- cheered on or hung out with Endurables like Ken, Karen (honorary Endurable), Susan, Rosie, Simon, James, Margaret, & Claude
- beautiful day where I could see the Farallons and briefly ran with Eldrith Grosney, a true inspiration
- even though I DNF'd, still had a post-race steak meal with friends
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Monday, September 24, 2012
The next day I dedicated the morning to sulking and wondering if I could have kept pushing and continued with my impromptu pacer, Gary. Then Margo & I went to the finish line to cheer in runners and pick up my drop bags. Gary was there, he'd dropped too! I asked Gary "What would you have done differently"? "Nothing, I did my best. I've finished two hundreds (Kettle & Wasatch), and this was harder". My sister said I'd given it all I had, but I didn't. I had more to give, I just didn't have 100 miles. Even at the finish line I was coughing.
I thought my sister would never want to crew me ever again after my laser focus on drop bags, driving on dusty forest roads, smelling stinky runners (me in particular) and suffering through my bad mood after DNF. Surprisingly, she said "if you run a race again, am I allowed (!) to crew you?" Of course!
Wednesday, August 15, 2012
Tuesday, August 7, 2012
My first Canadian race!
Of note from the Racer Updates
- "We will have two points during our race where a train can potentially cut you off. You're welcome to play chicken with them but our insurance won't cover you if you lose."
- "Two animals to be aware of in Squamish are black bears and cougars. "
- "Here's the funny thing though, our course was actually 52 miles long. More Miles = More Fun RIGHT! SO, now you're only running 51miles. "
Thursday, July 5, 2012
Rodeo Beach > Coastal > SCA> Rodeo Valley Lollipop 1:48 (8.2 miles)
Rodeo Beach > Wolf Ridge >Old Springs to Tennesee Valley 1:01 (4.1 miles)
Miwok > Dias > Muir Beach 1:29 (6)
Redwood Creek> Heather Cutoff> Coastal Trail to Cardiac Aid Station 1:25 (4.5)
Dipsea > Stinson Beach 51:39 (3.7)
Willow Pass Trail> Coastal > Matt Davis > Cardiac aid station 1:42 (5.5)
Cardiac> Ben Johnson> Fern Creek> Lost> Going to the Sun > Dipsea> Deer Park 2:15 (8.8)
Coastal Trail over Pirates Cove > Tennessee Valley 1:14 (4.3)
TV> Old Springs> Wolf Ridge> Coastal 1:03 (4.2)
Things I did well
- Packed my bag the night before
- Previewed the course on my own so I knew every turn
- Said thank you to the aid station volunteers
- Body Glide
- S-Caps every half hour, never cramped
- Constant nutrition supply
- Introduced myself to Eldrith!
Things to improve on
- I didn't break 12 hours, but this was a training race for Cascades. Could I have? I could have gotten below 12:30 if I'd pushed more. 12 hours? unsure.
- Ran out of Scoobies into Stinson Beach-carry a backup pack.
- Didn't have the right music on my iPad, used my iPhone for last section.
Thoughts on Marin 50
Friday, June 22, 2012
Saturday, June 2, 2012
I wanted to squeeze one more run in, so in the morning I tried to run Petersen Creek Trail. I ran on Glacier Highway about 3/4 mile to the trailhead. The trail started up on gravel, then transitioned to planks covered with roofing shingles. Then just to slick planks. Then to mud up over my shins. Then to mud up on my calves. I realized the mud was just going to get thicker, and transition to snow. I turned around.
I helped close up the cabin, then the remaining campers (Will, Cameron, Jim) and our counselors (:-) and John went to the airport for Will to get a car, then to return a van. We had a final lunch. Cameron is an eager kid, prone to asking questions like "what's it like to have a pacer?" "What's the best 50 mile race?" "What race has terrain like this"?
