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Grand Ridge 5 Miler - Run


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Issaquah, Washington
United States
Evergreen Trail Runs
70F / 21C
Sunny
Total Time = 44m 30s
Overall Rank = 5/78
Age Group = 30-39
Age Group Rank = 1/17
Pre-race routine:

Basically, packing for our Hawaii trip. Then I had a beer and went to bed.
Event warmup:

Got there reasonably early! Yay, go me! (I'm always getting there last minute and scrambling to get a warm-up in)

Did a nice long run to warm up. Maybe 3 miles or so then came back and chatted with the race director. We were talking about the art of descending. In fact, a lot of the things he said were extremely helpful in my execution.

About 10 minutes before the start I went back and did some strides then headed to the start.

Run
  • 44m 30s
  • 5 miles
  • 08m 54s  min/mile
Comments:

I lined up at the start, right next to a sign that said, "Pain Ahead." LOL

I scoped out my competition. I am currently leading the series and anything less than an overall women's win could bump me from the top spot.

I've been around enough runners to be able to ballpark the top ten finishers, approximately.

There were two females who looked like they could give me a run for my money.

I made my way to the front as I have learned it's important to accurately self-seed in these trail races. The gun went off and we headed down the road.

The first half mile was on a jeep road with a slight decline. I used the gradual downhill to let my stride stretch out. I kept good placement as we took a 90 degree turn up onto the singletrack.

The uphill was immediate, climbing about a 13% grade and moving towards 15-17% about a mile in. It was tough but I knew it would be MUCH shorter than the last race. The light at the end of the tunnel kept me chugging along.

As we switch-backed I could see a couple females, hot on my tail.

Then I did something that leaves a bit of a bad taste in my mouth. I began to talk myself into settling for a second or third place finish. I consoled myself and said, "welp, maybe you just don't have it today" as the girls narrowed the gap a little.

Then I snapped out of it. "For fachs sake, I am headed to Maui tomorrow and am taking a little reduced week of running! I CAN afford to go all out here!!" I said to myself.

So I started making a plan in my head. Downhills are not my strong suit so I needed to get some sort of distance between us before we crested the mountain. I took a look at her face at the next switchback. Instead of a fierce look of a competitor on the hunt, she looked scared and in pain. The uphill was intense and felt relentless.

On a very long climb I decided to make my move. It was risky. I went HARD for about 100 yards. The entire hill was in sight from the bottom and then took a sharp turn. My strategy was to put some distance between us on the mentally challenging hill and then recover a bit around the corner, where they couldn't see me. The idea here is that you break them a little and they don't know that you aren't sustaining that same pace. Generally one loses a little hope and slows.

I was DYING as I rounded the corner. I glanced over my shoulder and could see they were way at the bottom. I felt pretty confident it had worked.

I also felt like I was going to puke. I dry heaved and sputtered on. Dry heaved again and then kept running. We were along a rolling ridge. The hills were nothing significant but I felt like I was moving at the pace of a slug. My legs felt like cement. As if someone had literally filled them to the brim with lactic acid and I was sloshing around.

Finally we started descending a little bit. I am not great at downhill running but I was relieved to not be going up! There were a couple turns that allowed me to look back on the course and I didn't see a soul.

I was extremely focused on the techniques my coach had talked me through as well as the conversation I had with the RD about descending. I had to stay extremely engaged in order to keep my turnover as high as it needed to be.

Although I was going down, I was breathing hard. I was churning my legs and really straining to run as fast as possible. As it turns out, when you are doing it correctly, downhill running is really hard.

Finally we hit the jeep track and I took a left, headed back to the finish with a half a mile to go. It was a slight uphill but I was able to really open up my stride again and run hard. I did not want to give anyone an opportunity to surprise me and overtake me near the finish. A lot can happen in a half mile.

I gritted my teeth and pressed hard to break the tape. I had finished over 2.5 minutes ahead of the other women.

What would you do differently?:

No lapse in mental toughness
Post race
Warm down:

Took some demo shoes on a long cool-down.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Need to keep building strength on uphills and technique on downhills.

I applaud myself for pulling it together, and well, I might add. But I really need to stay 100% mentally tough every.single.time.


Profile Album


Last updated: 2015-03-11 12:00 AM
Running
00:44:30 | 05 miles | 08m 54s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/17
Overall: 5/78
Performance: Good
Course: The 5 Mile Loop is essentially one large lollipop loop that starts 0.5 miles after the Start and follows singletrack trails up to the Issaquah Highlands and back down. The singletrack trails are fairly wide and passing runners should not be an issue. The courses will be well marked with streamers, turn flags and direction signs at intersections.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall:
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 4
Good race? Yes
Evaluation
Course challenge
Organized?
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

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2015-05-11 6:29 PM

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Seattle
Subject: Grand Ridge 5 Miler


2015-05-11 9:40 PM
in reply to: #5114630

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Pro
4482
20002000100100100100252525
NJ
Subject: RE: Grand Ridge 5 Miler

Congrats on maintaining your overall standings! It's always fun and educational to read your race reports - you self critique very thoroughly. I'm impressed that you directed some of that fierce mindset towards your competition, and broke them. Well done!

2015-05-12 9:08 AM
in reply to: #5114630

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812
500100100100
Katy, Texas
Subject: RE: Grand Ridge 5 Miler
Congrats on another excellent race!! What fun it must be to actually racing/competing with others, I'm envious! I hope I can get to that level soon, competing against myself is just not near as fun.
2015-05-12 2:25 PM
in reply to: #5114630

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Master
6587
50001000500252525
Rio Rancho, NM
Subject: RE: Grand Ridge 5 Miler

Awesome job & awesome(r) RR. Way to break the competition on the hilllsssss!!!!!!

