Tag AL

Mountain Mist: conquered!

The mist was nowhere to be seen at the start of this year’s race; just an abundance of beautiful sunshine that warmed things up perfectly. I had put on tights originally, but it was actually several degrees warmer on top of Monte Sano, so I switched to shorts right before the start. The race began with a one mile run on the road, then we ducked into the woods right before a nice overlook. While the runners were stacked up through the first aid station, everyone remained courteous on the trail. I took a good tumble (the only one of my day) around mile 9… tripped on a rock or root and slid, knocking my left calf on a rock, upon which it immediately seized into a nice solid cramp (the effects of which I still feel a day later). I layed there grabbing my leg, probably moaning a bit, and someone starts yelling for a medic – as if any of them are around! Luckily I didn’t need one (although at the pre-race meeting, the RD said someone always breaks something). One of the guys behind me grabs my leg and mashes my calf muscle a few times and works it out a good bit. Within another minute, I’m on my feet and back at it, slowing catching up to where I was before. I hear some people in front saying “I wonder how that girl was that fell???”… I think I surprised them when I said “Oh, I’m fine!” :)

I was hitting aid stations about every hour, which kept my hydration and nutrition in check. I used my Ultimate Direction Duo waist pack, along with a small side pouch a borrowed from Joey at the last minute – my inhaler took up so much room and I wanted to take a flask with my favorite caffeinated gel from Hammer Nutrition – Espresso! I also stashed a few squares of emergency TP, Sports Beans, Burt’s Bees lip balm, Endurolytes, and a bit of duct tape in case my feet needed some help along the way. The aid stations were well stocked with drinks, munchies & wonderful volunteers. I was in and out quickly, having my empty water bottle already open to dump some water/gatorade in quickly, grabbing a Clif Shot or piece of banana to eat & run.

Around mile 14.5 I started a bit of a slump. I was running slower and felt I was dragging a bit. I decided it was a perfect time to power up my Shuffle and listen to some tunes. I hadn’t listened to music running in ages (normally choosing to listen to the quietness around me, or the people I’m with). However now, it gave me the pick-me-up I needed. It was mostly music from my old spin class at ATS: a collection of loud, hard, wonderful stuff from Disturbed, NIN, Radiohead, Deftones, etc. The terrain was also getting tougher – more rocks, making it much less runable (for me at least). The downhills were treacherous – they are definitely my weakest skill, and I didn’t want to take any chances and bust it. I was passed a good bit here; however, I caught many on the uphills. We would all walk them, but when some would take a relaxing pace, I was more agressive and powered forward. This helped me yo yo past one girl around mile 27 (and I stayed ahead till the finish – yeah!)

The waterline climb was real special – the pic below doesn’t do it justice. Do see the elevation profile I posted a few days ago – it was literally a scramble up the rocks. It was a bit slick and muddy today; but I’ll take that over the stories of ice in the past. I’m happy I got through this section with no cramps setting in.

The last aid station came with 1.8 miles to go. I set off with Henri, who I had caught on the final big climb. He had great energy and spirit and pushed me to the finish (although he claimed otherwise). He was running the MM for the 13th time (every year it has occurred), now at age 50. Wow!!

At the finish, I walked through the lodge to turn in my time card and retrieve my hand painted finisher’s plaque (cool award, on a piece of slate tile). I could feel the lactic acid pooling in my legs and I couldn’t stand still for a minute. I went to the car to change (the temps were now dropping quickly – big cold front moving through). I pulled off my socks and freaked out a bit when I saw the huge blood blister on my left foot. I knew they were sensitive and that I likely had a blister… but wow. I was not expecting this. I couldn’t get a shoe on, so I hobbled back to the lodge and beelined to the ladies room. After a release of post-race emotions and a few tears, I hung with the Chatty crew, caught up with some Atl friends, and munched on a bit of food. After everyone from our group was safely across the finish line, we packed it up and headed home. Luckily it was a relatively short drive (less than 2 hrs), as I don’t think our legs could have been couped up much longer!

I’m feeling pretty good today, although I still can’t get a shoe on my left foot. I’ve indulged in 2 epsom salt baths and will have a painfully wonderful massage tomorrow. Gotta keep up the luv, with my next event 4 weeks away!

Stats:
official 2007 Mountain Mist website
distance: 50k
overall time: 6:36:39
overall finish: 155 (out of 285 starting)
330 people registered: 274 men, 56 women)
women’s division finish: 17 (out of 43 starting)
age group finish (30-39): 6 (out of 13)

map of the course, taken by tony’s gps

tour of the course
I grabbed some of the pictures posted there since I didn’t take my camera…


lodge: start & finish


powerlines: mile 7.8


stone trail: mile 14


stone cuts: mile 14


rocky trails: 17.6


part of the waterfall climb: mile 24