded third loop blahs caught up to me. It was a struggle to get through this loop as usual, but still better than two years ago. Finishing the 3rd loop I saw BIll going back out and only a few minutes ahead. The girls said he was not doing well and that I may catch him. But I took a nice long break again and off I went, full of piss and vinegar as I was thinking I may catch him. As it was he was renewed as well and I was never going to catch him. The rejuvenation soon faded and I was walking a lot. The last lap was one of the worst I had run in all the laps I had run here. But I finished and knocked off 44 minutes off last years time. I attribute that mostly due to the conditions. 8:45:59

18th out of 86 starters.

The next event again two weeks later was not really an event at all, but our annual night run to Orillia and back. This year there were more runners and potentially a few other runners to go the whole distance instead of just me. Several groups were going out at different times. Brenda and Lee Anne were leaving before 5:30 and only going to Orillia, Joan, Angela and Battman were leaving at 6:15ish and again only go to Orillia. At 7:45 pm Myself, Brendan, Bill, Erin and Alan would leave the South Shore Centre on the south side of the bay to head off to Orillia on a nice night. We seem to have been blesses with good whether for this event in the past 2 years that we have run it, would this night hold out too? Somewhere between our group and Joan's group Steen and also started off with Kelly in support on her bike.
This year we would be missing Roger for the first time as he had a wedding to go to. We ran in his honour!!!
Off we went and soon Brendan found the pace to slow and off he would go before coming back to meet up with us. Eventually we would lose him all together. Marie was running support for us, which would be a blessing too! Marie would take pictures and stop at cross roads to make sure all was ok. The rail trail can be very boring, but at night it is not so. Especially when it gets dark. By the time the darkness got to us Alan was lag gin behind and at about 25k he called it a day, it was very humid and he was suffering a bit. He jumped in with Marie and Bren who had also decided 25k was enough for him. BY this time Tracy had also joined the support group. Everyone seems to have their own aches and pains that we all discussed at length and felt sorry for act other. I'm not sure this helped or not. But coming towards Orillia we cam across Ricky Mac riding his bike also in support. He had rode with Battman and Joan to Orillia to help out Joan who was struggling a bit. We got to Orillia just before midnight, so right on schedule, and left right on time too. Only four runners remained at this point, Myself, Bill, Erin and Bryan who joined us for the ride back. Turning around is always the hardest part. I know I was having a hard time motivating myself. Erin was talking about only going to the next aid stop at the 15th line. Once we got there she realized that she was at 48k and figured she had to at least get in 50. Our support on the way back was both Joan and Jim T. Joan was rather tired after running out to Orillia. What a trooper!
My right lower leg was bothering me and I was wondering whether this was to be the year that I didn't finish. At the 15th though, Bill let try some Traumeel Cream to put on my leg. By the time we were a k down the road I had no pain anymore and was running great again. woohoo, that stuff is awesome. Soon we were chatting to Erin about the history of the run an that I was the only one who had ever done it both ways. What? She asked, "you mean if I finish I would be the first woman to do it?" Her eyes lit up and she decided she couldn't quit now. So off the four of went in the pitch black darkness, only lit up by our head lamps. At about 1 am it started to rain lightly, but it felt good. At times we were running a little slower than a 5 minute kilometre. Hard to believe. As we reached Barrie the heavens opened up and we were getting soaked.
We ran most of the rest of the run in the rain and as we finished just as we thought we could get changed the heavy rains started again. A quick photo op and then into the vehicles to head home. We finished in just under 9 hours for 76k. A great night again. Finishing the entire distance were Bill, Erin and myself.

Since finishing the Night Run Orillia and back I have been on easy street when it comes to running. Not doing much at all. Taper to the nth degree. Ran a couple of times but not much intensity or distance. I spent last weekend volunteering for the Barrie Half and had a great time. This week a quick trail run on Tuesday and short road run on Wednesday as I prepare for Niagara and the 100k. Yes, this weekend is the Niagara and I was talked into, although it didn't much talking, the 100k. Still its good training for Vermont which is only 4 weeks away now. The hardest part, I think would be the 100k on asphalt. That will be hard on the feet I think. Still I look at all the difficulties of this race as good prep for Vermont.

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