A blog about Trace and her races.

4 of 12 in 2010 — Labor of Love Marathon

Labor of Love Marathon – Lovell Canyon

It’s April – mid April and I can’t believe it.  Already one marathon a month since December and already finished with 4 of my 12 marathons for this year!

This month’s race took me to the Nevada desert – Lovell Canyon, outside of Henderson off the 215 near Red Rock.  This of course was a B Event, but let me tell you, this was not a race for the weak of heart or anyone looking for another race to bring them closer to Marathon Maniac status.  To give you an idea of the race challenges, check out the ever-so-clever (and beautiful) copy printed on our tech tees from the race:

“The rolling hills of the Desert Canyon road…
I RUN
to discover the depths of my soul & to climb to new heights of possibility.”

I knew when I signed up this race it would have a small amount of racers and would be a challenge. With rolling hills for nearly 15 miles (plus a mountain at mile 21 that I didn’t notice until it was too late), it was what I needed to keep myself in check and on target with my goals – no need for speed or a PR.  Unfortunately, knowing these “rolling hills” existed didn’t prevent me and my friends from looking over the printed elevation chart over and over again, almost as if we could have done anything to avoid them on race day.  See elevation chart HERE.



I laugh now as I write this but I really didn’t enjoy running this race (I just like the perks) and I am surprised I didn’t develop a permanent wrinkle on my forehead from frowning the entire time.  The race started with the temperatures in the low 40’s with a wind chill that gave me an earache – just what I needed while battling a cold.  I decided last minute I would run with my windbreaker jacket since I had forgotten both my gloves and my DIMRS (great idea).   The slight incline started almost immediately, nothing major, but over a long distance, it felt pretty bad.  I just counted the runners in front of me – (6 or 7 guys, three who passed me VERY early in the race) and hoped no one else would pass me.  Around mile 6 or 7, I realized I had to pee so when I finally gathered enough courage to jump behind a bush, I spotted a porta-potty around the turn and ran towards it instead. Most of the hills were behind us as we made our final turn towards the finish around mile 15 so I decided I would try to make up some of the lost time.  I passed one of the guys before I got to mile 21, in my opinion, a super long hill which I remember running down around mile 5 on my way in.  As I inched my way up this hill, I heard my Garmin beep – what the heck?!  Then I remembered that I had forgotten to turn off the auto-pause feature and that noise was my watch stopping, I was running slower than 10:00 per mile!  Great.  I decided that I would run/walk up this hill but it turned into more of a power walk.  I was really surprised that I allowed myself to do this but I didn’t think I was making any progress by running in place up the hill (I also thought I spotted a few of the lead runners walking too, that made me feel better).  As the hill ended, I regained my composure headed for the finish (for real this time).  I told myself that I would remember all this pain the next time I complained about some hardship or challenge in my (easy) life – I’ll always make it through those tough times.  I passed two more guys near the end and as I crossed the finish line I realized I must have walked for 0.6 miles because my Garmin showed a total distance of 25.6!  I would have kept running just to get 26.1 logged on my watch but I was too tired. Maybe another day.

4th Overall; 1st Woman 3:45:52

Click HERE for Garmin stats

As a side note, I’d like to mention that I originally chose this particular race because it fit perfectly between my March and May marathons.  My attention was also piqued when the event website referred to this event as a “running festival,” a two day event that included a 100M, 50M, 50K, Marathon, 1/2 & 10K (it’s actually cooler than that so check out the site I am posting below – some people actually ran the 50M on Saturday and then came back on Sunday to run a half marathon).  I figured I’d get my April marathon out of the way, pick up my medal and tee and then just toss them into a box and tuck it somewhere under my bed when I got home.  Seriously, most small races have the worst designed shirts and medal – the shirts usually look like they are designed from clip art and the medals appear to be ordered from the Oriental Trading Company (Ojai Half Marathon and Santa Clarita marathons for example – both shirts and medals!).  Not only was I surprised with the cool designs of BOTH the medal and the tee, but the awards given out to the top finishers (overall and gender) were even cooler. I walked away with an aloe vera plant (I have since named him Earl the Aloe) and a goodie bag of Hammer Nutrition products for being the first woman to cross the line.  My friend Janese also won a cactus plant for placing third place in the 10k amongst females.  What a great way to take a piece of the desert home with us and such a great reminder that we will “grow” from all these amazing experiences.

I would definitely recommend anyone to join one of Calico Racing’s events in the future – you will definitely be challenged, BUT it will be so worth it.

http://calicoracing.squarespace.com/

These little desert plants are priceless prizes! Janese with her 3rd place 10K prize!

Janel’s first 10K!

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