Running Mt. Tzouhalem

The Beattie's
Warren and I before the race

This morning Warren and I headed to Duncan to run the second race of the GutBuster series taking place at Mt. Tzouhalem. The last time we took part in this GutBuster was in May 2010 and so far this year neither one of us has been doing trail running. Road running and trail running require different skills…even though it is still running.

In 2010 when I ran this race I had signed up for the 7k course but I ended up missing the signs for the short course direction and  followed someone doing the 12k race. I hadn’t realized though that I was running the 12k until after the race I asked the lady I had been following what race she had done. I remembered feeling like I had been out there forever and it was the longest 7k of my life. This year though since I knew what the course was already like I signed up for the long course again. It was a 12k trail run/walk up pretty much straight up and then a crazy run down.

GutBuster Groove playlist

I had no expectations for myself today. Warren asked me in the car how I was going to run today? I said ‘I will run my run’ and that is what I did. I had made a playlist for my iPod and only ran with one ear bud in. Racing on a trail I find it harder to have music in because you need to be able to hear if there is someone coming up behind you or if someone needs to pass you. But I also knew that I needed to have the music to distract from hearing me breath heavy while climbing the mountain.

At the run I saw people who I recognized from the Island Series but there were also some new people who I met today as well.  I had seen some people with Mud Mulisha shirts on and I knew Steve, one of the guys who I have been speaking to on Facebook about the Mud, Sweat and Tears run, was part of that group. I wanted to put a face his name so I went and introduced myself. I like doing that and think it is good to do so the next time you see them somewhere you can say hello. (And hopefully you will remember their name.)

There was another girl in the crowd that both Warren and I had recognized but we didn’t know from where. She and I ended up playing cat and mouse out on the trail. I could see her climbing up the mountain and I knew that I couldn’t let her get too far ahead of me because she looked to be in my age category and was my competition. At one point she passed me on the downhill but I then took her on the uphill. I ended up staying ahead for the rest of the race but another girl came out of the blue and took me. At the end of the race I found the girl I had been running with and told her thanks for the help and she told me thank you as well. I then said that I recognized her from somewhere and she said the same. We exchanged names and I found out her name was Ann but that still didn’t trigger anything for me. We then went through various places that could have been possible and it wasn’t until she mentioned that she was a vet at Eagle Rise Animal Hospital that I put it together. I said ‘You are Lokey’s vet’ and as soon as I said Lokey she put the pieces together as well. We chatted a bit longer and exchanged phone numbers to meet up and go running sometime.

So, enough about meeting people; let’s get to the main event. Today was a good challenge and had my heart racing. I had a little bail nearing the 10k mark or so. I guess you could say for a moment I looked like Superman with my arm out but the flying ended in a skid on the ground. I am all good and just before that I had just passed a guy asking me if I was doing the short route and I had hollered back ‘No!’  It made me think of myself three years ago and that he was probably thinking it was felling like a longer 7k than he had thought it would feel like.

When running on the downhill you have control but it is easy to lose control as well because you are going so fast. There are rocks, branches and anything else sticking up from the ground and I find myself thinking about Warren and if he was OK on his run. I found out on the way home that he does the same while he is running but thinks about me. We are both smart when running but we also know that once your legs start to get tired it is harder to control yourself.

GutBuster Winners
Warren receiving his 2nd place medal for the 40-49 age group category.

Today Warren rocked his run! He came in 2nd place for his age group and ran his race in 1:15:16. Whoop! He is my superstar and I am very proud of him. I ran my race today in 1:24:43 and came 7th in my age group. As I would climb a hill today and reach a part that was not as steep I would find myself telling my legs it was time to run except they didn’t really want to go. Sometimes it took myself telling them a few times that they needed to boogie before I would get going. I left it all out there and I am happy.

I want to also say congrats to my friends Cindy, Kim, Rich, Nick and Sylvia, who ran today and are part of my run club on Wednesday night. You guys did a great job and it was good to see you there.

If you think you might want to try a run like this the next one is July 7th in Ladysmith. Check it out!

What adventure did you have today?


5 thoughts on “Running Mt. Tzouhalem

  1. HUGE CONGRATS TO BOTH YOU GUYS! That’s quite the accomplishment 🙂 2nd place for Warren and 7th for yourself, awesome job! You guys crushed this race. 12k uphill, holy cow. Keep up the great work!


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