Peterson Ridge Ruuuumble

It was interesting to read your perspectives on small towns. Now on to that race report! Saturday night after carb loading and reading blogs, I was in bed by 9:30 pm to read a magazine and get some serious shut eye. I hadn't slept well the few nights prior.

Despite the dog whining throughout the night from her new surroundings and smelling the dogs next door, I slept surprisingly well. Got in about 8 hours of sleep and then got my running game on. Breakfast was Great Harvest cinnamon walnut raisin bread with a smear of almond butter and banana slices on top. I also snagged some tea from the hotel lobby and downed a ton of H20.

With a leisurely 9 am race start (40 milers started at 8 am), I had plenty of time to get ready, eat and read blogs before we headed to the race start just a mile from the hotel/motel?. Dogs were allowed on the course so it was fun to see everyone with their various camelbak get ups and all kinds of dogs.

The manfriend needed his coffee this morning after little sleep thanks to the pooch. But he and my mom were real troopers!

I was a wee bit excited here because I wasn't thinking about 20 miles, but rather the teeny tiny shorts this old dude in front of us was wearing. His bum was nearly hanging out and I of course was covered from wrist to ankle in athletic gear.

Two minutes until race start and crossing my fingers I'll make it to the end of this thing! No matter how many tough races and marathons I've survived, I find each one of these epic distances daunting.

Here we go!

The first few miles started out on dirt and sand trail with a few fallen trees we had to hop over before we were dumped onto a dirt and gravel logging road where we'd run for a few miles. Eventually, we were back onto single track trail where we remained until the last few miles on the logging road.

My first few miles were decent at an 8:06 pace, but I knew that wasn't going to hold once we got on the trail and started climbing.

Most of the course was gorgeous with single track trail and plenty of rocks to maneuver. The first ten miles were a gradual climb, although most of the course felt like rolling hills to me. My pace was all over the place, from 8:30s to 10:45s with inclines and declines, rocky spots, aid stations, letting people pass, careening down the hills, you get the point. I didn't really pay attention to my pace as I ran because I knew I couldn't do much about it.

From just a few miles in, I could tell I hadn't tapered enough. The legs were already tired by mile four or so. Not good. I tried to relax and just run behind these two guys who had run the race several times, but I kept clipping rocks with my toe. Finally, I biffed it, falling onto my knees and hands at mile five and then AGAIN at mile seven.

Let's just say I had some pep talking and feet lifting to do. Around mile 9.5 I nearly went down again. This time, I stopped and walked for a minute or two as I dug out my ipod, untangled the cords and shoved the earbuds in. I knew it was a surefire way to calm the nerves and take my mind off the running part, just enough.

Just trying to get in the zone around mile 15.

Food! While the aid stations were stocked well (baked potatoes, mini candy bars, pretzels, chips, licorice, etc), my stomach wasn't having much of anything. I grabbed a mini snickers bar for good measure.

At the very end, you come back to the school where the race started and have to run a lap around the track to the finish line. It was a struggle and I definitely did NOT have any kick left here. My pace for that last .35 miles was 7:37 so I guess I was going faster than I felt. Seriously, how is this lady so freaking happy?

Finish time - 3:06 (I was hoping for 3 hrs flat or less, but honestly, I was just happy to finish.)

Oreo milkshake and recovery socks, just what the Dr. ordered.

These DeFeet socks are pretty sweet, but I'm not sure they were worth running 20 miles. ;)

Let me say, this was definitely one of the rougher races I've run thanks to my poor planning. Running 20 miles on fresh legs is hard enough, but running that distance at elevation on tired legs is another thing entirely.

When people ask me about the course I reluctantly reply that it was pretty, but not much fun. Honestly, it was a great race, well organized, lots of aid stations and a beautiful course. But when your body and mind aren't with you, those little things don't make much difference.

There were moments we reached the top of the ridge and could see over the tree tops to the mountain peaks, which were beautiful. But all I could think about was trying to lift my tired legs enough over each little rock and stick in my path. Bringing my ipod at the last moment was the best thing I could have done.

I tell you what: running a long trail race is nothing like running 26 miles on flat pavement. My mind needed to be in it at all moments and my eyes needed to be glued to the few feet of dirt in front of me. But it was another fun adventure on my running journey and I can't wait to dominate the next trail race because this race needs to be left in the dust!

Miles - 20.35
Time - 3:06:12
Avg pace - 9:09 min/mi
Overall place - 68/193 finishers
Entry fee - $35
*The fastest woman came in at 2:29:24

For another fun Peterson Ridge Rumble recap, check out Jen of Creating Space who lives in Portland, OR. I just recently found her blog.


Morgan said…
Great job out there girl! I have never raced a 20 miler before or a trail race so I can only imagine the two combined would be very difficult. Chalk this one up to a learning experience and know that next time you'll blow that time out of the water! (Should you revisit this again anyway!) Hope you are recovering well!
That is an AWESOME finish for a TRAIL 20-miler when you didn't have a chance to taper very much! WAY TO GO!

Trail running is a whole different ball games and it definitely beats you up in totally different ways than road running. I love it but sometimes it's nicer to run on the road where you can zone out and not worry so much about picking up your feet :P

That is seriously amazing though. I am doing a 25K (15 mile) trail race at the end of June and I'm hoping to finish around 3 hours, so good job finishing TWENTY miles in that time!!!
Emily said…
dude, 20 miles of trails is no joke. congrats on an awesome race! your manfriend takes stellar race photos! i like that in a guy...
J said…
Awesome job on the 20 miler! You did great on no taper and just running! Congrats!
You're amazing! 20 miles on trails? WOW! You did so great, even though I know you weren't 100% feeling it. Know that you're still very awesome.
Michelle said…
Great recap! You are spot-on about mental strength, too. Staying positive can be so hard during endurance events but it's the KEY to success. It's great that your mom got to see you race, too. My mom had no idea what to expect from a mountain bike race was when she cheered me on at the Puff. It's cool to share an aspect of your life with your parents that they might not really "get" until they witness it.
Great recap! 20 miles on a road/flat course is TOUGH. So 20 miles on trails? Impressive!! I hate that 'tired legs' feeling... esp when it happens early in a race and you think, 'oh crap, I still have x miles left'.

Nice work, though! Now what's next?
Trail running is SUCH a challenge, much less racing...20 MILES. You live, run and learn - and be proud of yourself for pushing through and still finding a kick at the end! :) Very Impressive, Sass!!

That woman grinning ear-to-ear on the track cracked me up - even before reading your comment i was like "Um, whats wrong with this picture? 20 miles on the trail and you look that happy??" Ha, power to her, though!
Ashley said…
Whoa. Super impressive run!!!! Sounds like such a tough race through the woods, with a lot of incline! Great job! :)
Thanks all for your fabulous support! I think mentally I went into this treating it as a road race where everyone is sorta 'balls to the wall' running as fast as they can. But in reality, trail racing is much more casual and a very friendly atmosphere. I'm looking forward to my next trail race.
Lindsey said…
Great job Lauren! 20 miles on trails is hard core. It's great you were able to get focused after falling and finish the race strong.
Lindsey said…
Great job Lauren! 20 miles on trails is hard core. It's great you were able to get focused after falling and finish the race strong.
jen said…
Congrats on the awesome finish! I am impressed you held that pace that whole time, very cool.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who fell more than once. That trail was pretty technical in places!

Hope we can meet at the next race we both do! Congrats again. :)

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