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USATF USA Mountain Running National Championship - Run


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Bend, Oregon
United States
USATF
50F / 10C
Total Time = 48m 13s
Overall Rank = 32/50
Age Group = Female
Age Group Rank = 32/50
Pre-race routine:

I got into Bend Friday am. I planned to squeeze every last drop of adventure out of this trip. I went up to Smith Rock and hiked up misery ridge.



It was amazingly beautiful, a rock climbers dream. Once at the top I looked South and could see what was in store for me. Mt. Bachelor stood alone while the Sisters sat huddled together, conspiring.

I left Smith Rock and hit a couple breweries on my way to Devils Lake, where I camped for the weekend:



The water was a beautiful blue color and setting up camp was easy. I then headed back into Bend for a shakeout run some beer and to listen to the elite athlete panel.

Attending the elite athlete panel were:

David Roche - 2014 World Mountain USA team member

Brandy Erholtz - Multiple World Mountain USA team member + Pikes Peak winner

Kasie Enman - 2011 World Mountain Champion

Andy Wacker - 2015 World Long Course Mountain Championships Runner-Up


It was a very casual discussion but I learned so, so much. Of which I was able to implement the next day, in fact.

David Roche was incredible. A lot of what he said really resonated with me. He places a huge emphasis on going gadget free and really getting to know yourself and how your body handles training stimulus and terrain. The biggest takeaway from him was in regard to moderating pace on the long uphills. You are naturally going to be breathing very hard, so you can't really use breath rate the way you would in a more flat road race. He said a good way to know if you are going too hard is if your arms go lactic. I have TOTALLY experienced this and it made so much sense.

Brandy Erholtz just seems like an amazing human being. She is very positive and enthusiastic and if I could take one thing away from her it would be the importance of attitude as an ambassador of a sport. Even when she missed the world team by a hair the next day, she was positive and said that she gave it her all and she could be 100% happy in that.

Andy Wacker is just a badass. He seems so nonchalant yet watching him run was so beautiful. He is one of the incredibly fast guys (as in track speed, runs in the 13s for a 5K) then chooses to run the mountains because he just absolutely loves them.

Kasie Enman does not train at altitude and kicks ass in the mountains. Enough said.


After the panel I went and got dinner (and beer!) and then headed back to camp.




Event warmup:

I woke up and made coffee and breakfast lakeside and enjoyed the stillness of the morning as the fog rolled through.



I headed the 10 miles down the road to Mt. Bachelor and did some easy running then hiked up the hill to check out the course. A couple of my teammates were here competing, it was really nice to see a familiar face!


Run
  • 48m 13s
  • 8 kms
  • 06m 02s  min/km
Comments:

Doing this race is way out of my comfort zone. The short, speedy mountain efforts with descents are not something that I thrive in. Not to mention I am a small fish in a very, very large pond.

But that is exactly why I wanted to do this. I have fallen in love with running on the trails, up mountains, through mud and up hills. My love started while running cross-country but then I discovered this whole other world of Mountain Running and here I am!

I was looking at the start list, nearly all professional runners of some sort and was feeling a little intimidated. Me getting last place was feeling ever-likely. But you know what? Who cares. For me this was all about becoming a better runner and winning local races is not necessarily going to push me to the next level.

So I drug my ass to that start line and reassured myself that I could do this.

I kept having this reoccurring thought that I was going to break my leg for some reason. So, my goals for this race were to:

A. not break my leg
B. Put a solid effort on the uphill, not letting my arms get lactic
C. Run the downhills with heart
D. Learn everything. watch the competition see what works and what doesn't

We lined up at the bottom of the ski hill and they did a countdown the crack goes the gun and we were off in a dusty cloud up the hill.

It was hard immediately. The terrain was rocky and not very smooth. We eventually cut over to a service road so it was more smooth but still lots of rocks and sandy gravel. Traction was tough. I settled into a nice pace right away and went to work up the hill.

I passed many woman who were doing more of a hard hike and even some women who were running. My heart rate was through the roof but I wasn't feeling those cement arms. Good sign. There were parts where the grade was over 35% and I felt as though I was moving backwards.

By the time I reached the top I was maybe a minute behind the leaders. I was very pleased about this.

