My PRs will never garner attention or generate awards. But when I run, I am 100 percent me–my strengths and weaknesses play out like a cracked-open diary, my emotions often as raw as the chafing from my jog bra. In my ultimate moments of vulnerability, I am twice the woman I was when I thought I was meant to look pretty on the sidelines. Sweaty and smiling, breathless and beautiful: Running helps us all shine. A lesson worth passing along.”
― Kristin Armstrong
Really not sure where to start. It has been a LONG time, since I have written. I really do not want to go into every tedious detail of 2020 or even 2021 for that matter. I am going to pick up with. . . well. . . what else? . . . RUNNING!!
I remember the first several weeks of Covid. SO much information. SO much fear. TOO much fear, TOO much (mis) information. I decided that I was gonna take any information, any fear, and any too much-ness to the road and to the trail. I spent several months, in 2020, March through July, running some very long, monotonous miles per week. I got on a roll and it was hard to stop. It was addicting to me. I ran between 75-100 mile weeks. A LOT. I can say this time spent was for my mental health. It did me good. It reminded me that I was made to run.
I had two races on my schedule for 2020, Georgia Death Race (GDR) in March and Zane Grey 100K in April. GDR was postponed and Zane Grey was cancelled. I trained, not knowing exactly what I was training for, just running really long weeks trying to figure this all out.
I decided to do as much racing as I could, because I was injury free and had a great endurance base. I searched out as many races as I could find, locally. Here’s some of the particulars.
GDR – November 2020, 68ish miles. GDR was moved to November 2020. There were course changes this year. Due to Covid restrictions, the course was changed to an out and back. The start time was later than the traditional 5AM start. We wore masks until the field spread out. The aid stations were the same for both out and back! Many of the volunteers worked the entire 24+ hours. MAN, by the time I got to the start line, I was SO excited and could hardly wait!! It had been a long eight months of wondering and being disappointed.
This version of GDR was less mileage overall, and more climbing than the traditional course. It was HOT and there were so many leaves! The attrition rate was crazy. Time cutoffs were extended, toward the end. I squeaked in my finish in 23:58! HA. TWO SECONDS before the original cutoff.
Cloudland Canyon 50m – December 2020. The was my first time running this race. So beautiful! The weather was perfect. There were a couple of changes to the course but I knew nothing different. We were knee deep in water in the first 6 miles! HA. The West Rim Trail was by far my favorite part of the course. I did not enjoy the stairs on the way down, but I LOVED them on the way back up to the top of the canyon. The waterfalls and expansive views were breath taking.
Sky to Summit 50K – January 2021. I signed up for this one, but I did not race it. It was farther than I wanted to drive by my self to/fro a race, and the weather was supposed to be very rainy. I withdrew. I am glad my money went to support this race.
Fierce Dragon 42m – February 2021. E P I C to say the least. This race shares a large portion of the GDR course. It is an out and back to Skeenah Gap with some “useless elevation miles” tacked on! Different course than November 2020! We had snow, which was beautiful. We had ice, which was terrifying. It was COLD and wet!! I think that this was the coldest that my hands have felt in a race. What a challenge. I got second place female behind my tough friend Liberty! She was the first female. To note, it was Liberty’s idea to run this one. HA. Fun race!
GDR – March 2021, 72ish miles – after I ran GDR in November, I decided to enter the wait list for this GDR. I would be able to run 2 GDRs in 5 months. To those of you keeping track. This was my 3rd finish. My goal is 5.
Zane Grey – April 2021 – The reason that I signed up for ZG in 2019 was because they changed the course from a 50 miler to an 100K. Well, that changed back because of Covid and I decided to defer to 2022. I want to run the 100K. I did not feel like running a race that I really did not sign up for. TBD. . . ZG 2022.
UTE 100m – August 2021 – TBD. I am signed up and training now to take this on. It will be the most challenging 100 milers that I have done to date. Cannot wait to write about it!
**These races, with the exception of Fierce Dragon are all Runbumtours race. The Race Director is Sean Blanton. I am grateful for the work he put in to make these races happen, when many races were being cancelled and deferred. His volunteers are top notch, the courses are some of the most beautiful places I have run and GDR is legendary.