Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ragnar Trail - Snowbasin Race Review

What a fun race this was.  I am so glad I did it and even more glad that these 7 girls were willing to do it too.  Only one of our runner's is an experienced trail runner and 2 of them had never set foot on a trail before the race.  And the other 5 of us had gone 1-5 times before.  But we had a blast and kicked some serious butt on this race. 

How it works:  You have 8 runners and each runner does 3 loops - all runners do the same 3 loops but in a different order.  First runner does green - then second yellow - third red - fourth get the point.  I was second runner so I ran Yellow (6.4 miles) - Green (3.5 miles)- Red (4.8 miles).  

We all drove up together in the party van then had to haul all our camping crap up the mountain to find a spot to set up.  This was a sweaty, tiring process at noon.  But we got it done and were ready to rock before our race start time - 2:30 pm.  I was second runner so I started a little after 3:00.  It was so freaking hot when I ran.  I took my handheld water bottle and drank 1 1/2 over 6.5 miles.  

I had a horrible run for my first leg.  It was hot, my stomach hurt from eating too close to the run, it was hot, I wasn't mentally prepared to run up a ski slope and just how hard that would be.  At one point I looked down at my garmin - I had been run/walking uphill for so long I knew I must be almost ready to go downhill.  I was at 1.83 miles and I nearly cried.  I was so tired and I wasn't even 2 miles in - how would I do 4 more miles and then do the whole thing 2 more times????  I decided to stop and look around for a minute and it was beautiful then I just forced myself to keep going.  I finished my first run in  1 hour 11 minutes at an 11:09 pace.  I suck at running fast downhill and got passed by more people going down than up - that's depressing.  

coming in from leg 1

My dirty trail shoes

My even dirtier feet - it took a lot of baby wipes to clean these babies

 Right after I finished - I was sooooo grumpy.  That run was the hardest 6.3 miler I've ever done.

My 2nd leg was Green - 3.5 miles around midnight.  I got to wear my sweet new headlamp.  I ran the whole 3.5 miles without walking once.  Wahoo!  It wasn't fast but I did it.  I ran it in 38:39 at a 10:57 pace (it felt way faster than that - ha ha).  I didn't get passed at all and even passed 1 person on a downhill.  After the first half mile I only saw 2 people so I was completely alone in the pitch black.  I didn't let myself freak out but I also didn't stop running because I wanted to be done bad.  I passed one girl walking with a headlamp and flashlight - as I came up behind her I yelled "I'm not a bear....or a rapist....just another girl running".  I'm not sure if she thought I was crazy or not but at least I didn't scare her.  The craziest part of the night run was the bat that flew right in front of my headlamp and freaked me right out.  I think I'd rather see a bear on the trail than be attacked by a flying rodent!!  (I have serious issue with rodents).  When I finished my second leg I felt great and was back to my old happy running self. 

 We are cute in our bandanas and headlamps

 After my 2nd leg I cleaned up and crawled in the tent and slept solid for almost 5 hours.  I thought I wasn't sleeping so I looked at my watch and it had been 5 hours - crazy.  I laid in bed for a little longer and then decided to get ready for my last leg and start hydrating.  My last leg was the "hardest" leg.  It was the steepest but not the longest.  4.8 miles with a 1200 foot incline in the first 2 miles.  I started my run right around 7:00 am and the sun was just coming up.  It was SO BEAUTIFUL!!  I absolutely loved this run.  It was hard but so gorgeous and the fast downhill made up for the uphill. 

 this picture doesn't do how pretty it was justice

and this picture doesn't do justice to how steep these trails were

 I was so happy on this run - this was close to the very top of the mountain

I finished leg 3 in 51:47 at a 10:45 pace.  My first 2 miles were around a 13 min/mile and I was under an 8:00 pace on my last mile.  I started to get more and more comfortable with downhills and didn't get passed going down this time :) Really though I only saw 2 people this whole run so there weren't many people to worry about.  

We finished the race in 23:21:44 and took first place in women's submasters.  I loved this race and even though it was so dang hard I would do it again in a heartbeat.

the finishers medal
the campsites and main village

This week's workouts:
T - spin
W - 10 miles
Th - 9 miles w/5 at tempo

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