Climbing, dreaming, floating

Race Report- The Mt Washington Auto Road Race.

 Spoiler: I made it.

additional info i found interesting: most people that start do, because really, how are you going to get down?

OH MY GOD.

7.6 miles of unrelenting, never ending, are you freakin’ kidding me, always more up, i can’t possibly go faster, punishing push, of amazing views, 50 mile an hour winds, 1400 crazy people doing the same thing,

The winner did it in under 1 hour. I finished before the cut off.

There was a part somewhere between mile 4.5 and 6, when I was going straight up, and could see the line of people. The road was sandy, we were above tree line, and it was WINDY. I looked to the right, down onto the top of a ski mountain (wild cat) and ended up having to crouch, cover my eyes with my hands so all the sand wouldn’t get into my eyes, and just keep going. I had to stay close to the inside of the trail, it was so windy, i was afraid to get blown off the edge.

And then, I was in the middle of the white mountains, it was a beautiful day, visibility was about 85 miles (according to their website), and I laughed. It was amazing, and ridiculous, and so far from anything I ever thought I could do.

I looked down to the top of a ski mountain! Seriously. I looked over the edge, I breathed deeply, I thought about all the people around me doing it, I thought about my friends running 100 miles in a weekend, I thought about the logos i was wearing – the maine track club, and the trail monsters, and how they are such great groups, such great teams, and that they would say “you can keep going”.

And then, I kept going, and i passed people, and i just kept climbing. And people were screaming my name! Mary was bouncing next to me, Kate was taking pictures, Maureen was being encouraging (and oddly pointing out where the car was).  The last 30 feet were basically straight up, I could reach out and touch the ground in front of me. I almost couldn’t get up it, but there was cheering! And then it was over. I got a medal and a blanket and the best tasting water in the world, and people were cheering, and i didn’t have to climb anymore.

I then promptly lost my voice, and spent 3 days trying to get it back.

post event: what an amazing experience. I’m glad I did it. There are parts of me that think i might do it again. My mom volunteered, and that was great. I didn’t have to drive, the post race food was delicious.

things I’d do differently: (some realistic, some not)
1. wear sunglasses, or a hat, bring small gloves
2. carry my camera
3. post race – walk around the summit, get the cheesy pic taken with the sign
4. better fuel before it started – i felt pretty gross around mile 2-3.5
5. go hiking. Hill repeats won’t help. really just need to get used to going up for 8 miles, without any break
6. find my pace earlier in the race. I think i found a good one, but it was late, and because of the “i might vomit, or pass out, or …” at mile 2.5 I really slowed down for a while, and that hurt my overall finish time. that and the minutes I spent in the portopotty half way up. I think I drank too much water at the first 2 water stops, and i felt “sloshy”.
7. Embrace, love, date, move in with a stair climber.
8. not get sick the week before.
9. stay locally, the night before to avoid being awake for 5 hours before the race started.
10. Adopt the “run 200 steps, walk 100” or something like that.
11. not put sunblock on my face – i think it blocked the pores, or something weird like that. and it got in my eyes, when the sweat finally broke through.
12. find someone to chase. a bit faster than me, but someone that looks like they are on a mission, and keep them in view. Yes, i’m there to run my own race, but I’m crap at keeping myself on pace, even with a garmin.
13. plan for the incredible hand swelling, and not freak out about it.

June 15, 2013 – 7.6 miles Mt. Washington Auto Road Race     2:42

*just keep climbing*
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One thought on “Climbing, dreaming, floating

  1. AnnAlexion says:

    You rock (runner) you! I felt like I was there…running behind you of course! GREAT report!

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