I think I missed a week, or 2 of updating this thing…but I was deathly ill so nothing fun to report anyway. Luckily I started to turn a corner 4 days before Lake Sonoma. I thought I was in danger of not starting, I felt so bad on the Tuesday prior to the start. That really bummed me out, I had been training really hard and consistently and I felt ready for the challenge of my first 50 miler
I trained and raced in my go to Altra Lone Peak 3.5s
I was able to get in 3 short runs and feel human in the last few days before the start. With my legs back under me I had to adjust my goals and really gave myself the mission of finishing my first 50 miler. But come on, its me, I wanted a performance based goal. I broke the race into 4 sections.
section 1 roughly to the 12 mile mark…Todd Hennings would be there for a bottle swap and I wanted to be there between 1 hour 45 min and 20 hours. I was there comfortably in 1:47:00, bam! Happy as a clam, I saw Todd, grabbed the 2 bottles and ate a stroopwaffle. From there my next section goal was about 25.5 miles or the turn around loop aid station. For this section I gave myself 2 hours to 2:10. I was there in 2:03:00. again, happy dude, saw Todd and grabbed some bottles and resupplied my gels.
Prior to the turn around, I started to see the leaders heading back. I was around 30th place, but these runners were just amazing. Some super focused, some spouting support and some a little grumpy. I loved it all. Like a fan boy a cheered them on. Especially Ryan Ghelfi, Dave Laney (trails and tarmac dudes) and Jeffrey Stern of Rabbit. But when I saw Hal Koerner all I could do was make a bowing gesture and blurt out”legend”….He just smiled and laughed and told me good job. I am a dork…its ok. But to me, that was like shooting warm up free throws with Jordan. I was kind of there…only about 10 min behind him at that point. haha Again, Stoke was high!
On the way back around mile 30 my left vastus medialis started to hurt running down hills, like really bad. I was favoring the left leg and it started a series of breakdowns. Obviously, when you start to favor something your pattern changes, so something else is about to get used more. I was still rolling pretty good, but knew I would need to adjust my section 3 time goal. Originally I wanted to get from mile 25.5 to mile 38 in 2 hours to 2:10. I adjusted that by padding it with 20 min. I think I got there in 2:23. so still ok. Now my quad was bad. I was having to skip, walk the downhills and I had started to get passed by folks. Once to the aid station, I soaked my quad with cold water hoping it would provide some relief as the awesome aid station volunteers filled my bottles. I left hoping for magic, but as soon as I crossed the creek and started the last 12 miles of the race I knew I was in trouble. My right hamstring was now having a fireworks show…..as I shuffled/ walked. As I continued on my IT bands started to hurt, like they didnt want to lengthen! I knew there was no good way out of this as I was committed to getting back to the finish and the van. I had to walk a lot of the last section. I should have been in around 8 hours to 8.5…took me 9.5.
9:33:30. I was so upset with this time, this performance…I just hung my head as I crossed the line and went right to the van. What was that all about? Everyone was so happy and positive at the finish…I went back to the van and sat on the floor disappointed. How could I possibly be disappointed? I was on deaths door 4 days prior and that was my first 50 miler…..but my mind briefly told myself to not make excuses and that sucked. oooh the struggle in my head. As I sat on the floor mentally wrestling myself, Todd showed up at the van. He cheered me right up as I thanked him for all of his help, I was now very excited to hear about his day and hear about his wife Erica’s progress on the course…all was good. Even when I had a few rounds of the dry heaves!
Todd kept me in good spirits as we joked and laughed and I got hot and then really cold and then hot and then cold….I settled down and was able to drink some fluids and even had some pizza. Win win. Erica came in a little later, What a champ, she had very little training and just got it done. I was so stoked for her….Todd went right into taking care of her mode like a champ. It was so great to hear about her day and she was so happy. Win win win!
We all shared an entertaining dinner at a Thai place in Cloverdale, and I lucked out on nabbing the last hotel room around. It was about 10 pm and I needed a shower and some sleep!
The next days drive took me north and then east through Hopland and Clearlake…no way I could take the traffic of the “faster route”. much better re entry that way.
A few big nights of sleep and a pretty wicked appetite have left me feeling pretty good. Legs feel 92% recovered…going to take it pretty easy this week, smash some work and think about what is next if anything before Tahoe Rim Trail 50 in July.