Wednesday, July 29, 2015

I really did that? #onlyonehill

Yes.  Yes I did!  I did it.  I ran Mt. Washington.  This girl.  Who hates hills.  Who is afraid of heights.  Who has never ever been to Mt. Washington before.  
Not Mt. Washington, but a gorgeous view on the way.


I became intrigued by this race a couple of years ago and have been obsessing about it since then.  Last year I put my name in the lottery and wasn't selected.   This year the husband and I both put our names in and we were both selected!  


seriously so pretty!!!

I had done quite a bit of reading about how to train for a race up a mountain and the best sources I found said running on a treadmill at an incline.   Ummm... okay.  I can definitely do that!  

pretty...but OH Crap!  I have to run that?
I did a few training runs on the treadmill, starting out at a 10% incline and running for as long as I could physically and mentally handle, then would power-walk/run for the remainder of my training session.  My final training run I ended up doing 30 minutes of running at a 12% incline and then would power-walk for the remainder of the time.  


I had no idea what to expect, prayed for great weather (I have bad weather vibes for races - usually it's awful weather - pouring or crazy hot) and set a goal of getting up the mountain in under 2 hours.  
The day before, I met up with my volunteer - my crazy running partner, Carrie.  As I was going as a Maine Track Club member, I was to provide a volunteer.  Thankfully Carrie offered!    


I have the best running  friends!  Carrie volunteered to be my volunteer.  She rocks!

Ward, Carrie and I made the trek to New Hampshire.  It is quite sad that I've never been to Mt. Washington before.  It's absolutely gorgeous there and seriously not that far of a drive.  

One of the best race shirts ever!  How badass is this?

We found our way to check-in and got our pretty fabulous race shirts and bib #s, then drove back into town to check in to our motel and get some dinner!  My Facebook friend, Anne, sent me a message that she and her family were eating at Mr. Pizza (which turned out to be only a few doors down from our motel, so we walked down).  On the menu - burgers of course!  


The next morning we woke up bright and early and put on our Spandits.   Another no brainer!  What does one wear to the Mt. Washington summit for volunteering?  Fleece lined Spandits.  Carrie had to represent.  And so did I, in my custom skull/fern shorts, with my ProCompression Heather socks and black Headsweats visor.  I did have arm sleeves on, but took those off before the race as it was warming up fast!  


We met up with Anne at the start (her family took Carrie to the top to volunteer and then they brought us all down!).  It was great to hang out with her and chat with her and make my facebook/instagram friend a real-life friend!  Here we are posing with some random dude who jumped in the photo.  


We are the coolest, ever.  I know.  


There was as downhill.  Like 5 feet, but there was a downhill.  


Now the race was starting to feel real and the butterflies were starting to flutter like crazy.... but then Anne spied this.  


This cute little cannon was our starting cannon.  It was small, but packed quite a punch.  Not too much later, we all lined up, the cannon went off and we were all off.  


It didn't take long for the incline to get crazy steep.  I noticed people around me power-walking and thought I'd try it out.  It was so much more efficient on those super steep inclines.  


And it started getting super hot.  But I kept moving along!  I kept my music blasting too and found myself singing aloud at one point.  Just slightly embarrassing.  


I noticed some people would run and then turn around and walk backwards.  I thought it looked interesting, but when I tried it and turned my head to look back down the mountain, my stomach started flipping and I knew that would be a bad idea.  So I just kept my eyes facing forward and up.  


Once we got past the tree line, it cooled off a lot, but it was super clear and gorgeous.  What a perfect day for a race!!!!  Definitely not my normal race day weather.  


The steepness never really let up, but when it did, I ran as much as I could.  But honestly found that power-walking was far more efficient on those super steep parts.  


At half way, I was feeling great and my time was just about an hour.  I figured if I kept up what I was doing, I'd definitely meet my goal!



I was super shocked by a dirt section.  The road was rather narrow here and I kind of got nervous about the drive down.  


And the mountain road just kept going and going....


But then finally, I spied the top.  It was in reach!  Now I just had to get past this last section.  And then I saw Ward...and I just gave it all I had.  When I got over this crazy 22% incline, the spectators were shouting that I was almost to the 2 hour mark!  


And as soon as I crossed the finish line I saw Carrie.  I gave her the biggest hug and she gave me the warmest fleece blanket.  The best post-race blanket ever!  


I did it!!!  1:59:39.  632 overall out of 1052.  15:45 pace.  


And then I found Ward, all bundled up, taking a nap.


And I didn't freak out at the top.  Yay!!!!  Perhaps I can handle more heights now!


Ward and I were saying we need to definitely bring the kids there for a hike!  It was breathtaking there and absolutely perfect weather.  


And this guy here is my hero.  95 year old, George.   I want to do badass things like this when I'm 95!  


And now I have this badass sticker on my car...and I earned it!  

Will I ever do Mt. Washington again?  Heck yes!!!  






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