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Bennett Springs Fishing and Trails

Since I got this guy T.J. hooked on a little trail running, my favorite sport he decided to take me out to try his favorite sport, fly fishing.    We went down to Bennett Springs, MO.  A super popular spot for trout fishing and less than 3 hour drive from the Kansas City area.  We set up camp for 3 nights, went old school with a tent and cooking everything at the campfire.  The camping area was nice and even though the park and camping areas were mostly full it didn't feel crowded.  Nice since I'm not a fan of crowds.

My super awesome outfit!  So I had never been fly fishing before.  There is a bit more to it than regular pond fishing and which fly you are using is really important.  I like standing in the cold water since it was so hot out and I did ok with casting.  I mean I didn't hook anyone else or myself so that was good.  I didn't catch anything though.

Lucky for me this guy caught a bunch so we had tasty fish cooked over the campfire.

He got to do all the dirty work.

Turns out there are trails there too!  Around 15 miles of them all right at the park.  There are a few really short ones but 2 nice (might depend on your definition of nice, but I liked them) longer ones.  On Friday we went out in the middle of the afternoon when it was nice and super hot out.  Had to save the morning and evening for fishing.  Also not being sarcastic here, I genuinely like super hot weather.  
We went out on the natural tunnel trail.  Map said it was 7.5 miles, Strava put it closer to 8.5.  It's a looped trail with an out and back in the middle to take you out to the natural tunnel.  Map may of made it sound a lot cooler than it actually was but it was interesting.  The trail itself was a variety of surfaces,  crushed rock, rocks, dirt, and grass.  I wouldn't call it a smooth trail and there was quite a bit of incline/decline.  

Missouri sized mountains.  Took this from T. J.'s Strava since I forgot to bring my watch.

Saturday I hit up the Savanna Ridge Trail on my own, T.J. had more fishing to do and I decided the fish weren't interested in my fly.  I ran over to the trail from the fishing spot, not far at all.  It was a 2.5ish mile loop with a short .4 ish connector trail inside of it.  I ran out to the far side of the connector trail, did an out and back on it then to the start of the trail turned around and ran back.  This loop was a little less hilly and a little more like single track.  After I ran back over to the Spring then followed a short flat .6 mile trail that followed along the water opposite the side from all the fishermen.  

Trail was well marked and almost completely void of people even with Bennett Springs being packed.  

Fun Runs

With no real race plans in my current future I've been doing a little of this and a little of that.  Finally went to a yoga class last week.  Holy yoga!  Good reminder of how inflexible I am.  Making the class a weekly thing, need to find one more class that fits into my schedule.  

Mostly I've been up to a few random runs and spending time on the stair master.

Boyfriend found out there is a thing called the "beer mile."  There was a trail version,  I wasn't going to do it but you know I was there, there was beer.  I beat the boyfriend and won 1st female.  That High Life can trophy is on the mantel with all my other running stuff.

Then when Erica posted about doing Koach Karl's Hardest Half on the 4th of July,  I thought that it sounded like a way better idea than a crowded 4 on the 4th or 5k race.  Didn't think the boyfriend would be in since his longest distance so far had been a half marathon or tell me it was a bad idea since the race went through some questionable areas of Kansas City.  Nope, he was down for it.  

The morning started out with some pouring rain and I was feeling questionable about the whole thing.  Of course I don't know how to back out of or quit things so it was happening.  Luckily Erica made laminated printed directions for everyone so we wouldn't get lost on the unmarked course.  Or mostly not get lost,  I did add in an extra 1/2 mile up and down a big hill.  
It rained heavily for over half the race,  that with it being July 4th there was really no one out on the streets.  It was fun/slightly scary to run a route that I would never normally be on.  Also he picked out all the biggest hills in KC to run up.  Having to read the directions as you ran made it sort like a scavenger hunt.  "Where do I go next?"  I ran most of the race with this other girl Kris so not alone on the 14 mile route and saw some cool areas of KC. 

There were about 20 of us who ran the thing and it ended with us running up and down this steep and slick brick street.

Then I had Saturday off work and there was this charity Fat Ass run at Clinton lake so why not.   It was a 5ish mile trail loop and I went out for 3 casual loops, it was fun to keep running (haha) into friends along the loop.

John Knepper did an awesome job taking the pics for the event. 

Recovery and Returning to Training

Now that's it has been 11 days out from Bryce 100 and I've eaten enough tacos and ice cream cake that my pants are staying up again it's time to think about what I wanna work on next.  I'd like to lean out a bit (probably should of cleaned up the diet a few tacos ago) so I looked more ripped.  Then I want to pick another 100 to take a stab at.  I don't wanna say how soon yet.

Recovering from the 100 was like the easiest thing ever (maybe not ever but pretty easy.)  I was a bit stiff the next day but really only after sitting still.  As long as I kept moving I felt good.
For comparison after running my 1st marathon in 2007 it was 2 weeks before I felt back to normal.  I remember going out for a walk the next day only because the coach from my training group told us too.  I kept feeling like my legs were going to fall out from under me and my hip, knee, ankle joints were not wanting to work together.  The more you do the easier it gets.

