Loon Mt Race 2019

Loon Mt Race 2019

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

2019 Escarpment Trail Run

I rarely ever save my bib numbers, but this is one to keep.
Well, I failed at catching up on my blog post. It wasn't that I was lazy, it was more that we were crazy busy at work so I had reports to do, and I had some hours-long online courses that I had to complete. So the blog took a backseat, unfortunately. I'm kind of bummed because that high I rode for like 5 days after the race is gone, but hopefully I can get that back once I start writing.

The Escarpment Trail Run was one of the trail races that came up in conversation with someone whom I don't recall back in 2011 as a must-do trail race. I looked it up and knew immediately this was going on my bucket item list. A trail race of this description was right up my alley:

It is extremely rocky and a runner must expect to navigate over boulders, downed trees, gullies and hidden roots the entire distance. Contestants must be prepared to deal with any of the forest's natural barriers, such as bees, slippery rocks, porcupines, black bears (not probable, but possible) and anything else that can be found in the forests of the Catskills. There are numerous places where runners must climb hand over fist to scale a rise, conversely, extremely steep downhill sections add not only challenge to the course, but also a high degree of unwelcome danger. There are sections of the course that travel along cliffs. If you're not careful, you could fall to your death. Very few runners go the distance without taking at least one painful spill. Most runners take many. Believe me, you're going to take a flop or two, or more.

Due to the logistics of this faraway race being difficult for me to maneuver with an unsupportive husband the first few years and then having John with me every weekend for the last 5 years, the race had to stay on the bucket list. I finally decided in late fall of 2018 that 2019 would be my year for Escarpment. It was a definite. I had time to get things set for John so he didn't have to go with me. This became my goal race for the year.

I don't know how many times I visited the website and Facebook page waiting for the application for consideration of entry to be available. And yes, that's correct. You don't just register for this one when it opens. You actually have to qualify to be allowed to register. I already qualified easily for the race, but that still didn't leave me checking the Facebook page and website every day AGAIN for 2 weeks after I submitted my application. For some reason, I was still nervous I wouldn't get in. But finally on May 31st, the e-mail arrived and I signed up. I was in! 

Fortunately, I had already begun my "training" for Escarpment in early May. There were so many factors to train for with this one. The distance, the vert and the terrain. Plus, I needed to get back in shape! This meant so many different types of runs. I needed to be fit for climbing so I tried to do a lot of mountain runs with a lot of vertical gain. I also did longer mountain and trail runs. But I made it a point to include in a lot of mountain runs that were runnable, i.e. not just a bunch of power hiking. And I think that was the key. A huge part of Escarpment is runnable, surprisingly. You are up on a ridge where the trail is less technical and somewhat flat so you have to be fit to run, not just be fit for vertical gain. But at the same time, you had to be fit for that, too. But the runnable part is where anyone who has natural speed will do well. Combine that with being a good technical downhill runner and you're good. I didn't really know all of this in such detail beforehand, but I had a general knowledge enough to know that this meant training across all scopes of trail and mountain running. 

I think the one thing that really helped me get fit, surprisingly, was the Friday Night Vertical Series at Black Mt. I was making gains in all the other training, but by the beginning of June I was still lacking the fitness I had lost from my 8 weeks off late 2018, followed by the terrible winter and spring with my training. I think you could say that these weekly vertical races were in fact a loose definition of HIIT training. Literally high intensity for less than 25 minutes, while also building up leg and glute strength. And each course had some short breaks of small downhills as you climbed so it really was like doing intervals. The quick improvements I was making after starting the Vertical Series really leads me to believe this played a significant role in my training for Escarpment. I was fit.

