Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Way Too Cool 50k = Unconditioned, but an ultrarunner again!
“The good thing about Cool is you find out what kind of shape you're in. . . and the bad thing about Cool is you find out what kind of shape you're in.” Tim Twietmeyer.
John Medinger sent me this picture he took on Saturday morning along with Tim’s quote. Both sum up perfectly how I was feeling during much of the race! (Yes, I still had fun, but being “out of shape” and still trying to keep up was hard work!) It didn’t take too many miles to be reminded that one can run on passion, yet must race with training and conditioning!
Perfect way to sum up my day on Saturday!
Running Way Too Cool ’08 was hard, competitive and fun. As noted from my previous posts, I am not presently in racing shape do to the 2 months on the “shelf” with the recovering bruised knee bone and WTC was my longest run since my fall during the Hellgate 100k on December 8, 2007! I think I have been back to running now for about 4 weeks-trying to find the balance between good hard training and not amping up the mileage and terrain too fast which most certainly can bring on all sorts of “itises” and overuse issues. I did not have a competitive performance goal, though I would strive to beat last year’s time of 4:40:33 and I hoped I would place in the top 10 women.
Out on the trail, the first 10 miles felt very good, yet soon after that anything that was slightly up hill drew my attention to the fact that I am not in shape and I slowed some. Sore and winded…yet oddly not frustrated as I was passed by several women shortly after the mile 10 mark: Jenny Capel, Luann Park, Caren Spore, Meagan Arbogast (among others). Down hills were as fun as ever and the rolling course got my attention again this year. I was passed again shortly before the 2nd descent to the American River by another woman-and if it didn’t happen there, it surely would have during the climb up Ball Bearing, the steepest climb on the course. This climb pleased me. Yes it was steep and I hiked some-yet was able to “run” (flimsy running) at least half of this climb. That is encouraging as I am looking to train back into shape for the climbing demands of Zane Grey and WS100.
This is not a hard course, yet for the 2nd year in a row, it really got my attention. It felt really hard on Saturday. I don’t know if that was do to my current physical condition, to feeling sooo slow compared to the speedy women (and men) and being “not near the front of the pack”? I am not used to having so many people in front of me! I know my place was both from lack of my own conditioning AND being immersed in a very large field of very good trail runners!
At 3:53:30 I came through the Goat Hill aid station at 26.2 miles. Almost the exact time I finished the Black Mountain Marathon 2 weeks ago. I registered this and didn’t know what it meant, except I had 5ish miles to go and no time to dally if I would reach my personal goal for the day. Thank goodness for down hills, a clear crossing at Hwy 49 and the drive I had to meet my goal. If I didn’t meet the goal I would have no explanation other than laziness to explain my lack of success!
I did finish in less than last year’s time: 4:36:56, 13th woman and 81st overall. (As opposed to ’07: 4:40:30, 9th woman, 67th overall).
The top 3 women this year were: Susannah Beck: 3:55:22, Beverly Anderson-Abbs: 4:07:08, Joelle Vaught: 4:10:14. Top men were: Todd Braje: 3:32:12, Erik Skaggs: 3:34:17, Dan Olmstead: 3:35:05. There were 443 finishers.
I enjoyed hanging around at the finish line for an hour and a half or so. Gordy Ainsleigh helped me out by doing chiropractic magic on me and I loved talking with him and other runners as we roamed around in the warm 65ish degree sun. Before making our way back to Auburn, a few of us east coasters: Paul Davis, Bradley Mongold, Eric Grossman and I sat in VERY cold American River for at least 10 minutes. I really think that sort of torturous immersion helps with recovery. I wailed and whimpered until my body got too cold to feel it. My male companions were far less dramatic, yet we all whined some!
The day continued sharing a meal with Paul Curran, Chris from Mountain Hardware, Bradley, Eric, Paul D, Sean Meissner, and Monica Ochs (a speedy woman from WA and a new friend who is going to pace me for at least part of WS 100 in June…yipppeeee!!!!).
The weekend was exhausting and fun. And humbling and a great reality check. I have my work cut out for me and really look forward to getting strong. Next BIG event will be Zane Grey 50Miler in AZ, last week of April. From what I understand my training better involve lots of rocks, sand and lots of climbing!