Sunday, January 24, 2010

Northwoods Snowshoe Race

Last Saturday I did the Northwoods Snowshoe marathon. This was going to be my 2ND attempt. Last year I tried and had failed. This year I was not any better at snowshoeing if fact I probably had gotten in less snowshoe time but I knew from the start I was under the gun and every second was going to count.
My daughter Kaitlyn came up to Duluth with me and we were going to stay 3 nights and try to get in some other activities.
Friday night at packet pick up it was great seeing so many running friends. Kaitlyn's camp friend went to school in Duluth so we picked her up and headed to Pizza Luce. We were very excited because they have Vegan items on their menu. We loved their vegan pizza, it was fantastic.
Anyways about the race. Knew I was seriously under the gun and I really wanted to finish and get the sweatshirt. This race has always been very strict about the time cut off. Last year I ran the first 1/2 of the marathon with Wayne, We did the first half in 3:45-which was even split for the marathon cut off, he only did the 1/2, I had gone on but quit when I was told later I wouldn't make the cut off. I am still mad at myself for not actually being dropped, who knows what would have happened maybe I could have made it.
From the start I had to push. I am such a slow start on all races and in snowshoes my slowness is worse. Wayne was off from start and I would not see him till the end. I ran alone most of race but was happy I remembered my i-pod.
The first hour I was on the nice groomed trails, then we went off into what seemed endless. The next section starts on nice firm road the goes off into deep sugar snow. It was like one movement forward one involuntary movement sideways and on and on. Sometimes to the side of the other runners tracks I was able to run on top of the snow, but then eventually I would break down into the deep. Actually this would have been very nice had I not been under the gun. It was very beautifully out there. Every walk even on this first loop was full of knowing this was the walk that could make me fail. It took me 2 hours till I got back on the groomed trail for another 1/2hour. The 1/2 took my 3&1/2 hours. I had a 1/2 longer to get the 2ND 1/2 done.
I felt like toast, took me 10 extra minutes on the first nice part and by the time I got through the worst of the sugar snow section I had used up all my extra time. Approaching the hour before the end cut off I secretly wished they would just cut me but I still pushed. I made that last cut off -I must have been within minutes or seconds but had to get the the last hour done in the same time I did the first loop. I had resigned myself to being OK with a DNF but still pushed harder than I cared to. I ended up finishing with 2 minutes to spare- 7:28. Had I known I would have two minutes left I certainly would have used them. I am very happy it was the last year because I will never have to do that race again!! No- just kidding. I am not happy it is the end just happy I don't have to do it again because I certainly would if they had it.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2009- Good year!!

So.. year in review
I started the year needing 8 marathons or higher races to finish my 50X50 before my 50th b'day. I competed it with one to spare. I had some very good races some not so good but I consider the bad ones just opportunities to do better next time.

Northwoods snowshoe marathon- Jan 2009- This on did not count in my total, I was not able to finish in the allowed time. This was a bad start to the new year. This year I will try it again. It is kind of fun not knowing if you can finish or not, challenging to say the least.

Land Between the Lakes in Kentucky- I needed to get in a 50 mile run before my first trail 100 miler in April. Flew down with other MN runners. The time limit on this was very challenging- 11 hours. I got lucky with this one and was able to make the big cut off that allows runners to get to do the final lap and go on to the 50 miles. the highlight was the runner who also had a strong family connection with diabetes with whom I talked with for a long time and the great cabin overlooking the lake with great friends and meeting new friends.

NcNaughton 100 mile- April 2009- ouch, another DNF!! This hurt, three races this year and two not finished. I ended up being stupid and not changing my upper body clothes during the late night and ended up getting too cold to continue. Stupid Stupid Stupid!!! I called it quits at like 73 miles.

Trail Mix- April 2009- 50K, the week after McNaughton, I felt just fine, had to get those last 30 miles in, had to try to make up my lost races to add to my 50x50.

Chippewa-thought I would be too sore from Mcnaughton so had signed up to volunteer- I enjoyed it very much. it was much colder being a volunteer than running it.

Superior 50K- May 2009- I slept in my car and woke up race morning to snow on the car. You just never know what the weather is going to be like that time of the year. I always love it up there. Drove home after the race, That was not fun.

Med City Marathon- May 2009- I usually am out of town Memorial weekend but when found out I was not leaving I decided this would be a good one to do to get ready for Fans. I had my best marathon with a PR, 4:18, previous fastest a few years prior at Wistlestop at 4:19.

Fans 24 hour- June 2009- I had a great race and a great time despite the cold and rain. I had a great race got in 106.99 miles and was 3rd women, 6th overall. My daughters were great kept me going. they made it so easy.

Big Horn 50 mile- June 2009- The most unbelievable beautiful place I ever was. It was like running through a postcard. Barely made the cut off, still had ankle issues left over from Fans two weeks prior. Totally worth the snake threat.

1/2 Vouageur marathon- July 2009- I had to skip Afton this year and give my ankle more rest, it still was bothering me alot. It felt good having 3 weeks without a race. I had my best 1/2 vouageur time this year- Everything was perfect. Laughed a lot.

Vouageur 50 mile- July 2009- I think I got dehydrated, I sure was sick by the end, but finished. I changed my mind during this race not to do the Superior 100-that I was no way ready. My ankle hurt a lot too.

Paavo Nurmi marathon- August 2009- My last race of my 40's. I thought I would do great, felt rested enough, but I totally sucked and my ankle killed me again - I got a big blister and afterwards I felt totally burnt out like I never had before. I said I was not running anymore and was sad because without running I had nothing else. That was weird, glad I got over it. The party in Hurley after was fun!!

My birthday 50 miler- August 2009. I took off work for my birthday to run my age. I went through West Saint Paul crossed the high bridge down shephard road to ford bridge to Minehaha parkway around the Mpls lakes and back, was home in time to go out to dinner with the family. The I Can't believe I am 50 run.

Superior 50 mile- September 2009- Hard!! I want a re-do there is no way I should have done that bad. It was hot and humid and I do not do good in humidity. I actually feel asleep on Moose mt. I was so sick and sleepy- layed down on the trail- did not worry about bugs or snakes or anything there in the dark.

Arkansas Traveller 100 mile- October 2009- First trail 100 finish. I had a good first 1/2 of the race but got sick after 60 or 70. I refused to quit and walked in the last 16 miles. I really liked this race and want to go back.

Wild Duluth 50K- October 2009- It was so beautiful on the Superior Hiking trail with the fall colors. Great company the whole way, I laughed and laughed. Felt good.

Surph the Murph 50 mile- October 2009- On Halloween, dressed up in costume with great running friends who also surprised me and wore costumes too. I laughed a lot and felt good, better at the end then in the middle. It was a great place to run.

Tuscobia 50K- December 2009- Loved it. You were supposed to be self supporting so even though 50k is not that far, a backpack would have done it, I pulled a sled I made up after getting an idea of how to do it by other runners. Next year I will do the 75 mile option - if they have the race again. It was a fun trip.