By the time race week rolled around, I honestly felt ready, like my training (which may look haphazard on Strava) was spot on. I don't need no stinkin' coach! Haha. That didn't mean I wasn't nervous as hell. I know I said in recent posts that I don't get nervous for races anymore, but this was different. I had put all of my eggs into one basket with this one...which I rarely do anymore. I was most nervous about the course since I didn't know it. Rich Fargo gave me very detailed run-down of the week before after a Whitaker Woods race. I really paid attention to his description and combined that knowledge with a study of the elevation profile so I had it locked in my head. But it didn't help! I was still SO NERVOUS to be running a new-to-me course, and especially one with so much hype. I did not set high expectations for myself at all. Finish the race under 4 hours. That was it. I put my seed time down as 3:55 after studying previous results of people I've raced against. I never even considered that I might win the race. Not once. It wasn't even in the cards. All I knew was that I wanted to start in the elite women's wave, wave 4, and fortunately, I was put in it, just barely. Bib #57. That meant I was seeded 13th for the women. When I saw that I thought, "Damn. I'm going to get smoked out there." With no entry list, I couldn't study up on my competitors. This probably turned out to be a good thing. I had no idea the woman leading our pack at the start was the legend, Sheryl Wheeler, until a day or two after the race. Haha. 

Race week finally arrived (week recap will be part of the next blog post covering 2 weeks). I purposely ran low mileage and took 3 zero days, Monday, Wednesday and Saturday. I had to recover from the 31 mile race plus make sure my legs were well rested for Sunday. I still ran Whitaker Woods and Friday Night Vertical, but kept everything else short and easy. I slept in Saturday morning on purpose to ensure I had gotten enough sleep. I got John and the dogs out for a walk before I left. John was going to be spending the day by himself after that. I had major mom guilt, but the next day he was going to take a walk with Bryan then go to another sleepover with his friends. I felt this was a better alternative than the original plan to drop him off in Marshfield with his grandparents and an even MUCH better plan than dragging him on a 12 hour round-trip drive to NY to sleep in the car at Walmart and then sit in a park with no cell service for 8 hours. Haha. Plus, it gave me a chance to just focus on my race and not worry about his well-being which I sometimes have on my mind mid-race. Pretty sure that's a mom thing that will never go away, though, because the second I got cell service after the race, I called to check on him. Haha.

The drive was SO long. With I-90 traffic, it took me over 6 hours! And I learned along the way that my transponder doesn't work in NY EZ-Pass lanes. I still have a wicked old Fast Lane transponder that EZ-Pass MA and NH still accept, but I guess not NY. Haha. It appears I did get billed properly, though, through my account since I still just went through the EZ-Pass lanes. My license plate probably matched up in the system. But anyway, I finally arrived in the town of Catskill, which I had randomly picked due to it having a Walmart. It's a town surrounded by Catskill Creek on one side and the Hudson River on the other. And what a different land. Such a strange little town. NY in general is very different from New England, in my opinion. But this place was exceptionally different. The town seemed very run down and the land itself was so different. Having hiked the Appalachian Trail south of this area and crossing the Hudson at Bear Mt, I still felt like I was in some similar land to the rest of it, but this place by the Catskill Mountains was way different. Really hard to explain, though.

As soon as I arrived in town, I needed to take a walk. Way too much sitting. I had searched earlier for a place and came across the RamsHorn-Livingston Sanctuary. I was taken aback at the heat when I got out of the car. It was close to 90 degrees. Race day looked to be similar with temps in the high 80s. Good thing I was acclimated by now. The walk was pretty, but I forgot to put on my hat and immediately had an annoying deer fly swarm in my hair. I walked through kind of a marshy-like area before the trail went into the woods on a rooty trail. I walked 2 miles then was ready to head over to the brewery in town for beers and food from the food truck. 

The brewery was just down the street in the downtown area. Downtown looked like a ghost town with a lot of low-income housing mixed in with hipster restaurants. It was so weird, but I was happy to have a brewery there! The brewery looked as if it was in an old train station or something, and it was right on the Catskill Creek. Really nice place and it would end up super crowded by the time I left. I grabbed a beer went outside to a picnic table. I had planned to order food from the food truck but saw it was "cash-only". I asked the food truck owner/chef if there was an ATM nearby. She said there was one a very short walk around the corner. I told her I would be right back, but she insisted on taking my order and making my food first. She was so nice! She said I could pay her after I ate. No rush.

