June 2007
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Month June 2007

Boonies Stage Run

I ended up not running in this, but helped out at an aid station on Sunday…. pictures now up in the gallery!

more to write soon about all the biking i’ve been doing!

pulverized

that would be my feet, but i’ll get to that later…

as i stated in my last post, i was highly unorganized and unprepared for this race/event. i read the racer update at 11pm the night before the event, even though it was sent out 2 weeks prior. in that update, i could have gotten 3 bonus points merely for posting a note about my “team” on the msg board. (oops!) my camelbak was full of funk from the previous weekend’s ride. i was scrambling to find all the required items for my first aid kit. i got to to the race start (prentice cooper wma, up on signal mtn) a few minutes before the maps were handed out. luckily all the points were plotted, but there were a gazillion of them and strategy would be key. however, i had only 40 minutes to study the map, make a plan, and switch packs (decided to use a different one with a tad more room). the meeting was straightforward and finished a few minutes early, so we were allowed to take off. whoa! back to my car to finish loading my map in my case (ok, jim farmer’s case, as mine died while ago and has not yet been replaced.) i also quickly changed out of pants into shorts, as it was going to be a scorcher and the course looked much friendlier than last years (where we bushwacked constantly through blackberry bushes).

finally, i’m ready to go! i take off… then oops, forgot to change out my sunglasses (wanted my new Tifosis). ok, off again! i head down the road, planning to take Haley Road to the west and pick up all the high value points scattered about. They were the furthest out there, but i was looking to run a lot (this was, afterall, mostly just a training event. a semi competitive one of course!). as soon as i hit haley road i remember that i forgot to grab my electrolytes. yikes!! i was planning to be out till almost 6pm (that was the deadline for starting the memory-o section). with hot muggy weather expected, this may be a problem. another potential problem would be water. i stuffed my camelbak with every ounce it could hold (100)… there would be a few streams that we could refill from & treat (but oh, the fancy water purification tabs the rock creek guys recommended don’t take a mere 30min… but a whopping 4 hrs! yeah, i didn’t figure that one out till 11pm friday night.)

back to the course… (i wish i had a map to reference… maybe later…)
the first cp was easy and direct… directly down an embankment under what could be a nice little waterfall if there had been more than a trickle of water in the creek. i slid down, getting my butt nice & dirty (and scraped up). but the points were mine! after that, i hung with some guys i met at the wilderness first aid course a few months ago. in our talking, we blasted past our next point. i had been keeping my eye open and saw the road, but thought it was a bit too early. i made a mental note and once at my backstop (proving we had gone too far), i put it on my list to hit on the way out. i ran ahead for a bit, eventually catching up to some other adventure racers i’ve seen here and there (bill & mike). we hung out for almost the entire western most loop, working together to figure out the best attacks and keep our momentum going.

after awhile, i was ready to run a bit more, so i said tata and headed on. once back on the main road, i made a plan to hit 2 points on roads that jutted south, but looked pretty direct. the first proved to be a bit tricky though, as i could never find charlotte road, which would help pinpoint the clearing i needed to target. normally in an adv race, i wouldn’t have concentrated so much on this, but in orienteering, maps are kept much more detailed & up to date. i knew when i had gone to far, as the terrain around me changed. i doublebacked and hit a clearing that i scouted out. i ran into my friends, team toccoa, who also were looking, although were also unconvinced we were in the right place. after thoroughly exhausting this area, we ran into kip & jessica from florida, who pointed us towards another clearing further up (that was next on our hit list anyways). voila, it was there… i had planned on heading up to the main road, but norma was itching to bushwack east to a point at the confluence of 2 streams. i decided to join them – it was sorta like old times (as i had raced with johnny & norma in the past). we headed E/SE, aiming for the lower of 2 confluences; that way, we’d know precisely where we were. but this was not quite the case. we checked out the first intersection, just to ensure it wasn’t around, then headed north. at the next intersection, we ran into the first aid guys again, filtering water. i thought it best to check my supply – eeeek! about 1 oz left! knowing i was at least 2 hrs from the hash house (race hq, where we could refuel), i had no choice but to see what these 4hr tabs could do in 30 minutes. (actually, i guess i’m still waiting, as it takes 7-10 days for the symptoms of giardia to surface.) i found a rather deep, although standing puddle to scoop some water from. it was amazingly clean of debris and such and quite cool/refreshing. (i took a mini bath).

