Monday, June 20, 2016

Post Race Reflections

As I lay here recovering from my race I can't help but be a little sad that it is behind me. I'm not going to write a long race report since I'm not that great at them anyway. I just want to reflect a little :)

I was so nervous going into this race and had some reservations since I didn't get to put in a lot of long training runs but I did it! I ran the whole race feeling strong and healthy. My strategy going into it was to just run my own race, go off of feel and don't let myself get caught up in the excitement. I executed the plan perfectly. I felt great the whole time. There was one section around 40km that my inner thighs started to cramp up simultaneously but a nice guy handed me a jar of salt and told me to take some...and I just kept moving. I think because I didn't stop moving, they loosened up. The only places I stopped moving forward was at checkpoints other than that, if I was on runnable terrain, I ran and if I was climbing, I power hiked. I kept moving forward.

The race itself is amazing...very well organized, nice volunteers/organizers and beautiful landscape right in the heart of the Bavarian Alps. You really couldn't ask for more. The first 50km were pretty tough, we climbed to the highest point of the race in the first half. It sleated on us up at the top and on the way down we had to run on huge patches of snow. People were sliding all over the place, it was awesome. The  views up at the top though, they were amazing! I kept telling myself, I'm right where I want to be...and I was. 

When I arrived at V5, I had to feed Addie (since I'm still breastfeeding) so I took a little longer than I would have liked but it had to be done. But, while I was feeding her, my crew filled my pack, taped my feet so I could hurry and get back on the trail.

It took me 15:35:07hrs to run 103km with over 5400 vertical meters, I finished 3rd overall. From V2 all the way to the finish the volunteers and some spectators kept telling me I was in second...but I knew the first place girl was a women from Sweeden named Berglund because people kept telling me, so it surprised me when I passed Ildiko Wermescher soon after V5 (checkpoint 5). I thought there was only one woman in front of me but apparently there were two. I stayed in front of her until right before V8 where she ran past me, I caught up to her to try and chat a bit but I don't think her English was very strong because she didn't want to talk. I ended up passing her again before V8 but as I was refueling she left the checkpoint a few minutes before me and in the end she finished 16 minutes ahead of me. The winner for the women's field was amazing, her name is Kristin Berglund and she finished 2:14hr before me...very impressive! And, when I met her on the podium we spoke briefly afterward and she seemed super sweet.

Overall, I couldn't have asked for a better day. I had the best support crew. They had a sign made with my picture on it and everywhere I saw the sign, I knew my crew was around. They were motivating, supportive and it meant so much to have them out there helping me. 

Now, what am I going to do next? I'm not really sure. What I do know is today I'll rest, tomorrow I'll run...maybe ;)

Thanks again to everyone who supported me along the way. It means so much to me!

Photo credit: Angela Hampton - Checkpoint V2

Photo credit: Philipp Reiter - somewhere in between checkpoint V3 and V4

Photo credit: Owen Olsen - V5: Feeding Addie

Photo credit: Owen Olsen - V5: 5 mins to feed my baby

Photo credit: Owen Olsen - V5 Getting my feet taped up

 Photo credit: Jochen Hauser - Running in front of Ildiko Wermescher and I didn't even know it!

 Photo credit: Jochen Hauser - Almost to checkpoint V8

 Photo credit: Jochen Hauser - finished :)

Photo credit: Angela Hampton - Me after I finished :)

Photo credit: Owen Olsen - Women's podium Zugspitz Ultra Trail

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

I will not freakin' quit!

We are 9 days out from my first race in almost 2 years. Am I scared? You bet I am. I mean, who wouldn't be?? But one things for certain, I am determined. I will not drop from this race. I am going to finish no matter what.

My mantra's to keep my mind strong for the race:

I want to be here!

I am in control!

Think strong, be strong, run strong!

I also want to thank all of those people who support me in reaching my goals…whether it be a motivating message on Facebook, Twitter or email or showing up to the race and supporting me along the route…it all means so much and it will help me come race day!

I'm keeping this one short. I just wanted to let it be known that I. Will. Finish. ZUT16!