Yesterday was the Capitol Peak Mega Fat Ass. However, the course was re-routed due to snow. So instead of 34 miles with 2 climbs to the peak, the run was 30 miles without going to the peak ever. Having never run the MEGA before, I didn't know what I was about to miss. Some said it was the easiest MEGA ever, but what I thought was challenging is that the course was totally run-able and so I ran trails for 5 hours straight, that tired me out. I walked less than a mile.
The run started at 8 AM. It was still dusk-like but no headlamps needed. It was definitely cold, but the forecast was sunny skies and warm winter temperatures. It was great seeing so many friends at the start line. Struth was very excited to see his canine buddies as well, especially Brutus. I knew Michelle and Deb were only running one lap so my plan was to run the first lap with them and then see how I could hang on in the second loop. We started off with Michelle leading the gravy train which included Eric and Steve and of course Deb. Then somehow, Eric and Steve were not there but other people who would just fly by us like they had wings attached to their shoes. Michelle did a great job at keep a steady speedy pace. We ran mostly single track through lots of mud and cold creeks. There was hardly any snow and not many trees down. Some of the mud was pretty thick and slimy and it was fun to slide right across the mud hoping to stay vertical. I was experiencing some stomach "troubles" but I was in the middle of the train so I didn't want to pull over. Once we got to the logging road and headed downward, I knew it was time to address my stomach issues. I hing back while Michelle, Deb and 2 others flew down the logging road. I was hoping to catch up but if not, I had my iPOD. As I started running up the logging road, I heard Van yelling that I was going the wrong way. Lucky I did not have my iPOD in yet...potential disaster averted. I called for Michelle and the gang, but they did not hear me. So I just kept going and yelling their names. When I got to the aid station/finish line/loop check-in, I saw Michelle there...phew, I was worried they might be lost. I checked in at 2:31. I mulled about the aid station for a minute or two and then headed back out...just Struth and I. Time for the iPOD. The second loop was almost like doing and entirely different loop. I was so busy talking and listening the first loop that I didn't really pay attention to the terrain. The course was well marked, so I had no trouble finding the right way...despite being directionally challenged. I was felling pretty good still and didn't stop at any of the watering holes and only took one photo.
I was wishing I took more photos because it was so beautiful. The sun came out, some fog stayed in certain areas, the trees were tall and skinny and the back round music was the evidence of the shooting range within the very same park we were running,(another good reason to stay on course). Struth and I were having a blast. He was running around more than usual, probably because he had never been there before and there were so many spots to smell and ponder if that indeed would be a good place to leave his mark. I spent quite a lot of time calling his name and making sure I could hear his jingle. At one point, as I looked back for him, I slipped in the mud and fell right on my butt. It didn't hurt, but I knew I had a big mud spot on my butt. Lovely. As I approached the logging road, I knew I was getting pretty close to the end. I knew not to make the same mistake and continue up the logging road. The last couple miles were tough. I had run out of water and I was parched. I didn't feel like eating anything that was easily accessible to me as I didn't have water to wash it down. My stomach was still dysfunctional and I was hungry. It was one of the few times that I actually wanted a gel. But in order to get one, I would have had to take my pack off and I was not in the mood. With one mile left, I ran as hard as I could to the finish line knowing that there would be water there. Thankfully, Struth stayed with me and I didn't not have to keep looking back and fall on my butt again. Came to the finish line in 5:02, exactly 2:31 minutes after I left meaning that I ran even split the run. I was surprised by this, I thought I'd be slower. I guess not stopping to take photos and getting gels out of my pack saved me some time. What a fun run!
After, we all sat around eating and drinking in the sun....
It turned out to be a warm sunny day.
I slept well last night and woke up to sunny skies and more warm winter temperatures. This are rare occasions in the Seattle winter months. I took advantage of this by going to the Sculpture Park with Jeanine and Struth and hanging out in the sun by the water. Awesome day....awesome weather....awesome company!