Monday, April 24, 2017

Muddy Moose 2017

Let me catch you up:

New job, blah blah blah.

Kids growing up and doing funny things and saying funny things, blah blah blah.

Kids growing up and doing infuriating and saying infuriating things, blah blah blah.

Theater stuff. Funny clips on the internet. Netflix shows you should DEFINITELY watch. Podcasts that if you don't listen to I'm not even sure I can ever talk to you again.

Political stuff (removes cyanide pill from hand, places on counter).

Blah. Blah. Blah blah blah blah.

Okay. Cool. Now you know everything about my life since last August.

And now, Muddy Moose. This is a race I've been itching to do since we moved to this area. Every year it happens in late April and every year, I am either in Florida courtesy of my in-laws or pregnant or recovering from childbirth. (Those last couple only happened 3 times, but pretty much everything lines up that way since 2001).

This year it's a mixed blessing, to say the least, that I am in town for the race (and NOT pre- or post-partum!) My hubs and the fellas are in Florida for the school vacation week but I don't even have a smidgen of the time off accrued to make the trip. So, here I am alone in my house for a week. It's amazing... Everything is so quiet! And clean! But, I'm sure their trip will feel about four days too long cuz I already get the sense that I'm gonna miss them a big chunk. (Shut up! No YOU'RE watching Pokemon episodes and leaving dirty socks in the living room!)

So, Muddy Moose is a trail race. Runners can choose between the 4 mile and 13-ish mile races. Each year the race varies greatly, not because the course necessarily changes (though I think the longer one does) but because the course conditions go 1 - 10 on the mud scale. This year was a 8 or 9 out of 10. It. Was. INSANE! And amazing.

My amazing started the afternoon before because Lauren, my best running friend, made the trek from Burlington, VT. She stayed with me and we got to hang out - JUST US! - to talk jobs and kids and running and family and eat yummy food and watch Kimmy Scmidt on The Netflix and GO TO BED SUPER EARLY!! I mean, c'mon!

Sunday morning proved to offer up perfect weather. We are still pre-black fly season  by a couple of weeks so the blue skies and 50-ish degree start was fabulous with no asterisks or explanatory footnotes. I won't go into many details about the race itself because I'm not sure I can sound sincere - it was THAT good an experience. That good, despite, I have to say, the fall (trip?) Lauren took right at the start - splat flat on her face onto the pavement. And I had my own drama when I turned my left ankle at mile 2 in that way that takes you a couple of minutes to assess how well you're going to be able to shake it off. It was OK but today it is pretty ouchy and, oddly enough, my right side is super sore from my shoulders all the way down to my calves. I have to assume I overcompensated to favor the ankle...? Whatev, Bev, we were and are Warriors so it's fine.

When not falling or almost falling, we enjoyed some hilarious scrambles and even a couple of miles on dirt roads that were a decent pace. There were literally places where we had to cross in crotch-level water. Lauren was millimeters away from losing her shoe in one pond but she managed to bring it up with her foot. That would have been a fun scavenger hunt! On one descent, in fact, I crab walked it because I (wisely) wore pretty crappy shoes and I could NOT get my feet to grip the ground. It was hilarious and only mildly terrifying. We stopped at water stations and chatted with the volunteers. Truly no reason to drink and run. 

One universal truth, no matter the pace among all the runners: SUPER hungry after the race. Sounds dumb, because, of course you would need to refuel after that kind of race, but this was like a SPECIAL kind of starving. And other runners mentioned the same phenomenon. We had eaten a good breakfast and taken in gummies on the course, but something about that challenge really got to us - and everyone - in the belly. So, after hosing off we went into town and did some serious damage on breakfast AND dessert foods. No regrets.

These pics - not QUITE in the muddiest or wettest spots on course - were taken by the great and generous Josh Spaulding reflect exactly the feeling we had on the trail on this amazing day. Here is his write up but I must pull the quote that expresses my performance: ".... and Phoebe VanScoy-Giessler of Tuftonboro placed 62nd in a time of 2:56:03 to round out the official finishers from the local communities." I came in LAST! Well, not literally, but last of anyone who lives any where near here. I feel weird about not feeling weird about that. Honestly, though, anyone who got through that course in ANY time at all was pretty bad ass. 


Thanks for the pics, Josh!



Josh was LITERALLY at on Oriole's game IN Baltimore the night before this race. He made the planes, trains and automobiles all the way back to Wolfeboro to cover this race. And maybe he had other reasons, but, ya know, still!

Lauren is training to pace a friend in a fast marathon over Memorial Day Weekend and she was coming off of a 40+ mile week of training - BEFORE this race. And she still, of course, crushed the course... once she faced facts and tramped the through mud instead of trying to avoid it!


If you've lost that lovin' feeling for running, I highly recommend a trail race. Hell, if you HAVEN'T lost that lovin' feeling for running, I STILL recommend a trail race. Egos need not apply.

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