Sunday, August 30, 2015

Race Double- SELT Trailfest

The SELT Trailfest was in impromptu race put together over the last month to benefit the Southeast Land Trust of NH. I heard about it via Facebook and decided that it looked too good to pass up. I promptly crossed the NH 10-Miler and the Mt Abrams Ascent off my list and signed up for the SELT 10-mile trail race.

Yesterday, I was looking on the website for the directions to the race parking when I noticed I'd overlooked that the 4-mile and 10-mile races started an hour apart from each other. How could I not do both?? Seemed like the obvious thing to do. Well, maybe for a crazy person. Ha ha. So I signed up for the 4-mile race, too. When I woke up at 5:15am this morning, I immediately regretted it. :)

I got up, made coffee and breakfast for John and me, took the dogs out and got our stuff in the car. John awoke just enough to go from the bed to the carseat and back to sleep. I so wanted to go back to bed. What was I thinking? The drive down wasn't bad. No traffic. We got there right at 8am. The race was being held at the Tucker and French Family Forest in Kingston, NH (near Epping), and it was a really nice spot. I was impressed with this race right from the get-go. VERY organized. They had a great start/finish line put together and tents for the registration/food, the band, the beer and the medical aid. All of it was in a large field. I checked in for both races and confused them a bit when I told them I was running both races. Ha ha. Then I signed John up for the Kids 1K race. I went back to the car, put on my shoes then headed out for a very short 1-mile warm up. I didn't want to do anything more because the 4-mile race was going to be the real warm up for the 10-mile... if I didn't screw things up. When I got back to the car, I made sure John was all set; he was going to stay in there for the first race and then move over to the start/finish area for the 10.

I went over to the start where the race director gave some instructions, then we lined up. I saw Carolyn Shreck just as I was lining up. She was funny since she asked, "You're doing the short race??" I laughed and told her I was doing both races. Fist pump. Hell yeah. Ha ha. There wasn't a huge field for the 4-mile, so I had a feeling I could take it pretty easy and still finish 1st woman, but for the first two miles, I went way too fast. Three guys ended up ahead of me, and the trail was so easy (mostly double-track) that I ended up going way faster than I had intended. I was planning more of an 8-min mile pace for the 4 mile, but my first mile was sub-7 and the second just over 7. Fortunately, the third mile hit some single track with some small, but noticeable, rolling hills, so I couldn't help but slow down to the intended 8-min pace. This single track was an out and back and was obviously brand new trail. It was freshly cleared and a lot of roots still covered the trail. I tripped over one and went down. I actually said out loud as I laughed, "I just fell in the 4-miler?!!" I even got a small scrape above my left knee. I decided to take note for this part for the 10 so that I didn't fall again. The course went back to the double track, and I just took it easy for the run into the finish. I didn't want to be out of breath, so that I would recover quickly enough for the 10-mile. I came through in 29:18. 1st woman, 4th overall. I grabbed water then went to the car. I changed outfits then helped John get his stuff, and we went back over to the start/finish. He chose to set up his lawn chair under the big tent, and I hung out with him until it was time to line up for the start (I only had about 30 minutes in between the two races). From my vantage point, I was able to scope out any competition. There was one woman who looked really serious and had an intense pre-race routine going. Two other women also looked really fast, but you really never know. I know for a fact I don't look "fast", and I've learned that having the "fast" look doesn't mean someone is fast. It's easy for some people to dress the part, and they always throw me off, just like these 3 women did.

