October 2006
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Month October 2006


After a day+ of rain, this weekend’s mountain bike race will definitely be a dirty one. I’m heading up to nearby Oak Ridge, TN for the 12 Hours of the Hill of Truth at Haw Ridge. When reading about the trails there, it says “Moderate. Technical. (avoid when wet).” We’ll surely be in for a “treat”. I’m racing on a 4-person female team with my upcoming Buff Betty teammates Monica & Patricia, along with with Rebecca. We’ll definitely have a ton of fun (especially since 12 or so of my BOD bike buds from Atl will be coming up as well), and hopefully give local mtn bike supastar Kim a run for top honors.

Here’s a map of the course, although we’ve heard it has undergone some last minute revisions to make it more friendly in light of mother nature’s lovely downpours.

Hmm… maybe this is what the Hill of Truth looks like. yikes!

Asheville Newspaper Coverage

I think I posted a link before, but I got the actual newspaper clipping emailed to me by an old friend out there.

Sponsorship in 2007!

For the past year, Hunter, Daniel, Tony & I have raced under the name Underdawgs (a name I was always in partial protest of, as Hunter and Daniel are avid Georgia Bulldogs… it’s amazing we even get along :). We are proud to announce that for the upcoming year, we will be racing as Team Charbons Outfitters. Charbons specializes in all sorts of gear for your outdoor adventures. Their flagship store is located in Athens, GA, with a new location to open soon in the NE suburbs of Atlanta. Check them out when you’re in need for your next piece of gear.

Meanwhile, keep your eyes peeled for our debut as Team Charbons Outfitters at the Checkpoint Zero Adventure Race in Helen, GA on March 23-25, 2007.

a few stumpjump pics

i am not a fan of pictures of me running, but what the heck… :)

Recovery is over…

StumpJump is now a thing of the past and it’s time to get back on schedule and think of the future. I have 1 more adventure race this year (the Buff Betty, where I gathered 3 of the top female racers in the SE to join my team. :) we’ll have a ton of fun!). The AR season will pick back up for me in March, so meanwhile everything will be me gearing up for the Mt. Mitchell Challenge in late Feb.

I did enjoy some gorgeous weather yesterday on a road ride with Lisa & Rebecca. We started from our houses (how nice! certainly can’t do that in Atlanta), went across the north side of Lookout Mtn, down a valley to the west, then climbed up Burkhalter Gap. I was warned about this… the first 2 miles were a slow steady grade. I did learn that with only 2 chainrings on my bike, I can’t spin as slow as the triples (that L&R; had), so I had to push ahead of them so that I could stay upright. I turned a corner and then saw what all the talk was about. The road went UP. I was already in the lowest gear and breathing hard enough. All I really wanted was to make it to the top without walking. After a deep breath I took it nice & easy, weaving a little bit to lessen the effects of the hill. I was breathing sooo hard, praying there wasn’t a car coming behind me (even though the speed limit is reduced, they still fly). I pressed on and then bam, it was over. WOW. I did it! I pulled over to the side and huffed & puffed like I never have before. Although I didn’t wear my heart rate monitor, I wouldn’t be surprised if I reached my predicted max heart rate (204). It was unreal. I can’t imagine doing it at mile 83 of the 3 State 3 Mountain (which I am hoping to do next May).

I’ve been talking with Tony at ATS on how to properly ramp up things, so hopefully I’ll get feedback soon. I do know I need to integrate hill repeats and speed workouts into my weekly plan. I jumped on that tonight and did hills + a run with Jim… in the chilly drizzle. (not ideal, but once you get going it’s not so bad). I also have a few other long training/events that should keep me on track with preparing for my first 40mile run:
- Nov 17: a midnight trail marathon in Dupont Forest (the actual race was held last weekend, but some folks are planning to do this the night before a bike-o event
- Dec 16: the Art Loeb Trail Adventure Run: a 30ish mile speed hike/run of the entire trail. Starts at dawn.. hopefully finish by sunset. weather conditions will play a key role in this. (some snow would be good practice for Feb).
- Jan 29: Mountain Mist 50k. 31 miles, with MUCH more elevation change than the the SJ.

