Sunday, October 12

StumpJump 08

This is one of those events that makes my race calendar every year - not only because it's sponsored by my team and the Boonies, but because it's a great course in a beautiful location that is always well organized and a ton of fun.

a picture-perfect morning

The past few years I've run the 50k, but I just didn't have the miles under me this year since I focused so much on Leadville. The 11 miler I thought should be doable. As the race got closer, I still had the breathing problems that was forcing me to walk a lot more than normal. It was the Wed before the race that I found out the basics of my heart condition. I didn't get the full description yet (and refused to Google it, lest I come across something less than positive), but the dr gave me the thumbs up to run.... so it couldn't be that bad, right?! Race morning came and I was ready to run, although honestly not sure if I'd be able to finish. I'll just see what I can do...

This year the race started at the new Signal Mountain Middle/High School; this meant more parking, more space, and real bathrooms! The beginning of the course changed slightly - starting now with a short paved section (uphill - but that meant a downhill finish), and some new trails before dropping on to the standard course. I started off easily and was 3rd woman into the woods. I kept the pace consistent and within myself, trying not to be concerned when people passed. The first half of the race went well. I walked up the 1 gorge climb as expected and took the technical downhills a bit easy. At the turnaround I was told I was 4th woman; fab!

On the way back we had 2 big gorge climbs that I took easy. One woman from Atl had been on my heels for awhile and I was hoping I'd hold her off. We talked a bit but she didn't want to pass. Fine; I'll set the pace. At the Mushroom Rock aid station, she veered towards aid; I shook my bottle, felt there was enough to finish, and pressed on, hoping to gain a minute or two. (even though Sheridan took it personally that I didn't get aid from him!). I tried to pick things up a bit, but a few climbs forced me to walk (I can tell when my heart & breathing rate is getting a bit too high, so some walking is better than sitting on the side of the trail trying to recover). I looked back during some curving areas and didn't see her; great! I kept on... then bam, she appeared out of nowhere. Dang! We exited the woods together and had about a half mile of paved road before the finish line. There was a bit of a climb first; I picked it up slightly. I didn't hear the footsteps responding. So a bit more... at the top of the hill I glanced back and saw I did in fact put some distance on her. Yeah! Next came that nice long descent to the finish line. I pushed it a bit more, not wanting to have a finish line sprint. Thankfully I didn't have to, and I crossed the finish line in 2:10.27, good enough for 4th place overall female and 44th overall (out of 170 finishers). I lucked out when awards went through 4th place, so I snagged some new Salomon shoes, La Sportiva bottle, and my fav "this is not a plastic bag" cotton grocery bag from R/C.

4th thru 1st place, women's 11 miler

Overall, I felt pretty good, but knew I had to walk a lot more than I usually do on that course. The key though will be to listen to my body and do what I need to do; sometimes hard when you have that competitiveness set in (and someone nipping at your heels). After I crossed the finish line, I had the same thing happen to me that happened at Tsali. I finish strong, then walk around to get the breathing regulated... but it gets worse instead of better, and next thing I know I'm doubled over gasping for air (almost like hyperventilating a bit.) Thanks to of my fav people to making sure I was feeling ok (Sara from North Shore Yoga and Christian from Body Wisdom massage- check these ladies out; they're the best!) To complete the fab weekend, my old adv racing teammates Hunter & Daniel came up & stayed for a few days & rocked the 50. It was good to catch up!

r/c team member matt sims

r/c race team members michael green & john anderson

the start of the 50k


kevin, me, michael

more pics here

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