Sunday, May 30, 2010

Race Report: 2010 XTERRA Paris Mountain Trails 15K

Results (based on Guntime):
1:52:53 (12:05 min per mile average)
Overall 129/175

Here we are back at the Paris Mountain State Park for the second XTERRA trail race of the 2010 series (first race was back in Nov 2009 and the third one will be in August).

I was looking forward to this race, because I really enjoy trail running and I felt good about our training run last weekend.

So pre-race routine was same as usual. We got there, picked our packages up and then walked over to the start area at the first picnic shelter. Team D.N.R. was represented by Alex, Brian, Chris, Dave, Kerrie (not racing, but sweeping the trail), Terry and me.

Most of the boys lined up closer to the front and I moved to the back of the pack. The first portion of the race is on the road until you take a right turn on Mountain Creek Trail. Fortunately, which helps a little with the congestion. Also, Mountain Creek Trail is one of the wider trails that we would be traveling today. This is a good section to just find your rhythm and warm up. Somewhere during this time, I noticed that I had my Garmin on "biking" and while I was running, I switched to "running" and the clock started at zero again. So I didn't know how long I was already running and I also didn't know how far I already was. Both things really didn't bother me too much, because I know the approximate mile markers along the trail. But still, I really need to start checking the setting of the Garmin before I head out for a race.... This stuff just happens way to often to me.

From Mountain Creek we crossed the road at the other picnic shelters (1. aid station) and headed into Sulphur... That is where the fun begins. On this trail, we would be doing the most and the steepest climbing of the race. It was also during that piece that I first "met" two fellow runners (let's call them 2dudes) that I would see multiple times during the race. This is me climbing Sulphur and since I was hiking at that point, I took my phone out and snapped a pic... You can see my new acquaintances in the background.

Once we hit Firetower Trail, they asked me how much more climbing we have to do from now and I told them, that this is going to be our highest point. There will be a little more climbing, but nothing like we did before. One of them asked me then, if I did this before and I responded "last weekend" and took off since I knew the next couple of miles will be where the fun is. From Firetower we turned on Kanuga... A long rolling downhill to the North Lake, the around the lake the trail flattens out and you can enjoy the scenery of the place a little. On the dam was the second aid station and this is where this picture was made.

From the North Lake Trail we headed on to Pipissewa and then the rolling uphill started and wouldn't end until we would get to the top parking lot (3. aid station) over Brissy Ridge Trail.

So far I felt great. I left 2dudes behind somewhere on Firetower Trail and was able to pick up several people in the next couple of miles. I felt like a did a good job with eating shotbloks every now and then and taking in plenty of water. But somewhere on Brissy, I all of the sudden felt sick to my stomach. I didn't even take any chances and popped an Immodium right away and decided to take it slow on Brissy to the top parking lot with the hope that my stomach would settle until then and I get catch up once we hit the big downhill. In that area 2dudes and 2gals (2 girls that I met several times later on) caught up with me. We were in a hiking/ running section with rolling uphills. Basically, we hiked the little uphills and then jogged the downhills. My stomach was still weird, but I tried to stick to that group. And then it happened... I didn't lift up my right foot high enough, tripped and fell.

OUCH... That was my first thought. One of the girls helped me up and we picked up my Garmin from the trail that got ripped of my arm. After a first assessment, I knew that I was hurting, but that I was fine and nothing major happened, so I asked 2dudes and 2gals to keep on going. Shortly after they left, I tried to start back running again and it worked and so I kept on going..... The pain down my leg actually distracted me from my stomach stuff and by the time I remembered that, the stomach felt back fine again.

I finished up Brissy, crossed the top parking lot, climbed the steep and short piece of Sulphur and down we went. I already saw 2dudes/2gals again and I was set on catching up with them again while chatting with a girl running behind me (seriously, trail running is so social). By the time we hit the bottom of Sulphur I passed them and from then on, just kept on running, feeling pretty good again. We later chatted a little in the finish.

A couple of yards from the finish line, I saw a guy whacking his iPod. I told him to just keep on moving, the finish is just around the corner. He kept on working on the iPod

I kind of expected to see hubby with the camera at the finish line, but he was standing there chatting with Alex and Brian.... He said, he didn't expect me there yet! I guess that means I had a good race hmmmm??

And really, I feel good about this one.... Even with the stomach stuff and the fall, I ran this race 20 seconds faster per mile than the 11K in November... SWEET!!

About the race: I think they did a great job with this race! It was great that they had three aid stations on the course and that they had t-shirts (in November it was a string bag and finisher socks) again!

I am already looking forward to the August 7K!

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