so this was our second creek intersection, but still no flag. hmm… it was possible that we were waaay low the first time. regardless, time was ticking by and we needed to get out. we needed to head north along the creek to get to the next best place to bushwack to the trail, so on we went… and low and behold, here comes yet another intersection sporting a gorgeous cp marker! once we climbed out, we hit the road running. i had a generous estimate of 2hrs from where we were, and it was already 4pm. we ran where we could, but there was a lot of steep rocky roads that slowed us down (not to mention atv’ers). surprisingly we made good time and even tried to nab one more point on our way to the HH. however, lucky #13 was hidden on a different reentrant than we were on. my feet were killing me and since it was only worth 13 points, i said forget it! i needed clean water in a bad way. (i think i ended up drinking only about 12oz of the half-ass treated water… johnny graciously gave me one of his bottles.)

back at the HH, i downed an ice cold diet dr. pepper and bagel w/PB&J;, put fresh water in my pack, and a bandaid on one heel (the same blisters i’ve been getting with long runs were surfacing. i’m not quite sure why this happens… i hope i don’t need different shoes!) i headed to check out to the memory-o, talking with some friends from the 24-hr race that were kicking back with a beer. my back was chafed pretty bad, so claire gave me a different shirt that was longer and would help (and it did, immensely!!). race officials sealed my map and phone and i was on my way. for the memory-o, a portion of the map was shown, with your location now and where you needed to go. while you can draw the map to give you pointers, you cannot take pictures or refer to your own map (hence the memory). i took off to point #1, up the road a ways, down another, and at the eastern edge of a clearing. once i got to the clearing, i checked my notes… i had the point marked on a gently sloping finger… i started to go into the woods down such a finger, but stopped. it was supposed to be at the edge of the clearing. or was it?? a bit flustered, i double backed and searched. nothing. hmm…. i decided to search the perimeter, in case i hadn’t marked it right. after a bit of nervous searching, there she was…. definitely more SE than I had marked. from there on, it was much more straightforward. i followed bearings and went right to them, making good time. the final point on this section was worth 100 smackeroos. oh, how i wanted that! i ran all the way there, adrenaline kicking in and helping my mind ignore my sensitive feet. when i got to the area it was in, i ran into bill & mike, and a team of 3 women. they all had been searching a bit, but the gals had just gotten word it was in an area they checked, although just further down. off we went!! we tromped through much poison ivy (ugh!), but nailed the point. yeah!! we had plenty of time to get back b
efore the 9pm cutoff, so we took it easy. sure, i could have run off to grab another point, but honestly my body & mind were done at that point!

we got in at 8:20pm and i happily sat down with some vegi pizza. (the main post-race meal was bbq, which i think is a great idea. but thanks to kevin & patrick who knew i didn’t do pork and got me something special!) we all sat around comparing notes and strategies. finally , results were in! i ended up getting 3rd overall in the 12hr event. since it was a small event, divisions weren’t separated.. but should they be, i would have gotten 2nd solo, or first solo female. more importantly, i kicked my friend jeramie’s butt, who had been smack talking with me. woowoo!

this event was top notch all the way, and i’m not saying that because i work with Checkpoint Adventures on other events. I had some issues with last year’s UOG setup, but I have to say that Patrick & Kevin listened to the racers and really organized an event for the racers. (in fact, they received a comment that it was on par with the national bushwacking championships, which i think is a huge honor!) i know the 2 of them have another event brewing for the fall, which should be something to check out!

