Monday, March 26, 2007

Chickasaw Trace 15k Trail Run

5 a.m. Saturday morning came early for me, but I drug myself out of bed and got ready for the 15k trail run/race at Chickasaw Trace – the same trail I had rode on my mtn bike the weekend before. I had found out Friday that my friend Leslie was going as well, and was happy about that. At least I would know somebody there! I thought I could get H to go with me, but as it turned out, she had to work. I went a different route this time, and it only took 65 minutes to get there, so I had plenty of time of time to get ready, visit the port-a-potty and chat with Leslie beforehand. The race wasn’t very crowded, and that was expected since this was the first year for it. At 8:00, we lined up and took off. I stayed with Leslie for the first mile, and then realized she was going a little harder than I had planned to go, so I backed off a little. At least I thought I did, but when I looked back at my Garmin I found that my 2nd mile was actually faster than the first…I guess it was easier terrain. I felt pretty good running the trails, and wasn’t really getting passed by anyone much. Then somewhere around mile 2 a couple of men flew by me, and I wondered if I had been holding them up. The trail is fairly narrow single-track, and it wasn’t very easy to pass someone unless you picked out a good spot and took advantage of it. I found those 2 men again between miles 5 and 6 on the “Trail of Tears”, and I coasted along behind them for a while, and then I passed them just before heading up a steep hill. The same steep hill I never was able to conquer on my bike the week before. As I went by them, I thought:

“Okay big girl – you just passed them back – you better kick it up these hills and not be holding them up.”

And I think I was so worried that they’d catch back up with me I pretty much sprinted up the hill and continued to run strong for as long as I possibly could. Then when I could no longer see them, I tried to get back to a reasonable pace and get my HR under control. I knew I had another steep climb coming up, and went up it fairly strong, but I had forgotten that once you made it to the top, you had to continue to climb for probably another 300 yards. I think I was getting pretty tired by then, and stumbled across a root in the trail and took a spill. It didn’t hurt, though, just skinned my knee a little and got me all dusty. I jumped back up and took off, and then walked through the next water stop catching my breath. The volunteers at the water stops were great. They were all so nice. This one guy said “Carry the cup as far as you need to – I’ll come pick it up!!”

So I made my way back to the starting point, and then did another little loop at the start of the trail as instructed. We then had to cross the road, and run up the grassy hill to see the finish line. At this point I thought I was closer to done than I really was, and I was running out of gas fast. I continued on, though, and crossed the finish line in 1:19:46 (official time). My Garmin must have lost signal several times on the trails, because it registered a little less than 9 miles – but I am pretty sure the distance was correct. My pace ended up being 9:07 according to my Garmin, but when you calculate it with the correct distance, it is 8:33. I am VERY, VERY pleased with this. I have to admit, when I signed up for this race, not being trained for it, I just wanted to it in less than 2 hours. The last time I ran on the trails at the base my pace was 2min/mile slower than my road pace. This trail wasn’t as twisty as the base though, and definitely cleaner…so it was easier to keep a good stride. I felt good the entire race, though, and even felt stronger in the later miles. The garmin says my average HR was just 152, but when I looked at the lap totals and saw that it was 119 and 122 for miles 6 and 7, I tend to think there was a malfunction there. About halfway through the race the strap kept falling down, so I'd say it didn't work so well during that time. Anyways, all this was good enough to get me 2nd place in the 30-39 yr age group. First place was Leslie – who ran it in 1:15 and change. There haven’t been any pictures or official results posted on their website yet, but I’ll share them when they are. Here is the data from Garmin:

Lap Totals

Heart Rate and Elevation

Immediately after the awards ceremony, I was going to a charity benefit for one of my best friend’s sister who is battling cancer. There was no shower facility here, so I had to crawl into the woods with 3 water bottles and a bar of soap. As I was “showering” I washed a tick off my leg! It’s amazing how far I’ve come – if you had asked me 4 years ago if I’d ever be trying to take a shower in the woods with water bottles and soap, and washing ticks off my legs, I would’ve said you were crazy. And actually, I just thought I had gotten rid of the ticks…I was sitting down at the charity benefit and felt something crawling on my arm…and it was another tick!! I must not have good tastin’ blood for them, though, as none of them ever bit me. Come to think of it, I’ve never been bitten by a tick in my life.

So, I got home around 5 p.m., and we grilled out and practiced baseball until dark. I’ll go ahead tell you that I didn’t do the MTB race the next day, but more on that later…


Joe said...

Great race! Hills are no match for you!

> There was no shower facility here,
> so I had to crawl into the woods
> with 3 water bottles and a
> bar of soap.


Michele said...

Girl you rock!! Awesome job. First ever trail race and you get 2nd place AG!
Did you remember your comb??? ;)

E-Speed said...

awesome job Lana! Way to rock the trails!

Neese said...

WAHOO!!! 2nd place in age group! I'm doing the happy dance for you! Excellent, congratulations!

Phil said...

Fantastic race and great race report. I loved the line where you said "... didn’t hurt, though, just skinned my knee ...", nothing wrong with my, just a little flesh wound.

Congratulations on passing the macho idiots ... I had a group of 20 somethings run by me on my on my last treck of the Grand Canyon. I caught up with them 4000 vertical feet later and never saw them again.

You are amazing.

Kate said...

Niiice work! You are definitely the rugged type now :-)

J~Mom said...

Jumping over from Phil's to say congrats!! Great report!

Rae said...

Great job!! From other local reports it sounds like everyone really enjoyed the trail race. I hope they have more of them!

I got new trail shoes last fall (Cumberland Transit near Vandy has an awesome trail/outdoor selection) but I hardly ever get to use them!