Friday, October 22, 2010

Gore-Tex TransAlpine Trail Run: Stage VII

St.Vigil to Niederdorf im Pustertal
42.2 km (26.2 miles)
Vertical Distance: 1963 meters ascent, 1990 meters descent
Total Time: approx 5hrs stopped at aid station #2 after 17 miles (Stephanie DAY OFF)

"On the 7. stage from St. Vigil in Enneberg to Niederdorf there’s one highlight after the other. The first 13 kilometers from the town of St. Vigil through Tamers Valley toward Pederu are an ideal start for the runners due to its slight incline, but the first steep climb up Senneshütte is definitely something else. In an extreme climb, the course squirms in short bends up to the alpine plateau of Sennes, one of the most beautiful mountain pastures in the Dolomites. Via Seekofelhütte and Alta Via Dolomiti Nr. 1 we reach Pragser Wildsee, before another climb begins up Weißlahnscharte. Only now do we leave the Dolomites again toward the North in the direction of Niederdorf. At the end of the day we will have covered an altitude difference totaling almost 1700 meters and a distance of over 42 kilometers."- TransAlps website

Today was going to be a glorious day I had decided to myself. I was going to run, albeit slow and potentially not very far, but I was going to run! On top of that I found me a hard-boiled egg for breakfast! Jackpot!!

I woke up bright and early. Low and behold, the swelling in my leg was reduced tremendously. The skin was sort of pasty and wrinkly from the moisture of the cheese, but I did noticed it wasn't so puffy. Wow...wait til the states get a load of this.

Stephanie cheered me out the gate and I settled into a nice even pace. I could feel the leg just slightly but it wasn't screaming warnings at me so I let it ride. The first bit of the run was on road and I was grumbling to get onto some dirt.

When we finally hit trail I let my body fly and pushed a little harder than I had anticipated. I hit the first aid station (which I had anticipated stopping and ending the day at: I just wanted to run "a little") around 1hr 10 minutes. Whew! Not too shabby for a gimpy runner chick doing 7ish miles! I had chick'd a bunch of guys on the rolling rooty forested trails. I grabbed a few tidbits to eat along the run and kept going, heading towards aid station 2. 

The climb up was fun with beautiful views of the Dolomites we would see more of tomorrow. As I climbed, though, I couldn't keep warm. I started to shiver and piled on the layers, finally breaking open my emergency hot hands and putting them into my bra. Shh, that's my secret weapon. It seriously works. I have put them in my gloves frequently, but I found that when I get beyond cold fingers it's time to get to the 'core' of the matter. 

Hot hands in the ta-tas (grin). My chest gets nice and toasty which then spreads the heat to the rest of my body. I'm quite proud of myself for discovering this gem, by the way.

Just when I started getting warm and comfortable, my stomach started growling in hunger! I felt I had eaten a substantial breakfast but my belly was telling me different. I slowly nibbled on items in my pack: honey stingers, single flask of Liquid Gold, flask of mixed paste Perpetuum, anything I could find I ate.  

And the final straw: I didn't pick my foot up high enough and ca-pow! I accidentally kicked a large rock sending needles and screams up my injured leg. I slowed down and tried to walk it out but it wouldn't settle down. I limped from there on out.

I was excited when we hit the summit of the first peak

until I looked down.

The run down was a treacherous, scree-filled, slippery rock, steep slide down. There was little running involved....At one point I rounded a bouldered corner only to find a steep drop off and a chain.  

Yes, a chain.

We had to climb sideways 
                                                          hand over hand with some parts where I rested the hiney down and scooted to get to the next "level" of down. My ankle was very tender and I did not trust my footing. I was S-L-O-W.

I finally hit aid station #2 and called it quits. We still had one more large mountain to climb and from the talk I was hearing around me from crew it was worse than the first by a large amount. 27.4km....I felt I achieved much more than I had initially set out to accomplish. I could hold my head high for the day.

Stephanie had found us a room to rent in a cute little farmhouse. It was unique and adorable! What a teammate!!

 Bidet anyone?

"I like to picture Jesus as a figure skater. He wears like a white outfit, and He does interpretive ice dances of my life's journey. " Talladega Nights (note baby Jesus hanging above the bed)

It was just about cut-off time for the restaurants (did I mention everything, and I mean everything closes between 2 and 5:30?) so I ducked into a little pub and ordered some dumpling soup and gnocci! Woot Score!!
So delicious.

This time the gnocci was nestled in mounds of mozzarella, garlicky roasted cherry tomatoes, basil, and drizzled with olive oil. If the waiter had left me for a few minutes I probably would've licked my plate.

Nap time followed by pasta dinner. Yeah I can eat:)


JeffO said...

Incredible pics!
That food looks delicious - and I'm full right now.

chris mcpeake said...

love the pics
great stuff