Sunday, September 29, 2013

Vanier CX-2013

So  I get the call up to start this 40 minutes of quad-searing hell and I'm right at the tape, a space I often believe is reserved for the speedsters. Only thing I was fast at was registering on line. That's what it takes to get the call up. Not being a speedster and having very little knowledge regarding my own biking abilities this year, I took off at GO!

Across the first flat I was out front. Through the first tight switchback, over the low barriers and up the stairs, I was still up front. I stayed out front and wondered when I'd get passed. I was perplexed. Had I gone the wrong way? What was happening? After the second set of barriers, which were rather high and positioned on an uphill, I backed off and a few riders went by. I immediately felt less out of place although the lung searing pain continued.

The course was in fabulous shape for my Schwalbe Racing Ralph's. A bit of superficial muck but mostly hard underneath for some fast rolling sections and tight, workable corners. All I thought about throughout was FUN! It was so much fun and I can't wait to do it again. It's very hard, I can't lie. I like working that hard, getting dirty and working away at finding the perfect line or doing the perfect dismount/remount. Not sure I'll get much faster but working at it is brilliant.
Super, tight windy sections not present in picture. BEWARE the Red Scary Stuff.

Last year was my first year and I truly enjoyed the Cascade Cross Series in the Bellingham area. October 12th is the first one of theirs that I'll be able to do and I'm very excited to get down there. Great time to stop off for a cheap six pack and a block of reasonably priced cheese.


Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Runner's Rats Nest

It took a few minutes to organize these memory medals for the photo but when I found them they were all twisted and wrapped around each other like ear buds; a rats nest. They certainly do not represent all the races of my past but each has it's sentimental little story and finding them today was fun. Finding $20 in my ski jacket would have been better but c'est la vie.

Looking through them now I see:
  • 5 Knee Knacker Finishes
  • 2 Meet Your Maker Finishes (1 a relay)
  • 2 Momar Placings - 2nd and 3rd
  • 3 Dirty Duo Placings - All 1st place mens relay
  • 1 Squamish 50 Mile Finisher
  • 1 Remembrance Day 8k -3rd place
  • 2 1st half marathon
  • 1 Okanagan Half Marathon
  • 3 Victoria Half Marathon
Who knows what else is buried in the other drawers or lost in storage room boxes? I was glad to find these today and particular grateful for having not tossed them following race day.  I often have a difficult time finding a place to put them or the will to keep them. I'm not vain enough to frame them or hang them so they live in a drawer at my workplace. 

Do you have a rats nest? What do you do with yours?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

I Met MY Maker on September 1st

World Class Trail in a World Class Location - Meet Your Maker (Whistler, BC)
Meet Your Maker 50 miler is an amazing event in brilliant terrain under management of the best in the business. They've spent themselves in creating an event of truly epic proportions. There's no place like Whistler and when the weather comes together with people of such caliber you can't avoid having one of the best days you've ever had. 

#1 In Your Hearts
It's three weeks later and I'm finally starting to forget the mental anguish I suffered after the 65 km mark. I hated every step of that beautiful rolling section. I cursed aloud as I delved deep into a mind numbing walk-run finish. Anything I climbed that day was hell but the thought of quitting never entered my mind. I know I was trained well and I know ate and drank well because my stomach was in good condition all day and I recovered within two days. Stairs were a non-issue by Monday night. I blame jet lag for a serious state of fatigue but still loved every moment. You runners know how it is to love something you hate momentarily. We covet some level of suffering and hurt. 

Without getting into the details of every turn, every step, every high and every low, I finished 84 km in 10:07 feeling overwhelmingly satisfied. That said, 50 miles is a long bloody way and is currently at the bottom of my "things to do soon" list. I won't be pinning a Meet Your Maker solo bib to my shorts anytime soon but would love to relay in 2014.

Darby Kai Standrick got me through large chunks of the day and I can't say thank you enough. It was a pleasure to run with someone in such a mentally strong place. It's just the beginning for her. Keep an eye that. She's an animal.

Perhaps the most inspiring and nerve racking portion of the day was waiting for James Marshal to finish. I've never know someone to want something so bad as James wanted to finish this thing. Rumors flew that he'd dropped up top but no such luck. He started down Blackcomb and was met by a bike bound Mike Murphy. Just the pick me up he needed to be prodded onward and coached in. Twitter was hard at work with the buzz of James Marshals arrival at the finish line. A little over 14 hours and he arrived. People screaming. His mom crying. Champagne in his hand. It was brilliant. What a fight!

Although I was kitted head to toe in amazing Salomon gear, the Salomon Sense Ultra exceeded all my expectations. The form fitted inner (Endofit) kept my foot snug and comfortable while the sole couldn't falter.  Light as bare feet for climbing and dancing through technical rocky sections and scrub, but also grippy enough and confidence building on the  rocky descents of Whistler.