I did I few things different this training cycle that I think helped not only get me through the race but make getting back to it a breeze.

-Was on point with all my weeks runs and workouts except for one.  Normally I will have several weeks of not getting in all my planned miles.  This round there was only one.

-Weights.  I used to lift like a runner, lite weights, twice a week, full body.*  Now I lift like a weight lifter,  heavy weights, 5-7 days a week, body parts divided up.

-Stair Master.  I think all the time spent on this helped a ton.  I plan on upping my time on it.  In ultras there is a lot of up hill hiking involved and the faster you can do it the better.  It is no impact so reduces chances of injury during training.  I just ordered this weighted vest to wear while I'm hiking up it.  Boyfriend says I'm in for a treat.

-Having this girl around.   We ran lots together while I was training and she paced me for 22 miles of the race.

Just need to add in some yoga and more stretching, so much more stretching.  Then I'll be set up for success (as my managers like to say while I mock immaturely behind their backs.)

Anyone else train with a weighted vest?  Thoughts?

*Not that there is anything wrong with lifting like a runner.  Clearly I'm not an elite runner,  just trying for a lifetime of fun and badassery.   I wasted a my teenage and early twenties on nothingness so I've got some making up to do.

Bryce 100 - So That Was Kinda Tough

I just signed up for this race on a whim. Originally I was looking for an easy 100 miler but one night I was feeling the urge to do something a little more epic.  When I saw that friends were doing different distances at this event I figured the views looked good and signed up.

Going into the race I was confident in at least my ability to finish the thing.  Training was fairly solid and I'm really bad at telling people I want to quit things.  So if no one tells me to quit it's not happening even if I want it to end in my head.

My parents decided they would come with so Gretchen got to come along as well.  We flew into Vegas (the grossest city in the US)  and hung out for a day.  Mostly this meant time in the pool with Gretchen.  The next day we drove up to Bryce found the hotel and my super friend Katie.  Who had driven down from Colorado to pace me for 22 miles overnight.  I just wanted bib pick up, food, and bed as soon as possible.

Everything took a little longer than I would of liked.  Dinner was 3 - 4 slices of pizza then back to the hotel to lay out everything I would need for the race.  I didn't make a drop bag.  I gave Katie some extra snacks to save for me and that was about it.  I really have no idea what people put in those huge drop bags, like no idea.  I can see not wanting to carry something like your headlamp the whole time but how do you know when you are going to need it.  I was in bed a little later than planned at 9:30 ish.

Alarm went off at 4:00,  I was up dressed and out the door at 4:30.  My dad drove me over to the shuttle buses that were to carry us to the start line.  I realized I had completely forgotten about breakfast so I ate a honey stinger waffle from my pack.  Way fewer calories than I like to start a race with but to late at that point.  It was a little chilly waiting at the start for a little over half an hour till the national anthem was sang and we were off.

Start-Thunder Mountain 10.5

The first miles went by quick with amazing views of the hudoos.  Felt good, just tried to take it east and not worry to much.  The trail went up and down but nothing crazy.  The first aid station was there in no time.  Reapplied sunscreen, ate a gel(only because of my lack of breakfast) and carried on.

Thunder Mountain - Proctor Canyon 19

Well this felt a little tougher but kept moving forward plenty of downs to make up for the ups.  Still feeling fine at mile 19.  Oranges and bladder refill of half tailwind/ half water.  Thinking well the next section will probably be a little easier.  About an hour later I'm thinking I should start paying attention to elevation profiles.

Proctor Canyon - Blubber Creek 28

This was the worst section of the entire race.  I know I wasn't the only one feeling this.  There were some serious climbs in this section and the temps were rising.  It was hot out.  Also there were a few areas that while I felt confident going across at the moment they looked like they might be a bit sketchy when I made my way back the next morning and I was a lot more tired and a lot less with it. You know like I step wrong and take a serious fall and cause some serious body damage. 
I ran out of water about 20ish minutes before hitting the aid station( I think a lot of people did.) It was pretty early on for things to feel this tough.  This is really the only part of the race I was unsure about finishing and thought about dropping out but like I said I don't really know how people drop out.

For the very first time in my life I sat down at an aid station.  So it was tough.  I refilled my water and had a piece of quesadilla and some fruit and Swedish fish.

Blubber Creek - Kanab Creek 36

This section was some trail and then fire road I think.  It went much quicker and I was feeling a bit better about things.  Don't really remember this aid station but I'm pretty sure I had a can of ginger ale.

Kanab Creek - Straight Canyon 41

Things got better on the way to 41.  Illinois told me the worst was behind us and while I was a little disgruntle he was cheery and totally right.  It was getting late in the day so things would begin to cool off and Straight Canyon was the station I'd meet Katie at, not at 41 but when I got back at 62.  Mentally it made the race closer to the end than the start though.  At Straight Canyon I had more coke and cheese quesadilla with pickles and water refill.  I left fairly quickly knowing it was all up up up to the next station.

