|Salem Lake, looking calm|
Note: photos (with exception of the above) in this post are courtesy of Shannon Johnstone
Anyway, the day was fabulous despite my heavy legs!
I had a headlamp with me ran in the dark for a couple miles, until the sun showed through the early morning fog and tree cover, I wound up with around 7 miles relaxed (great warm up) from 6:35-7:35am.
Well over a thousand folks were milling around, waiting in porta-pottie lines and a general buzz of pre race excitement/stress was easily detectable. With 24 minutes to race start, I impatiently waded through bib pickup line and porta pottie line and had time to get back to my car to shed my tank top and pin my number on my sports bra. (I could already tell this would be a warm one!)
With 6 minutes to spare, I retied my shoes. chugged some Nuun, ate a mini Clif Bar, stuck some TP in my shorts pocket and a gel in another. This was exciting for me, as except for at JFK, I have not been at a race start with as many runners! I placed myself in midpack…yet 25 seconds after “go!” was running through weeds and mud to navigate around many shuffling runners. Several minutes after the start, I found myself at what felt like an appropriate place in the mob, and bobbed along chatting easily with other runners.
Salem Lake and its trail system is part of the Parks and Recreation Dept of Winston-Salem. There is a wide-mostly flat dirt trail that skirts the lake and turns to paved greenway the links the lake with downtown Winston-Salem. I have raced here several times previously at the Salem Lake Frosty 50k, a January run, which is a “double out and back” of much of the same route.
Though I am not usually too stressed minutes before a race, this start was very low-key for me. I had no aspirations of a top finish-though I knew from history, a top 3 masters finish would be likely unless very bad things happened out there. I had projected on my entry that I could run in 2:15-yet that was before not fully recovering from last weekends run! (When will I learn that I have a healthy, normal body and not of superhero ingredients!?)
|Speedy Molly Nuun|
|scene from the trail at mile 12ish|
I kept on running and was passed and passed several folks as time counted away. With 3.5 left, I knew 2:15 was unlikely, so I thought to get as close to it as possible and see if I could pass some folks. About this time, I was passed by a young woman in pink-her name I learned later was Sheena Kevorkia and all I could do was cheer her on! I ran, fueled by love of what I was doing, desire to meet a goal (even if adjusted) and because except for sore glutes and wanting to eat…I felt really good! With about a 1 ½ left to go, I saw Jared in the distance and passed him with what I hope was encouragement! The joy of being an ultrarunner at heart is that “a mile left to go” seems like a relief! So, I passed 2 girls-the last being Danielle Rowland who had slowed down because her shorts were falling down…if that wasn’t the case, I’d surely have been minutes behind her!
After crossing the finish line and celebrating with Danielle and drinking a Gatorade, I reset my watch and headed out for 21 minutes of easy running to total up my required 3:40 this day.
|Shannon, Danielle, Julie Mussleman and I hanging out|
I wore Mountain Masochists, Smartwool socks, Mtn Hardware shorts and Moving Comfort Sports Bra and lot of body glide on feet, under shorts and under bra. I am also happy to say that a moderate meal of frozen homemade lasagna and romaine lettuce salad was much for kind than last week’s pre race meal!
12 days until the 3rd Running of New River Trail 50k! Yippee!