If you’re lucky enough to be in the mountains, you’re lucky enough!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Last Minute Race . . .

Whoops . . . When I came home from the Incline yesterday I looked at the calendar and the race I THOUGHT was next weekend was really today! Yikes! Since the race was on the trails of Ute Valley Park, which is 1.5 miles from our house, I didn't want to miss out, gassed legs or not. Plus, it was a PERFECT Fall day!
Since Steve is recovering from his bout of pneumonia, I was on my own. Above is a photo of me trying to think positive and convince myself that my legs aren't tired from yesterday!
Here I am beforehand sipping some water and contemplating making an escape NOW. The race ended up attracting 450 runners and is part of a 4 race Fall Series. Today's race was a 6 mile loop over the hills and through the woods on the mostly technical trails in Ute. Here's the actual course description:
The trails in Ute Valley Park are up and down and up and down and up and down. You are not gaining or losing a significant amount of altitude, but you are always either climbing or descending. Add in loose gravel, rocks, exposed tree roots, sharp downhill turns, and you have the most technical course of the Fall Series. Most injuries occur on this course, mainly of the sprained ankle variety, but sometimes more serious. But just keep your eye on the trail and you'll be fine. Some years the weather has been wintry from early winter storms. If there is any moisture, the course can get fairly muddy.
At this point, we are only about 1.5 miles in and I'm still pretty happy and getting ready to wave at Steve. Are all those guys drafting me? Ha, ha!
The guy above is none other than our awesome local, Matt Carpenter, who, of course blazed the course without even breathing the whole time. For you ultra runners out there, he is the current record holder of the Leadville Trail 100. It's nice to see him out mingling with the mortals.
I think I can, I think I can . . . Here, thankfully we are only 1.5 miles from the finish. Yes, I felt like burnt toast although Steve said I was hiding it pretty well!
This is the third to the last short climb out in the last 1.5 miles. I LOVE the terrain in Ute. It is our little neighborhood gem of a park!
I would have to say this was the most challenging 6 mile run I have ever done. I will not be doing any Incline workouts before any future races we do, that's for sure!!! Although I had hoped for a little better time, I did finish 3rd out of 44 gals in my 40-44 age group and 27th overall woman out of 200 ladies. Considering my preparation (or lack of!), I am happy! It was a gorgeous day on great trails and a great hubby to cheer me on - it was perfect! Tomorrow calls for a nice recovery spin on the road bike. Ahhhh, a perfect ending to a great weekend. Hopefully Steve will return for some fun next weekend. Happy trails to all this week!
Shoes: Asics Trail Attack 4
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