Saturday, February 21, 2009

Trek Up the Tower 2009 - Race Report


My lungs and throat hurt. I vaguely remember this from last year. I coughed for about 2 days after running up 40 flights of stairs. I paid kind of an absurd ammount of money to go through that torture so I guess I shouldn't complain.

My check in time was 8 am. This year I knew what to expect. I got there a bit early, checked in, stripped down to my shorts and tank, checked my bag, and got right in line. Nobody really cares what time your check in is and you pretty much can start whenever you get to the front of the really long line. I stood in line and got to the front about 8:30. I swiped the chip on my wrist over the mat on the table and I was off.

I'd like to preface by saying I have had a cold all week long. I started to get it last Sunday and was stuffy all week. I started feeling better Thursday night/Friday day and really felt ok, other then the residual gunk this morning. I climbed fast right off of floor one, skipping steps, using the railing. I was feeling it by floor 12 or 13 and started alternating between skipping steps and running up single steps. By floor 20 I was ready to be at the top. I passed person after person. On the floor landings, people were saying things like, on floor 22, "over halfway there" or on floor 32, "only 8 more to go". I really could have done without that. As if I needed to be reminded that I still needed to climb 18 more flights. :)

Anywho, got to the top, scanned my chip, stopped my watch and made the obligatory warm down walk. My chest hurt really bad and I was taking inventory of whether it was lungs, heart, or a muscle problem. I wasn't coughing yet but many people were. I remembered that last year people were saying it was the poor circulation in the stairwell and things like that that were making people cough but I firmly believe that the super high intensity of the activity loosened up all the stuff that normally causes no problems in healthy lungs. We rode back down in the elevator and when I got to the bottom, I sat on the floor with my knees pulled up to my chest as hard as I could. This helped to decrease the work of breathing. So, having a cold and a somewhat compromised respiratry system probably didn't help me out a ton but it ended up going alright.

My chest eventually stopped hurting with each breath and I managed to stand up, get dressed and get back to the car in the cold.

I have been coughing all day and Mr KT says I sound like a smoker. That is hot, I know.

Last year I wasn't sure what I was getting into and I registered in the recreational division. I accidently won the women's division and so this year I registered for the competitive division.

Here are my individual results...

Time: 7:07
Overall Place: 107 of 927
Place in Gender: 12 of 512
Place in Age Division: 4 of 154

The gal who got 3rd in my age group beat me by 5 seconds. Annoying.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Psycho Wyco Race Report - Run Toto Run 09

As my loving little brother pointed out, it has been almost a month since my last post. And as he also pointed out, I have done a race since then. Hence, the following...

Valentine's Day - February 14th, 2009

A Race Report
by Kate and Kona

It was Kona's first race! She and I trained on the local trails, golf courses, and local parks. The race was a trail race of 10 miles, 20 miles, or 50K. I seriously considered the 20 miler in preparation for a trail marathon in April. After I realized that doggies were allowed, I knocked it down to the 10 miler. I was worried about Kona's paws if it were icy, snowy, or really muddy.
Koni note: Um, yeah, I wasn't even a little tired at the end. I could have totally done another 10 mile loop. Humans are wimpy.

Geez Kona, relax, your endurance was never in question. We all know who the superior runner is. Thanks again for reminding me.

Anywho, we headed down to the race on Friday afternoon after a solid snow storm hit Omaha. We found the hotel, had some pre-race pizza and dog food and attempted to sleep. Ever tried to sleep in a strange hotel room with your dog? Yeah, it is a challenge and I don't think much sleep was had all the way around. We got up about 5:30, Kona had her breakfast and went out for a quick potty break before loading up.
Kona note: before the race I got a Valentine's Day present from Oly! I love that boy. Two heart shaped dog cookies. Yum, yum. He is some guy!

The race was really close to the hotel and we were there in just 10 or so minutes. We unloaded and headed down to pick up our packets. It was cold. Maybe in the low 20s, maybe. Blink, Greg, Bob and I pinned on our numbers and shivered until the race started.
Kona note: I managed to get love from everyone near me before the race. It helps that everyone thinks I'm a baby! Finally Oly's dad came back from the bathroom. Oly got all excited to see him and jumped up and tore his number off just as the race started. That meant that we started out as far back as we could be. We finally got started and ran about 200 yards before I realized I had to go! I found a spot quickly and my mom picked up the mess, tied up the bag, and threw it under a tree to retrieve later. Whew, I was now ready to run. This was a good thing cause we had a lot of people to pass to make up for our goofy start.

Blink and Oly ran a fairly easy (read slow) 10 mile loop with us. This being Kona and my first trail race, I was really worried about getting lost. Come to find out I should have been more concerned with the hills. There were two or three 150 yard sections of meadow that were flat between trails the rest was either up or down. It was great. The trail was perfectly marked. Unbelievable. I was so incredibly impressed. So we ran through water crossings, up hill and down dale, over the flaky limestone rocks covered in little ice pellets, over the ice-coated-super-squishy-underneath mud, and over and under and around trees and branches. We had a great time! Kona did great. She was pulling on her lead the entire time and was very energetic. Next time she and I will both be in for the 20 miler. I have to say I have had a sore foot and although it hadn't bothered me in either of my previous long runs, it was pretty achy. Sliding over those rocks didn't seem to help it. Well, good to know for next time. I also bonked due to no breakfast, the lack of good sleep, and the cold that I ended up with when I got home. After we finished our 10 mile loop in about 2 hours, Kona got her medal and we said goodbye to Blink and Oly while they headed out for a much faster 2nd lap. We waited in the cold for them to come back and cheered as Bob and Greg went through to start their second lap.
Kona note: We waited and waited and finally, there he was! That beautiful blond dog and his human. I was glad to see them.

After finally changing into dry, clean clothes we waited for Bob and Greg to come through before their last lap. We helped them change, get calories and fluid, and got them back out on the trail for one more loop. After that it was time to leave. Kona was sacked out for the ride home and then slept good Saturday night I am sure.

The run was good. I made the same mistake that I always do. Nutrition. I am gonna make a better effort do improve this during 2009. But regardless, I loved it! The atmosphere was awesome. There are some things that I love about trail running that you don't necessarily get with road running but that is for a different post.

And on that note, Kona and Brick and I are headed to bed for the night.