But then the downhill. OMG the last thing you feel like doing after a very hard climb up is to run fast down. But I forced myself. I had passed a masters runner who really looked like she knew what she was doing on the uphill, she passed me right away on the down and I tried my best to follow her moves. She was incredibly good at running the course efficiently, picking perfect tangents and accelerating and decelerating at the right moment.

She was separating slowly from me but not too much. We came to a drop off, maybe 5' that you kind of had to jump off of and land on a gravel double track then take a 90 degree turn. One girl overshot the jump and ran over the hill, overshooting the turn.

Finally we reached the bottom. I had lost maybe 4 minutes from the leaders. So, only 1 minute back at the top, but probably 5 now. Incredible! That is how good they are at downhill and how much "opportunity" I have.

We started our second ascent and I was pumped. This is where I thrive. I pushed hard and passed a few more girls including the masters runner again. I just kept my feet cycling fast and motored up the hill.

We ran the ridge and then made our way to the descent again. The masters gal passed me again, this time really accelerating. I was able to try and follow her again for a while but she eventually put a gap between us that there was no way I could make up.

I was now all alone. The front of pack was huge, and I would say I was at the back of it and then there was nothing for a long time and then the back of pack runners. There really was no middle of pack.

I just put all my focus into running the best I could (and not breaking a leg) then rounded the corner to the long downhill finish. The chute was very rough terrain but I was able to very effectively pick my way through and finish strong.

I had done it! It was the most exciting racing experience thus far.

32nd out of 50 may not sound like anything but I was just completely thrilled with how I ran. I would have felt the same if I had gotten 50th. I know I have a lot to work on but I raced to the best of my ability that day.

Now I am thinking of where to go from here. Short/fast/downhill is not my skillset but I do need to continue to push myself. I want to try some longer distance stuff where I think my endurance talents come more into play and my ability to eat whatever/whenever. I'm doing Pikes Peak Ascent in a few weeks which will be interesting to see how my climbing strength comes through. The altitude will be the one factor that might skew my results as a flat lander but who know, Kassie Enman, after all...

I don't know if I want to do ultra-distance stuff but maybe some mountain marathons. I need to keep working on the downhill but I am sure a lot of my problem is simple self-preservation. Is that something I want to change about myself?

Anyway, lots to ponder.

What would you do differently?:

Just keep working at being a better runner in every way
Post race
Warm down:

I ran a bit with teammates, watched the mens race, had a beer then headed out to find some hot springs.

I got incredibly lost, ended up running 10 miles in the wrong direction. Shed a tear out of purse exhaustion. Found my way back and then found the hot springs



The next day I ran to the summit of South Sister for 5,000' of elevation gain (up to 10,389) and 6 miles (one way) I saw David Laney (Nike Elite) at the summit and we chatted a bit. It was so awesome to not be the only crazy person running up a huge mountain vs hiking. I was NOT the only one getting strange looks




Another thing I should mention, and be very proud of, was my completion of the Bend Ale Trail http://www.visitbend.com/Bend_Oregon_Activities_Recreation/Bend-Ale... while I was there. That is 10 breweries all done in 3 days! Mmmm hmmmm!

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Skills


Profile Album


Last updated: 2015-05-20 12:00 AM
Running
00:48:13 | 08 kms | 06m 02s  min/km
Age Group: 32/50
Overall: 32/50
Performance: Good
Course: An up-and-down 4K loop designed by Bend’s Max King, the race director who also happens to be one of the event’s top entrants. The loop is a mix of singletrack trails and dirt roads with approximately 800 feet of climbing and descending each time around to mimic the World Championship Course
Keeping cool Good 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
Organized?
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

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2015-07-30 1:24 PM

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Seattle
Subject: USATF USA Mountain Running National Championship


2015-07-30 1:44 PM
in reply to: #5132107

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Pennsylvania
Subject: RE: USATF USA Mountain Running National Championship

Superb race and congrats on completing the beer trail, too!

It is always fun to read your reports and get the perspective of the 'pointy end' of the field, and I can't wait to see what you take on next!

2015-07-30 9:43 PM
in reply to: melbo55

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Master
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Subject: RE: USATF USA Mountain Running National Championship

I love your approach Adrienne, and how you learn each race/run/adventure.  Great work.

