Monday, July 12, 2010

Schooled by the Knee Knacker

My first Knee Knacker 50 K  er, 30 miler

8000 ft elevation gain, 50 km.  I can do that.  Done it before. No problemo- or so I thought.
The terrain and the heat were another story.....

It has been called "Canada's  gnarliest 30 miler", and  "one of the 25 toughets races in North America" ,
um yeah!
       Uphills so steep, I had to go on all 4's at times to pull myself up. I have callouses on my hands!
       Huge boulders, I gingerly step over, hoping I don't dislodge one onto my friends below
       2-3 foot high steps at times, not condusive to my short little legs!!
      Roots so gnarly, it was tough to even run on the flats at times . When I did try run thru them, it was a
drunken, ankle-rolling game of hopscotch- staggering, slipping, and toe stubbing away. I can't give a detailed race report cuz I had no idea where I was most of the race! It was actually kinda trippy!

But man, it was BEAUTIFUL!!
Going up Black mountain

View of Bowen Island
 I felt pretty chewed up by the time I was spat out of the mountains to the finish line.  
What was most impressive was the organizers and volunteers.  Throughout this difficult course, I felt cared for, cheered on and safe the entire race!

My Day of Firsts:  Perfect for my FIRST Knee Knacker!!!

First bad  FALL  in a race. Slipped on a root and slammed my shin on a rock on the first peak. Of course it had to be the leg with the steel plate- tawang!  It swelled up and jiggled all the way down hollyburn chute- so I took it slow, which probably paid off in the end. Got to Ice it in the snow at mountain top.

First 50K in the HEAT . I have new respect for my friends who ran the Sahara! 

First race without my running friends or husband (sad face) . Cross finish line, go 'yay me', then kinda walk around aimlessly.

First time DRIVING 'in the city'. I spent more time researching/googlemapping the 45 km drive than I did the 50 km run!!! ha ha !!  I'm almost more proud of my drive than my run!

After Race Thoughts:  Mixed Emotions
*Happy to destroy my sub 7 hr goal.
*Disappointed in my slow down the last 7.5 mile stage of the race due to the heat.
*Validated after looking at the results and seeing how many others crashed in the last 1/4 and were actually slower than me.  I was actually 39th fastest finisher in this stage...should I have pushed harder? Still learning.
*Disappointed in my 4th place finish. Damn, KK brings out great  runners!
*Laughing at myself cuz at the end I encouraged a running colleague to giv'er. No worries, cuz she is in a  younger age group than me....NOT.. apparently she turned 40 and took 3rd ! ha ha. I'm happy for her tho.
*Sad cuz  my running friends were not there to hang with after.
*Grateful for the wonderful running community. Everyone is so nice and supportive!

Wow, I wonder how someone feels after a 100Km/miler ??

Some Pics from the KK Site:

Start: run, stop at trail, wait to get in-Bottleneck! 

First hill. Me trying to keep up with the 'big boys'.  I look so little! This pic cracks me up!!

Hollyburn and Cleveland dam (1/2 way). Its getting warmer... shirt rolled up, gut hanging out-but I don't care at this point. By the end, the shirt is off! Glad I planned for respectable gear underneath. 

Ahhh, some things are worth stopping for!!


My Stats- for future referencel
Goal- Sub 7 hrs -the longest 50K  I will run (due to the technicality)
Time-  6:43:37  Yaaaay!
Splits: Stg 1- 1:50 (all up) Stg2-1:27 (post injury slowdown)  Stg3- 1:36 (feelin' great) Stg4- 1:48(damn hot)
Place: 4th in age  / 10th woman overall / 45th out of 206 overall.  

Pleased with the race, but see lots of room for improvement... after a rest of course!


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Knee Knacker Jitters

This will now be my fourth- 50 km run.... and I still get the Jitters.  The other runs I did this year were so FUN, I should be more excited than nervous.

Why am I nervous?
a. My husband isn't doing the race, and now my back up running friend is pulling out last minute.  So I am all alone.... (except for the other 200 runners there).
It will be the first time with out friends and family along.

b.This means I have to drive! Being a bit of a country bumpkin, I hate driving 'in the city'. I'll run the 50Km in the mountains, but dread the drive to the race. Not to mention I will have to leave home at 3:30 am race day!

d. I do not know the North Shore trails at all.  I even get the mountains mixed up- Seymour?cypress? Capilano? same thing right?

e. I'm still a little leary about some 'hardware' in my Tibia from an old fracture. It starts complaining at about 5 hrs... this run will be about 7 hrs.  But if most of it is soft trail , I should be OK.  Then Jim tells me he is irritated cuz  "you never have a bad race, you never dnf'"-Psyche! hope my luck holds up!

Well, I'm DETERMINED to go.  I look forward to what the North Shore trails have to offer.
So this buttercup will suck it up.  I'll print all my googlemaps to get there, I'll study the KK site, I'll get up early, I'll do the run!
I have a feeling I will definately know the North Shore trails  much better by the end of it all and meet some new running friends along the way!!  We will see.....

I do Like how my LOVE of running has helped me overcome  other fears. Cool, added bonus!


Saturday, July 3, 2010

1400 m up in my back Yard. White Rock Bluff Port Moody


I have lived in my area for years. Ran Buntzen, Diez vista, Lakeview, Dilly Dally,  powerlines... you name it! I never knew about this trail till recently.  I need to give thanks to the man who marked the trails  (named Stridor? on trail peak)
Today, I got to enjoy a beautiful hike/ run  to "white rock"- a bluff above the Halvor Lunden trail... with my husband! He's Baaaaack!!! and he kicked my a$$ on the way back down!
Did a great workout  of run/hike up to top of halvor lunden in about an hour.

Lovely gnarly, root laden trails!!

After the 1000 m hike/run we  took a right as the trail went toward Lindsay lake loop. We hit some great mud and treefall. Slowed down for some scrambling. We finally came out to the 'plateau'.

Jim looks so little in this scene. 'The rock"  is on the right.

Here are some pictures in the area.... apparently about 5 years ago there was a fire... which gives it the eerie feeling.  Beautiful, spiritual place.  But had to keep moving due to the bugs!!!
It Was actually kinda scary at the edge of the rock.Big drop off!! Hard to believe that just behind all those trees are the cities of Coquitlam and Port Moody!

Jim "I need food, ya got any?"
Me: " I'm always ready for shit"... So I hand him my gel.
Jim: " I'm ready for shit too... I brought toilet paper! "
Too funny!

The Stats:
1 hr 20 mins up from Anmore Grocery
50 mins down, walked 20 mins back up to Grocery
Slowed down- as we hit a 'tour group'-yikes! 30-40 people!
Elevation Gain 1300-1400 m
No Injuries. But should have brought more food.

Yessss, it was muddy. Wahooo!!