Moab Red Hot 55k- nope, Buffalo Run 50- nope, Zion 100- ha-ha-ha -NOPE, Timp Trail Marathon- Whew- Finally! A race for 2012 that I can hobble away from and feel pretty good about.\
I ran this race during its first year a couple years ago and immediately fell in love with the course. Amazing views, killer climbs, water falls, meadows, quakies, quad numbing downhill- this race has it all- 26+ miles of of bliss.
On the way down to the race I was absolutely not feeling like running let alone racing. I was tired, mentally not ready and tired (yes, I already said that). The start/finish of the race is located just down the street from the Squaw Peak 50 and it is one of the better venues I have been to. Once we pulled up and checked in we had about 10 minutes to get ready and over to the start. I took a chance and just wore a short sleeve shirt with no jacket or anything. Forecast was calling for rain but not until late morning/early afternoon. I thought this would help me remember to get it done before the rains hit. We mingled for a few minutes, took a few pictures with friends and the next thing I know people were running. I started the watch and began a nice little grind on the service road as we started to go up. I hadn't put much thought into the race and only took a waste belt with one handheld (which proved to be perfect!). The first 200+ yards I began to see how the legs and mind felt, both seemed like they were responding okay considering there were lingering thought of the Zion 100 just 2 weeks ago. After a long straight stretch on the service road I had a game plan- go out hard, hit the big climb to the waterfall and see if you had anything left. Simple. This wasn't a focus race and I was only 1 week out of the epic HUMR Beer Mile (placed 3rd). Once we got off the service road there is some real nice singletrack through a meadow then onto some more service road then some sweet singletrack again- all runnable. I just kept my pace steady and would not allow myself to back off the pedal for a minute. In and out of the aid station and feeling pretty strong. I had one handheld loaded with water and EFS along with a couple flask of EFS Kona LS. As i came to the first climb I wanted to try and attack it a bit to ensure I made good time. I felt pretty solid heading up and soon came to the top and hit some more sweet singletrack. Once the long climb up to the waterfall started I felt my energy take a dip so I threw down and Pre-Race capsule from First Endurance. That was very well played! I immediately regained some zip and kept on churning. About mile 14 my good buddy Jim passed me and I heard him comment we wanted to go sub 5. I thought to myself- try and keep him in sight and I had a good chance to go sub 5 too. As we continued to climb I felt pretty good and when we hit the waterfall I still had sight of him. I must have missed a nip or 2 on the Kona flask because again I felt a small dip in juice. I was expending more energy and not refueling. I hit the flask hard a few times and before I knew it the zip had returned. Above the quakies we finally hit the top of climb and the breath taking meadow at the top. It was time to open it up again and go for it. Once I cleared the meadow we started so technical steep singletrack and I just kept it in gear. I caught up to Jim and he mentioned if I kept it up I could go sub 5- damn you Jim! I went into the race looking for a 5:30-5:45. Now that I had about 10 miles to go I decided to go for broke. The last 10 miles kind of reminded me of last years Wasatch race for me. I was getting after it and my quads were letting me know- sub 7, sub 7:30 (hey, that's fast for me). Once I finally popped out to the service road to see the last mile plus to the finish I saw I was not going to go sub 5. Once that hit me I just pulled back a bit and really enjoyed the last mile. I came across the finish in 5:11 and felt great. PR's the course by over an hour and even surprised myself a bit. (16th overall and 4th in my age group)
Besides the race, the trail, the views, the weather and everything- the thing I noticed most was my smile. I had FUN! It was one of those days/times that I can look back on and smile. After Zion I was a little beaten down. I tend to get pretty hard on myself (so I am told) but after Timp it was all washed away. I was re-charged. I went into the race with no real expectations, no real thought and really no game plan. It reminded me of my college soccer days when people would tell me - not to think, just play. Well today I didn' think I just ran. At times I probably looked like a kid on the playground or even Phoebe from "Friends"- but I didn't care. It felt as pure as IPA on tap.
I also want to congratulate some of my running peeps for the race they threw down:
Britta- 1st place female and CR (ran Ogden marathon a week earlier in 3:11- next week SP50)
Ryan- was resting and laughing before I saw the finish
Jim- right behind me with a PR
Shawn- 3rd female overall and age group winner
Breein- looking smooth and happy as she worked the finish chute
Alicia- fighting the rain to get one last long run in before SP50
Congrats to everyone on the day.
And if you see me on the trails in the future- tell me to smile!
Next up San Juan Solstice 50- time to get my vert on!