it’s now 2 days later and while stiff, my body is recovering. my feet only hurt slightly to walk, the cuts are slowly healing, and my chafed back is scabbed over so now i can shower. i’m now just waiting on fresh poison ivy to break out, and hopefully NOT see anything resembling a giardia outbreak. fingers crossed!!

track me during the UOG

in a few hours i’ll be doing the ultra o gaine… a 12-hr orienteering event. kevin is going to try and post some updates online….

check this:
http://www.cpadventures.com/blog/
look for “events updates” in the sidebar

i am team # 103H

report later!

ps.
i am not “racing” this. just “doing” it….
therefore i am not really prepared.
in fact, i’ve been drinking beers and listening to music at the riverbend festival all evening.
and not really eating dinner.
yeah, good pre-race strategies :)

steppin up the training

so with the Montana race around the corner (in exactly 2 months we’ll be done with it!), i really need to log a lot of miles and elevation. this past weekend, i joined star & lisa (both training for the Leadville 100 mtn bike race) for two days of biking. on saturday we headed back to the ocoee for a 5hr ride (about 4 hrs on forest service roads and 1 hr on singletrack). then on sunday when our legs were nice & tired, we hit the road for a 5hr ride from red bank to graysville (79 miles). while i took today off, i decided to register for the Cherohala Challenge, a 115-mile road ride in the Smoky Mountains in 2 weeks.

Here’s what they say about it:
THE Challenge: 115-Miles
The Dragon: US129 with its famous 318 curves in 11 miles.
Cherohala Skyway: a road with the highest average elevation of any road its length east of the Mississippi.

These legendry ribbons of pavement are joined by scenic, rolling, country roads in Tennessee and North Carolina and together create an unforgettable epic ride.

The 115-mile loop begins/ends in Tellico Plains at an elevation of 900 feet. The route twists through the Cherokee and Nantahala National Forests and climbs to 5,300 feet with over 9,000 feet of elevation gain. Enjoy some long descents after reaching the top, but before you coast into town, you will contend with “the sawteeth”, over a dozen 0.5-1 mile rollers.

And check out this profile – ouch!!

playing hookie

amanda (my colorado cousin) got into town on tuesday morning for her whirlwind trip thru tennessee. after some coffee, we headed up to lookout mountain for some hiking. i’m not too familiar with the area and wasn’t sure how to get us to sunset rock. finally we found the incline and parked there, depositing all the quarters we had (1hr, 45min). we walked down to point park, but not wanting to pay the entry fee (yeah, we’re cheap), we walked 30min along west brow road (gorgeous homes!) and finally got to sunset rock.


from there, we hiked along the bluff trail and went in the back way to point park. by now we were running low on meter time and hightailed it… but alas, the evil meter maids had left me a nice lil present. (luckily only a $5 fine). then we hit the Y for a swim (first time i’ve been in the water since last summer’s xterra!).

on wednesday we hit the road and headed east to asheville. we stopped at the ocoee to check out the whitewater center (site of the 96 olympics). the water was down on the upper section, but still cool to look around.


next, we headed up the nantahala gorge. after a late lunch at the River’s End restaurant (using a gift cert I won at last year’s tsali challenge), we hit the trails for some mountain biking. i got the old tre8k in working order for amanda to use. even though she usually rides a full suspension, she rode strong. we did both the left & right loops plus the overlook, for a total of about 20 miles.


after, we snuck a quick shower at the campgrounds and headed to asheville. we stopped in at my friends’ house for a bit (chilton had just gotten a new rope swing in the tree and was having a ball!). then on to see amanda’s old roommate sara, whom we stayed with.

thursday, after a lazy breakfast at the early girl eatery (my fav there), we headed to out for some more mtn biking at nearby bent creek. this was my first time here and sara led us on a great 2+hr ride. these gals love their downhill! (greens lick trail nearly licked me!) after a late lunch and shower, i headed back to chatty.


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