Monday, July 15, 2013

Inside Trail Reservoir Dogs 35K

Resevoir Dogs 35K
smart fast race

I was excited about a brand new race in a brand new location. San Pablo Resevoir usually requires a permit, and the race avoided the permit and had the trail nicely marked in pink ribbon. My plan was to run a smart race, unlike Big Basin 50K where I went off frantically, trying to stay ahead of Karen, and ended up crashing and burning. . Start off slow, run my own race, kick it into high gear at the end. 

Start to Briones AS (3.0): Race start at reservoir, so plentiful, ample, bathrooms (score). Said hi to Sabine, pinned on bib, then started up a hill. Most people quickly were in front of me. I was tempted to chase them but refrained. We passed a "One Mile" sign and I realized I was at a glacial 13:06. This section was nicely shaded as we wound around to the San Pablo Dam. A short steep climb up to the Dam and the Aid station, manned by Tawnya in a cute white miniskirt. 

Me to Tawnya: You look great! 
Tawnya to me: (very long pause). You look  --- like you've been running.

Ok, I was sweaty. 

Briones to Bear Creek AS (3.7): More climbing, on a pleasant single track under nicely shaded trees, as we climbed high above the reservoir up to the power lines. The course was very well marked, no way to miss the route. The half marathoners who'd started 30 minutes after started to pass me. Then, a long unshaded stretch on a road into the aid station.

Bear Creek to Hampton AS (5.8): A fire road, as we seemed to gain the same 150 feet and lose the same 150 feet, circumnavigating the reservoir. Very little shade. Walk the ups, run the downs. Finally, about a .5 descent down to the aid station, which I tried to run as quickly as possible to make up time. 

At the aid station, I felt great. I refilled my pack, chatted with Alvin (working the aid station), and Laura who was lingering. I left before her. 

Hamptons to Briones (5) : Now I was in the hunt. On the walk out of the aid station I passed two runners. Then, on a high ridge access road, and I could see runners ahead of me. I cranked my tunes, and started moving quicker. Down all the way to the dam road, I tried to close the gap.

At the aid station, and three runners chatting. No time to take off my pack if I wanted to break 4:30. I slammed coke, and took off. Behind me I heard the runners say "she looks strong! Where'd she come from?" Music to my ears. 

Briones to Finish (3): Three miles back, and I tried to move if not at a sprint, at a deliberate pace. When I opened a gate, I looked back and a runner I'd passed at the aid station was there to take it from my hand. I did NOT want to get passed back. On a downhill I shot ahead. 36 minutes later, I ran through the finish line.

At the end, I hung out and chatted with Laura, Sam, Alvin. Unfortunately, even though I'd pre-ordered a shirt, they were out of my size. Hope I get one eventually. 

What I did well:
Stayed hydrated
Ate steadily
said thank you to volunteers, other hikers

To improve on:
Didn't double-check pack, and my salt tabs had fallen out. Luckily, the aid stations had S-caps.

skirt is a pain for long distances -- too much tugging and chafing. 

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