October 2008
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Month October 2008

StumpJump 08

This is one of those events that makes my race calendar every year – not only because it’s sponsored by my team and the Boonies, but because it’s a great course in a beautiful location that is always well organized and a ton of fun.

a picture-perfect morning
The past few years I’ve run the 50k, but I just didn’t have the miles under me this year since I focused so much on Leadville. The 11 miler I thought should be doable. As the race got closer, I still had the breathing problems that was forcing me to walk a lot more than normal. It was the Wed before the race that I found out the basics of my heart condition. I didn’t get the full description yet (and refused to Google it, lest I come across something less than positive), but the dr gave me the thumbs up to run…. so it couldn’t be that bad, right?! Race morning came and I was ready to run, although honestly not sure if I’d be able to finish. I’ll just see what I can do…

This year the race started at the new Signal Mountain Middle/High School; this meant more parking, more space, and real bathrooms! The beginning of the course changed slightly – starting now with a short paved section (uphill – but that meant a downhill finish), and some new trails before dropping on to the standard course. I started off easily and was 3rd woman into the woods. I kept the pace consistent and within myself, trying not to be concerned when people passed. The first half of the race went well. I walked up the 1 gorge climb as expected and took the technical downhills a bit easy. At the turnaround I was told I was 4th woman; fab!

On the way back we had 2 big gorge climbs that I took easy. One woman from Atl had been on my heels for awhile and I was hoping I’d hold her off. We talked a bit but she didn’t want to pass. Fine; I’ll set the pace. At the Mushroom Rock aid station, she veered towards aid; I shook my bottle, felt there was enough to finish, and pressed on, hoping to gain a minute or two. (even though Sheridan took it personally that I didn’t get aid from him!). I tried to pick things up a bit, but a few climbs forced me to walk (I can tell when my heart & breathing rate is getting a bit too high, so some walking is better than sitting on the side of the trail trying to recover). I looked back during some curving areas and didn’t see her; great! I kept on… then bam, she appeared out of nowhere. Dang! We exited the woods together and had about a half mile of paved road before the finish line. There was a bit of a climb first; I picked it up slightly. I didn’t hear the footsteps responding. So a bit more… at the top of the hill I glanced back and saw I did in fact put some distance on her. Yeah! Next came that nice long descent to the finish line. I pushed it a bit more, not wanting to have a finish line sprint. Thankfully I didn’t have to, and I crossed the finish line in 2:10.27, good enough for 4th place overall female and 44th overall (out of 170 finishers). I lucked out when awards went through 4th place, so I snagged some new Salomon shoes, La Sportiva bottle, and my fav “this is not a plastic bag” cotton grocery bag from R/C.

4th thru 1st place, women’s 11 miler

Overall, I felt pretty good, but knew I had to walk a lot more than I usually do on that course. The key though will be to listen to my body and do what I need to do; sometimes hard when you have that competitiveness set in (and someone nipping at your heels). After I crossed the finish line, I had the same thing happen to me that happened at Tsali. I finish strong, then walk around to get the breathing regulated… but it gets worse instead of better, and next thing I know I’m doubled over gasping for air (almost like hyperventilating a bit.) Thanks to of my fav people to making sure I was feeling ok (Sara from North Shore Yoga and Christian from Body Wisdom massage- check these ladies out; they’re the best!) To complete the fab weekend, my old adv racing teammates Hunter & Daniel came up & stayed for a few days & rocked the 50. It was good to catch up!

r/c team member matt sims

r/c race team members michael green & john anderson

the start of the 50k


kevin, me, michael

more pics here

TN River Blueway Canoe & Kayak Race

This is a local event that Outdoor Chattanooga puts on, so I wanted to join in the fun and support them. Originally I was going to borrow one of Ted’s kickass fast boats, but seeing as how I didn’t have the time to practice (they are a bit tippy), I teamed up with Dale Tillman who’s teammate backed out last minute. I knew we’d be in for a good workout after lifting that barge off her car – plastic sit on top tandems just aren’t light :)

It was a gorgeous day out and we had a ton of fun out there, finishing 3rd in the recreational tandem division (and I think we were the first all-female tandem team too). A few pics are below! (I LOVE my new NUMA sunglasses!!)

broken things…

#1. my road bike. yup, i’ve joined the ranks of Those That Drive Their Cars Into Their Garages With Their Bikes Still on Top. dumbdumbdumb. that distinct sound of a hollow carbon fiber fork snapping in two is unmistakeable. It sits in 2 pieces right now. fingers crossed it is not a total loss. Anyone want to hook me up with a 52cm loaner for a little bit? (I guess this means i won’t be buying that new cyclocross bike i was hoping for!)

#2. heart. ok, in this case it isn’t really broken, but rather, problematic. i’ve had breathing issues for awhile, coupled with some annoying palpitations on occasion (sidelined me at the Blankets Duathlon, Raccoon SERC Race, Tsali Challenge, Leadville…). Asthma? Who knows… my pulmonary dr a few weeks ago said that my chest xray was normal and any asthma i has was slight. (but here’s a bunch of meds to try and see if symptoms are alleviated. uh, yeah doc. whatever.) so on to the next dr – my cardiologist, dr steve austin (awesome guy!). he found a few inconsistencies in one test and referred me to a cardiac electrophysiologist, who i saw today. dr david wendt (super awesome guy!) told me that i have type 1 second degree heart blockages. WTF! it’s not arterial blockage as may first come to mind, but rather interruption in electrical conduction. thankfully it is a benign condition and i don’t need to do anything about it. in fact, he wasn’t really surprised that i had this either – said it is not uncommon in high performing athletes.

so, what next? of course i could just cut back the intensity of my training and racing, since that is when most of the problems arise. but the doc said that didn’t seem to fit my lifestyle. (WOW, a dr that understands me!!), so it’s on to a few more tests. we’ll do what we can locally, then make the decision on whether or not to seek treatment with someone that specializes in working with athletes. (he recommended either CO Springs, or the Cooper Institute in TX.) so, we’ll see…. but it’s nice to know that i’m not going to keel over dead. (i must say i totally freaked out when i was first told what was up. thanks to all my friends for being there for me!)