Saturday, August 06, 2011

Race day at Jupiter Peak

I finished the race, came home, showered and had some lunch.  Now I feel fresh as a daisy!  Of course I mean a daisy that was sprayed with Round-Up, left in the sun, and then tilled under.  That was brutal.  You know things are bad when the only four pieces of information on your race bib are your race number, name, emergency contact, and their phone number.

The good news is that I had never fully explored the race.When you have run about 6.5 miles, up 2500 feet, you come out of the trees and see Jupiter Peak..I knew we had to run up there, but had no idea what the path would be.  You basically run straight up the ridge line.  To hell with all the normal mountain path zig-zagging.

And this is what you are running on.  That is until you make a left, and there is no road or path, just scree and steep.  Notice in the upper left corner of the picture where the hill turns abruptly up. You leave the road there.

But you can stop at the top, for a few seconds, and enjoy the nice view. The valley, in the center of the picture, is where we started.

So how did I do? I finished in 3:08 and some odd seconds. That put me in about the middle of the pack and beat my goal of 3:12. I am quite happy with the result.

The bad news is that I was on track for just under 3:00. I was running well and feeling about as good as you could expect. Then at 13 miles, I tripped on a rock or a root. I stumbled fast for a few steps before catching my fall. That sudden harsh movement and strain turned out to be more than my thighs wanted. The right leg cramped hard and the left was a few seconds behind. I hobbled to the water station, sat and slammed Powerade and bananas, and massaged the crap out of the spasming muscles.

The last three miles were slower and much more painful.  I would be good for a half mile or more, and then the thighs would remind me that they were not pleased with this form of exertion.  The steep pounding downhills didn't help.

All is well.  I can check Jupiter Peak off my to-do list. I made my goals and other than the fear of instant charlie horses for the next 24 hours, I am ok. 

They will eventually post the race results to the web, but I saw that the winner did the 16 miles of steep mountain trails in under 1:52.  I thought that was insane, until I noticed that La Sportiva had brought their professional "mountain trail racing team".  Who the hell has a full time job of "mountain trail racing"?  Incredible.

A big thanks to my driver and care giver, Julie, and her assistant Jasper.
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