I rushed downtown to do the Juneau zipline tour. After being the only girl camper with 7 trail runners, on the zip tour I was…the only girl with 5 guys on a bachelor party weekend!! Why Juneau? The bachelor was scared of flying, so they'd taken the ferry from Skagway. Sigh.
A delicious crab supper at Tracy's Crab Shack on the water, and now enjoying the sunset, the first I've seen in Juneau. I wish the weather had been like this for our fish bake yesterday. I've also checked out my bruises. No wonder my butt hurts, there's a huge purple area from where I fell on day 3.
Friday, June 1, 2012
I hiked up Mt Roberts (~2.5 miles) to the tram station from town, where snow had overwhelmed the mud. Corle had waited for me, and we set up an insane slope straight up snow to a cross. The slope was very steep, so I traversed over to what I thought was the trail, behind a rope. When I got close to the trail, I realized it was actually an avalance warning sign for the area I was IN. I punched my hands in and spider monkey'ed up the slope, with Corle encouraging me. Once I looked down. Big mistake. Big. When I got to where Corle was, I realized there was a much easier path we could have taken through the snow on the left. Oops.
Corle & I had a nice sandwich lunch over Juneau, looking at the bald eagles soaring. I realized that though I'll tolerate snow hiking, I don't enjoy it. So we descended back down, then Corle left to buy fish for supper.
I still felt good (though not fond of snow) so did a ~5 mile out and back on Perservance trail. Geoff had said to be back at the van by 4 pm, so I booked back, arriving right at 4:01 pm. Everyone was already there, and Geoff said "See? I told you she speeds at the end!"
We had a SouthEastern Alaska fish bake. Corle cut up a 11 pound salmon into steaks, and we BBQ'ed at the beach in a steady drizzle. The owners of Rainbow foods and their daughter joined us. The food was outstanding, and I got to set the fire.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
My favorite day so far, an easy 8 miles. Today was a "rest" day where we were doing an easy 3.5 miles to Windfall Lake Cabin. Of course, Geoff parked the van about a half mile back so we'd get an extra mile in.
The trail was relatively flat and groomed, with occasional views of a snow capped peaks. There were some rooty patches, but nothing compared to yesterday. Geoff ran with me a little, and he said yesterday's trail was amongst the most sustained technical trails he knew of, with miles of roots and rocks. He said even HURT wasn't so sustained. Today, there were also long sections of planks, which were slightly slick from the rain and I was careful as my butt still hurt from yesterday's spill. The ground was soft and moist, so unlike the hardpack of Marin County.
I took the .2 mile turnoff for Windfall Cabin, but when I got to the cabin, I didn't see anyone. Had I misheard? Were we NOT going to the cabin? I called out a little, then decided to turn back. Right when I got to the junction, the group caught back up with me. They had been IN the cabin.
The run back went by very quickly, and when it started to rain harder I ran in even faster. My purple jacket is fine in a mist, but I was getting cold & wet. Geoff came back to run the last mile in with me, and we had a a sprint finish (guess who won). Everyone was huddled from the rain.
I got a great massage from John, a local who'd run Miwok it's first year, and Western States three times! Now we have two hours of "in town" time, where I'm posting blog entries & catching up on my internet.
Tomorrow's run is supposed to be epic, the longest yet!!
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Almost immediately again everyone was out of sight, but I felt much less pressure than yesterday. All I had to do was run two hours, then turn around. The trail was well groomed for about 1/5 mile, then became very rocky. And rooty. Roots and rocks, roots and rocks. I took off my jacket and was running in shorts, t-shirt and compression socks.
On my right was filtered views of the water & mountains through the evergreens. On the left were occasional gorgeous waterfalls. The trail was constantly changing elevation, but never too steep. Geoff came back to make sure I made the turn-off. Right than Will staggered into view saying "where is Everyone?" He'd taken the wrong turn down to the beach and seen a "HUGE BEAR". Will & Geoff took off, and I was again on my own.
