Sunday, August 9, 2015

Crystal Springs 50K

Crystal Springs 50K - 7:24, 6300 feet climb

Left plenty of time to get to start, as last race at Huddart huge backup to pay $6 entrance fee, and I started 5 minutes after start.

Hiked the early climb, fun to see Christy B and chat with Chuck Wilson. He tried at least three times to finish Hardrock, couldn’t, including getting pulled at mile 90 for missing cutoff after getting lost. He raved about Bear 100. Told funny story about thinking Skyline 50K is first Sunday in August, went to Lake Chabot on Sunday to have ranger tell him “it’s not today!”. So Chuck ran 50K in Point Reyes as just over the 580. Yesterday (Saturday) he was waking up, saw Chipfing’s photos on Facebook, and realized he’d missed it! oops. At mile 6 aid station Christy’s friend asked me about my buckle - she’d been at Last Chance Aid at Western States - great to see her! 

Rambled the first 12 miles, not stressing about cutoffs.  (Un)fortunately, got to mile 12 at ~11:17, plenty of time for the noon cutoff. Big lollipop loop 9 mile through Wunderlich - slightly paranoid about water but had plenty left. Walked almost all of the ups. Really fun to see Bonnie Porter killing it on the up on her way to a PR. Just really wasn’t feeling any urge to go fast. I’d run 7 miles on Friday, 18 on Saturday, I finished Western States in June - nothing to prove, right? The course was a little confusing but I tried to doublecheck the ribbons and compare to my mental map of the course. Tried not to think too much about how I wished I was running the marathon instead of gutting out a 50K. On the 50K lollipop, a marathon runner came back - she’d missed her turn. I felt bad as she probably added at least 4 miles. Coming back into Bear Gulch (21) Jennie L caught back up with me - she was ahead of me, so I was surprised to see her, but she said “I was behind a tree & you passed me”. She'd run WhiteRiver 50 Mile two weeks ago so we briefly attempted to sandbag each other. 

Ten miles back to finish - tried to run gently, enjoy myself. Flip-flopped with two dudes. Experimented with new nutrition - Stinger Waffles & PowerBar Waffles. I liked the Stinger more. No soda at any of the aid stations on the way back - all out :( Finally, descent, an annoying pop back up, then the final two mile descent on the road. 

At the end, the guys I’d flip flopped with chatted - they recognized me from North Face 50! I’d seen one of them go off-course, trying to climb a downed tree in Muir Woods, and I’d yelled at him to get back. Good memory on their part - it had been their first ultra. 

At the end, I was down on myself. I’d spent seven hours and twenty four minutes, and was an hour off my PR. I wasn’t in the top 3 for my age group. Why had I spent so much time and money to gut out a meaningless race? I’d spent the whole day rambling in the redwoods with nothing to show for it but a coaster, medal & T-shirt to add to my literal heap of medals and stack of t-shirts. I was envious of Bonnie and her awesome sub 6 PR. I’d run 25 miles the two days prior and was just trying to keep myself moving. After a good meal and some reflection, I’m happy I finished. Not every race is an “A”, “B” or even “C” race, some are long supported training runs in pursuit of a bigger goal. I had time on my feet to finish Bear 100. 

Things I did well:
Kept moving
Tried to say thank you to volunteers
Tried to say good job to the other volunteers. 
Kept pack full
Plenty of time at start
Copious sleep night before

Things to improve on
My battery pack didn’t work - I think I was using an after-market cord that barfed. 

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