 

2015-05-12 3:39 PM
in reply to: #5114630

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Master
3870
200010005001001001002525
Overland Park, KS
Subject: RE: Grand Ridge 5 Miler
"Instead of a fierce look of a competitor on the hunt, she looked scared and in pain." That's awesome. Great job Adrienne and your RR was a joy to read. Going to Hawaii? Good for you.
2015-05-12 3:57 PM
in reply to: rrrunner

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Veteran
2830
200050010010010025
Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Grand Ridge 5 Miler

Great race and fun RR!

Do tell, though - any nuggets on downhill technique??   

Congrats on the WIN!

Also, do you get more points in the overall series by finishing farther ahead of the competition, or is it just the absolute order of finish?

Matt



2015-05-12 4:11 PM
in reply to: #5114630

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Pennsylvania
Subject: RE: Grand Ridge 5 Miler

You are incredible!  It's always enjoyable reading about a race from the pointy end of the field's perspective.  Your strategies are quite clever and numerous!  Congrats on such a strong finish and holding on to your top spot.

Those trails look soooo fun and beautiful.  The ones in the pics, not the description of the yucky hills

Why is the 'PAIN AHEAD' sign on carpeting in a house?

2015-05-12 5:16 PM
in reply to: mcmanusclan5

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Seattle
Subject: RE: Grand Ridge 5 Miler

Originally posted by mcmanusclan5

Great race and fun RR!

Do tell, though - any nuggets on downhill technique??   

Congrats on the WIN!

Also, do you get more points in the overall series by finishing farther ahead of the competition, or is it just the absolute order of finish?

Matt

I had responded to you in the SBR thread but this is what I said about downhill running improvement:

" It's a work in progress. I think conceptually, I am able to wrap my head around what I need to do. My coach explained it as not so much being on your toes (and definitely not your heels) but more just touching your foot down as quickly as possible. So, high turnover and a fast touch.

And then I was talking to the RD before the race and he gave me a good visual. He said to think about hiking in screen, when you take a step and it slides away from underneath you. If you pick up your feet quickly, you move on down the mountain before that happens...if that makes sense.

I would say I did a better job putting this into action, but I have plenty of improvements to make. Particularly keeping my turnover rate super high. That is very unnatural for me.

 And keep in mind, I am not talking about a road downhill. I am speaking of technical mountain running descents." 

 

And to answer your question about more points for a faster finish, yes. The winner can only max out at 100 points but the second place points is determined by an equation, fastest race time divided by runner's finish time times 100. BUT it's a little more complicated as there are multiple distances running at the same time. The girl who is currently in second place is doing more of the ultra stuff. So hypothetically if I win all of the distance events I choose and she wins all of hers then we would tie. And we will likely never compete against each-other. 

 

2015-05-12 5:17 PM
in reply to: melbo55

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Seattle
Subject: RE: Grand Ridge 5 Miler

Originally posted by melbo55

You are incredible!  It's always enjoyable reading about a race from the pointy end of the field's perspective.  Your strategies are quite clever and numerous!  Congrats on such a strong finish and holding on to your top spot.

Those trails look soooo fun and beautiful.  The ones in the pics, not the description of the yucky hills

Why is the 'PAIN AHEAD' sign on carpeting in a house?

Haha good question. And no, I did not steal it!  It was a photo the RD posted on his FB page the night before the race. They didn't post any photos from the actual race yet.

 

2015-05-12 10:01 PM
in reply to: #5114630

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Veteran
2830
200050010010010025
Austin, Texas
Subject: RE: Grand Ridge 5 Miler
Thanks. Didn't know if the RD had provided new/different tips (based on the RR) - got it.

As for the points, run her down like a deer (even if you never actually see her). Will you get to meet her at the end of the season or such? I'd imagine it would be cool to have a beer and chat with her after all's said and done.
2015-05-13 7:32 AM
in reply to: Asalzwed

Master
10208
50005000100100
Northern IL
Subject: RE: Grand Ridge 5 Miler

Originally posted by Asalzwed

Originally posted by mcmanusclan5

Great race and fun RR!

Do tell, though - any nuggets on downhill technique??   

Congrats on the WIN!

Also, do you get more points in the overall series by finishing farther ahead of the competition, or is it just the absolute order of finish?

Matt

I had responded to you in the SBR thread but this is what I said about downhill running improvement:

" It's a work in progress. I think conceptually, I am able to wrap my head around what I need to do. My coach explained it as not so much being on your toes (and definitely not your heels) but more just touching your foot down as quickly as possible. So, high turnover and a fast touch.

And then I was talking to the RD before the race and he gave me a good visual. He said to think about hiking in screen, when you take a step and it slides away from underneath you. If you pick up your feet quickly, you move on down the mountain before that happens...if that makes sense.

I would say I did a better job putting this into action, but I have plenty of improvements to make. Particularly keeping my turnover rate super high. That is very unnatural for me.

 And keep in mind, I am not talking about a road downhill. I am speaking of technical mountain running descents."

Great job Adrienne! That description seems to fit well with what I've seen and try to do.



2015-05-13 3:57 PM
in reply to: Asalzwed

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Master
6582
50001000500252525
Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Grand Ridge 5 Miler

Nicely done!!! I am impressed by the ability to be thinking about race strategy while going at top speed like that. Way to break their resolve and kick butt.

Congrats.

 

 

 

 

 

2015-05-17 6:59 PM
in reply to: cdban66

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Royal(PITA)
14262
50005000200020001001002525
West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: Grand Ridge 5 Miler

Very well done.  You pulled your mental game together and dug deep.  Fantastic!

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