Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dances With Dirt- Gnawbone 50M Race Report


All in all a good run yesterday. I drove down to the race by myself around 4am, checked in, and then met up with Dorn (who I ran with at last year's LBL and Kettle Morraine) and Michele (who I ran some with at this year's LBL).

My goals for this race were to not get lost (unlike last year), finish under 11hrs, maybe finish 1st or 2nd female, and to just enjoy myself.

It had rained on Friday night and so the first 1-2 miles were thick, ankle deep mud. On this course you run 6-7 miles on trail and then hit the first and only drop bag location. You then get on a 17-18 mile loop and do it twice, and then run the last 6-7 mile loop again.

There weren't too many females at the start line. I knew at least 1 of them was in front of me though. I never spent more than 5-10 seconds at each aid station and so at mile 6, I was able to pass 1 female while she refueled.

I kept on truckin and at around mile 15 I passed another female who I knew was in the lead. It was scary passing so early on because I never knew how close behind me she was and she could easily pass me again during the remaining 30+ miles.

So to sum it up: I felt pretty good during the whole race; I was able to keep my pace going (of course I kept looking behind me to see if that 2nd girl was going to catch me);
I ran with a couple guys, Greg and Andrew, for the majority of the race which helped me get my 2nd+ wind; I never used my drop bag or changed my muddy shoes (mainly to save time); I walked some of the last 5 miles because the course was literally full of huge, deep mud/horse crap puddles that no one could run in (unless you're a crazy relay runner who's just running 5 miles), and most importantly- I never got lost- WOOHOO! I tried so hard to pay attention to the course markings. This year the relay runners had a different path than us so it helped having less traffic on the course. I luckily finished first female in 10:19, 10th place overall (results here). Very happy with that time.

As a reminder for myself for next year- the WHOLE course is filled with 5 million little hills and then some really big ones you walk up. There were about 5-6 creek crossings where your feet got soaked on the long loop but it was actually refreshing. The course was a lot harder than I remembered...I think I was blinded last year by my "1st 50 mile race" bliss or something like that. Anyway, it was tough running that kicked my butt. I truly enjoyed my Corona with Dorn and Michele afterwards.

Oh ya- I'm really scared for Mohican now. If the course is anything like Gnawbone, I'll be screwed. Sure I'll be running 15+ minute miles but that's a heck of a course to keep it up for 100 miles, especially in the dark. Ahhh! Why did I sign up for it???

6 comments:

Heather said...

Woohoo! You got 1st place! That's awesome, especially since you accomplished your other goals as well. What would that old x-country coach say about you now?!

Rob "Buckeye" Powell said...

Great job out there and way to be the 1st female! Take a few days and get recovered and then get your game plan together for Mohican. 1 of those game plans should include the drive over to run some of it (Mohican). 2 game plan should be to put the Mohican Training Weekend 22nd 23rd 24th where (20, 22, 15 miles daily) and get to know the area. I am heading out the 23rd for a 50 miler in Maine. I know that the weekend will be packed full of runners. While you will have some good hills at Mohican it is straight forward and while challenging you will be able to handle the course. No Problems. Continue you up and down hill training in preparation. See, all the worry about shoes and you did just fine in wet shoes after all. Did you check out the Mohican discussion group?

Nick Billock said...

Good job, Clara! 1st FEMALE!!! That's awesome!

Hey, get that funk-talk out of your head about Mohican! Just recover well from this race, make sure your plan is laid out well for Mohican and knock out the training. I echo Rob's recommendation to get down to MO for that training weekend...that'll be a huge mental lift for you and inspire confidence in you.

Keep pluggin' away and keep your head UP!

Clara said...

Thanks guys! Good advice about getting out there. I will try to go out next weekend---it would be great for me. I just now registered for the discussion group but haven't gotten to check it out yet. Good suggestion.

sparlingbill@aol.com said...

Que atleta has sido. Eres un milagro de la naturaleza. Yo conozia a unas chicas que corrieron en Gnawbone. Con una de ellas y otra amiga me voy a Cleveland este fin de semana para defender mi titulo an la caminata.
Estoy de acuerdo con los demas sobre tus preocupaciones sobre Mohican. No te preocupes, vas a tener una fiesta alli.

Clara said...

Gracias y buenas suerte en OH!!! Espero que ganes otra vez, hombre! Vas a Kettle?