Finish Time: 5:32
Place: 36 out of 116, 6th girl, 3rd masters
Ascent: I got 3,920
Blisters: None but some old calouses are coming off :)
SOB was fun and relaxing. I haven't run this event since 02 and it was good to be back. I had forgotten how pretty it is. The wildflowers were awesome and even though there was some smoke on the horizon the views were still nice. For me this was a good long training run. I used this event to get myself back in the full swing of training for Tetons. I put absolutely no expectations on myself and planned on taking the day as it came. Trisha and I left on Friday afternoon and made good time to Ashland. We were in bed by 8:30 and since Trisha was planning on doing the early start that meant we needed to be up at 4:15. This would be Trisha's 2nd 50K and she was nervous but looking forward to having a good day on the trail.
I did none of my usual prep for this race and didn't even know where the aid stations were. I went with one water bottle and my Nathan pack full of gels. It was going to be a warm one! Trisha was off at 6 a.m. and that left me with a whole hour to drink water, stretch and catch up with familiar faces. I was having so much fun I wasn't sure I even wanted to start the race. We lined up and I found a good home near the back of the pack. I ran comfortably from the start. Since this race starts around 5,600 feet and goes up to almost 8,000 I could feel the tug on my lungs. With smoke in near vicinity, dust on the trails from the trains of runners and the altitude my lungs were going to get a workout. Once we hit the single track it was trains of runners as far as eye could see. If someone wanted to pass it was going to take a lot of effort. Fortunately I felt absolutely no need to pass anyone and ran steady in Z3A. After about 8 miles we popped onto a gravel road that traveled uphill at a decent incline. I walked the majority of this talking with Cian. I didn't feel like running it or pushing myself so I didn't. Once back on the single track the trains of runners were well spread out which was nice and eliminated the dust. I found a nice quiet pocket and had the trail to myself. At times I wondered if there was anyone else around. At mile 15 I felt pretty awesome so I picked up the pace on the uphill gravel road to the next aid station. Along the way I met Lon Freeman and we chatted about training and recovery. We had passed this aid station earlier that day. It was manned by two ladies who were so sweet. They were enjoying the views from their area which were very nice. They told me I win for the best outfit. :) I loved that...what more can a girl ask for? After leaving them the course begins a climb on single track up and over a big hill. I ran all of this and was in the "Zen Zone" feeling very good and pondering life. I was thinking about how lucky we all were to be there with our friends and families enjoying the outdoors. How relaxed is that???? I was thinking about my wonderful fun family. I was celebrating how lucky I am to have such great friends to share experiences with. I was grateful that all our families come together, laugh, hang out and everyone lives with such excitement...we are pretty fortunate. All of that made me pick up the pace with a giant smile on my face. As I crested the top I came apon Trisha who looked great and wasn't even dirty! We had a quick chat and I headed down the perfect trail to the aid station. With only 9 miles to go I couldn't believe how the day just flew by. I glanced at my watch and wondered if I would break 6 hours which was my time in 02. I thought I would but wasn't sure and really didn't care much. At the aid station I filled my bottle 1/2 full for the 4 mile journey to final aid station. It was hot by now and I felt it chugging most of my water in the first 2 miles. I was feeling pretty thirsty and wasn't sure how much further we needed to go before I could get more. I was dry for about 1.5 miles and that was enough to make me feel dehydrated. When we finally reached the last aid station I was soooooo thirsty chugging anything I could get my hands on. I filled my bottle with ice and water and drank every last drop in 3 miles. I can't remember the last time I ever did that. I think I got pretty lucky and avoided a dehydration pit. The last miles went fast and before I knew it I was heading into the finish line at 5:32. The day was fun and got me primed for the next cycle of training. I am glad I didn't put any pressure on myself because I felt Bighorn out there. My legs were fine but not in any shape to be pushed. I felt the deep fatigue in my muscles but they will now know it's time to get things going! Trisha had a good run and I am sure Darin will post a report on his blog. She is not stopping now.....she is addicted. One more running partner!!!!!!
Today Kris drug me on a good recovery run. I felt surprisingly good and once we got going I was fluid and all systems were working as they should. Next up: Tomorrow night Alex and I are racing short track together! He is super excited to get on that track again, I am looking forward to it in a sick sort of way. This is a Build 2 week which means hill repeats and long stuff on Sunday. I am venturing out to the Washington side of the gorge for a 6 hour run from Bonneville Dam to 3 Corner Rock via the PCT. I love this run.
An another note: Thanks for all the great emails and comments about the picture in Ultrarunning Mag. I was shocked when I opened mine and saw that super cool picture. The funny thing is I didn't know it existed and I was honestly just trying to clear the ditch. I was flattered that Scott and Ken (Mac RD's) submitted it and Ultrarunning actually put it in there. It was fun surprise.