After the roots and rocks, there was a section of slippery planks over deep mud, interspersed with downed trees to climb over. The two hours went by very quickly. Around 1:30, the trail started opening up to more needles and more runnable, so I actually went till 2:07 when my set ended. I'd packed a turkey, swiss, avocado wrap, and I ate as I started back.
On the way back it started to rain, but not hard enough to be bothersome. The faster guys passed me. Jim was filthy. His shoe had been literally been sucked off his foot in a deep mud-hole, and he'd had to dig it out by hand. I'd just wiped out on a plank and sat down hard on my who-sis when two more campers passed me. I sprinted to the end at 4:08, a negative split, and not last (two finished after me!).
Things I did well:
Experimented with eating. I took a wrap & baby Bell to eat on the run. Both stayed down with no stomach issues.
Experimented with my new pack. My hydrapak E lite is great, but for Cascade 100 I want more space for a jacket & headlamp. I carried my new Ultraspire Surge, which worked out great--I could carry my jacket, baby Bell, wrap, Scoobies.
Traveled at my own pace & enjoyed the day.
Things to do better:
Didn't apply BodyGlide, so some minor arm chafe.
Will saw a HUGE whale (big even in his photo) and I didn't see the whale!
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
About two miles of paved road, by an Archery Range (for Handicap), and an Indoor range. I was (basically) with the guys, as we ran at a light jog. Then onto a dirt road for another mile-ish, where snow started to cover part of the road. I fell a little behind. I slipped on the snow and tried to steady myself with a plant. OUCH! It was a prickly plant with thorns. In trying to brush the thorns out, I drove it deeper into my finger.
Then about a mile on a trail that Geoff said was well maintained when he moved here four years ago. Now, it was full of blown down trees & erosion. I could no longer see anyone ahead of me. Then I found them, all stopped. We were going straight up hill, on a trail so steep the first part had a rope to help haul up.
The next part was extremely humbling. We scrambled up around 1,500 feet, straight up in the mud. There wasn't really a trail, just a series of blazes. Almost everyone was completely out of sight. Geoff Roes & Will hung back a little, to keep an eye on me. About every 5 minutes they'd stop and I'd scramble up. Then they'd disappear out of sight again. I'm in decent shape, and have spent much time on trails. But I just couldn't keep up. Everytime I tried to push my pace, I'd slip on the mud and come near a face plant. I kept looking forward to the snow section.
The snow section was even more humbling. It was an Artic StairMaster. Brian, the local, had switched off to sweep me. The slope was just as steep as before, but now there was slick snow and trees with trecherous tree holes to contend with. Brian kicked steps in the snow, and I followed.
I kept looking forward to the next section on the ridge, as I thought it would flatten out. It flattened out, but here the snow wasn't consolidated, it was an icy loose six inches. My feet were soaked and cold. I wasn't having much fun. I felt bad for Brian, who was stuck taking care of me.
We came out to an open area at 2:24 hours and I liked the view. My fear had come true--I was totally at the end of the group. Brian pointed the group out, high on the ridge and looping around. At this point, I had very little motivation to follow them up the ridge. I was at least an hour behind them, my feet were cold, and I wimped out. Houston & his dog Molly were going back down, and I joined them.
As I went down, I started having more and more fun. I looked forward to the solid snow as my feet starting warming up. Then the mud was fun. Molly (the dog) was fearless! Houston & I talked about his business plan for "dog running". Then Geoff caught up with me and we chatted. The trail that had seemed tough before with it's blowdowns suddenly seemed runnable. Finally I hit the road, and cruised into finish at 5:05.
Not dead yet, though definitely humbled. I can hear Corle & Geoff cooking supper. They met when Geoff was a cook & Corle a baker, so the food is darn good. Now that I know I can't keep up, I wonder how the next three runs will be. But I'm glad I came.