Now the goal is to stay injury-free and healthy!

overmountain extreme pics

no story yet… but here are some pics from the most scenic race i’ve done to date!

view pictures

the stumpjump 50k

I don’t really consider myself a runner, but rather someone who runs. I’ve done it for a few years, and run in a few marathons, half-marathons, and a handful of shorter ones. Yet, I decided a few months ago I wanted to try my hand at an ultra-marathon. By definition, an ultra is anything that is longer than a marathon (26.2 miles). Typically they are 50k, 100k, 50miles, and 100 miles. The StumpJump 50k, based here in Chattavegas, was the goal. With it being so close, it was nice to get out there for weekly runs on the actual course. I figured I needed that mental edge to get me thru the miles (31 to be exact, with 2200′ of elevation gain). see the map here

Race morning was cool, crisp & invigorating. The start was at Nolan Elementary, the start of our weekly training runs. The first 4 miles were on wide trails and forest service roads that allowed runners to spread out a bit. At Mushroom Rock, the trail took a steep turn down to the bottom of the gorge, where we would cross North Suck Creek. The trail was tight and rocky in places, with cliff-like drop offs to the side. I slowed a bit here to ensure that my ankles made it down in one piece. After crossing the swinging bridge (a bigger task than it sounds when 6 other runners are trying to quickly cross it too. I thought I was going to bounce off at times.) At the other side, a steep climb awaited me (a nice opportunity for a solid hike up to stretch the legs), a nice run along the ridge, and another run down to Suck Creek Road.

Next up was a nice undulating run to Indian Rockhouse. We were now in the Prentice Cooper WMA and had stunning views of the Tennessee River winding below. After a quick refuel at the aid station (which was thoroughly stocked), it was off for the only section of the race I wasn’t very familiar with: the Mullens Cove/Rock Garden Loop (it had been over a year since I ran this, whereas I’ve been on the other sections almost weekly for the last 3 months). The first 5 miles were rather normal and I was feeling great. Then we hit the infamous Rock Garden: a section of ankle-twisting boulders to shake things up a bit. The goal was to make it to the other side in one piece so that I’d have a chance at seeing the finish line. I hung out with a woman named Jill on this section, who was a 3-time finisher of the Leadville 100. We exchanged stories of running and adventure racing and soon enough we completed the loop and were back at the Rockhouse… wahooo, 10 miles to go!

I was energized once again, knowing that I was actually going to make it. And, if things kept going well, my time wasn’t going to be too bad either. This last section was essentially the same as the first and already etched in my memory. I sped up where I could and took the rocky sections easy. Once past Mushroom Rock, I settled into a faster pace, easily passing at least 6-8 people. As I came out of the woods and turned up the drive to the school, it was cool to see everyone hanging out at the finish line cheering. I crossed the finish line at 6:22:53, crushing my main goal of 7hrs & my secret goal of 6:45. I was the 11th female (out of 29), and 75th overall (out of 159).

Thinking back about the race… it went really well and I felt great. Strangely great. My pace was comfortable the entire time and my energy levels always high. My goal was to stay consistent and to run my race, trying not to get caught up with everyone else around me. Somehow this actually happened, resulting in one of the best runs I’ve had. Hopefully this isn’t an anomoly, and that my body and mind were just in the right place, together. And hopefully I can make this combo happen again. (like, for the upcoming Mt Mitchell Challenge – hey, what’s 9 more miles?! :)

Recovery is going well too. No injuries and just 2 blisters from the race (in unusual spots too). I do have the normal post-race tightness in my legs (particularly my hamstrings), but no actual pain (unlike last year’s Atlanta half marathon… yikes!)