So I enjoyed my first beer with 3 amazing cheese, bacon and onion sliders made with local beef. I got a second beer after that then walked to the ATM to pay her. I could have waited longer, but it was killing me not paying. Haha. People were so friendly here so it ended up being a good evening.

Although I wanted more beer, it was time to head over to my campsite at Walmart. However, as I was driving, a very powerful force took over my steering wheel causing my car to turn into the the Beer World parking lot and parked the car right out front. Figuring I was already there, I might as well browse. But one doesn't just browse in a beer store, especially when it's the best selection of beer she's ever seen! Instead, she buys two 6 packs of beer she can't get in NH and cringes as she pays for it. I think it's safe to blame this on the same demon that possessed my car causing me to come here.

Walmart was basically across the street so I parked in the regular lot to go in and buy some cookies. Yeah, so burgers, beer and cookies for my pre-race meal. Some of us don't need to eat healthy shit the day before a race to do well, apparently. Haha. Back at the car, I moved it around to the best campsite ever under some trees next to the Auto Dept. It ended up being perfect. Quiet all night. A tad warm, but not bad. My new tent is perfect...

I woke up pretty early Sunday morning. I wanted to be early for the race and catch the first bus shuttle to the start. I changed clothes then drove over to Dunkin Donuts. Sadly it was my only option this early, and my breakfast bagel was just as horrible as I expected, but it was fuel. I got a small coffee, too, which was as mediocre as always.

North-South Lake Campground was only 25 minutes from Catskill so the drive wasn't too long on the windy road up there. Reminded me of a treacherous Kancamagus Highway. I was surprised to learn there was a $10 parking fee since I didn't know about it, but it didn't surprise me that State Park charged one so I paid and drove down to the race parking by North Lake. I was one of like 5 or 6 cars there. One was Nate Weeks, a fellow NH runner who also does the Friday Night Vertical. He had camped at the campground and said it was horrible. So loud all night. I was glad I didn't stay there!

I got everything together for the race. I had trouble deciding what to carry. As you all know, I HATE my pack and the thought of wearing it at this race made me cringe. The weight on my neck and the chafing were not appealing. I also didn't want to carry to a handheld because I knew I'd need my hands free for rock scrambling (Oh and on a similar note, I purposely held off on getting my nails done again because long fingernails would have sucked in this race). I finally settled on my dorky Amphipod running belt. It's what I've been using mostly on all of my runs so I'm used to it. I put a gel, some watermelon gummies and 3 S-Caps in there. And that was it. I would end up only using the S-Caps.

I bought this for the 2014 Boston Marathon so I could carry my phone and money. I was nervous after the 2013 race and hearing horror stories of runners stranded in the city with no way to contact people and no money to buy something to drink.
I decided to wear my Chaco Sandals for the hour bus ride so I brought a drop bag for my shoes and water bottle. I got on the first bus out as planned. Talked to Nate for awhile. We were both wearing our "Run the Whites" singlets. I thought it would be cool to represent the White Mountains while racing in NY. I wore my NB black shorts and a Buff. I don't wear hats in trail races since I've clocked myself in the head with low-lying branches  that weren't visible due to the hat brim blocking my vision. The one thing I was very unhappy with wearing at today's race was my shoe choice. I had planned to wear my La Sportiva Mutants like always, but I guess they got wet and dried in the sun too many times because all of sudden, they were too small!! Really bad timing since I couldn't afford a brand new pair of trail shoes since last minute I'd be paying full price. Had I had more time, I would have ordered something on clearance, but I didn't. So I had to make the best choice of shoes from a bunch of bad options. I love my HOKA Speedgoat 2s, but I was not wearing those this shoes in this race. I would have stumbled in them. My other La Sportiva shoe models weren't good either. One pair, same problem. Toes at the end. The other is an old model (Ultra Raptor) that almost has a high heel on it. Not being used to running in those, I would have caught that on roots and rocks. So my only option was the Saucony Peregrine 8. I actually love these shoes, but I've never raced in them. Plus the sides on both toes are ripped and about to blow out, but it was really my only option. Let's just say that I obviously got by ok, but it wasn't good. I'll never race in them again.

