LOVE HARDER , EAT BETTER & EXPLORE FURTHER
We are pretty much creatures of habit. Nights before races we spend with friends as often as we can, either at a local place carbing-up or cramming into someone’s home for great food, conversations and DESSERTS. This week we chose the latter, going to Lea’s for a buffet of homemade goodies. Home by 8:30, spending an hour or so prepping things for the morning and hitting the sack.
Up at 5:00 AM - pretty standard for us, I’m off to work most days by 5:40 so the alarm clock wasn’t a bother. Luke has the pickiest stomach pre-race, where I just piled some blueberries, yogurt and peanut butter into a bowl of oatmeal and went to town sitting on the kitchen counter with a cup of coffee. Race morning the contest is always who can beat the other to the toilet …I’m the only one drinking coffee….I always win HIZZAH
Up on the mountain by 6:15ish with plenty of time to spare. Hit the potties again and spent time pre-sweat hugging everyone we knew. Happened upon some of our favorites the David Dye and Shannon Sharp WOOT - got in a quick warm-up mile or so with them (wherein I bailed off into the woods, not to borrow a tree, nope). Then onto our favorite part of the morning - pre-race speech and sermon. Cary Long is one of my favorite people and race directors - and did I mention he’s going to be in our wedding! - this man cares more about the community and putting on a safe , worthwhile event more than you probably care about your children. The organization is incredible, the swag is on point, and the pre-race vibes are amazeballs - quote “DO NOT SUCK TODAY”.
So - zero goals for this race, really I promise, with Georgia Death Race next week (see here if you don’t know what hellish shit I’m talking about http://www.runbumtours.com/georgia-death-race) I just wanted to see how my fitness was even after a peak 85 mile, hilly week just past. I knew Emily Ansick was coming - super fast, hot chick from the South who could whoop me right quick in a fast race - so I figured hey, start with her, hang on for a minute and run how I feel. Turns out “hang on for a minute” lasted 4 miles or so till I missed a quick turn and she was OFF. Never caught her again, but knew I never lost too much time and was only a few minutes behind, shucks. Couldn’t have asked for lovelier weather or better volunteers truly. The majority of the race went perfect, climbing just hard enough, cruising on the flats and trying to keep myself uninjured on the down-hills [Note the RockTape around my knee, something had been bugging me in a tendon there the last few days, off to rest and stretch and roll all week].
Got to see all the leaders and all my friends at the out and back section around Mile 10 - my sexy [future] husband cruising and the even sexier David Dye making this ish look easy. If you notice me dripping shin-blood in all of these pictures - I zoned out, missed the ACTUAL TRAIL through S.O.B. Ditch and bushwhacked through briars, we'll call it Barkley Fall Classic Training. Mile 13ish - an easy rolling section before you climb out to the finish - I got a little slow and lonely, but hey, I turned it around and beasted [read, took the Strava Course Record] the Cry Baby/ Death Trail Climb.
The climbs are amazing, Death Trail being on of my most favorite in the whole park, and the downhills are super fast and runnable. This course will make you cry for your mother, if you’re not trained, or make you feel like a trail running god[des]. At the end of the day I came in around 2 hours and 30 minutes. About 15 minutes faster than last years time, 15 minutes behind my hubby, and good for 11th OA and 2nd Female. Happy as a clam and ready to rest up next week!
Luke Hough & Liz Canty
Liz Canty and Luke Hough. Co-habitants who like to run, race, explore and drink much too expensive beer. Read along through the awesome, the sweaty, the daily life and the occasional bickering over which running shoes are the best…