Sunday, August 30, 2009
Off the Mountains, Out of the Woods, and Back to Reality
More blogs to follow for in depth details....however just a quick update that I am back home (home sweet home) from the TransRockies Run. What an amazing event and Jinx's Revenge came in 9th overall in our category! I have nothing but enormous praise for the TransRockies crew and organizers. The race was phenomenal in so many different ways. Every day we ran our hearts out, enjoyed breath-taking views, and was pampered not only through the aid stations, but even more so as soon as we stepped over that finish line. Great schwag (holy crap I can't even begin to tell you how much freebies we got from this race) and drool-inducing meals.
The stages were tough climbs with deliciously fast downhills. I felt that each night I came in beat but ready to take on more. I have never loved running so much as I did this week.
I actually used almost every single piece of gear I brought minus my camelbak waist pack which just didn't have enough capacity for my cold weather and medical gear we were required to bring (and used) every day.
Just a few short shout outs to some company's products who made my experience a happy one this race:
Western Mountaineering- (OMG I love this company).....for my fluffy Antelope sleeping bag (along with a down pillow) that kept me toasty on every single night, especially the ones where we woke to ice on our tents. And for my brand new Flash Jacket which I ended up wearing almost every night. Both kept me warm and very very happy. I actually had a couple female racers "petting" my jacket:)
Zensah- for their compression calf sleeves. This was my first time really experimenting with these and was a huge skeptic. Stephanie and I wore our sleeves every day during the race, took them off for a short period during shower and dinner, then put them back on to sleep in. I had literally NO calf tightness or soreness the entire race. I took them off permanently after the finish of the race and found that the following night I had an increase in swelling and stiffness in my calves. I put them back on and the swelling has noticeably gone down in my toes and legs. I plan on weaning myself off over the next day or two:)
Nathan Hydration- for my Zone 2.0 pack which carried all my gear and water without shoulder soreness, chafing, or bouncing through the entire race. With my modifications to hold my 1.5L camelbak bladder (sorry NH) I never ran out of water and reloading it at aid stations was seriously cake.
Dirty Girl Gaiters- first time using them and they performed exceptionally well. Dried quickly, didn't rub in odd spots, kept the gravel and grime out of my shoes and off my feet (only one single minor blister), didn't make my feet sweat, and cost was very reasonable. I will be buying more of these for future races.
Injinji Socks- best performance running socks I have found for my feet hands down.
John Vonhof ("Fixing Your Feet" Guy)- I will be sending out a personal 'thank you' to him, but I have got to tell you....this guy saved my feet. Seriously. I have been struggling with blister issues my entire running career, each year becoming a bit more frustrating than the next trying to figure out how to conquer the blister battle. After reading his book twice, then meeting him in person for a little mono y mono foot care clinic, and THEN attending a clinic he held at our local Runners Roost Lakewood, I finally think I have beat the battle. This year's major race resulted in only one teensy minor toe blister that I drained and patched the first day. By day two it was dried up from an application of zinc oxide and caused no further issues. The rest of my feet (with my nightly pre-taping sessions) look beautiful and unwounded. I am just plain in awe. I know each run will give me new obstacles for my ever-changing feet, but at least now I have an artillery of knowledge to work with. From my heart, thanks so much John!
GoLite- for my amazing Virga jacket that I carried on my back every single day and pulled out to wear at least once a day for either rain or cold weather. I had searched high and low for the lightest rain jacket available and after two weeks of searching, GoLite was the one I chose. I was NOT disappointed. This jacket was ultra light and ultra effective. I didn't even notice it on my back but it was a lifesaver when I hit above tree line and began to quickly chill and bonk. It will never leave my pack except when its on my back!
IceBreaker- just discovered this brand a bit ago and really, really have been enticed. Pure Merino wool so soft you would swear it was a different material, and impressively odor resistant. Expensive...yes, but great gear costs a bit more. I consider purchases like these above as investments.
Moeben- for their colorful and warm armwarmers which I wore every single day. I found the fleece lined sleeves were my favorite. Liked 'em so much I convinced my teammate to place an order and will be placing another one myself! Shannon you ROCK!
SaltStick and Gu- Saltstick kept me from cramping and swelling and Gu products (chomps, brew, and gels) kept my motor running from start to finish and then some.
And of course Salomon for their XT Wings that helped me run with ease and comfort.
Race update and pics following shortly!