Sunday, June 28, 2009

The First Half

Knee Knacker 50km is a short 2 weeks away and I couldn't be more excited (and a little bit nervous!). I usually like to get up Black Mountain at least once before race day, just to remind myself how hard it is. And O, I was reminded!

(The Boulder Field, my favorite part up Black Mountain)

Once we got to Eagle Bluff, we stopped for a brief moment to take in the view. I am always blown away every time I grace this mountain. Even during the race, I make a point of looking left over my shoulder to see the view. It makes all the hard work seem worth it and reminds me what life is all! I truly feel alive here.

There was way less snow this year but the terrain was extremely muddy. I didn't even hesitate, and ran balls to the walls straight through the mud, screaming like a little school girl the entire way.

The descent into Cypress Mountain was so much fun and I got to blaze down my favorite section of all- Hollyburn Shoot. Sometimes I feel like running downhill is sort of an art. There's something about the way I move my feet in an around the rocks/roots, the way may arms wave all around counterbalancing my weight, the speed at which I move, and the way my feet just seem to know where to go, like they are connected to my mind. I always finish that descent saying "That was so much fun".

We stopped at Brother's creek bridge to watch the falls. The rest of the run was a little bit of a tempo back down into Cleveland Dam. We finished around 3 hrs 30 minutes completely covered in mud. We rushed home to shower and eat and headed down to Lynn Valley Park where the BC Bike Race finish line was. The owner of North Shore Athletics was there with my co-worker Bryan Kelly. They had a very successful day and are off to a good start.

Western States 100 happened yesterday, though some racers didn't finish until today. I knew of a few people from North Vancouver who were running it. I got really into it and followed them, as well as the leaders sporadically all day. I can't wait to do that race someday. My boyfriend Peter is in for sure next year and I am hoping to qualify as well. Watching the live webcast got me super stoked for Knee Knacker and I can't wait to go race in 2 weeks! My dad is coming over from Powell River to watch. It is always nice having him out to support and cheer me on.

Tomorrow is the beginning of the 'taper' or 'recovery period' as others may call it. Time for rest, healthy yummy food, and massage!

See you in the trails!


Deb said...

Hey Nicola...very sweet run you guys did! I always feel the need to scream when I run through mud too hahaha. I was obsessed with following the western states progress this weekend as well! Out of curiousity, how do you qualify for that? Also I thought I read somewhere that you also need to get in by a that true? Have fun tapering!

Nicola Gildersleeve said...

Deb- There are 5 races that are part of the Montrail Ultra Cup series
- White River 50 miler
- Mountain Masochist
- JFK 50km
- Way Too Cool 50km
- American River 50 miler
- Miwok 100km

If you come top 3 female in any of these races you get an automatic entry into Western. Last year I did white river and way too cool and came 4th by 3 minutes and 2 minutes!!! I think I'll do white river again this year (its July 27th?) and mountain masochist Nov 7th (it's sold out). To get in the old fashion way, you have to apply on the website. You have to have done a 50 miler in under 11 hours as a pre-requisite.

Deb said...

Ah very cool, thanks for explaining it to me! Ahhh...maybe one day :)

You've come so close both times...that's crazy! I'm sure you'll deliver at one of those other races to qualify!!