We made the 3 pm ferry and got a chance to catch up with a few fellow runners which was nice. I got to congratulate Linda personally on her HURT 100 belt buckle that she had on, what an accomplishment! Laura Houston and I 'perched" just as Echo taught us to do in pilates, getting our glutes activated before our run the next day. After the ferry ride, we all got our numbers and then Jeanine, Owen and I went to our hotel and ate dinner then layed around until it was time to sleep.
Saturday morning we all headed over to the race start together. The 50k started first then Jeanine would start 10 minutes after us. I was pretty excited. I knew I had not put the training in that I had last year and I was not as prepared as I would have like to have been, but that is what recovering from an injury does to a person and I did not care. I was just happy to be out there. I started off in the back as I thought I would have had to stop as usual to adjust my leg. But that did not happen this time, PROGRESS! So I started off slowly and got into my groove. The weather was perfect, perfect for the 3rd year in a row. That is unusual for the PNW in the winter time. The first 12 miles went fairly well, got back to the start/finish/aid station in just over 2 hours. I headed out to the power line. I don't have photos, but I do have a memory:
I struggled initially on the power line trail. My heart rate soared and my leg was taking a beating. But as I made progress, I began to feel better and got into the climb. I was wondering what is harder, Section Line at Tiger or the Power Line. I don't know the answer to that or if it really matters, but I was glad that I at least got a couple of hikes up the section line to get me ready for the power line. At the top, I was looking forward to the best part of the run-that fun cushy downhill that follows. I love to run as fast as I can downhill, (who doesn't?). I went a bit conservatively as I knew my longest actual run before this race was an hour and my longest time out on the trail was 2 hours. I didn't not want to blow my wad early so I was a bit conservative. At the bottom and running around the lake before we hit the climb to Mt. Constitution, I was really feeling bonky and the lack of training. My quad was acting up and started my "ultra shuffle" early. I was actually looking forward to the climb up Constitution b/c then I could walk. I wound up making my way up there with Mike from Portland, (don't know his last name, but I do know we are both fallen Catholics) and Matt Hagen which was fun and kept mind off my deterioration. At the top, I filled up my back pack and headed down. I did ask how many more miles and when I heard 10 and then looked at my watch, I thought, NO WAY, I am much slower than last year. As I headed down I saw Scott Krell and Tracy, Scott commented on me taking it easy and I thought.....whoa, I am not in the shape I would like to be in....but then I remembered that patience is a virtue and I was working on that one, so I relaxed and enjoyed the run down. I got to the lake and it seemed like a long time until I actually crossed that finish line. But I finally did and I quickly learned that the course was longer this year by a few miles. I have to admit, I was glad to hear that b/c I thought I was super duper behind that eight ball with regards to training but it actuality, I am not that far from where I would like to be. And I am on my way to being healthy, so really, no complaints.
As usual, James put on a great race. Tough and beautiful. It was great to see everyone and catch up.
Kudos to my friend Jeanine for kicking some butt on her first trail race. She is now going to sign up for her first 50k. Um....another ultra runner in the making!