Sunday, May 27, 2012
Geoff sent out the final instructions a week before camp, cc'ing everyone else who is attending. Huh. All these names look like guys. I looked up a few on UltraSignup. Huh. All these names look like FAST guys. Well, I'll still have fun and see some beautiful scenery, even if I will be the slow girl at the back of the pack.
Getting to Alaska: I used my American miles to fly Alaska Airlines (to Alaska!). The times weren't quite what I wanted, and I'm flying back to Oakland, not SFO. However, 50K miles vs ~$800 in airfare ? great! As there was no economy tickets, I got first class. Unfortunately, I spilled red wine on my one warm running jacket during the flight. I changed clothes at the airport as otherwise I was worried they wouldn't rent me a car!
Sight seeing: On Sautrday, I flew into Anchorage and drove down to Girdwood (about 40 miles south). I misread the sunset on my iPhone and thought it was 8:22 pm (SF sunset). No, the sunsets at 11:04 pm! On Sunday, I'm driving around for some brisk day hikes. The rental car guy upsold me to a Jeep Patriot, and I'm having fun! I originally was going to take the train, but the car gives me more flexibility to go on my own hikes.
Monday, May 21, 2012
1) Don't miss the bus.
2) Don't miss the cutoff.
3) Remember the race is "more ups than down".
I got to the Lake Del Valle parking lot at 6:10 AM for the 6:30 AM bus to the start. I even got there before the busses! Should I have cut it closer? That's why I missed the bus two years ago! Kevin Luu (another Endurable) and I caught up on our racing plans on the bus ride to Fremont.
Start to Laurel Loop (mile 5.43)
Two years ago, I had been DFL on the climb up Mission Peak. Now I improved upon my position. I was SECOND from DFL. I thought I was climbing at a brisk rate, but everyone quickly became colored specks on the grassy hillside. There was one 50ish runner behind me, and we exchanged encouraging smiles.
Oops 1) I accidentally stepped in a cow patty (does one deliberately step in a cow patty)?
Oops 2) In a huge puddle I stepped wrong and sunk my foot up to my shin in cow water/mud/muck.
It was a beautiful day for the views, and I was soon up to the top and cruising down. I passed a woman who I remember passing two years ago in a similar spot. But now I knew it was Carol LaPlant, who'd WON the race 25 years ago.
Oops 3) My hydrapak was catching my neck wrong, and I tried to adjust it while running. I stepped on a gopher hole and fell down hard on my left side. Hard enough that my shorts scootched down and I got brambles on my hip. Ow!
Sunol (mile 9.11)
The aid station had the first cutoff at 10:45. I picked up my speed on the descent and passed about 5 runners, including George Hall. George Hall had #1 bib! as he was #2 in the inaugural 1987 Ohlone. So I'm definitely faster than two 60 year olds. Way to go Speedie!
I was using my iPhone as my music source, and my headphones kept ghost-pausing my music. I'd noticed this the last time I'd gone on a 2+ hour run--moisture got inside the contact, causing the iPhone to pause or skip tracks. I spent too much time fussing with my iPhone trying to get reliable tunes. I made it into the aid station at ~10:20, with time to spare.
Backpack (mile 12.48).
Now the climb started. I treated myself to an outhouse break, then doused my head with water from an unpotable water source. The day was getting really warm, in the low 80s (hot for the Bay Area) and direct sun. I kept passing people though, even at my moderate speed.
Goat Rock (14.96)
These 2.5 miles seemed to take forever. I ran out of water about 20 minutes away from the Aid station. When I got to the aid station, they said they were running low on all fluids, and only gave me 20 ounces for my pack. In the good news! Melissa & Todd were at the aid station, resting in the shade. They'd taken the early start! Oh, maybe THAT'S why I was at the back starting--slower people had taken the 7 AM start and gotten an hour jump.
to Maggies Half Acre (19.7)
Melissa and I hiked together for awhile on the climb to Rose Peak. She was not doing great, and finally stopped to bring down her heart rate.
