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Run Like the Wind 10K Trail Run - Run


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Ellensburg , Washington
United States
48F / 9C
Sunny
Total Time = 51m 37s
Overall Rank = 4/59
Age Group = Female, all
Age Group Rank = 1/18
Pre-race routine:

I had a crazy day! The short version is that I was taking my niece camping near the race venue in eastern Washington. Once we made the trip (without getting into the logistics and details) we set up camp and then went advenuring.



First we hiked up to the beautiful basalt rock columns.




A notoriously amazing spot for trad climbers. My niece and I climbed all over everything we could. Then we drove down into the coulee a little and hiked a mile or so to an incredible sand dune. I decided it was a fun challenge to run up (OMG WHY WHY WHYYYYY) and then we ran down.



We then hiked back to the car and drove back up the coulee to an overlook of a waterfall where my friend and I had beer and my niece had her juice for "happy hour"



Then we went back to camp and made dinner. My nice said, "So are you going to boogie while you make dinner or what?" Great question and GREAT suggestion. So, we turned on the tunes and boogie we did!

After dinner we loaded up some more beer and hiked back up to the base of the basalt columns and watched the most beautiful sunset. In the distance, across the river I could see Whiskey Dick Mountain and the wind farm, where the race would be the next day.



Not too long after we tucked in for the night. My niece is a crazy sleeper. I got punched, kicked and steam-rolled. Also, she has night terrors. A couple hours after falling asleep I was awaken to her sitting straight up in the tent and shrieking at the top of her lungs, "NOooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" then she went right back to sleep.

My heart was pounding and of course I could not get back to sleep as easily. Finally I drifted off but was awaken again. This time it was a fellow camper off in the distance singing Elton John's "Benny and the Jets" acapella. While I wasn't super excited to be awaken again it was really beautiful! We were camped in a coulee and the sound was echoing off of the rocks. The part where he says,

"She's got electric boots a mohair suit
You know I read it in a magazine
Bennie and the Jets"

Was awesome. I layawake listening for a while and then finally drifted off.




Event warmup:

I woke up slightly regretting my sand hill ascent. lol

My legs felt sooooo dead. But we made breakfast and packed up camp and headed to the venue.

The event was located halfway up Whiskey Dick Mountain at the state's second largest wind and solar facility. As many of you know I work in energy & environmental design so this is like a dream race for me.

I ran a couple miles and did some fast strides on the service road and then got my packet, listened to the safety meeting then headed out to the start.
Run
  • 51m 37s
  • 6.21 miles
  • 08m 19s  min/mile
Comments:



This race is in Eastern Washington which has a much more dry/hot climate than the Puget Sound area where I live. I wasn't sure how the change in climate would effect me.

I lined up near the front just as they were counting down. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 GO!
And we were off! There was one female in front of me, the rest were male. I kept steady and watched the female. Trying to decided what kind of runner she was, how seriously I should take her as someone to pace off of, someone to work with, someone to compete with. It was hard to tell but I had a feeling she had just lined herself up too far and was starting out quick.

I decided not to make any kind of move and just worked my way into a comfortable pace. The first half mile or so was on an asphalt road for a short out and back. As we were coming back I passed her and was now #1 female.

We took a hard right and immediately were faced with a very challenging ridge climb. The climb was very steep and the running surface was VERY rocky. I went into climbing mode with short calculated strides and put my head down.

It was windy out as well (of course.) I believe the sustained wind up there is typically between 10-30 mph. I think it was at the lower end for our race. Maybe 15?

We were huffing and puffing and not even halfway up. This was HARD. I was definitely feeling all the hiking we had done the day before. But I kept plugging away steadily.

Because the 10K race didn't start until 10:30 am and the sun was out, the RD had told us to keep a close eye out for rattlesnakes. This in combination with keeping a close eye on the VERY challenging rocky terrain gave my mind something to focus on other than the steep incline.

I made it to the peak of the mountain and they announced I was the first female to the top. We ran along the ridge which was a little more flat and circled a huge solar array. I tried not to geek out too much and keep focused on the race. As we rounded the panels I was able to look over and see who was behind me. No one seemed to be within striking distance.

The single track opened back up onto a dirt service road and we began heading down hill. My goal for this race was to really work on my downhill running. My coach has been walking me through some drills to help.

I kept my strides quick and tried to be "one with the hill," gliding over it. Basically just touching my foot lightly and letting the gravity do the work. I passed one of the guys that was ahead of me and was very pleased. I never pass anyone on the downhill!

We took a sharp turn back onto single track and dipped down into a gully which we would follow for a few miles.

The gully was incredibly tight single track with huge rocks to navigate. I was so happy that I had decided on my trail shoes. Normal trainers would have been terrible.

We quickly weaved our way through the sage brush, jumping over the larger rocks and occasional tumbleweeds. The course marking was the perfect distance.

Then suddenly the trail breaks out into a wide open field and I completely lost the trail. My running turned into jogging and then a full stop. Shortly the guy I passed came up behind me, also losing the trail. We decided to work together to find it. I went left and me right. Nothing. So I ran back uphill to the last marker I saw then came back down. Nothing.

