Sunday, October 2, 2011

2011 CVRA Timber Trek

Call me crazy if you want after you read this post.   I am totally addicted to running and when I saw on a few weeks back that there was an afternoon race, my first thought was this, "GREAT, now I can do two races in a day again."   So I did just that, first I did the Ponsetti Race with my daughter Alyssa and friend Amber at 9a.m.  then came home had about an hour to relax, eat some yogart and then left with Jason for the Timber Trek in Amana around 12 noon.

The race started at 1p.m. so we were cutting it close. When we got there we had plenty of time for a packet pick up, bathroom stop, and preparing to run. Jason did NOT run, he had wished he had running clothes on to run, but he decided his knee was still bothering him so he didn't register for the race.   That ended up being so nice because he could take pictures of me during the race for my blog.
The race was suppossed to be 4.3 miles and was suppossed to be a Timber Trek, meaning a race through woods, maybe a creek to cross and basically a rough trail to run and some hills. Well this is how it went in past years, INSTEAD it was like this:

4.89 miles, obstacles like HUGE hay bales to climb over (the great big round massive bales that you have to put your hands in the netting just to climb and then pull yourself up on top and somehow jump down, then through a creek, through sand, up a hill, through the woods on a very bad trail with fallen trees, broken off corn stalks, big rocks, holes, etc. etc. then another creek to cross and this time at the edge of the creek you had to climb a rope to pull your body up over the 10 foot ledge. I thought I'd surely die by this point. I was super muddy and felt exhausted and wasn't sure how I'd finish the race.

Then more of the same hard trail running that went on for a while.  It seemed the trail curved over and over and was the worst trail in the woods you could possibly pick.   After the second creek crossing, it  seemed like I was running up a mountain forever up up up and the trail was rough. Everyone by this point was power walking the mountain trail, but really we live in Iowa, so there are NO mountains here, just really steep hills.  It was so hard, my breathing was feeling harsh, but I did it. Then down a small hill and we had to crawl through tunnels half filled with mud and water. That almost felt refreshing, but it was cold water, thank goodness it was a perfect day for this. The weather was in the low 60's with bright sunshine.  After crawling through the tunnels there was gatorade or water to choose from and they said we were almost halfway.

I'm thinking by this point, "Really we aren't even half way, how will I ever finish this, I'm exhausted" I told myself that I'd come too far to quit and I didn't quit anything so I proceeded on. There was a balance beam to walk across that was super skinny and you had to balance yourself and walk across and not fall or you would be in DEEP mud. Then more rough forest trail for a while.  Then a pile of tires and the only way to get through this obstacle is to go through them, that must have taken me a few minutes.  The pile of tires was huge.  Then we run down this enourmous hill for what seemed like a half mile and it was semi steep and you couldn't bolt it, you had to be careful.

Then the big creek again, but before you could cross it, you had to turn your body around and use the rope to get down the 10 or more feet. When you ran out of rope you had to get on your butt and slide in the mud down the steep edge of the creek, run through the creek and continue on.

Then more running for what seemed like a mile or so in the rough forest trail and it was bad news, lots of holes and rough running spots. Then the sand, then the creek, then the hay bales one last time and then about a  1/3 mile run to the finish. Wow was I wiped out and could hardly walk and fell against the fence when I got through the finish line.

That seemed harder than any running thing or anything I've ever done. I wiped myself completely out.  My final time for the 4.89 miles was 1 hour and 11 seconds.  I was so relieved to finish.  I really didn't think I'd make it.   If you want to see all the results go RESULTS.

 Here are pictures to enjoy from before, during and after the race:

Before the race in my warm clothes since it felt a little chilly out.  I had no idea what I was about to go through.

My AWESOME race number.  I actually got a 13!!!  My lucky number is 13.

The race start, can you find me?

The beginning of the forest trail.  This part was out in the open and Jason happened to get a picture of me.

This is me behind Ed, another runner I had been running with for about a mile.  Ed also helped me at the creek by catching me when I had to let go of the rope.

I'm in the last 1.5 miles of the race.  If you double click on the picture you can see I'm quite muddy by this point.  I'm very tired in this picture.

A close up of my muddy clothes.  I was trying to point out my muddy clothes to Jason as he snapped the picture.

Almost to the finish.  I was so happy to see the finish line by this point.

A side view of my muddy self.  My backside was the muddiest.  Thank goodness for hoses to wash off with.

I found this picture of me on the CVRA's running website.  This is me running down the large hill after I had  ran  about 3 miles of the race.  Edward Green from Anamosa, Iowa is right behind me.  We ran a good portion of the race side by side and he helped me go down that muddy hill at the creek, he caught me when I had to let go of the rope.  Thank you Edward for keeping me motivated to finish this run, it was super hard for me.  Talking to you during our running in the woods helped me to continue to run and finish this race.

A picture of some of the results.  I placed 7th of 13 in my age group.  I was place 89 of 107 total people and 37th of 50 females.  I feel great with my 1 hour 11 second time.  The feeling of finishing this race was amazing. 


John Hackbarth said...

Great race review! I really wanted to run the Timber Trek too, but was out of town. I'll have to wait until next year for those hay bails.

PS - I love the pictures. And congrats on two races in one day!

Michelle said...

Thanks John. I loved this race. It felt so awesome to finish. I hope to see you next year!

Papa Doc said...

I have got to call you and tell you about my doctor. You will die.

Dad Clark