A week removed from Lake Sonoma and the body is recovering nicely. I can always tell when my fitness is coming around based on the amount of myles I can log the week after. This week I ran 42 myles and 7200 ft of elevation gain. Today was the best run of all; felt like I had no chain and no residual soreness. Hope I can feel this way going into Leona Divide next Saturday. Four 50 mile races in 8 weeks is against my better judgement but with the work schedule and family, it's the only way I will be ready for Hard Rock.
Now for a recap on Lake Sonoma:
I had no intentions of doing Lake Sonoma but with work meetings in San Francisco and Napa back to back it made perfect sense. Was I ready to race 50 myles? No. Maybe 35 myles but if I tried to race 50, it would not be pretty coming in. To top things off, this race was stacked with fast runners so in the back of my mind I knew I would try to race way outside my fitness level.
Tropical John yelled GO and I quickly found myself chatting it up with friends in the lead pack, Dakota, Nick, Dan O, etc... I didn't think the pace was that bad until Gary Gellin said "this is nuts! Are we running a 50K or 50m?" That's when it hit me that I was racing, but 10 myles into a race I was determined to see how long I would last hanging onto coat-tails. We arrived at Warm Springs aid (11.5), search for my drop bag (with diluted EFS Kona Mocha liquid shot) and they can't find it... Finally found it under the wheel of the truck. Seemed like an eternity but probably only 5 minutes, but I had lost contact with the leaders and I was still feeling good so I made a rookie move...
Warm Springs mile 11.5
Photo by Glenn Tachiyama
I ran hard to try and make contact with the lead pack again, up two decent sized hills, and finally caught Gary, OOJ, and DanO. Gary was in front going slow up the hills but cruising at a nice clip on the downs and flats. He was keeping his HR in check (smart) and on one of the uphills I decided to maintain my pace to catch up to others... I've always had the notion of "going when it's good" and in this case it was too much. When I realized it was too much is when the four of us starting going up Rock Pile hill towards the turnaround and I could not keep pace, even at a fast walk. I decided I would eat and drink in hopes of restoring some order.
The order of energy never returned and knew by the inbound pass of Liberty Glen aid that it was going to be a long, slow death march in to the finish. As I stated in the beginning "maybe 35 myles of racing", turns out I only had a good 50K in me. So to the pain chamber I enter, an all too familiar place for me to visit. In fact, the guard now calls me by my first name... Anyways, it was a rough final 15 myles, with my HighGear XT7 GPS watch giving me mile splits (11ish) I knew I was crawling. I was 5 myles from the finish and no one had passed me so I started to settle even more when all of a sudden a train of 3 came flowing by; Jeff Browning, Scott Wolfe, and Jon Robinson all had a pretty good pace going and soon were out of sight. Here are the results and splits As you can see I slowed down significantly with a turnaround time of 3.22 and a finish of 7.43. Big congrats to all, but in particular my PI teammates Timothy Olson and Nick Clark for putting down some blazing times behind boy wonder.
Inbound Warm Springs mile 38.2
Photo by Glenn Tachiyama
Sure I would have liked to do better by finishing strong but in the whole scheme of things I had a great time! Pre-race hanging out with friends, post-race hanging out with friends at Bear Republic, and the next day once again hanging out with friends at the Wilson winery. I love running ultras for the simple fact of community! No matter where you go or how you do, everyone always has a good time. Thanks to Tropical John and his crew for putting on a tremendous race! And just as a side note, Karl indicated in his odds that I was the "fan favorite"... not true! Jorge Maravilla was the fan favorite! I think I can pass for a Jorge....
My nutrition: 3 and 1/2 - 5 oz flasks of EFS liquid shot (Kona Mocha). I dilute each flask in about 16 oz of water and take a sip every 7-10 minutes. One water bottle lasts around 1.45 to 2 hours. Immediately after 2 big scoops of Ultragen to help restore order, works every time.
Next up: Leona Divide 50, April 28th.