I scanned downhill and saw a barely visible old jeep trail that was grown over. I told him I was just going to follow that. We both did. Then another guy came up to us and followed us. After headed down a little way we finally saw the little pink markers and got back on track.

Once on track and accelerated again and we were off. I was really focused on the ground in front of me and constantly scanning for rattlesnakes. Then I heard a really low rumbling, like thunder. I looked up and to my right was a heard of elk. First it was just one then maybe 12! They were running along side us, maybe 15 feet over. They passed us then cut down to the left into the gully we were running in and cut in front of us. It was one of the most beautiful things I had seen! One of the guys behind me had his phone on him and was able to snap a photo just before they disappeared over the ridge. So cool! (see photo below)

Our trail again opened up into a wide field and then a long flat section into the last aid station before the big ascent.

We immediately started climbing. It must have been around a 10% grade minimum and maybe up to 15 or so the entire way. It was just a slow, slow, slow grind. To add to the challenge again, it was really rocky so every time you took a (careful) step you slid a little. It was also starting to get warm. I had decided to wear a loose long sleeve because of the sustained winds, especially at the top. I wouldn't say I regret it but I was getting warm.

The air was very dry, cold and thin. Every single step felt like a battle. I soooo wanted to walk. I looked up and saw a tiny little dot (the lead male) on a switchback and felt deflated. But I sucked it up and kept moving, one foot in front of the other. It hardly seemed like running.

Before I knew it I was in the spot where I had seen the leader and we were approaching the finishing last big climb. The trail wound around and then met up with the road that brought us into the finish. I felt like I could finally open up my stride a bit and run like a human being. I pushed hard into the finish.
What would you do differently?:

Well, I would have felt a little more fresh without all the adventuring the day before but I wouldn't take it back.

I may have ditched the long sleeve after the first descent.


These mountain runs are SO HARD. They leave me feeling so completely spent I can't quite describe it. I am really happy of course that I won, and feel good about my ascending...in this case even my descending but I just keep feeling like it shouldn't be so hard? Every race is harder than the next. But I don't know that I walk away feeling like I conquered the mountain or the race. I am always just so surprised at how hard I had to work and how slowly I ran.

So, I don't know what I need to do or why I feel a little inadequate/defeated at the end. I guess I just need to keep working hard and improving my goat skills. I don't know.


Post race
Warm down:

They had free beer, chili and cornbread at the end! I got all of the above and sat in the sun with my niece and my friend (who so nicely watcher her while I raced) and listened to the music. Then we got more beer and went on a tour of the wind/solar facility.

They did an award ceremony where I won a shot glass for being fastest woman to the top of the mountain and then first overall female where I won a pint glass and beer. Could this race be any more inline with my values?!?!?!?! :)

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Keep working on my overall fitness, ascending and descending.

I don't know how I can be so happy with a race but also feel like I've got so much work to do!

Event comments:

Best course/volunteers/post race!


Profile Album


Last updated: 2015-04-02 12:00 AM
Running
00:51:37 | 06.21 miles | 08m 19s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/18
Overall: 4/59
Performance: Average
Course: Uphill, into the wind, both ways!!
Keeping cool Below average Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

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2015-04-27 3:33 PM

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Seattle
Subject: Run Like the Wind 10K Trail Run


2015-04-27 4:01 PM
in reply to: #5111230

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Master
6534
5000100050025
Orlando
Subject: RE: Run Like the Wind 10K

Wow, what a gorgeous place to run (and adventure and camp and...) !  Congratulations on another awesome race!!  

2015-04-27 6:55 PM
in reply to: amd723

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Master
3870
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Subject: RE: Run Like the Wind 10K

REALLY? Could this race be any more tailored to you? lol What an all-around great experience! 

As far as "conquering" the mountain...maybe we're not supposed to feel like that?

2015-04-27 10:11 PM
in reply to: #5111230

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Pro
4482
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NJ
Subject: RE: Run Like the Wind 10K Trail Run

Congrats on the first place finish and the continued advancement of your 'goat skills.'  It sounds like a terrific race and the pics are incredible. More importantly, what a great example you are for your niece. Memories are a great gift. Speaking of which, I've now got Bennie and the Jets on the brain....tx  

Btw, what kind of trail shoes are you using? 

2015-04-28 2:45 AM
in reply to: kcarroll

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Elite
7783
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PEI, Canada
Subject: RE: Run Like the Wind 10K Trail Run

Wow!  Congrats on the win - awesome prizes!

I gotta say, you do some pretty cool races.    Having a herd of elk run by you is amazing!

2015-04-28 7:11 AM
in reply to: #5111230

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Master
6581
50001000500252525
Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Run Like the Wind 10K Trail Run

Absolutely great race and that is not just the racing part. Great venue, great prizes, great views and a really good time spent with your niece. Really cool, all around.

The coolest part is that you felt drained, you won, and yet you still want to improve. That is a pretty awesome combo. Congratulations on a great weekend!