So, anyway, the bus ride was nice. I talked a little bit to my seat partner, Christian, but then shut my eyes for most of the ride. It nearly put me to sleep so it was hard switching gears into race mode once we arrived at the start. I picked up my bib and started looking around at the other women's bibs to see who was in my wave. I wouldn't know a single one of them. It was only after the race and looking at results that I knew a few of them by name but had never raced them. They all looked fit and fast, perfect running bodies basically. I felt very out of place in this crowd. I went out for a very short warm up on a trail adjacent to the parking lot just to loosen up the tendons. We had a pre-race meeting where I ran into to Tim Van Orden. Tim would give me some advice that actually stuck with me the whole race. He said this race isn't about the climbs. It's about the downhill and the technical. He turned out to be 100% right. My two top running skills would make this my type of race.

I'm standing closest to the center.
9am approached and the first men's wave was sent on its way. Waves would go out every 5 minutes so my start was at 9:15am. I was happy to run into Mary-Pat Pfeil just as I was walking over to the waiting area. She was sweet and gave me a hug. Eased my nervousness even if only briefly. Wave 3 went off, so Wave 5 was called to stand behind us. Rich Fargo and Peter Keeney were in that group so I talked to them for a minute. 5 minutes flew by and we were called to the start line. I had no idea where to start so I lined up in the very back of the wave. Two women from later waves were added since we had a few no-shows so I stood with them. I wanted to hang back for the first climb so that I didn't go out too hard, and I wanted to get a feel for my competitors. I was still so nervous until we were off. No more nervousness just time to focus.

My wave. You can barely see me in the back. Sheryl Wheeler is in red out front. 
I realized quickly that I shouldn't have started in back so I quickly passed some women without keeping count. I ran behind two others for a bit, but it was just two slow since this climb so far was an easy grade with switchbacks, so I passed them, too. Finally, I was behind a younger girl and a woman in her 40s who I realized was last year's women's winner due to her having bib# 2. I knew she ran way faster than I expected for myself today so I hung back behind her. It was a decent pace. Not slow at all but not too fast. I kept thinking I was going to fall back from them until all of a sudden the young girl started walking on the steeper hills...but they weren't steep. Totally runnable. If this were an ultra, then, yeah, I probably would have walked here, too, but not today. There was no reason for it. The older woman caught up to the younger one quickly, as did I... then she all of a sudden started walking, too. Dammit. I had to pass them. Passing so many women on the first climb was not in my game plan. I could see the next woman up ahead, but she was running well. I kept stumbling a bit for the first half of this climb for some reason so I wasn't feeling too confident on my feet yet, but it didn't matter because this next woman started walking already, too! UGH. She was moving fast on the flatter parts so even though I caught up with her, I wasn't quite in a position to pass her for awhile. Around mile 2, we started passing wave 3 guys. As one stepped aside he said, "2nd and 3rd women." What?! Already?! I had no idea I had passed that many women. Although most of this 3 mile climb was a gentle grade, the last mile had a few more steeper sections so I finally had to pass the 2nd woman. This positioning worried me. I was afraid that maybe they all knew better than me to start slower and that I had just messed up my race in the first 3 miles. I had no idea, though, so I just went with it. I reached the top of the first climb in 41:02. I had looked at previous women's times up this first climb and thought this was way too fast. Oh no.

