Sunday, June 24, 2007

Snow up my shorts...

Whoa Nelly! I survived my 2nd Klimb and set a PR to boot! 3hours and 20 minutes to the finish means I somehow shaved off a few minutes from last year...hurray! Here is a summary of this years event...check out my last posting for a complete description of last years race-if you haven't already...

I had a fantastic start and picked up the pace on the first leg of the race this year-2.2km on the road. Knowing the racecourse gave me a much better perspective on when to push and when to hold back this time around. After last year I learned the there is really only 15-18 minutes of running time before the trekking begins so I took advantage and added a bit of spring to my starting pace. And I was able to hold my mini-running stride for a bit longer up the first incline...ran for 17 minutes this year...up from 15 last year! Then the trekking began...

Second leg was a big challenge as I battled a suprising flare up of an old injury in my lower legs. Too much stress on the calves and I found myself sitting on the side of the trail trying to bring my foot back to life...short term loss of function to say the least. A little freaked out as I was only 1 hour into the climb and could not stand on my right foot cause it was curled up inside my shoe. My priorities quickly changed from racing to safety and I pulled over to try and rest my legs...watching painfully as 4...5...6...8 klimbers scrambled past me. A little rest, an anti-inflammatory and a lot of water along with some relief in the terrain somehow allowed me to carry on and get over it. V.lucky there...but I had some catchin up to do...

One of my favorite parts of the course was again the steep almost verticle climbing where you need to use handholds and footholds to wiggle your way up the mountain. I just love that stuff! I think being small gives me an advantage on this terrain as I am already closer to the ground and scrambling up with hands and arms gives my legs a nice little rest...

Well, it didn't rain on us...IT SNOWED! That's right, my first race amongst dancing snowflakes...in June of course. We encountered the prettiest white snowflakes just as we clambered up the first lookout-the pseudo summit. The place where first time Klimb Virgins always squeal with delight cause they think they are at the top...tee hee. This year I knew that this was the anti-summit and we had another 40odd minutes to go up still.

The snow pack arrived earlier and hung around longer in this years course so that meant more time slipping and sliding in the whitestuff. V.fun and easy to travel on as the surface is smooth and allows for fast movement without uneven terrain under your feet. Up UP UP to the summit and I checked my watch at the very top...I couldn't believe my eyes... 2hours:00seconds the EXACT same time as last years summit to the minute! CRAZY I could have sworn I was going faster...

I had a blast on the downhill sledding/luge course this year! Last year I was v. nervous using the ropes to travel down the snow as I was warry of gaining uncontrollable speed and sliding off into a crevasse or down a tree well for the remainder of my days. But this year I just GAVE ER on the snow and it was A RIOT! The snow was perfect for squat sledding and I just sat half on my bum and half on my feet with my hands at the sides for steering and it was GOODBYE! I was flying down that hill and squeals of joy were flying out of my mouth uncontrollably. I am sure it wasn't pretty to watch as I half crashed, half slid, half stumbled my way down the soft slope but it sure was fast! And v. funny to watch all the other klimbers discovering their own sledding techniques. I am sure this is where I made up my 4 minutes...and I have the snowrash on my but and thighs to prove it!

Numb and unco-ordinated kind of summs up how I felt transitioning from snow sliding to normal running once the snowpack gave way to the next section of trail. GUMBOOT, UP TO YOUR KNEES MUD greeted me on the edge of the snow and it was gross but actually kind of refreshing:)

The downhill course was just as visually inspiring and physically rewarding as I remembered it from last year...that wide open valley, the view to the bottom below...the lush green old forest service road...steaming piles of purple bear dung...the thigh high water crossings...and flowing single track trails fed life into my exhausted body. This year I had to work harder to maintain my pace on that long 13km downhill course...it was a mental test as I talked my way through keeping up the pace every step of the way. Cramping on the way up and failing to hydrate to my optimum level in the early stages of the race added up to hard work on the final 8k of the race...still managed to pick off quite a few on the downhill and keep a fast pace per km but it was only through self talk...good thing my brain is a private forum not a public forum! The craziest things go through your mind out there...here is a sample of random thoughts that are fit for viewing:
'I love you legs...thank you for taking me here...please keep going and take me to the finish...'
'Cadence cadence cadence...fast feet...relaxed body...fast feet...relaxed body...lean forward...'
'You are in a race...this is not a training run...now go faster...'

Through these last kms I found myself completely alone with only the forest and trails around me. No one to chase, no one to run from-it was an internal game I had to play. V.good challenge for me.

The finish line came before I knew it and I was amazed at how quickly 3hours 20minutes can fly by. During the race I was totally inspired by the physical strength of the klimbers out there and amazed yet again by the natural beauty that surrounds us on VIsland. Get out there and check it out!!!

Post race:
Immediately: 2km walk to flush out legs (hydrogen not lactic acid)
30minutes: Stretched and had: Bagel with PB & J, Nanaimo Bar, Watermelon, WATER WATER WATER...Cheered on fellow racers and buddies...
2 hours: Shower (best one in my entire life) Banana PB Wrap, Chips and Salsa, Graham crackers, WATER+
4 hours: Awards...3rd place in my age category!!! Won a fabulous technical Kusam longsleeve shirt...Set a new course record for my age too...
5 hours: Napped in the back of my car:)
6 hours and beyond: Dinner...dance...yadda yadda yadda:)

I am thrilled with how the race went and I am so thankful to have this body that allows me to klimb mountains and forgives me every time. I highly recommend this race as it is a personal challenge an amazing course and an inspiring event for all abilities, ages, shapes and sizes...First people in around 2:40...final people in around 12 hours...
See you there next year!
Pics to come...
S

4 comments:

Korky said...

Way to go! Sounds like you enjoyed it, no bears?

Kristin said...

Congratulations Sarah...I am not sure about joining you for next year on that one, but hey, you never know...

Kristin

Sarah said...

Thanks so much for the comments you guys...it makes my day!
s

Yan and Kim Senechal said...

Sounds awesome! I definitely have to do that race soon...maybe next year. Love your story telling :)