Since Saturday I've been looking for some inspiration to write something creative, exciting and interesting to read, but it's not coming to me.
Of course the race was incredible. It always is. Did you look outside on Saturday? It was sunny and hot. Definitely not February-esque. The trails were outstanding as always. 99% snow free, rolling, steep, and nice and mulchy. The trees were an amazing contrast of green to the orange peet below. The company was even better.
How did I race? 5 hours and 25 minutes. It was no record but was good enough for 14th overall. I tracked Nicola Gildersleeve for a good forty minutes and then we cruised together for about an hour. The whole time I feared that she would hand me the boots on each of the upcoming downhills and she did. We chatted. Had some laughs. Gossiped. I stole some of the energy from the cheers her friends were giving her. As we entered our final climb before the quad searing decent into Cascade Lake we drifted apart and, with 6 km to go, I powered back a whole bottle ofNuun and 2 gels. There was no way I'd bonk or cramp now. Almost at the lake I squeezed by Nicola's carpool buddy and competition. We spoke little as she was all wrapped up in the ruckus of her ear buds, but I when I left her she knew another female wasn't far back.
The end came quickly for me from there. I ran through a slighter adductor cramp and into the finish. The fleeting moment of disappointment with my time was quickly absorbed by chips, guacamole, and some fine ginger ale, as I realized how well I'd run the last 8 miles from the top of Mount Constitution. I just kept getting faster and faster. Had no troubles moving up hill and was still relatively agile on any remaining technical spots.
After trying my hand at a more focused workout regime in the gym and a heart rate based run schedule, I'm thrilled to say it worked. I'm still not sure how well it worked, but I definitely know I didn't have to be so conservative in the earlier stages of Saturday's Orcas Island 50k. Maybe a bit more pedal to metal on March 10th, Dirty Duo.