I was really, really thirsty. It was ~5 miles and a stiff climb. I was so happy to see the tent for Maggies Half Acre, with "UNLIMITED" water, as they had a faucet. I drank until my belly was jiggly. Then I let a guy sponge my head. It all felt sooo good.
to Stewarts Camp (23.6) This section has more up than I remember. The "aid" was a non-potable faucet. About four of us came in all at once. I dunked my head under the faucet (again). After watching me do it, a guy did it too, muttering "Thank God, Thank God". Yep, it was that hot.
To Schleiper Rock (25.65) I continued to pass people. I didn't think I was climbing any faster than I had at the beginning of the day--everyone else was slowing down. Once again I pondered why people go out so darn fast? I kinda like starting in DFL--I know exactly where I am in the pack, and I can only improve! I bombed down the hill into aid station.
To Stromer Spring- An overgrown single track switchbacking down the canyon, choked with vegetation and poison oak. A group of 5 in a pack came up on me. I tried to stay ahead, but it was too stressful so I stepped off and let them pass. Down to the creek, then back up. Everyone was moving slowly up the hill, when I realized that I felt GREAT. I marched past them! "Good job, young lady" said a guy in a QuickSilver T-Shirt. "Thanks for calling me young lady!"
At the top of the hill on the ridge, I started running again. I wasn't hammering it, but I told myself anything faster than walking was good. Last time I had wanted to run this section and now I was!
To the finish. The last 2 miles are a near constant descent losing 1,600 feet in 2 miles. Steep, and not what my quads wanted. On Wednesday I'd done mile repeats with Lane & Charles in the Presidio. At about a mile, I decided to do a mile repeat, and picture Lane & Charles waiting for me. I cranked the music and cruised into a 8:44 finish, 11 minutes faster than two years ago.
Things I did well:
Left plenty of time to make the start
Carried a pack instead of a bottle to stay better hydrated
Ate pizza for breakfast so didn't bonk
Caught up with Melissa
S-Caps every 30 minutes so never cramped up
Said thank you to the volunteers
Wiped down with Technu at home
Things to improve on:
iPhone not good choice for long races, spent too much time fussing with it.
Make sure pack is full! of fluid on hot days, don't rely on the next aid station being there.
Should have worn compression knee high socks to protect from poison oak and other plants brushing legs
Forgot clothes to change into, so had to drive back in sweat soggy shorts.
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
-it's a hassle to get all the way up to Marina Green. If I run, it's about 37 minutes. If I take the bus, it's about 40-50 minutes (one way)
- I had a string of 3 workouts where I arrived at 6:35 and the group was nowhere to be found.
- noone wants to do a situp, plank, or wind sprints.
However, every time when I do get up there and find the group, I'm so happy I went.
- Marina is ridiculously scenic.
- I'd never do a plank by myself, but I feel better for doing them
-it's only an hour workout and I feel so proud afterwards
-I like hearing about other peoples races and runs
-I treat myself and eat at at a place I normally wouldn't trek to, like Presidio Social Club or SPQR
-the Marina is RIDICULOUSLY scenic. Where else could I do planks staring at Alcatraz, wind sprints looking at the fog on the Golden Gate, or situps facing the Palace of Fine Arts?
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
7/18 for age group,
- Carried pack instead of bottle
- Took hot day conservatively
- Left extra time to get to start so not stressed about getting lost, shuttle time
- Dropped to a shorter distance--Mike Weston ran the whole 50K and said it was "brutal". I usually finish around him, and it took him 9:14. ouch!! 127 starters, 109 finishers, which is a high DNF (15%) considering the ultra-generous 10 hour time limit. They kept the finish line open till 10:46. So only 104 (82%) below the official finish. It was nice of them to keep the finish line open.
- Remembered the name of the Jeans Guy (George) and looked him up later. He ran Western States in '82!! Wow!!!
- Could have gone out a bit faster (?)
