Silver Spring XC RR

I haven’t posted since Dec 1st, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been running. Last weekend I celebrated winter by doing a 3hr long run in my snowshoes.

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It was a slog but it was so much fun!

I followed up the snowshoeing with a hike/run up Prairie Mountain

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And the fastest, funnest (is that a word?) descent I’ve done in a long time. I payed for it with sore quads for the next two days 🙂

The day after Prairie Mountain I ran the Silver Springs xc race. Here’s my report:

I work up sore and feeling a little sick. Not a great way to start a race day.

I donned a festive race outfit to celebrate the season, and I instantly felt much better 🙂

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The best part of the xc races is running with my friends, even if they are all faster than me 🙂

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The footing on the race course was terrible. It was soft, deep snow that threw you off balance and contorted your ankles. I decided the only way I could run a decent race was to push it on the small pavement sections at the beginning and just survive the trail. As an ultra runner, I feel like it normally takes me about 2hrs to warm up – this race plan made me nervous.

I pulled onto the first section of trail just behind my friend Anne. She’s a faster runner than me so I was pretty happy with my positioning at this point. We stumbled along the trail with only limited passing opportunities around the slower runners in front of us. I concentrated on catching my breath.

The trail turned sharply down a steep hill and I hurtled down recklessly, catching up with Anne at the next climb. A group of us were bunched together for the next 3-4km but Anne pulled away. I was really struggling with burning lungs and grouchy ankles so I let her go and tried to find my happy place again. I powerhiked the hills and bombed down the steeps on the edge of control. The trail turned to the left and I knew we were on the homestretch.

This part of the course climbed gradually uphill before turning onto a much steeper grade. I turned the corner and saw Anne hiking up the hill. I tried to give myself a pep talk – but I had limited success. My powerhiking was strong but my will was weak as I walked over the crest of the hill, rather than running. I continued this pattern for the next 3 steep hills before we finally reached the finish line. I was so happy to see that finish line!

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Anne beat me by 9 seconds. That’s the closest I’ve ever been to catching her but I can’t help but feel I could have given it a little more effort.

I finished the race as 7th lady overall and 2nd in my age group. My friend Kim won and Del got 2nd – I’m hoping their speediness will eventually rub off on me 🙂

As always, we finished off the fun with soup and dessert at the community hall. I think I had about 10 pieces of dessert 🙂

What’s next? Christmas break and the start of training for Gorge Waterfalls 100km. I’m so excited already!

Happy Trails!

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