Since I carried no fluids, I stopped to drink Gatorade and water. I thanked them then moved on. And wow, I was suddenly in my comfort zone. Super steep, technical downhill. I flew down this and started passing more wave 3 guys along the way. The first woman remained out of sight, but I wondered how she was on downhill technical stuff. I actually had no idea whatsoever which woman was in the lead since I didn't pay attention to the ones I passed. I knew whoever she was she was a really good climber since she was long gone ahead by the first climb. This whole time I was thinking, "Wouldn't be awesome if I finished 2nd!" The downhill was long but I went as hard as I could on it remembering Tim's advice. I'm so in shape for this type of downhill that I knew going this fast early on wouldn't really hurt me and would probably only help me get a lead on the women behind me. I finally reached the bottom and started a short fairly gently climb again. I was surprised to finally see the first woman come into view up ahead walking. I still had yet to get to a hill that I felt was worthy of walking so I was surprised and thought maybe she had gone out too fast and was fading. It still took me almost a mile to actually pass her so her walking was probably the same pace as my running so I think she was actually being smart. But once we hit a flat ridge run, I was right behind her so she waved me around. OMG. We're only 6 miles in and I'm in the lead! This wasn't good! I would now be running scared! I was happy to immediately hit a downhill that I flew down, passing a few more guys. At the aid station, I quickly took some Gatorade and water, an S-Cap and a small piece of S'mores and continued on. I took one bite of the S'mores and just couldn't do it. I cannot eat and run at the same time. It was dry and I just couldn't breathe so I ditched it. This one bite of a S'more is the ONLY thing I would eat the entire race. Once again, I just couldn't figure out fueling. Food looked almost repulsive to me at every aid station.

I caught up with a guy, Ari, who runs for the Cambridge Sports Union here and ran just behind him for the long climb out of the aid station. We chatted a bit since this was the first place I started powerhiking. He was a stronger climber than me, but as soon as we hit the next downhill, he had me go by so I continued on as fast as I could since I knew the climb up Blackhead was coming soon and needed to have as good of a lead on the 2nd woman as possible beforehand. I continued to pass SO many men along the way to the aid station before Blackhead. This climb was going to be tough at about .8 miles gaining over 1000ft with grade around 24%. It did not disappoint. Climbing out of the aid station it didn't seem so bad, but then it was. Wow! So steep!! And it hurt. I was drenched in sweat and it never seemed to end. It just went on and on until I finally saw the markers for the aid station. Yay!!! It was almost over. I had a bad feeling, though. I struggled through that climb so the second woman had to have gained on me so I quickly drank some Gatorade and water and hustled out of there (I still don't know how those volunteers got all of that stuff up there, but it was impressive!). As soon as I got about 20 yards away, I hear guy say, "Oh!" really loudly followed by, "She's just ahead of you," which was then followed by a woman's voice saying, "I know." Omg. She hadn't been in sight every time I looked back so she destroyed me on that climb! Results would show she did it in 19:02 compared to my 20:19. Even the 3rd woman beat me on the climb by 4 seconds. Haha.

I was SO thankful that this climb was followed by a LONG steep technical downhill because I definitely put a good gap on 2nd. She was nowhere to be seen. Yay! But that didn't mean much since I now knew how close she was and I continued to run scared. The downhill was followed by some fast, mostly easy running along the ridge. With about 7 miles to go still, I started to feel my tendons a bit here but not too bad. Fatigue set in a bit even though I continued to run as fast as I could. The worst part, however, was my feet. My poor choice of shoes was made apparent since I started feeling hotspots covering the forefoot of both feet. All I could do was hope those didn't turn into blisters. But 7 miles with hotspots was still pretty painful, I have to say. I knew we had one more big climb left before a lot of flat-ish fast running and mostly downhill to the finish. We dropped far down to the lowest point on the course (other than the start and during the last mile before the finish) which meant a long climb back up to Stoppel Point. Stoppel Point was the marker in my head for when the trail would ease up and I could run fast to the finish. It meant no more climbs. It was basically the beginning of the end, and I couldn't wait to get there. The climb up wasn't too bad since it was broken up by a few downhills and flats. Just the last push to the summit hurt. I finally got to the top where I could see the aid station balloons and saw two volunteers up ahead. Yay! Then BOOM. I was on the ground. Seriously?! On a flat, non-technical trail with two people watching I go down. Haha. It did hurt, and I scraped my knee a bit. I actually struggled getting myself up. I was tired. I ran into the aid station at Stoppel Point. My climb up that was 30:14...1:22 slower than the second woman, although I didn't know this at the time.

