Elinor & I at the finish this morning
I took a little break from skimo racing this weekend and ventured to Fruita/Loma for the Desert Rats 25 mile trail running race. Taking advantage of the great technical singletrack of the Kokopelli Trail, racers can choose from a 25 or 50 mile race. Two years ago I decided the night before to race the 25 miler and suffered through much of the race. This year I have had a much more consistent winter of racing and training and actually signed up for the race a few weeks in advance.
As Elinor Fish and I made the drive very early this morning, we discussed how we would like to break the 4 hour mark. Elinor raced last year and finished in 4hr 17min while I had finished in 4hr 13min two years ago. Telling myself I was not going to start too fast and blow-up like I did last time was easier said than done. Elinor and I stayed with each other chatting over the first few miles in order to keep a brisk but comfortable pace. Helen Cospolich (racing the 50 miler) and Anita Ortiz (also racing 50) were just ahead of us with fellow Carbondale runner Ashley Arnold out in front.
Throughout the next 15 or so miles, I kept a consistent pace and ran many miles with Anita. Anita is coming off an injury with this just her second race back. Any other day, there’s no way I would be running with her even when I’m running half as many miles. I was very relieved that I was feeling tens times stronger at this point than I had last time and was ahead of my previous pace. I passed the 18 mile mark where I fell apart two years ago and felt myself getting stronger.
Once off the Troy Built Trail, the largest climb looms ahead up to Mack Ridge and the final miles. Last time I think I ran 20 steps of the climb. This time I ran it all. Managing to keep the same average pace I had all race, I finished very strong along Mack Ridge and back along the road. Not only did I break the 4 hour mark, I finished in 2nd place behind Ashley and managed to beat all the 5o mile women to their turnaround point (something I did not do last time). My time was 3hr 42min 33sec over the 25.92 miles. Elinor finished in 3hr 56min. The top 3 women were all from Carbondale!
Anita Ortiz went on to win the 50 miler in 8hr 16min while Duncan Callahan won for the men in 7hr 38min.
My Garmin info can be found here. And full results here.
Photo from Vail Mountaineer
I had almost forgotten that I raced in the second race of the Pedal Power Snowshoe Series last weekend – the Pazzo’s Holiday 10K in Eagle-Vail. Ian convinced me to race so I convinced Jess to join me so I had some company for the ride to the Vail Valley.
Due to the winter storm that moved in the night before, both the highway and the course were exciting. I have raced this race many times even about twelve years ago when it was a night race. The course has never been the same twice which is something I love about Pedal Power’s races. These are not groomed races. They are on singletrack and have long stretches of untracked powder. 10K took me an hour and fifteen minutes…and I won the women’s race. I think mile 4 took me almost 20 minutes due to the steep climbing through plenty of fresh snow.
I had not been on snowshoes for two years since I didn’t do any racing last year while pregnant. The fast women arrived – Anita Ortiz, Lisa Isom, Mia Stockdale – so my goal was top three and to run well not leaving anything out on the course. I managed to pull away in the first few minutes and finished the the race running scared that one of these ladies would catch me at some point. Surprising myself with more fitness than I realized I had back at this point, I finished the race feeling strong and had a blast!
Please see the Vail Mountaineer for a story and more photos (page 5, 18 & 21) as well as the Pedal Power site for complete results.
Yes, I know I’ve been slacking on the updates but I have a good reason. I have been down for the count the past five weeks or so with constant nauseousness and exhaustion. Just as I was ramping down my training for the TransRockies and feeling good with only a few weeks notice, I found out I was pregnant. This was a very pleasant surprise but I was bummed to not be able to race with Anita.
- It amazes me something this small can make me this sick.
At that point I was very early in the pregnancy and the additional blood in my system must have been helping me in my training. I was running faster than normal with less effort and was really looking forward to six days of trail racing. Apparently that was the honeymoon phase as a week or so later the exhaustion, nauseousness and vomiting began and that’s where I’ve been since then.
I have still been able to get out for some great runs and rides even if they’re not as often as they used to be. A few weeks ago in the midst of the worst of it, I enjoyed an awesome two hour run on Red Hill with Elinor and Leah. It was such a nice surprise to be able to get out that long although I did pay the price later that day and the next day – I was totally worked. I think I may have felt worse than I do after a six day expedition race.
Although I don’t love being pregnant, I do love the outcome and am already looking forward to meeting the newest Anderson. I’m bummed to be missing the randonee racing this winter but am looking forward to lots and lots of pregnant training just like last time.
Out for a hike at 7 or 8 months pregnant last time.
This weekend I did two big local runs (Basalt Mt. and Mt. Sopris) in an effort to cram in some high altitude mileage and test my legs a little bit. On Friday I found out I’m going to be racing in the Trans Rockies Run with last year’s champ, Anita Ortiz. The TransRockies is a 6-day stage race covering 113 miles and climbing over 25,000 feet in elevation. Unfortunately, Anita’s race partner, Katie Mazzia, is injured and cannot defend the title this year. I’ve wanted to try this race for a couple of years so when I saw the news on Facebook I immediately jumped at the opportunity to join Anita. Anita is fresh off a win at the Western States in her first 100 miler and is always fast, no matter the distance. We’ll be racing against big names like Nikki Kimball and Kami Semick and alongside Dean Karnazes and Helen Cospolich. Thankfully my legs felt pretty good this weekend.
As I have been running for hours on end the past three days, I’ve actually been daydreaming a lot about skiing and randonee racing. After all, skiing down Mt. Sopris is a helluva a lot faster than running down it. La Sportiva recently unveiled their new ski mountaineering race boot and I can’t stop thinking about it. The Stratos has a 100% carbon outer and weighs in at only 2 pounds! Just think how fast I can go uphill with those on my feet – I won’t even know they’re there. Now, how do I get my hands on a pair? They cost $2,200 and only 20 pairs will be available in the US.
Until I figure out how to convince La Sportiva and Ian that I have to have a pair of the sexy carbon boots, I’ll continue to pound out as many miles as possible on the trails and roads in the Roaring Fork valley. I need to be ready to race at Anita’s level in just three weeks!