Monday, July 4, 2011


Yup, For the first time ever, I had a triple race weekend! I've never even done two in a row. On Saturday, I headed to Carson City super early to run the Firecracker 10k, hosted by the Tahoe Mountain Milers Running Club before work. It was a small race on a trail familiar to me, and I was happy to see so many people I knew out there (sorry you didn't get to run Abbey and Steve)! I'm really getting to know the Carson community, and that makes me feel like I'm doing my job well. :) I didn't plan on running fast since it was the first race I'd planned for the weekend. However, my competitive side got the better of me, and after running the first mile, I left Ali and Anne behind. However, my prowess to chase the leaders early had me following them at a wrong turn when the arrow in the dirt had been scrubbed out. Added an extra .8 loop to the course, but I did catch up and pass quite a few of the runners. It was a beautiful cool summer morning, and I didn't mind the extra mileage though, especially since the super cool RD let me keep my "official" 10k from my Garmin. The race for me was exactly 7 miles, which I finished in 1:01.09, but my 10k time was 54:35- which put me at 5th overall winner, and first woman in! Whoo-hoo! I've never been first in my age group, let alone first woman! I love small races. :) Unfortunately, I didn't get any pictures from this race. Had the best warm down ever, swimming 2000 yards, and pushing myself just enough to kick some of the soreness out. Wish I could do that after every race.

July 3rd was my 12th anniversary. But for the first time, Kevin and I spent it in different states, as he was representing the state of Nevada with the Galena High School band marching in the 4th of July parade in our nation's capital! This is a trip he'd spent the last year planning, and I am happy to report the band performed very well, and most importantly, no one passed out in the heat! Go Grizzlies! So what else would I choose to do with my family gone? Another race of course! This second race I was invited to do by my neighbors, Richard and his wife Emma. She'd injured herself during the Reno Tahoe Odyssey race, but they'd already signed up and registered for the Reno 5000 Firecracker Duathlon, which is a 5k run, 30k bike, and a second 5k run (same loop twice). So they asked me to take Emma's place on the run while Richard biked, and I happily agreed! Here's a pre-race pic of Richard and I: I've done lots of triathlons, but this was my first duathlon I've participated in, and actually the first time I've done this (meaning triathlons) as a relay. I've run 2 runs as relays so far though- RTO and the Tahoe Decelle. They managed to switch Emma's entry over to my name, and I arrived early to get set up. Turi decided to pace me, never having participated in a duathlon either, and took a lot of great pictures of the trail. This a picture of the beginning of the start of the run on the dirt: Here I am at the first mile marker: This trail was steep, and super technical- there were big rocks baked into the trail just waiting for someone to jam their toe into and take a digger. I somehow managed to avoid doing either of these things, but my pace was quite a bit slower as I had to carefully watch each foot placement in my Vibrams (this is when they were still brand about a year ago when I first got them- and I've walked or run in them almost every day since mid-February, so they are considerably more worn out now). I got lots of questions and comments from other runners this weekend who are interested in them, and I was happy to share! Amazed with how many runners are thinking about trying them out! I finished the first leg (which was closer to 3 miles than a 5k, according to my Garmin, although I forgot to push the stop button after both legs for several minutes). Came in 29:21ish for the first leg, and then Richard was off! He finished the 30k bike in just under an hour, and I started out for the second lap. I felt surprisingly better on the second lap- I guess the first was a better warm up- I was pretty tight/sore from the previous day's race, as I'd gone out harder than I meant to. I had a pretty decent side cramp that developed on the downhill of the first lap, but a banana and some electrolite water cured that while I was waiting during Richard's bike portion, and my calves had loosened up from the first run. I must have gone slower up the hill the second time because I had a good kick at the end and pushed to the finish- my time was a few seconds slower for the second lap: 29:35. We waited quite a while in the hot sun for awards, but it was worth it because Richard won a new bike jersey from the raffle, and then we placed 3rd out of 6 in the coed relay division! Here we are crammed up on the podium- you can kind of see me, the shortest one hiding in the back. We received some really nice cut glass trophies. :) Thank you Emma and Richard for letting me race with you today! I had a blast!

And finally, race #3 on the 4th of July! Ironically, the two previous races had "Firecracker" in the title, but I chose not to run the Firecracker Mile in Truckee with Chris, and did the Run to the Beach with the other 2 TLD members, Dave and Turi. This race started in N. Tahoe finished at Kings Beach, and according to my Garmin, was almost a perfect 5k distance! The race started 15 minutes late, and here is Dave and I milling around waiting for it to start: There were a couple uphills, which I plowed steadily up, but was passed by a lot of people on the downhill because once again I had to watch my footfalls. Plus I just can't run fast downhill in Vibrams. But I don't mind- I wear them for the balance it gives me on my runs, for my knee and my back, and health is more important to me than speed. I finished in 28:35 with Dave just a couple minutes behind me, and the Turi pretty soon after that with his 10k, and we hurried over to Truckee to try and catch Chris finish his mile. Didn't quite make it in time to see him cross the finish line, but we did find Gretchen who took 3rd female! And this after a smashing successful 100 miles at Western States last weekend! That girl is amazing. Took a quick pic together and then went in search of Chris:
Turns out, Chris won the Firecracker Mile in 4:25, and that in front of a gajillion people!!! Good Lord, that man is fast! Here is TLD, united even though we didn't all do the same race that day.

Amazingly I feel really good for putting in just over 16 miles in 3 days, and those at race pace. I'm already having race-withdrawl. Although I'm sure I'll change my mind tomorrow morning when I can't get out of bed... :) My great thanks to everyone who put on these races, and to those of you who I had the wonderful opportunity to run with! I am so happy to be healthy enough to run 3 races in 3 days- I didn't imagine I would ever be here again, and if you'd told me that I'd be running this much today back in January when my back was one big debilitating spasm taking up every spare thought, I would have rewarded you with a big fat kiss and tears of happiness!


SnowLeopard said...
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Gretchen said...

Awesome, Amber! So glad you are running healthy. Great job in your races. It was super fun to see you guys yesterday!

slowrunner77 said...

what a fun weekend!!!