We lined up and the super serious chick got right on the start line with the other two right behind her. Now, I was regretting running the 4-mile since I figured I now had competition. I didn't know if I could hammer it out the whole race; my legs were actually kind of tired. Dumb idea to do both races, but whatever, it was done. I just knew I had to go off fast like I usually do to attempt to get some sort of lead on them before my legs gave out on me. The race started, and I immediately blew past serious chick and the two others. Quite a few men ran ahead of me, including Jonathan Miller, my snowshoe racing rival. Ha ha.
Start of the 10-mile race. I'm in the Six03 tank. Bib 33.
I went off super quick and ended up next to my old aR teammate Jeff Hixon for most of the first mile. We actually chatted a bit; he was telling me about his 6-week sabbatical from work in the Swiss Alps. He ran some epic races over there; it sounded fantastic. I have that on my list for when I grow up. ;) I took a peek back near mile 2 and noticed fast girl #2 in the yellow tank way too close for comfort. Dammit. No slowing down yet, so I just kept hammering it out, but at mile 3, she was still there!! Ugh. I had to bank on her not being a trail runner, but the first 6 miles of this race weren't very technical trails. I was hoping it was enough, though, when we got on the first few hills of more "trail-like" stuff. And I think it was. She was nowhere in sight on my next peek back, but that didn't keep me running scared for the next 5 miles.  I was also running alone from this point on until the finish. That makes it tough to push yourself. I kept thinking she was holding back and would totally school me at the end. The only way I would know what when we hit that same hilly out-and-back single track between miles 7 and 8 that I fell on during the 4-mile race, but I had a long way to go until then. So I just kept hammering it out. Right around mile 6, the course turned onto more single-track with some small rolling hills. My kind of thing; I hoped it was no one else's thing. Ha ha. Finally, the course looped around a pond and then hit the out-and-back single track. I was looking forward to this part because I would get to finally see how far back the competition was. I also got to see how far ahead the guys were. Jonathan was barely holding down 3rd (and would manage to keep it for the finish). The guy in front of me was about 2 minutes ahead. On my way back, I finally saw the woman behind me. She had to be well over 2 minutes behind. That was a relief for sure, but then I knew she would know where I was now and probably try to catch me. I didn't think she stood a chance, but I still didn't let up. There was another short out-and-back right after the first one, and when I passed her, she was a good half mile or more back. I wasn't worried because I knew I was almost done. I could hear the announcer calling the names of the guys in front of me and then soon enough, it was my turn. 1st woman, 8th overall. 1:07:11. Not a fast time for a road 10-mile race, but really decent for a trail race. Even though, there weren't any big climbs, there were enough little ups and downs and twists and turns to slow the pace down a bit, just like any trail race. I can say for sure that I was much happier racing a trail 10-miler than the NH 10 Miler on the road. Granted, I haven't run a 10-mile road race since I was much slower, so it would be nice to see what I can do now, but that will have to wait until sometime next year, I suppose. Hopefully in MUCH cooler weather. I am so not into the heat and humidity (I think that's the 100th time I've written that in my blog).
John on my back after I finished my race. I like photobomb guy behind us. Ha ha.
As soon as I finished, I went over to John who had already pinned his bib number on for the kids race. He was really excited. It was so cool. He had killed the battery on my phone, so I ran over to the car (that was about it for a "cool down"; I was all done) to grab my old phone so that I could take pictures of him during his race. He was taking it very seriously. Doing some stretching.

The kid can do almost a full split! Oh to be that flexible. Gymnastics is paying off.
The race director gathered the kids together next to the start line, but as he was preparing the start, the kids got confused and lined up facing the wrong direction. When he told them where the start was, they misunderstood again and just started racing! Ha ha. It was so funny. At least they were going in the right direction. The race director, who was going to lead them, didn't realize it at first and had to sprint to catch up with them. Ha ha.
John and the other kids just took off! Ha ha. John is in the grey shirt and black shorts
The race was a 1K so I had time to grab my free beer from Stoneface Brewing Co before he came back to the finish. Ha ha.
John finishing

Big smile through the finish
He was super psyched to finish 4th, but he was also beat. He said his throat and stomach hurt. Ha ha. That means he ran hard. He was really happy, so I was happy. I'm glad he did it.

Other people started to come in so I caught up with them. Carolyn Shreck, Jessica Goldman and Korrie Wedel. It was really nice catching up with Carolyn since I seem to only see her in passing at races lately. The post-race event was really nice. Free beer and pizza and a really good live band. Definitely a winner of a race in my book. All around. I'm glad this one had a good turn out for being put together so quickly.

We stayed for the awards. I got two cool wood plaques, and John got a medal.
1st overalls

John with the other kids

Top 3 overall in the 4-mile

Top overall runners in the 10.
We left after that and stopped by Memories Ice Cream at Carolyn's recommendation. Only John got ice cream. I didn't want to spend that much money on myself, so I just got a coffee.

When we got home, I took care of the dogs, and then John and I headed up to Bartlett for the night. I picked up the overnight on-call shift at the ambulance, so we're camping at the fire station for the night. So far it's quiet, but the night is young. I, on the other hand, am not young, and I am so ready for bed... on the couch. :)
It's bring your child to work night

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