Before I get into the race recap, I'm linking up with Holly at HoHo Runs and Tricia at MissSippiPiddlin for their weekly wrap up link up (say that 10 times fast). Leave me a comment about what you've been up to this week and then go check them out!
I've also linked up with the Tuesdays on the Run blog link up with My No-Guilt Life, MCM Mama Runs and Marcia's Healthy Slice. When you're done reading here, go check them out!
Now, onto the race. Well, let's go back maybe a couple of weeks first. Training had been going really well, plenty of long (loooong) runs, mountain climbs, time on my feet, etc., including the Noble Canyon 50K, the Revel Canyon City Marathon and Malibu Canyon 50K all as training runs. My good friend Vanessa was also running this race and we did all of our training together. But she, too, had a bad couple of weeks before the race. She and one of her daughters came down with a stomach bug on New Year's Day. Then, the next day, one of my daughters and I came down with a stomach bug (yes, we spent New Year's Eve together). I wasn't really derailed from running too much and thankfully, I was entering the taper period so my runs weren't very long. But it definitely wiped me out and I had a hard time eating for a couple of days. Then, just as I was getting over it, my other daughter and husband came down with it. We were dealing with this sickness for about a week and if you've ever had a stomach bug, you know there aren't many other things that are more hideous than a stomach bug. Or maybe taking care of kids with the stomach bug. While you have a stomach bug. Good times. Thankfully, my son didn't get it.
Then last week, the week before the race, things were just super stressful. Work was crazy this week. My oldest finally went back to school after 3 weeks off for the winter break and my girls finally went back to preschool after being sick on and off since before Christmas. While it was great to get everyone back on a routine, everyone was TIRED. Needless to say, there were quite a number of meltdowns from everyone throughout the week and on top of it all, my nerves were shot and I was having trouble sleeping, including a horrific night of sleep the night before the race. Dreaming about the race didn't help at all. And even though I've done a 50 before, there's still so much that can go wrong. Even if you've been running all your life, 50 miles is still 50 miles. It's no joke. So with nerves on fire, I was not feeling rested and ready before the race. But I spent the day before the race organizing my drop bag and after-race bag, making my rice balls for during the run and getting everything together. Getting those details settled really helped me relax.
Feed Zone Table which will be meals for overall health but also performance. If you order now, you can get a free Cookie Mix!!
Anyway, race morning arrived and Vanessa picked me up at the butt-crack of dawn (4:30am). We got to the race site, checked in and were off at 5:30. The race starts at the San Pasqual Valley trailhead in Escondido, connects to the Mule Hill trail, runs under I-15 to the Lake Hodges trail, goes around the lake to the Del Dios trail, then onto the Coast to Crest trail into the Black Mountain preserve along the San Dieguito River bed (more on the river crossing later). It's an out and back course and thankfully, I can get to any part of the trail in about 20-30 minutes from my house. We were lucky enough to train on the entire course. But not in the dark! We ran in the dark for about an hour, which was fine with both of our headlamps and my flashlight. The sun came up just in time for the first climb. We didn't want to do any climbing in the dark for fear of falling, so that we planned the sunrise just in time ;)
|Let's get this party started!|
|Beautiful sunrise (with headlamps behind us!)|
|Happy at mile 20!|
Well, they were the longest 10 miles of my life. We shuffled-walked-shuffled most of it. We did meet this spry older couple from the midwest (I can't remember - Minnesota, maybe) that sold their house and now travel the country in an RV. They were so wonderstruck that we were doing this race and took a couple of pictures of us. I hope we didn't look too miserable! They walked off to explore the trail. At a much faster pace than us, I might add. After seeing them, we tried to get into another run-shuffle groove but it was hard. This is the flattest part of the course and while that may sound appealing, it's hard on the body (especially a tired one) to keep moving in the same manner without any variations in terrain. Those variations allow the body to move in different ways, making it a little easier over the course of a long ass run (another technical term). So this flat was pretty excruciating.
We were hoping to finish in the light of day but didn't. We were treated to a beautiful sunset as we were finishing the last climb of the race. So we saw the sunrise before this climb and the sunset after we came down from it. I can now say I've run from sunrise to sunset. Pretty amazing. The good feeling from the sunset beauty was short-lived as we still had a little over 4 miles left in the dark. So we just powered through it as best we could. I couldn't have asked for a better running partner in this endeavor than Vanessa. This was her first 50 and she did amazing!! I am so proud to have run this race with her. We helped each other get through and it was wonderful doing this with her!
|I think Smitha may have been holding us up!|
Now that it's been a full 24 hours since I've finished, I feel pretty good. I coached my strength training program this morning and went through the workout with them feeling good. My ankles are a little swollen and I have a little rash on my ankles and feet too. Not exactly sure what that is. I had it after my other 50 too. Maybe just heat rash? Broken capillaries? I don't know.
Thanks so much for coming along on this crazy train. Next up on my race calendar is the Los Angeles Marathon on Valentine's Day. I have always wanted to do this one and figured I'd finally be able to once we moved here. But the race was always held on the weekend in March that coincides with my twins' birthday. But last year's race was unseasonably HOT so they moved this year's race up a month. I jumped on that!! And I can't wait!!