“When you begin to believe, that is when you will be on the right track to try and accomplish whatever you have set out to do”
I love Vermont and I love Vermont Ultra-running races. Again, I chuckle, because for me the word, RACE is comical. I’m what you call slow and steady….grind and pound out the miles. Guy, and our friend, Fred and I arrived at the Runamuck 50k around 7:30am. The race starts and ends at Suicide Six ski area, a lovely ski mountain in the beautiful hills of Pomfret, VT. This is the first year we’ve run it, which is funny, because the last few years the course ran right by our house. With surgeries the last two years on my elbow, the timing was never right…..so I was pumped to have finally made it here!! We saw our two great friends, Jon and Astrid right away…always so nice to catch up with these two…. I loved the feel of the race as soon as we arrived. We met race director Jonathon Vass, who was super welcoming, helpful and smiley ….. a great attribute for a RD. At the check in table, there were pads of paper, pens and bibs scattered…..”pick you number, write down your name on the paper”…..”now you’re good to go.” Love it! Simple, quick…smart! I picked out number 52 and headed back to the heated car….it was freezing!!! No sun, high winds at the foot of Suicide Six, and spitting snow. BRRRRR.
Waiting in line at the porta-potti I met a sweet runner named Jasmine….we talked about InkNburn, training, and running goals & aspirations….a long line…..I seem to meet the best women waiting in that line at races 😉 I also got to meet Kimberly for the first time, which is awesome to meet a fellow blogger and runner in the flesh! Jonathan gathered everyone for a quick pre chat, around 100 runners lined up and were off. It felt like a true grass root event, again VT rules! We headed about 3+ miles up Stage Rd, paved, slight incline….but the adrenaline was pumping and we were chatting it up with fellow runners. We were running along side a very accomplished VT 100 miler (he has run it since 1993…HOLY WOW), who was making it look incredibly easy, I slowly backed off……I knew it wasn’t a pace I could keep, it was fun while it lasted!!
After coming off the pavement, we hit a dirt road, Lime Pond Rd . The roads were icy in spots, so you had to watch your footing, and yet at times, they were squishy, which was nice on the legs. It felt like you were either climbing steep or descending steep, there was roughly 3400 ft of elevation gain. Not much in the way of flats….VT never is, you think I’d be used to it by now, born and raised here.
heart-shaped pond…always on the lookout for hearts along the way….<3
At mile 12, there was a lovely aid station with tons of goodies. We got to see Astrid ( vttrailgirl )and her pup, Aggie volunteering, it’s always a boost to see friends on the course. I gobbled down 3 squares of PB&J and loads of potato chips! I had already drank one and a half 17 ounce bottles of Tailwind and a Simple Square Coconut bar. First 12 miles flew by….there was a huge downhill into that aid station, so we were cranking off some 9+ minute miles, which is pretty fast for me.
There were open stretches of dirt roads where the wind would nearly take your breath away….I had to chuckle at our friend Fred….he started with no outer layer, hat or mittens…..Thankfully Astrid was at the aid station to lend her buff and a spare sweatshirt. The hard problem for me on this run, was where can I pee??? There are no leaves on the trees yet and it was hard to find spots to duck in….I had to pee so bad at one point that I had to scoot behind round bales that were lined up on the side of the road….It was hard to blend into nature with my colorful rose sweatshirt…..hehehe..women problems….
After the aid station there was another huge climb that seemed to go on forever…..when you come upon those you know you will be doing a lot of power walking. I feel this is an area where I have to get better with my training. Run the doable hills, yet adding power walking to my training will be key for the VT100. I know there will be stretches on the 100 that I will be walking for what seems like an eternity, so I have to build my muscles for that. I seem to get tight in my hips and my back with walking, so it’s a must that I train for that.
With about 5 miles to go, I felt I could push little more. Originally I wanted to finish around 7 hours, but it was looking like 6:15 to 6:30 was going to be achievable. I really got a second wind as we passed markers headed down the hill (ones we had passed on our first loop coming up…I made a mental note on the first go round….I think my endurance riding has helped me with loops, because on horses rides, you are always doing loops it seems) so I knew we were getting closer to base camp. Hubs and I got into an amazing rhythm, letting the miles just melt away with each step.
Yup…show that hill who’s BOSS….love people who put signs out….TY!!
It was a nice descent back to the finish line via pavement. We kept moving forward, slowly gaining on a gal ahead of us. It was nice to have her in view, because it was so FLAT to the finish, I needed something to focus my mind on. For some reason, and I can’t figure out why……I get a little nauseous right before a finish line, it doesn’t matter the distance. I am a bit of an anxious person, but I can’t figure out why this happens to me. About 1/8 before the finish, I felt like I was gonna dry heave…..but I had my mantra in my head, as I always do and I kept saying, “This will pass” Sure enough, 20-30 seconds of stopping, I gathered myself and pushed to the finish line with a time of 6:16:25 a 50K PR for me!!! We were 82nd out of roughly 100 runners…..I’m still mind blown by the times, such amazing, talented, speedy runners out there, the winner finishing in 3:35, way to go Brian!! …..kudos to you all, no matter where you finished….31 miles is a long way on your feet!!!
Overall, a wonderful race in VT. Loved the local feel, actually loved everything about it. We got finisher prizes of Darn Tough Socks and a beautiful pin and stickers. Hubs and I even got a “Couple” award. Lunch for two at Harpoon, heck yes!! Thanks Jonathon, and all the volunteers and sponsors for putting on such a stellar race. We will defintely be back……
My InkNburn clothes were perfect. Capris, and my Rose sweatshirt kept me toasty all day with no rubbing or chaffing…my only running clothes I wear… Someday I will wear shorts again…..
Tailwind (Mandarin Orange) about five 17 ounce bottles for the duration, less than I thought, but it was so cold.
Simple Squares (3 of them for the race) These went down so well….organic, gluten, soy, dairy free…pure yum!! (if you wish to try them, use code vtrunnermom15 at Simple Square website for 15% off.
Injinji toe socks, no blisters
Redirecting my mind at times/Using my mantras
Asics GT 2000
What didn’t work this time
PB crackers (too dry at mile 26 for me) ugh…didn’t go down well at all..YUCK
If you are looking for a fun, fast, Spring race in New England, be sure to look this one up! We’ll be back for certain!
Happy Running……..see you on the trails…..xoxoxox
The Finish! Jon, Me, Guy (Hubs) Fred and Aggie