- Forgot medal in pack, ran 7 miles with medal on Sunday.
Brazen Racing-Wow, they have it dialed in.
- Ample remote parking
- Multiple shuttle buses (with no wait) to get to the start
- Color coded bibs to the race ribbons!
- Names on bibs if pre-registered
- Extra porta-potties at start
- Mile markers (in a trail race!!)
- Race monitors at key turns/intersections
- Ice cream sandwiches and a full BBQ at the finish
All of this adds up to a race fee that's about $15-$30 more than my usual low-key trail races. But I could see where the money went--it's a different scale when you have a 1,000 runner field than a 300 runner field. Some aspects I found jarring-I didn't like the rock music at the start/finish, and the mile markers seemed out of place at a trail race. Overall, Brazen puts on a great race, and if it's in an interesting location, I will do one again.
Monday, March 19, 2012
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Monday, February 27, 2012
Was it really February? A year ago we'd feared Redwood Creek 50K would be canceled due to snow. This year, I was debating whether to wear my short sleeve or tank top for the Lake Chabot 30K, as the predicted weather was "in the sunny 60s".
I got to Lake Chabot with plenty of time to pose for a photo with Coach Ken and his wife, Karen. Karen has been training up a storm for American River 50, so the question was, who would win the 50K? Experience (Ken) or training (Karen)? I said it was too close to call, but I would try to finish the 30K loop first!
The first three miles were on the flat around the lake and went by very quickly with Karen & I gossiping and catching up. The race course was the best I'd ever seen for bathroom opportunities. As the lake is a drinking water reservoir, every 1/4 mile seemed to be another outhouse, to encourage bathroom usage. Ken ducked into use one and Karen and I passed him.
We veered off the lake and entered a steep ascent where I dropped to a walk, then a series of rolling hills up to the 5.4 mile aid station. The trail was a groomed, non-technical dirt, with the shade of the Eucalyptous keeping the climb from getting too hot. Karen and Ken and I leap frogged a few times. I got into the 5.4 mile station at ~60 minutes. I was doing well!
After the aid station, another few rolling miles where I worried I'd missed the turn-off from the yellow (20K) to the orange 10K loop. At the start, a runner had asked "Will there be a human to monitor the turn". Answer: no. I passed a women runner who said she'd seen an orange ribbon, but nowhere to turn. I yelled ahead to Karen, but she said she hadn't seen the turn. When I saw the turn, I thought it would have been impossible to miss it--both sides of the turn trail were heavily orange, and there was a sawhorse.
The orange loop was surprisingly scenic. The hills were a lush green, the trail was very runnable, and there were even some cattle gates (but no cattle) to break up the monotony. The only issue was I had to go to the bathroom, but we were off the lake, and no more bathrooms! We came up to a stable and there was the nicest bathroom I've ever seen on a race course. Running water (hot and cold) A flush toilet. Toilet paper! There was even a worn oriental rug, and a small bonsai by the door. I refilled my water bottle and headed out, just as Karen almost passed me.
The rest of the race went by all too quickly. Back to the yellow loop, where I passed Ken at the aid station. The aid station volunteer said there was only around 4 1/2 miles left. Wow! I would finish well under four hours. The rest of the course was very smooth, with a couple quick 50 foot climbs. I started trying to pick off runners. The only issue was there were no runners to pick off! I saw a pair in the distance, and passed them.
On the final mile back to the marina and finish, I flashed back to my…very first trail race, at Lake Chabot, probably back in 2002 or 2003. I'd not met my goal of 2:00 at the SF Half Marathon, so entered Lake Chabot Half hoping to better my time. I hadn't factored in the hills or trails. I didn't carry food or hydration. I remember slowing to walk around 4 miles in, and seemingly endless hills. Now, the hills all seemed so easy. I had my own bottle! The first Lake Chabot race, the last 1/2 flat mile seemed so hard--I could see the finish, it was flat, but I could summon no energy to run. Now I dashed over the line, earning a "STRONG FINISH" from the race timer.