4 miles to go! I could do it! I looked at my watch for probably the first time here and thought that I might actually run a 3:30! Crazy! But still too much unknown. The course from here was mostly downhill and technical so I ran giving everything I had. I wanted this win. I stayed first woman this long so it was staying mine. I was too close to the finish to give up. I ran hard. Looking back, I should have just taken a quick water at the next aid station and kept going. But instead I stopped to have both drinks. This probably cost me over 30 seconds and little did I know, the 2nd woman was only about 30-45 seconds behind me when I left the aid station. She was just far back enough that I couldn't see her, but it was 2 miles to go. I couldn't lose this. I kept running as fast as I could. This last part is super technical so I was thankful for that. With just under a mile to go, I came out to the steep ledge with the view and took a sharp right. For some reason about 30 seconds past this turn, I decided to look back. And omg, the 2nd woman was RIGHT THERE. Probably around 30-45 seconds back (hard to say exactly). No, no, no!! I was NOT getting caught here. This race was mine. I'm not sure the last time I ever raced as hard as I did. It was so technical, but I just ran hoping I didn't trip. 18 miles already done. I was so close. I looked back a few times and she wasn't in sight so I knew I was going to win. It wasn't going to be by much, but I was going to win the Escarpment Trail Run!! What?! I started seeing other racers who had finished so I knew I was close. I came around a bend to see two guys sitting there, one holding an air horn and other a cowbell. The guy with the air horn warned me that he was going to blow it to let them know I was coming. I couldn't believe it. I think I started laughing to myself and even said outloud to myself that I did it. I had this. The light at the end of the trees came into view and just beyond it all I could see was a finisher's tape. It's funny because breaking tapes is awkward for me so I told myself to get ready for it. Next thing I knew I was running through it! I was 1st woman at Escarpment!!

I still can't believe it. Not only that, but I broke 3:30 with a 3:29:01. My time turned out to be the fastest women's finishing time since 2002 and the first time a woman has broken 3:30 since 2003 when Sheryl Wheeler ran a 3:29:50. Even though I'm the 3rd fastest woman to run it, my time is actually the 6th fastest. The woman who owns the (untouchable for me) course record actually holds the top 4 fastest times, and Nikki Kimball ran a 3:24:27 in 2000. How am I the next one on the list? I don't know, but I'm so grateful to have gotten this 43 year old body to do it. I had no idea I was capable of this. I may never be again, too. I may go back next year and have a terrible race, but it doesn't matter. This year, 2019, I didn't just accomplish my goal, I exceeded it, and I'll always have this. Full Results

Here's a video someone made. My finish is around minute 3. It looks like I snubbed Dick, the RD, but I swear I didn't. Haha. The camera just didn't turn around until after I spoke to him.

Dick came up right after I finished and asked if I was ok or needed anything. As usual, I was dying for water so I told him I was good and just wanted some water so I walked over there with Nate who was the first there to congratulate me at the finish. I told him I thought the race was easy. He said he thought it was hard and did not train right for it. He didn't realize so much of it would be runnable and didn't actually do enough just running prior to the race. He said died towards the end. I agree with what he meant. I don't really think the race is easy. In fact, he's exactly right. Terrain-wise specifically, it was "easy" for me. It's what I'm good at. This race was all about my strengths. But this race was also really hard in that you really put in a hard effort. I was spent. I was beat up. In reality, it destroyed me. My recovery was still ongoing by the time Run 4 Kerri rolled around a week later. So even though I didn't find the terrain challenging, the rest of it certainly was. I don't know the last time I've put that much effort and heart into a race. It was well worth it.

I had to get in the lake ASAP despite the signs saying the beach was closed. This was my first priority. A guy who had finished before ran over to give me a "medal" for winning. This race has no awards to this was it for me. Haha. (I like how it's stayed no frills like that in all of its 43 years; I think chip timing is really the only upgrade.)

