Sore feet, sore shins, sore buns

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.

Yes, it's early. Can you tell?

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.”

Maybe I should take the chair instead?

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!

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Organic Runner Mom VS. Winter Wild Round 2

Tomorrow I will be heading on down to Ragged Mountain in Danbury, NH for the second Winter Wild Race.  I guess I will truly figure out what it means to be “run ragged” (call me a nerd but I just love idioms and puns and this seemed like an appropriate time.)  This time the race will be 3 miles (as if the last race wasn’t torturous enough at only 1.2 miles).

Running Ragged

The race starts at 7 am which means I will be getting up before dawn for a sleep deprived car ride to the race with my awesome training buddy Bridget and friend Carole. It will probably be around 4 am when I have to get up.  4:00 a.m. is a  time which since my days of rowing have passed (at least for now) is a time reserved for sleeping or getting up with sick kiddies.  Any time before 5:00 in my book is TOO EARLY even if the clock reads 4:59. We will definitely get amped up on the way down to the race however in anticipation of the crazy runner fun that awaits.

After the last race I spent the next couple of days struggling up and down stairs and found new muscles that I never knew were there. My ankles were particularly sore from the uphill climb as well as my calves, quads and bum. It is amazing how no matter how great of shape you are in changing the game slightly by racing up a mountain even for only 1.2 miles can make you feel like you have never worked out in your life. After the race my lungs felt like they were on fire and I was wiped out. And then I promptly came down with bronchitis which knocked me for a loop. Just like that this illness killed my training until yesterday (plus my kiddies were also sick one with a double ear infection and the other with an icky stomach bug).

I am psyched though and ready to have an awesome adventure running in beautiful NH with other crazy runners, skiers, and in the heavy metal category the snowshoe hares! And after all could this really be any worse than getting a tooth filled at the dentist? Hopefully I won’t have an anxiety attack on the run like I did in the dentist’s chair this week.

Happy running! It’s time to kick some a$$! And now off to bed.

YES!

Running up a mountain = hello quads and calves

I finished my first Winter Wild Race this weekend at Whaleback Mountain in Enfield, NH. Now my legs are asking me why? I am worried that tomorrow may be worse. My calves are screaming at me every time I go up or down the stairs!

The course!

I’ll tell you why and then if you think you are up for the challenge you can meet me at the next race in the series at Ragged Mountain, NH on February 4th!

It actually wasn’t as cold as I had anticipated and the first race was only 1.2 miles (although my legs are telling me it was much more!). The energy of the racers was awesome! Lots of smiles and a countdown to the start by all of the racers. There was actually fresh snow which was great although definitely slippery on the way down. I ended up wearing my STABILicers Ice Cleats because I was anticipating more New England hard pack (aka boilerplate).

Snow Tires

Thankfully it wasn’t too icy but I’m glad I had the extra traction to prevent myself from taking a giant digger on the way down (although apparently one  of my Krazy running friends took a tumble on the flats right as they came into the finish!). I have the “lite” model which slip over my running shoes. Now they apparently have them in pink which I might have to take a look at! On the way up the race was a mixture of running and speed hiking. I was especially impressed by the super fast kids in the “Let’s Move” category (maybe someday Piper and Brock will want to try this with me?). This was definitely a highly anaerobic output.  The combination of the physical exertion and cold air had my lungs burning by the time the race was over.

The race on the way down was fast and furious. A mixture of all out speed and “holy moly!!!! I must slow down!” with visions of tumbling down and become a snowball. As I ran down the last steep pitch the guy next to me jumped onto his bum and slid down keeping pace with me as I ran and was wearing the biggest grin on his face. What an exhilarating feeling. The race was over in an instant. My finish time was 18:22. 3rd in my age group (http://www.coolrunning.com/results/12/nh/Jan14_Winter_set3.shtml). Not too bad for a first timer! I even won a sweet EARTHTEC (http://earthtec.com/) hat!

I was so happy to race with many other Kingdom Krazies and my friend Meghan who flew through the course! The energy is always even better with other like-minded runners along for the adventure!

This race series features  awesome raffle prizes at the end. You could win micro spikes, Merrell shoes and a lot of other cool stuff (unless you are my friend Dennis and I who are always the last people standing holding raffle tickets). If you want to win a raffle prize sit near me or Dennis at the next race. As usual two of the best prizes went to people sitting right behind me and a pair of socks was won by Meghan.

Post race we headed to The Four Aces Diner in Lebanon, NH for a giant breakfast and would you believe it I cleaned my plate. Overall it was a great morning followed by returning home to my two kids who again wanted to have a race around the house!

Please join me for this crazy winter adventure the next time. I hope to see you on the mountain! You know you are just waiting to try it!

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Fast chicks @Whaleback Mountain
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Pancakes the size of my head!
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Four Aces Diner