I PR'ed! 3:40 over 30K! And my friend, Chris Belknap WON the half marathon outright!
After the race, I saw Karen and Coach Ken finish their 30K. Karen was narrowly ahead, but she left the aid station second. Ken beat her by one minute!
Things I did well:
Got to the start 30 minutes ahead so I had time to sort out my pack, chit chat, and go to the bathroom
Took an S Cap every 30 minutes
Tried a new food (Pretzels with peanut butter inside)
Made sure I had a working, trusty iPod
Wore a shirt with a zipper so my car key didn't jab me from my shoelace
Things I can improve on:
Didn't know the course well, so spent some time stressing about missing turns
Went out too conservatively. I had plenty of energy at the start. I'm used to killer Marin climbs.
Very runnable, no technical parts. No long climbs or descents. Much more picturesque than expected.
Lake Chabot was Inside Trail's second race under their own name. Very well organized. The course was well marked, and I got my size of shirt. There were some aid station supply hiccups--one aid station was out of sports drink and Coke, another was out of cups. But overall, great job!
Monday, February 13, 2012
Thought I left plenty of time to get to the start at 7:30, pick up bib. However, though I knew as a single driver I couldn't park in the start/finish lot, the volunteers were also not letting us park on the entry road. I parked about a mile back and waited for the shuttle. Suddenly, it was 7:49 and I wasn't so calm. Luckily, a single car picked up me (& 2 other shuttle waiters) and drove us to the start line.
Picked up bib, got a large T-Shirt, and stood in the bathroom line behind one guy. He went in at 7:57. I realized he had an 8K bib (8:30 AM start) and I wished I'd asked to cut. He exited at 7:59, I went in, and I got to the start line at 8:02, thankful my watch was fast.
Up, up, up Hill 88. It was cloudy, but starting to clear. For once, I wasn't actually DFL. There was a clot of about 6 people behind me. They said they'd come from Sacramento for the 50K. I gave them a brief history lesson "These bunkers were originally to protect the Bay Area from Japanese submarines in WWII. " http://www.nps.gov/goga/historyculture/battery-townsley.htm
I caught up with Melissa right as I was going into TV Aid station, and we hiked up Fox Trail together. The 700 foot climb went quickly as we gossiped and caught up. We're both running Ohlone 50K in May, and she entered American River 50, where I might pace Karen if Carol stays injured.
I wanted to go faster on Pirates Cove, but it was a mucky, wet, slippery mud. I stopped to tie my shoes tighter and got passed by three people. The pair of ladies dressed in blue said "Your socks are muddy!" All of me is muddy! I ran the whole way to TV, no walking allowed!
Steady climb up Marincello. The blue ladies passed me again, and said "I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but you get as sweaty as me! " Yup, I was drenched in sweat. One of the blue ladies was wet like me, her friend still had dry hair. I then glided down Bobcat to Alta. I'd practiced running all of Alta in training many times, and I was glad I could pound up it. Around on SCA, and I popped out at Larry & Carol's aid station at Conzelman. Yup, Carol had torn a muscle!
I finally started dropping the hammer on Coastal. Then we turned left to climb up to Conzelman. I don't like this section. And my iPod died completely. I walked on the road, feeling sorry for myself. The blue ladies passed me, and said since I passed them on all the downhills, they'd nicknamed me "bomber". When they were about 100 feet ahead, I decided to stop feeling sorry for myself and run with them and chat.
One told a very funny story about Headlands 100. A runner got turned around enough at night in the deep fog to start running along Highway 101 through the rainbow tunnel. Coincidentally, the police were looking for a convict that had escaped from San Quentin, about 9 miles away. So when they stopped a sweaty, disheveled looking guy, they immediately asked for ID. He didn't have any ID, only a thin story of running an all night 100 mile race. Finally he convinced them he was legitimately running, and they offered to drive him back to the race course.
