But not quite yet! First, time for a Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim with Ian Torrence (part with Chris Rennaker). This was only my second time running in the canyon, the first being in 2010 after I ran my first marathon (Houston). With temps topping out at triple digits, stomach issues and a challenging route, needless to say it felt like a death march coming up South Kaibab at the end of the day. Thankfully we made it out before sunset even with my slow hike.
|Finish to the Rim to Rim to Rim. At least we're|
Next up the McMillan Running Ultra and Trail Camp headed by non other than Ian Torrence. We had a fun few days talking and running all things trail.
|Campers and counselors at Schultz Tank.|
|Super Bee made sure everyone did their extra curricular|
stick throwing. Nicolas excelled at this activity!
First local race of the summer was Aravaipa's inauguaral Flagstaff Extreme Big Pine out at Fort Tuthill. I opted for the two-loop 27km option. After running with one of the guys for a loop, I found myself on my own the second loop but still came away with the women's win.
HOT SUMMER NIGHTS! This was also a new race series that was the brainchild of Ian, but is backed by Team Run Flagstaff. Over June, July and August there were three Wednesday night trail races consisting of a 7k, 5k and 3k. I tied with Nick Arciniaga for the overall win at the 7k (even though he could have buried me) but word got out and the last two races were more competitive. First female for the series!
|June's 7k with Nick.|
|August. Trying to keep up with Nick Arciniaga |
and Brian Tinder.
Photo by Martos Hoffman.
|August 3k. Photo by Martos Hoffman.|
Western States Uphill Challenge. This year they rerouted the course to go up the trail. Not having done much bouldering and trail climbs recently, it was a bit of a shock to the system. The cool thing was this was the first race my Mom has been able to do in years, which was really awesome. Not an easy first choice!
|Mom and I at the top of the summit.|
In July, I decided it would be a good idea to run the Fourth of July Downtown Mile. The course is at 7,000 ft., consists of two loops and is not void of hills. I was 3rd female in 5:11 which I will take since I haven't done any specific training for a mile. Always feels good to run fast and make it hurt!
|Fourth of July Downtown Mile.|
The following weekend was Hearts 911. This year they reversed the course, so we climbed the very technical and rocky Heart Trail to the top of Mt. Elden then descended down Elden Lookout Road (dirt) to the finish. I much preferred this direction since I'm not a fan of technical descents. Not one of my stronger days, but I worked the downhill much better than in the past.
|Growler refill for the win for my Dad and Ian to enjoy.|
Between Downtown Mile and Hearts 911, Ian and I helped out at the Rob Krar Ultra Camp.
|Saddle of Mount Humphreys - 11,800 feet.|
|Me, Ian, John Onate, Rob and Stephanie Howe.|
|Super Bee also had a birthday during Rob's camp. 5 years old|
and loving life!
Because I couldn't get enough climbing....Team Run Flagstaff's Snowbowl Hill Climb. Seven miles of ascending up Snowbowl Road with no breaks. I was 2nd to Janet Cherobon but we both ran under her previous course record. This was not an easy one!
Back to Virginia for Coach Tanner's high school camp. Our cross country programs in Warren County have come a long way and this was Coach Tanner's first year putting on a high school camp. I was honored to come back and give a talk to the runners.
|Leading the campers through drills at Skyline High School.|
|On the left, high school teammates Joseph and Amanda who are now coaches in Warren County.|
Our high school coaches, Coach Tanner (Right) and Coach B (Front).
|State Champs flashback! Joseph was State Champion in the|
high jump. I was State Champion in the 3200m.
August kicked off with the finale race of the Hot Summer Nights series. After that it was Big Brothers Big Sisters Half Marathon. There was a lot of rain the night before which made for a very muddy course, but I still went for the course record. I did get the record by a few minutes and was 3rd overall.
|They made us redo the pre-race kiss so it could be captured on film.|
|Our uncoordinated decisions to wear black were good ones!|
Displaying the mud we collected along the way.
Another year of fun at Gaspin' in the Aspen 15k and another event Ian RD's. I was a minute off my CR from last year but it was still a fun day.
|Running through the meadows at Gaspin'. |
Photo by Kristin Wilson.
Did I mention my Dad also came out this month and helped us with house projects? House projects also included clearing trees off the Gaspin' course with Ian.
|Dad ripping up laminate for the new tile floor.|
Last but certainly not least were the USATF 50k Trail Championships which were hosted by Tamalpa Headlands 50k this year. Thanks to Diana and Tim Fitzpatrick for putting on a great event.
I had never been to the Marin Headlands before, so this was a new experience. All I knew going into the race was to expect a lot of climbing and descending. I don't worry so much with climbing but I knew the downhills would be a personal challenge for me. I've been working all year with Dr. AJ Gregg at HYPO2 on my strength and I have gotten a lot stronger especially with my quad control, so I had that extra piece of confidence going into the weekend. I felt I was lacking some on my course-specific training, but that was my own fault and something I was aware of going into the weekend.
Race day brought rain and heavy fogs, which is one my most favorite racing conditions. I really had to pay attention to course marking though so I didn't miss one of the turns early on. Megan Roche took the race out hard, but stopped to tie her shoe a few miles in. I wasn't planning on being in the lead that early but I had no choice once she stepped off. By mile 8 though, Caitlin Smith had passed me on one of the descents. From there I was hovering 1-2 minutes back until the very end of the race. For some reason, my legs were getting sore by 4-5 miles in (maybe that course specific-training?). Ultimately this slowed me down, but I was very happy with my nutrition (thanks Meredith Terranova!) and with my effort and energy levels. Energy-wise I never tanked or hit a rough patch. Both energy and nutrition (day to day and in racing) was a big struggle last year, so this is great progress for me. So far, Tailwind has been working well and fingers are crossed this continues.
At the end of the day, I was second to Caitlin, which is my second time finishing runner-up at the 50k Trail Championships. The first time was at the 2013 Bootlegger 50k to Michelle Yates.
|Women's Top Ten including Nike Trail teammate Lindsay Tollefsen (3rd).|
|With Angela Tieri who placed 5th. I have been honored to |
work with Angela through McMillan Running and to see her achieve
her well-earned goals this year.
All of these running camps and races make Super Bee and Sycamore very tired! A big thank you to Ian for the support and for doing all the driving on our long road trips. Also thank you to Dr. AJ Gregg, Meredith Terranova, Nike Trail Running, Nathan Hydration and Team Run Flagstaff Pro.