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
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Winter Brrrrrrrrr. . .

Just in time for my first Winter Wild race event tomorrow morning at 7 a.m. at Whaleback Mountain in Enfield, NH the temperatures will be plummeting. Instead of enjoying the nice balmy winter temperatures that we have been having due to two supposed la nina events (whatever that means????)so instead it will be frigid which will make for a super icy hard-pack for the race up the mountain and back.

Here is the weather report for the morning:

Saturday, January 14
7 am
Partly
17°F
Partly Cloudy
Feels Like1°F
Wind From WNW
18 mph
 Sunrise 7:20 am
8 am
Partly
16°F
Partly Cloudy
Feels Like 0°F
Wind From WNW
18 mph
Any normal individual would probably skip the ridiculous-ness that is this race event choosing to stay cozy and warm, snuggled up under a giant down comforter.  However, apparently I still have some of the craziness leftover from years of rowing  at Colby College  with Colby Crew before dawn in frigid temperatures.
I still have vivid memories of rowing on Messalonskee Stream in Waterville, Maine in the middle of winter. A thin-film of ice would often cover the stream only to be broken like glass as the shell gracefully slid along the water.  We would launch the dock in the quiet of the early morning on a floating dock that would often submerge causing wet feet (perhaps spandex too) which is obviously less than ideal in the middle of the winter. It was often so cold that when we returned to the dining hall to gorge ourselves on the buffet of deliciousness that is breakfast post workout, my hands often felt as if  I was still clutching my oar when I went to pick up my spoon.
As I am writing this I am pondering  why I am going to do this tomorrow. I am wondering what to wear. Hmmmmmmm . . .
This looks like it would be cozy but not sure about the breathability
ummmm . . . this looks a little extreme

I’ll let you know more tomorrow after the adventure. Stay tuned . . .

Winter Wild or Winter Insane

Winter Wild or Winter Insane? That is the question of the moment. So I am contemplating running at least some if not all of the Winter Wild running series put on by the Western NH Trail Running Series.

Wild or pure lunacy?

Have you ever raced anything like this?  This race series is composed of  5 races at 5 different ski areas  All of the races start at the crack of dawn before the mountains open. You can choose your ideal mode of transport up and down the mountain: snowshoe, ski (with skins on the way up), or run . . . I think I may need my yak traks for this. (and if you were most people you might say, “I think I’ll ride the chair to the top!”

Off-roading runner style

My favorite training friend and amazing inspirational runner Bridget completed this series last year and raved to me about how awesome it was. Last year I was in the process of regaining my former endurance after having given birth to my son Brock by c-section the previous August.  As you can imagine running up a mountain at the crack of dawn in the middle of winter was not exactly on my list of things to do.  As all moms know, sleeping is a cherished activity when you have little ones especially babies so the call of the warm and cozy bed is often more appealing than heading out for a freezing mountain run.  This year however, I am back in my running groove and am looking for the challenge.

Ever since I found my love for running my favorite kind of running has actually been running uphill. In high school it was running up the Philadelphia Art Museum steps in  with the crew team doing repeats and feeling like “Rocky.”

Rocky

In college it was our beloved Wednesday Hill runs at Colby College (http://www.colby.edu/).  Our rowing coaches Mark Davis and Peter Steenstra loved to impose this workout on us during the winter to help build strength.  Everyone on campus probably thought we were nuts running up and down Heights Hill until the sun went down looking forward to the end of the workout to dive into dinner at one of the dining halls.  I have great memories of post-run delirium which resulted in hysterical laughter over  dinner which for me usually ended in a giant bowl of cereal. I have to admit my cereal choice was totally non-organic: ‘Lucky Charms.’  But hey, “They’re magically delicious!”

The Heights-I'll race you to the top!

After college my love for running hills grew as I adapted to the terrain of New Hampshire and Vermont. It is pretty difficult to find a totally flat run around here and even from my house either way you choose to go you are faced with a hill waiting to challenge you at the end of the run.  I love runs with hills in fact the more the better. My first marathon was the Nike Women’s Marathon

Nike Women's Marathon

in San Francisco which as you can only imagine definitely had some monster hills.  It was a great event to benefit The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. This race also gave me some great motivation to race for charity and also helped me to regain some balance in my life by providing me with a personal goal.Living in the sticks of NH I raised  money as a part of the ‘Virtual Team in Training‘ since there are no physical teams in this area.

Team in Training-A great cause

So now that I feel in my running groove I am ready to attempt this new challenge. The first race is January 14th at Whaleback Mountain. Check back soon to see how it went but for now here is a taste of what’s to come. Please click on the links below to see just what I’m in for and hopefully I’ll see some of you at the mountain!

Winter Wild: Uphill Ski Race

http://www.wmur.com/chronicle/26654684/detail.html

*Please take note of #94-My awesome friend and amazing runner Bridget Ferrin rockin’ the course!

http://www.dailymotion.com/embed/video/xbvsfy_winter-wild-race-1_sport
Winter Wild Race 1 by jjdd316