The story cheered me up, and I jogged, iTuneless to the finish in 4:10.
Things I did well:
Got there early enough that even with parking issues I still made the start.
Stayed ahead of nutrition: took 3 packs of scoobies, ate them all.
Took an S-Cap every 30 minutes.
Short sleeves were fine, I never got too chilly.
Things to improve on:
I never felt like I pushed hard. I ran 6 miles the next day with Greg.
It would have been nice to have a jacket at the finish.
Sunday, January 29, 2012
I met up with Erwin & his wife Cindy, and Amit, a grad school friend of Erwin's for my first Mission Street scramble. All I knew was you explored the Mission looking for spots, and it seemed fun. Vladimir, the organizer, had been on my Providian relay team 7 or 9 years ago, and as I recalled he was a fun ultrarunner who introduced me to the phrase "the middle leg is always the hardest".
We met up at Garfield clubhouse in the deep Mission. Maps were handed out at 9 AM, and we had an hour to strategerize our route. The map was of basically central SF, from upper Market all the way down to the water, and from Bernal Heights up to Duboce, with no street names, and 30 different places labeled, with points from 10 to 40. The 40s were in higher or harder to reach locations, and the 10s in the flats near the club house. We had 3 hours to reach as many as possible. At first I didn't understand the scoring, and wanted to "mop up" all the flat lands close by. Then, once I understood the 40 was 4x as valuable, our strategy changed. The day had warmed up already, so Amit tucked all our jackets in his car. January 28th, and I had a tank top!
We started a brisk loop up and around Bernal Heights. Amit was to mark the score card (each location had a multiple choice question) , and I to navigate. We wanted to get a feel for our pace and team feel. The weather couldn't be better--clear with views all the way to the Mt Diablo tip, and warm (but not too warm).
Quickly the orienteering difference between me (native Mission dweller) and Erwin was exposed. I wasted time trying to correlate marks & blocks on the map with street names "That curvy line must be Eugenia" versus Erwin's dead reckoning style of "6 blocks straight, 2 blocks right up the top, one block left". Erwin's was quicker.
We'd thought about trying to make it up to Upper Market for a series of "perimeter" 40 points, but after 70 minutes traversing Bernal, it seemed out of reach. Amit & I made a pit stop for Gatorade at a friendly liquor store, then we had a serendipitous meeting with our old friend Miki, who now lives on Cortland. We plowed through Noe Valley, mopping up a series of 30 & 20 points. I'd lived in Noe Valley, so I narrated the area, including passing by my old house at 1218 Sanchez.
Now, Erwin & I differed- I knew the terrain, & he was going off a terrain map. He didn't count the "half blocks" of Elizabeth & Alvorado, so we went up from 24th to 22nd, then back tracked to 23rd. I wanted to go up 20th, and instead we went up Liberty. It was all good--we weren't in it to win it, just to have a good time and see the city. Cindy got a lemon from a tree, and we speed-walked along.
We debated whether we could make it to Sports Basement ( a juicy 40 point spot), but instead mopped up the Castro and Mission. We started crossing paths with a solo lady, who we never seemed to see on the same street, but always intersecting us.
We made it to the finish with a minute to spare. Each extra minute was a 20 point penalty, so it paid to be on time! A nearby team bemoaned "we have 45 seconds to spare, we planned poorly!" After the points were counted, we WOULD have been in 4th for "open mixed foot", but we missed a trick question, so didn't get 40 points, AND got a 20 point penalty. Still, I had an awesome time, and to be in 4th after walking the whole way is amazing! We were never in it to win it, I think Erwin just wanted to get us hooded for the-- "16 hour night and day challenge" which could be insanely dismally fun.
Thanks to Vlad for putting on a very enjoyable event, and Erwin, Cindy & Amit for inviting me to join Team "Climbing Posse".