2015-04-28 9:14 AM
in reply to: #5111230

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Pro
6191
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Subject: RE: Run Like the Wind 10K Trail Run

Awesome race - and photos! I still can't get over the fact that there's a Whiskey Dick Mountain. 

2015-04-28 9:25 AM
in reply to: #5111230

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Pennsylvania
Subject: RE: Run Like the Wind 10K Trail Run

What in incredible experience, both with your niece and the race!  Your pictures are simply amazing.  Beer, chili, elk, great scenery, passing people on the descents, good stuff!  Potential for rattlesnakes, not so good stuff, I'm glad you didn't encounter any.  Congrats on being the first female and rocking the race in general.  And remember, trail races tend to be slower, especially when dealing with some of the obstacles you faced on this course, like many rocks.  Way to go, my speedy friend!

2015-04-28 10:05 AM
in reply to: melbo55

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Master
7714
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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: Run Like the Wind 10K Trail Run

Great race in a beautiful place.  How can you beat that?!  Congratulations!

2015-04-28 10:19 AM
in reply to: jmkizer

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Veteran
2830
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Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Run Like the Wind 10K Trail Run

Well raced and a well earned win - congrats!

Rattlesnakes, no thanks.  But a herd of elk passing you?  Crazy awesome.

Sounds like your descending is improving (even by your high standards!).  As for it being hard, ummmmmm... it's up a mountain! 

Congrats again on a great race, a terrific weekend and thanks for the RR & pics.

Matt

2015-04-28 11:09 AM
in reply to: 4agoodlife

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Seattle
Subject: RE: Run Like the Wind 10K

Originally posted by 4agoodlife

REALLY? Could this race be any more tailored to you? lol What an all-around great experience! 

As far as "conquering" the mountain...maybe we're not supposed to feel like that?

Yeahhhh, I am starting to think that. I imagine no matter how in shape I am I will be huffing and puffing when traveling upward on a mountain. 



2015-04-28 11:47 AM
in reply to: kcarroll

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Seattle
Subject: RE: Run Like the Wind 10K Trail Run

Originally posted by kcarroll

Congrats on the first place finish and the continued advancement of your 'goat skills.'  It sounds like a terrific race and the pics are incredible. More importantly, what a great example you are for your niece. Memories are a great gift. Speaking of which, I've now got Bennie and the Jets on the brain....tx  

Btw, what kind of trail shoes are you using? 

Wow, thank you! 

 

I have Brooks Cascadias. 

2015-04-28 2:31 PM
in reply to: #5111230

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812
500100100100
Katy, Texas
Subject: RE: Run Like the Wind 10K Trail Run
Phenomenal stuff as usual Adrienne!! Congrats on a great race and thanks for taking us along with a great story and amazing pics!
2015-04-28 3:44 PM
in reply to: axteraa

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Seattle
Subject: RE: Run Like the Wind 10K Trail Run

Originally posted by axteraa

Wow!  Congrats on the win - awesome prizes!

I gotta say, you do some pretty cool races.    Having a herd of elk run by you is amazing!

Thank you!

Yeah, I highly recommend coming and racing in the PNW!

2015-04-28 4:42 PM
in reply to: Asalzwed

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Royal(PITA)
14262
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West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Run Like the Wind 10K Trail Run

That is such a cool race.  On so many levels.  I can't imagine running a 10K that fast as it is these days--let alone on such difficult terrain.  It would be hard to not want to just take in all the beautiful scenery and enjoy the day.  However, rattlesnakes?  Umm, no thanks not gonna run near those critters.  Elk?  Very cool!!

Congratulations on a great win for you and some cool swag that's right up your alley!!

2015-04-28 4:51 PM
in reply to: ratherbeswimming

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Seattle
Subject: RE: Run Like the Wind 10K Trail Run

Originally posted by ratherbeswimming

Awesome race - and photos! I still can't get over the fact that there's a Whiskey Dick Mountain. 

God I know. I can't even say it without cracking a smile. Seriously? Who approved that?



2015-04-30 3:25 PM
in reply to: Jet Black

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Seattle
Subject: RE: Run Like the Wind 10K Trail Run

Originally posted by Jet Black Phenomenal stuff as usual Adrienne!! Congrats on a great race and thanks for taking us along with a great story and amazing pics!

Thanks! 

2015-04-30 5:59 PM
in reply to: Asalzwed

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Master
2912
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...at home in The ATL
Subject: RE: Run Like the Wind 10K Trail Run

Awesome race and report as always, Salty. With all that you experienced I actually forgot I was reading about a  10k race  - it reads like a marathon! what a place - amazing that so much can happen in 6.2 miles!!! FWIW I would have also been geeking out quite a bit over the solar arrays and wind farms - I have a weird fascination for extra-large human constructions. Year's ago on a business trip I actually snuck a 500 mile detour to go see the Very Large Array  - I somehow think installations like this are sort of like the "Peruvian Nazca Lines" of our time. It just reminds me of what little ants we are. And I agree with the others - what a super role model you are for your niece. Kids grow up quickly and neither you nor she will ever forget that time together.

oh, and welcome to the Down Hill Runner Club - I cannot WAIT to read about the next one!

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