Wildcat Mountain 10 Mile Trail Challenge Recap

Workout Wanda: A 2 mile “recovery” run with a pace of 9:25. Basically I needed to get my muscles warmed up just enough to attack them with the foam roller and Stick!

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Let’s just say that I am glad today is Sunday and that I have absolutely nothing ambitious on my to-do list! All I really needed to do was going grocery shopping and I finished that up at 9am…although I did some serious impulse shopping. Oops. I even got enough motivation to search around for the few things I need to complete my costume the Monster Dash race the weekend of Halloween.

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…I’m just that crazy dedicated…

While wandering through the grocery story and two {yes, 2!} Targets I spent a ton of time pondering the snowy 10 mile race that consumed my Saturday. I could do a detailed mile-by-mile recap of yesterday’s race but I can promise you that each mile would go something like this…

Seriously?! Snow the first week of October? That is crazy.
At least I’m not dying of heat stroke or soaked to the bone!
Omigoodness, snowy clay is the devil! I’m going to die!
I could totally be snowboarding right now…why am I running?!
Poor Chris is probably bored to death – I should run faster!
Yeah…faster isn’t happening, I will fall on my rump and break something!
I hate running! Running I stupid! Snow is stupid too…
No, snow isn’t stupid…I’m stupid for running in snow!
How many more miles?! Another hill?! WHY!?
This really isn’t too bad, I’m feeling really good!
I’m a total BAMF…a slow BAMF but a BAMF!

…no one wants to read that 10 times. One was bad enough, right? But really, my poor muddled brain went through a each one of those thoughts about six times in each mile. For the most part I was able to zone out and never had a complete, memorable thought. However, I did learn a few things about running, Colorado and myself!

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…a few 20 milers running through as we were starting the 10 miler!

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And we are off…I’m in there somewhere, wearing black like everyone else!

Apparently, in Colorado it snows the first week in October. I was unaware of this. I could definitely get used to it, but I’d prefer to avoid scheduling races on snow days…if only one could plan that well!

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Uh, in case you didn’t know…it has to be cold for it to snow. Snow is cold. Running in snow is cold. Fortunately I dressed right and wasn’t all the cold while running! I wore capri tights, calf sleeves, long running pants, tank top, long sleeve shirt, light running pull over {2010 Monster Dash Swag!}, Bondi Band, hat and gloves. I was afraid I’d get too hot and was going to leave a layer or two in the car but Chris convinced my otherwise…I’m glad he did!

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Running on slick, rocky and clay covered trails is not easy. It was a seriously struggle to stay upright, let alone moving forward with any speed at all! The weather had already convinced me to focus on the finish not the base but I have never before in my life struggled so much to stick with an 11:00 pace!

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Up until mile 7 I was feeling relatively strong and wasn’t struggling too much, then we started another climb uphill on slick, shoe-sucking clay. I gave up and walked. It was a speedy power walk and it probably wasn’t much slower than my lousy attempt to run the hill! I knew this section was an out and back and figured I’d be able to make up my pace on the way back done…

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Not so much. The downhill was almost more difficult than the uphill! On the way up the clay kept pulling me down. On the way down the clay made it my decent slippery and I kept bouncing from one side of the trail to the other just trying to stay on my feet! At times I had to actually slow down and walk to keep from darn near killing myself! I wasn’t prepared for this at all, but I finally made it down!

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…snow pelting the face…slick, snowy clay…smiling through the insanity…

I was feeling pretty confident about the distance throughout the race. Just after mile 3 I had the option to head right for the 5 mile distance or left for the full 10 miles. By then I was pretty acclimated to the weather and took the left turn without any hesitation.

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On the last stretch I was feeling great and totally headed for a strong finish…until the clay soaked climb at 9.90 miles. Longest .1 miles of my life. It was the last stretch, I could see Chris at the top of the hill, I could hear the finish line announcers…and all I wanted to do was sit down and cry. The blasted clay was SO HARD to run in! Walking up that hill would have been dangerous…running was nearly impossible!

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But I made it! I even managed to look half alive for at least one of the photos Chris took! It wasn’t until I stumbled to a stop and let the volunteer pull of my timing chip that I realized how cold my feet were! Not only does clay suck at your shoes…it also creates little ponds of slush. Every time I ran through the snowy clay I got a shoe full of watery slush. At the time it didn’t much bother me but now that I was done moving it was COLD!

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I grabbed water, a few pizza rolls and headed back to the car. I had the sense to pack a change of clothes and a blanket before leaving the house. I stripped off my long pants, shoes and socks then curled up in the passenger seat with the blanket…Chris was driving home and I was trying to warm up!

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And forget ice baths…this girl was headed for a steaming hot shower! Of course the enjoyment of a hot shower is quickly lost when you spend too much time standing in the hot water and end up doing your actual showering in cold water. Yeah, I’m that dumb.

I mentioned that I wasn’t focusing on pace in any way shape or form but I was wearing my Garmin so I’ll share the stats.

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You can see where the hills almost killed me…and sadly my worst pace was on a down hill during mile 8. That downhill was hard! Mostly it was hard to stay upright and fight gravity – I do not like fighting gravity…I like letting gravity pull me down hill, on my feet!

In the end the hills did hurt me, but I’m okay with that. This course was a real eye opener for the upcoming half…that I haven’t signed up for. I reserve the right to change my mind!

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In the end I am really glad that I grew a pair and headed out for a snowy 10 mile trail challenge – and I love that they call it a challenge not a race. It was definitely a challenge. It would have been one heck of a challenge without snow! I’m almost glad it snowed…a visible reason for my misery!

My right calf is knotted up. My toes hurt. I have a blister inside of a blister inside of a blister…yes three blisters in one, luckily they are all small and will soon become a toe callus! My hip tendons hurt. My knees hurt. My shoulders even hurt – probably from flailing my arms to balance!

Not only did I get to play around in the snow I also learned just how far I can go mentally and I got a sweet hoodie out of the deal…

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The rest of my Saturday was spent sitting about, napping, playing with Verizon phones, searching for Sock Guy socks and discovering the artisan pizzas is where it is at! Yum!

My Sunday hasn’t been much more exciting but stop back tomorrow for a peek at A Day in the Life of yours truly. I’m spending my day photographing the random normal-ness that is my life in an attempt to get my hands on a Shut Up + Run shirt! Feel free to check out A Day in the Life of Beth while you wait!


Comments

Wildcat Mountain 10 Mile Trail Challenge Recap — 12 Comments

  1. What a crazy race! I sure think you are a BAMF! Sounds like a great exercise in mental toughness. Also, props to Chris for coming along, that was really awesome of him!
    Brit recently posted..Running wildMy Profile

  2. Oh my goodness! I about dropped my morning coffee when I saw this pictures. My long run on Sunday was HOT and it was nearly 80 degrees in Maryland and yet you’re dealing with snow already! My mind cannot comprehend that, it’s far too early in the year for snow.
    Heid recently posted..Cranberry and Chocolate Chip SconesMy Profile

    • Part of the reason we moved out here was for the snow…but October is a little early for my likings. Although, the first ski resort also opened on Saturday and I would have much rather been boarding than running in the mini blizzard that attacked the state!

    • Thank you! I’m really excited for the extremely mild days in the middle of the winter! In WI we are used to weeks on end of -20…you know, the weather that makes outdoor breathing difficult and might actually freeze brain cells!

      And the weather was already so much better by Saturday afternoon…silly Colorado!

    • It was really pretty! I’d already stuffed my camera away but there were some absolutely gorgeous photo-ops when we ran under snow laden trees! And honestly, 32* Colorado is much better than -10* Wisconsin… 😀

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