I’ve been missing wearing my skirts this winter for racing. Today I felt like being a kick-a$$ chick on the mountain so I pulled out my favorite gym girl ultra Skirt Sports in purple haze.
It was a beautiful winter morning. A low hanging crescent moon guided us (with a few “Bridget” detours) to Pats Peak in Henniker, NH.
The sun was warm today peeking over the top of the course as we climbed to the top of the mountain not once but twice (4 miles total). The race was awesome today. I am feeling much stronger when climbing and focused on staying relaxed and loose. Plus I focused on my own race a rhythm of running today and didn’t worry about time. There are some dynamic super fast women at these races which makes for an extra great challenge.
I don’t know my finish time yet but felt great especially the second time around. Plus someone even complemented me on my skirt as I ran into the finish. The added bonus was a giant breakfast at the pancake house post race. More post race laughter with the best running friends.
It has been crazy around here. I love having a full plate and being scheduled to the max. I always feel more productive. Although sometimes when I take a break for a minute I almost feel winded (almost like after running up a mountain . . . Which by the way I’ll be doing again tomorrow morning at the “egg” crack of dawn. Winter Wild Round 3 here I come!).
My two little chicks keep me on my toes every day. I wish I could drink in endless amounts of twirling, dancing, jumping, laughing pure energy. From the moment they awake they are out of their beds as though the starter pistol has gone off at the start of a race. During the race of our day there are meals to be made and devoured, intense playing at home and at pre-school, a daily battle of wits between 3.5 year old and Mommy, and wrestling matches with a cranky toddler who has discovered the joy of play and doesn’t want to concede defeat to exhaustion.
In the middle of this chaos is time for me to work, to write, to run. I officially started training for The Key Bank Vermont City Marathon this week to add in a bit more craziness. A coach from my friend Doug’s awesome coaching business The Sustainable Athlete is setting up my training. I am looking forward to having a daily plan to provide extra motivation. It’s been a long time since I had real coaching for sport.
I am hoping for a Boston qualifying time which will be a fast 3:40. I feel like I’ve built a good base this past fall and winter thanks to half marathons and long miles with the awesome Pete and Gerry’s Organic Chicks.
Now it’s time to dial it up a bit. And just to kick things off with a bang my first official workout was intervals and I chose my friend Bridget (crazy fast with the energy of my 3.5 year old ) as my interval buddy. I had great plans to complete this workout in the morning but life took over. So, this workout ended up being a headlamp run on a dark VT dirt road. It felt amazing though and always the perfect way to end a crazy day and somehow I am always able to find the energy.
Now begins the race to the finish line. This time with a plan to guide me and high energy surrounding me to serve as motivation.
Round 2 of Winter Wild has left me exhausted but in the perfect way. My body is definitely sore today and I am sure tomorrow will be worse (as day number 2 always is). I feel as though I have lost some ability to bend me legs and can feel all of the ligaments and tendons, in my feet, ankles, shins, hips, quads, hamstrings, buns . . .did I leave anything out? Oh yes, my arms too. And in the words of my friend Bridget, “I may need to go home and put BENGAY all over.
Sounds like fun right? Plus we got up at 4 a.m. to get to the race.
The answer is, “Yes!!!! And I can’t wait to go back for more in two weeks at Pats Peak in Henniker, NH.
At the beginning of each race the race director of Winter Wild says, “This is the most fun you will have running uphill!” I agree and apparently so do all of the other crazy people racing at sunrise during these races.
The morning was perfect at Ragged Mountain. About 26 degrees. A couple of inches of light fresh snow which had been freshly groomed. Running on “corduroy” was much better than running on the loose fluff at the last race. Due to the lack of a “real” winter here this year the course had been modified so instead of being a more gentle climb than the last race we ran straight up “Exhibition.”
The climb seemed to go on forever. I ran the first bit and then just focused on keeping my arms moving and powering up the mountain and tried to maintain a steady pace. There are some fierce competitors at these races (because who else but a bunch of psychos would be out on the mountain) and I am amazed at the powerful women that are racing. I worked hard on the way up to stay with the few women surrounding me. Finally reaching the summit we passed a ski patrolman and another mountain worker who I overheard discussing the runners/races. The ski patrolman said, “I just don’t get this” as he watched us pass by barely catching enough air to continue on.
As you reach the top in a total anaerobic state you have to completely switch gears to get ready for the swift downhill descent. I was still with a couple of women when we got to the top and then I just tried to “let go”. Running down with my spikes digging in I could feel the snow sliding out from under my shoes. Wind rushing, heart racing, practically gasping to catch my breath. Each mini drop in the slope brought new speed and I basically felt like I was right on the edge of completely out of control. It’s always great when you find your “other gear.” When I reached the finish line I was completely winded, my muscles were trembling. It was an amazing rush.
I am super psyched too as I came in 4th in my age group for 30-39 and currently stand in 3rd place for the series so far.
Totally worth it and the soreness is nothing a little running can’t cure!