Straight Canyon - Pink Cliffs 46.5

It was mostly fire road up to the pink cliffs but they were pretty awesome to look out across.  Took a moment then headed over to the aid station.  More coke and and quesadillas and topped the water off.  

Pink Cliffs - Crawford Pass 51.5

There was a lot of downhill in this section.  I love me some downhill and I also love getting past the halfway point.  I did quite a bit of running here.  Once closer to the aid station there were a few spots where us shorter folk had to make jumps to get across.  Just some chips and Swedish fish here.  I left fairly quickly wanting to get past the jumps before dark.

Crawford Pass - Pink Cliffs 56.5

I had to dig my headlight out just before getting to the road.  It was more up than down but nothing serious.  Running mostly and then aid station for more quesadilla, pickles, Swedish fish and mello yellow.  Topped off the water and was out.

Pink Cliffs -Straight Canyon 62

This went by fast in the dark,  it was pretty much all downhill and I knew I'd be meeting Katie at the the next station.  I got there just after midnight and Katie saw me before I saw her.  She was all business.  Got me a shirt to put on and my snacks.  I ate some ramen more coke, water refilled and we were off.   

Straight Canyon - Kanab Creek 67

This section went pretty well.  Like I said Katie was way more business than usual trying to make me run everything that wasn't uphill.  I did pretty good throughout these miles and they passed pretty quickly with Katie talking then putting on some tunes.  Aid station I don't remember I think we split a coke.  

Kanab Creek - Blubber Creek 75

I don't really remember where this section started or ended but we can just assume I was more whiny and slower than the last section but not quite as much as in the next section.

Blubber Creek - Proctor Canyon 84

This section was not so great.  I might of gotten a bit whiny.  There were pretty significant climbs here and I felt the need to catch my breath and felt a little nauseous but seemed to get over it as we started closing in on the aid station.  The sun had come up and was feeling nervous but good as Katie was leaving me at this point and I had 16 miles left.  Only 16 miles but it was a long 16 miles.  I gave all my extra clothes since it was warming up again along with my headlamp, had here spray me down with sunscreen and I took off.

Proctor Canyon - Thunder Mountain 92.5

Getting here was a little rough, I took off thinking I was energized and it would be quick and downhill.  I don't know why.  There were 3 huge climbs in the first 3 miles and then it was just hot out.  I could tell I was going to run out of water again so I was trying to be a little conservative but wanted to use it all up like immediately every quarter mile.  There was a small water crossing, I totally got in it and drenched myself the best I could.  It was so cold and felt amazing!  At aid station I sat for a bit, water refilled and iced myself down.  I think I ate something but it wasn't much, wasn't feeling the food at this point.  Got up, next stop Finish Line but it felt so so far away.  

Right after I finished.  I have no idea what is going on in the pic.  photo credit:Michelle Lingenfelser

Thunder Mountain - Finish 100

I may of walked most of this.  There was still a lot of climbing to be had and I was feeling like I was on the verge of overheating or dehydrating the whole time and could tell I'd run out of water before the finish.  There was a lot more people around once I started closing in on the last 5ish miles.  Half marathoners were still out and the fastest 50kers were coming in.  The last few miles were up, around and down multiple canyons, mountains, whatever they were till we finally came down then it was about a mile of road to the finish.  I wasn't feeling great so I probably didn't really appreciate this until I finally saw the finish line, saw my dad then decided I could run the last few hundred feet in.  Suddenly I was good, had some water and sat down.  I really wanted my socks and shoes off but with all the sand that had molded itself into my socks along with my feet swelling a bit the compression socks did not wanna come off.  Luckily Katie found some scissors and cut them off of me.  I was good.

*I finished 88/135 finishers, not horrible can always be better but I'm good with it.  They are saying 92 people started the race and DNF'd. 

*I think my training was really pretty good for the race.  My legs didn't tire out that much.  I mean they ached and were tired but not that bad.  My body didn't feel bad after the race.  I was walking just fine the next day.

*I would of done a lot better had the temps not reached the upper 90's and had I not ran out of water multiple times.  More aid stations would of helped for sure but it's a 100 mile race.  I'm not going  to complain about lack of beverages or food.  I could of spent my money on a carnival cruise if I wanted to be catered to.

*I feel like I improved over my race at Never Summer 100k from last year.  

*Still happy with my training the running, weights, stair master.  Feel like I did it right.

*Only had a 2 liter bladder for water.  Need to figure out a bottle or comfortable handheld option to go with.  Especially for these zero waste races.

*I ate 3 quesadillas while writing this post.  It's like I'm always training.

*So So happy I had Katie as my pacer, made it so much easier to get through the night and faster than it would of been by myself.

*The boyfriend sent a ton of nice inspiring texts through the day and night and next day.  I only saw them when I occasionally turned my phone off airplane mode but they always perked me up.

My friends Leia Anderson ran the 50 miler and Shawn Daugherty ran the half marathon and wrote race reports.  Good Reads.

Now what should my next 100 race be?  Is it time for a 200 miler?