Getting that water was worth the risk of getting yelled at. It was only closed to swimming because the beach was under construction so I doubted they would care much since I was only in there for a minute to float. It felt so, so good! The race had been hot and humid, but it never bothered me really, and the singlet being soaked in sweat actually kept me cool on the ridge where a light breeze could be found at times. But once I finished, it suddenly felt like 100 degrees. So weird.

North Lake
I changed clothes then headed back up to the finish area to have some post race food. I sat with Tim, Nate, Ari, Rich and this other guy whose name I didn't catch. It was fun sharing war stories of the race, but I knew I had to head out after about an hour. Long drive ahead.

As I headed down the treacherous mountain road, I witnessed what Nate and Tim warned me about. So many people walking the road! It was crazy. It would be like all of the tourists getting out of their cars and just walking up and down the Kanc (with less shoulder and more winding) on both sides of the road. I realized that most of these people are from NYC so for them it's not odd to walk in such close proximity to cars. It actually got crazier as I rounded the last bend. Off to the right was basically a river gorge that you couldn't even see the bottom of from the road. There were some very tall trees that extended up from the gorge to eye level with the road, and in the very top of one of these trees is an old man. And I'm not exaggerating. He was at the TOP. And he was holding an American flag. Hahaha. Wtf. Very entertaining for sure.

I stopped at the rest area to get a coffee at Starbucks just a little ways up the Interstate. I was once again greeted with the interesting experience of NYC people. It was just so different than New England. It's hard to even pinpoint it, but it's just a different vibe. Fortunately, a busy Starbucks in NY doesn't beat around the bush even when both registers go down. They were on it and the line moved fast. I just wanted a coffee so I was in and out of there and back on the road quickly.

This part of New York was such a wonderful, different, interesting experience, and I love stuff like this, seeing new places, being around different people, but I will honestly say that I breathed a sigh of relief when I pass this sign on I-90...

I felt back in land of my comfort zone. Home. And then the Massholes ruined it by causing more bad traffic on I-90! Haha. Despite a long delay there, the rest of the drive was smooth. My legs and tendons yelled at me so I had to crank the A/C and turn on the heated seats. It was amazing until I stopped again almost 4 hours late in Dover for gas. Omg. I could barely get out of the car. I had to roll out of it and lean against the car. I was destroyed.

I was never so happy to get home and see the dogs! I walked them right away which made my legs feel better. I broke out the beer I bought at Beer World. Better late than never for my post-race beer, right? John was lucky he was at his friend's house or else he would have had to listen to me talk about my race which I'm pretty sure sounds like this to him...

I finally inspected my feet after I showered. You can see the hotspots if you look closely, but the blister under my big toe can't be missed. My Peregrine 8s are going back to training shoes only. Haha.

I rode a high for like 5 days after the race. I didn't even get mad when people said, "Good/Great job." Also not like me, I did a Facebook AND Instagram brag. I have to admit, that the IG post made me feel uneasy, and I almost deleted it. I decided it was worth a post. I worked hard to achieve a goal that would end up becoming greater than my expectations. I needed this in my life right now. I needed to know that this semi-broken body is still capable of hard-fought win.

While I have many other races still to come for the remainder of 2019, none them hold the importance that Escarpment held to me. It feels good knowing I crested the top of the metaphorical mountain and can now coast my way back down. I put in all the work. Now I just have to maintain it and enjoy the races to come.

1 comment:

  1. No Way!! I Actually Scooted To The End Of My Seat. I Am So Proud Of You!! Car Camping, YES. Quality Craft Brew, YES. Turning Yourself Inside Out, YES. This Whole Summer Of Investing Your Time Climbing Has Totally Paid Off. Well Done!!

    What A Recap/Race Report, Cant Go Wrong With A Peanuts Clip, & I So Cracked Up With Your Hopper Photo. I Am Pleased By The Hospitality From The Locals. That Is Very Refreshing. Now Go Hang That BiB Somewhere That Brings A Smile To Your Face.

    You Rock,