So a very late double posting of my two hometown races. Both of which I love!! We'll start with Timp Trail Marathon:
My only goal was to go under 4 hrs. Weather was good and the field was stacked. From the start the lead group took off. I intended to start out faster than usual but I lasted less then two miles with those guys! I found myself in 8th place which is where I stayed for the first half of the race. The run to Grove Canyon always goes by quickly. Its basically the run from work to home...so I do it all the time. Turns out that I was moving pretty quick on race day though. I downloaded and used Strava for the very first time and set the course record from Dry to Grove Canyon!
I moved up Grove Canyon better then ever before (this was my 4th time running this race). I was feeling confident about my sub 4 hour finish but found myself still in 6th place. Up and over the beautiful meadows and down Battlecreek I go. I purposely backed off heading down Battlecreek knowing that I had two more descents. Curly Springs was as muddy as ever..yuck. Slip and slide and up I went. Once on top it was time to put the throttle down! But I couldn't get my legs moving... Stomach was fine, energy was fine, but my legs were dead. I'm not sure if it was the fast start or fatigue from UTMF but I didn't have it.
I pushed where I could and gave everything I had from the rock pile to the finish but alas I finished just shy of my goal at 4:02:39. I was surprised to not see a single runner from the top of Grove to the finish. Nobody caught me and I didn't reel anyone in. With the 9th fastest time EVER on the course, I finished 6th. Fast year with some great runners. I'll be back next year and probably every year after! I'll get my sub-4 there sooner then later.
Squaw Peak 50:
8th time running this race. Its an annual pilgrimage for me now. I'll need to explore other races at some point but its so convenient being 15 minutes from my house and such a beautiful course. Having run only 8-9 times in the previous 2 months (nearly all races-- Antelope 50, UTMF, Timp Trail), I didn't have super high expectations and was planning on just cruising along for a fun run. I enjoyed chatting with the front pack for the first two miles but made sure I was well behind once we hit the singletrack. I made my way up to Hope Campground with ease taking it easier then ever. I wanted to run sub-10 hrs but with no watch I just was having fun and listening to my body. I found myself in 15-16th place heading down into rock canyon but by the time I hit Horse Mountain it seemed like I passed 3-4 people. I chatted with nearly everyone and encouraged all the early starters. I was having such a good time!
The long descent into Hobble however was tougher then usual. I'm typically pretty smooth and quick on the descents but i wasn't feeling it. Story of the day, if you aren't feeling it, back off and save it for later! The road was miserable. I definitely wasn't feeling it over that 4 miles of asphalt. By the time I got to Sheep Creek, Mile 30, I was a little frustrated. I started slow and had still felt terrible from mile 20 to 30. Whats up with that?! I ended up sitting down for 5 minutes and just ate a bunch of food and chatted with the always awesome Addict II Athlete guys. Finally I left and within a mile was feeling much better. Ended up running strong into Little Valley, Mile 33, where I ate and drank for another 5 minutes. The spring was not flowing at Windy Pass so I tucked away an extra bottle of water behind my shorts and was off. I was feeling better then I had all day! I seemed to be picking up momentum leaving Little Valley and easily ran almost every step of the initial climb. By the time I got to Bozung Hill I was flying and passing people. Bozung Hill seemed the easiest of my life (see Tenshi Mtns from UTMF) as I put my head down and powered through.
I entered Windy Pass, Mile 41, feeling like a million bucks!! Lots of friends and familiars there that kept me pumped. Those last 9 miles I flew! I couldn't believe how good I felt. Ended up passing 2 more people on the trail down. I was super happy with my time and effort as I ended up running 9:28.27 for 5th place (3 guys in front of me took a wrong turn at mile 34...). Ran in Altra's new Paradigm. Yes its a road shoe but at 34mm stack height and only 9 oz, it is awesome. I loved this shoe for Squaw.
Another year another Squaw. Happy happy happy. Now time to do some fishin' before I get ready for a new baby Beckstead and then Wasatch 100.