Sunday, January 4, 2015

Recover From the Holidays 50k and 2014 Wrap Up

Well, 2014 is a thing of the past, but I didn’t let it slip by before squeezing in one more ultra! We spent Christmas with my sister and her family in Huntsville, AL and since there just happened to be a 50k in the same town...well, it seemed like the only logical conclusion was to run an ultra! (Nevermind that I decided to kick off 2015 with a marathon and should be running fast road tempos, not long trail “jogs”).

Recover from the Holidays is another “loopy” course - ten 3 mile loops after an initial mile, but with 350’ of elevation gain per loop, there was good variation in the terrain. It was nice to see the sun, but 28 degrees is below my comfort zone. The shirtless guy only made me feel colder! I fell in with Alabama legend Dewayne Satterfield when he asked, “So did you come here just for this race?”

“Of course!” I joked and then got to chatting with him for the rest of the loop. There was a well stocked self-serve aid station at the start/finish, but I didn’t need anything and pulled out ahead of Dewayne. I thought he’d catch right back up, but he tailed me by just a short bit the rest of the day, so I was pretty much on my own. But a short loop with a few out and back overlaps meant I was never lonely. And I got an extra boost with three laps to go from my kids, nieces and nephew who came out to cheer (along with their parents!). I felt pretty good all day, and even ran the short, steep hill all ten times to finish 1st F/3rd OA and 13 minutes under the old course record.
An appropriate but seriously ridiculous champagne glass "trophy." It did make it home safely.
My sister said I looked like a "homeless person" with my beanie on, so she made me take it off for this picture.
I am not so sure that was a good idea!
This is a low key event and certainly the loop format won’t appeal to everyone, but I have to say this race is hands down the BEST value in ultrarunning! Fifteen bucks for a fully stocked aid station, beer steins for every finisher, pizza and hot chocolate with real marshmallows! Plus they had a TV with cartoons set up in the heated tent for the kids and the race director just gave a gracious southern smile when all five of the kids in my “fan club” asked for pizza!
And with that all there was left to do in the year was pass out at 10:30 pm, knowing I didn’t have a chance of making it till midnight (but my 9 year old daughter did!).

2014 Races and Results:
2/1 - Rocky Raccoon 100M - DNF.
3/7 - Hill Billy Half Marathon, 1:52 - 5th place
3/16 - Pac Rim One Day with Megan (34M) - 51 miles
4/12 - Mad City 100km National Championships - 7:47, 1st place
5/19 - Titus van Rijn 1 hour - 15,279m, CR
6/1 - Beacon Rock 25k, 2:25, 1st place, CR
6/28 - Western States - 19:10, 4th
8/2 - Angeles Crest 100M - 21:04, 1st, CR
10/5 - Condor 25k - ran with a friend
10/25 - Autumn Leaves 50k - 4:04, 1st
11/21 - 100km World Championships - 7:59:13, 10th
12/31 - Recover From the Holidays 50k - 4:07, 1st, CR

Plenty of races and great adventures this year with lots of good results, but still, I felt like I struggled quite a bit this year and didn’t hit my full potential. The big lesson was respect for all the non-running stresses in life, although I should’ve figured it out in February not October! I am running my easy days A LOT slower now and I cut out one hard workout a week. I finally feel like I am back to just having regular fatigue, not excessive fatigue. ;)

So how did I do on my 2014 goals:
1) Make the USA 100k team - check! Help the team to another gold medal - A hard fought effort by the US ladies, but we ended up with the bronze. I am proud of my race at Worlds, but it was a ways off my PR. Looking forward to Winschoten in 2015!

2) The 18/21 Western States/Angeles Crest double: Well, I missed finishing in the 18 hour range at WS by ten minutes, but in honesty I wanted to break 18:00 and 21:00. Went 19:10/21:04 - not too shabby, but off the mark.

3) 100 Mile world record attempt - 100km Worlds were originally scheduled for October 25th. When they got moved to November 21st, it was too close to Desert Solstice to make an attempt. This is a high priority for 2015.

4) Get blinds and fix the bathroom - Went 50% on this one. Liam’s bathroom is looking pretty good. The living room still needs blinds!
We lived 8 years with this crazy bathroom! But bathroom carpet and little boys are a very bad combination!
He's cute but he has terrible aim!
It's like the Sunday comics all over our walls!

No wall paper and no carpet! Changing the tomato sink and shower were not in the scope of this project, so I added a nine dollar tomato vase to the toilet and voila, the whole room just comes together. ;)

5) Take a non-running vacation - Double check! We spent spring break in Cabo San Lucas and then took a 9 day family trip to Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Craters of the Moon in the summer. So that makes up for not getting blinds, right?
Sun-kissed kiddos in Mexico
This could've been a cool photo of a moose without the four tourists messing it up 
We coincidentally all coordinated when visiting Artist Point in Yellowstone. Can you say Christmas photo? (Well, just imagine I sent out glossy holiday cards with this photo!)
I also tried to write a few blog posts of more general interest/ultra-running advice this past year. I'd love to do more, but time is just so hard to find!

Hope 2014 was a wonderful year for you!

1 comment:

Olga said...

Sounds like a great year to me - more balanced with family vacations, fun runs with friends and daughter and bathroom stuff (I have to say, I will miss the wallpaper when I come over). Good thing you got into "rest I need" at any point, even if not February. There are more years ahead to test it out! :)