2015-07-31 8:42 AM
in reply to: #5132107

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Veteran
1677
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Houston, Texas
Subject: RE: USATF USA Mountain Running National Championship

I absolutely LOVE your attitude about running!  Your pictures are gorgeous (that whole area is amazing!) -- thank you for sharing!

And the Bend Ale Trail?  That's fantastic!  Did you run between the breweries?  I'm still poking around the website to find a map and see how long this ale trail is.  I'll be in OR for a long weekend in September and may consider adding this to my list of things to do

2015-07-31 10:31 AM
in reply to: ligersandtions

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Royal(PITA)
14262
50005000200020001001002525
West Chester, Ohio
Subject: RE: USATF USA Mountain Running National Championship

Just WOW.

Incredible how you learn so much from the elites and immediately apply it.

Phenomenal performance at a venue which is relatively new to you.

Fantastic pictures....makes me want to be there.

Congratulations on a superb race!

2015-07-31 11:20 AM
in reply to: melbo55

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Seattle
Subject: RE: USATF USA Mountain Running National Championship

Originally posted by melbo55

Superb race and congrats on completing the beer trail, too!

It is always fun to read your reports and get the perspective of the 'pointy end' of the field, and I can't wait to see what you take on next!

Aw thank you! 



2015-07-31 11:21 AM
in reply to: IronOx

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Seattle
Subject: RE: USATF USA Mountain Running National Championship

Originally posted by IronOx

I love your approach Adrienne, and how you learn each race/run/adventure.  Great work.

Thanks Kirsten. It's cool how hand in hand it all is. Rather than fighting balancing everything you let everything become the balance...

2015-07-31 12:52 PM
in reply to: #5132107

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Master
6582
50001000500252525
Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: USATF USA Mountain Running National Championship

Wow, great job on yet another notch in your racing belt.  It has been an absolute joy watching from afar and seeing you continue to grow.  You have been blessed with an insatiable desire to grow not as solely as a racer but as a person and to experience all that life has to offer.  Congratulations on a weekend that was well spent!

2015-07-31 2:14 PM
in reply to: cdban66

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Elite
7783
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PEI, Canada
Subject: RE: USATF USA Mountain Running National Championship

Wow!  Your race reports are the best.  

2015-08-01 10:43 PM
in reply to: #5132107

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Pro
4482
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NJ
Subject: RE: USATF USA Mountain Running National Championship

What a terrific adventure. Great race report and amazing pics as always. Now if we read Dave Roche's race report (love his social media writings) and he mentions the girl who runs uphill like a goat - well, then you've achieved super star status Lol. Seriously, congrats. Very very cool. 

2015-08-03 11:04 AM
in reply to: kcarroll

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Seattle
Subject: RE: USATF USA Mountain Running National Championship

Thanks all, glad my love of running continues to show through no matter the type of racing or the placing in the field.

This sport is just getting more and more exciting and opening doors I didn't know existed!



2015-08-03 11:31 AM
in reply to: Asalzwed

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812
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Katy, Texas
Subject: RE: USATF USA Mountain Running National Championship
Wow, great stuff!! It's crazy how much time some of them can gain on the downhill! Well done on another great race and awesome adventure!
2015-08-03 2:03 PM
in reply to: Jet Black

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Expert
3234
2000100010010025
Middle River, Maryland
Bronze member
Subject: RE: USATF USA Mountain Running National Championship

What a cool race and venue.  And congrats on the trail accompishment.  :-)

2015-08-03 2:15 PM
in reply to: #5132107

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Master
6587
50001000500252525
Rio Rancho, NM
Subject: RE: USATF USA Mountain Running National Championship

Amazing race and RR!!!!

You've got me hooked on the adventure and challenge as well while training for the PPA, although I am more like the "fast hikers" you mention.  It's amazing to watch you take it to the next level again and again.

Congrats on a great (not dfl) finish and on not breaking a leg.

2015-08-04 12:57 PM
in reply to: rrrunner

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Master
7718
50002000500100100
Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: USATF USA Mountain Running National Championship

Great race!  Great adventure!  Congrats on the Ale Trail too!

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