Tuesday, April 17, 2007

3 Girls, 1 Race and a lot of laughs!

Stacey, Susan and I all traveled to Sacramento to participate in the American River 50M. All three of us had different goals for the race but the one common goal for the trip was to have a blast on our all girl adventure! We traveled on Friday and arrived in Sacramento before noon. We headed straight to packet pick up held at Fleet Feet Running store. Of course we were early so we shopped for running clothes while they got everything ready for runner check in. Once we got our packets we were starving so we went for pizza at a nearby restaurant. This pizza outing started our food adventure for the trip, more on that later.

After lunch we headed to Auburn for the night because that's where we would catch the 4:15 a.m. bus to the start, that way we would have our car at the finish. We checked in our hotel and brought in our stuff. When girls travel we have a lot of stuff!

Hard to believe we were only going to be there 2 nights, huh. We laughed so hard when we saw all this stuff that Stacey started crying (only because her eyes water when she laughs really hard). After we unloaded all this gear into our room we headed to the finish line for a shake down run and to check out the course. Stacey and I ran this before but it was at least 3 years ago and we wanted to check out the incline of the last climb. It was warm and sunny and we knew the forecast for Saturday called for rain showers all day but it was hard to believe. We headed down what we thought was the course but as usual Stacey and I had really no idea where we were going. It ends up we were not on the course but we got a good 40 minute easy jog down and a nice walk/run back up. I pointed out the huge poison oak bushes to Susan who couldn't believe their size. I am extremely allergic to poison oak so I am keenly aware of it now.

Once we were finished running we were hungry again, this is now meal number 2! We had Italian food in Auburn and I ate a ton. I will do another post about calorie consumption another day but all this food consumption is an attempt to get enough calories to fuel my body which apparently I am not doing. We were all so full it was obnoxious! Next we were back in our room preparing our stuff for the race and then off to bed. I go to bed really early, always have. My husband thinks I was a lion in a past life....a male lion. All I do is sleep, run and eat. I was a male lion because I didn't do the killing for my meals because I was to busy sleeping :). Tonight would be no different, I was ready for bed at 7:30 and since Stacey has traveled with me for 8 years she knows I can sleep through anything, TV, lights and other noises. Stacey and I were off to sleep while Susan read her book. Our alarm was set for 2:45 so it was going to be a very early rise. 2:45 came fast but I got a good nights sleep but Susan and Stacey didn't get the same rest. We were drinking coffee and getting our stuff pulled together and before we knew we were on the bus heading to Sacramento.

This race if flat! 27.4 miles of bike path and gravel road with the rest on trail. We all opted for road shoes and I opted to change into trail shoes at 27.4 miles while Stacey and Susan did not. The weather was nice when we arrived, very warm and no rain but right before the start time it began to rain and really never let up all day. It was just like home! No big deal for us in fact it was nice because anything over 65 degrees would have been HOT to us. Stacey and I got up front with the fast people and when they said go we took off. My splits for the first 11 miles were sub 7:30's and I felt like I could hold that for a bit longer but opted for slowing down, this was not my race....it was a focused training effort and I had to keep reminding myself of that. At the third aid station I was notified that I was 5th among the woman and that was pretty exciting I have to admit but I had no idea I was that far in front. I needed a bathroom break and when I was done Stacey was coming down the bike path. I jumped in with her and we ran together for a bit but I pulled ahead. At this point I was starting to feel my race and the "peak" week of training which consisted of over 90 miles, track on Tuesday, hill repeats on Thursday, weight workouts for the legs on Tuesday. My pace slowed and that was fine. At mile 27.4 I went straight over to the drop bags and began changing my shoes, applying Ivy Block, refueling my pack and watched as 6 woman came in and blitzed out the aid station. At this point I realized I had run about a 3:30 marathon, hmmmmm way too fast! Stacey arrived and I took her bottle and gave her some Red Bull and she ran after them. It took me another 40 seconds to get everything packed back up and then I was off to chase her down. She got a second wind and it was hard to catch her and my legs were having a hard time springing back after the break. The winds were crazy along the lake and they were making it hard to run very fast. I finally caught Stacey at about mile 37 and I came up on her like a freight train and yelled so hard it scared her death, we ran very strong for about another 6 miles right through an aid station and off for the last 6.5 miles. We knew from here on out we would be climbing almost the whole 6.5 miles to the finish. I was looking forward to this since I was not able to run the flats very well anymore. My hamstrings were screaming so the climbing was nice. We ran all the uphills and really ripped on the any bit of downhill. On the very last climb Stacey pushed it hard and I couldn't catch her before the finish. At this point it was pouring rain and all I had on was shorts and a tank top with my long sleeve tied around my waist. I tried to put my long sleeve back on but it was just too wet. I finished in 8:27 and was pretty happy with that. It was a good end to another tough week so I can't complain. At the finish they had a nice warm shower and I scrubbed with Tecnu like crazy and again when we got back to the room. I was not going to take any chances with the evil oak.

Stacey and I got cleaned up and anticipated Susan's arrival. We felt we had enough time to hurry up and get some fast food. We wanted to start the refueling process and talked about how many calories we would need to eat to get recovered, it was a lot! We started with In-and-Out burger. Got our food and headed back to get Susan. She came in right around 11 hours and looked great! She now has her qualifying run for WS100 08. She is a two time loser so gets in for sure next year. We left as soon as she was ready and drove to Sacramento to spend the night and take any early flight out on Sunday morning. We laughed and shared our day on the trail the whole way, got lost (as usual), laughed some more, and got some more food at Wendy's. Since none of us are fast food frequenter's we got a lesson on how to use a drive through! First we drove right by the lady you are supposed to pay and had to back up. At Taco Bell we were ordering our food and confusing the poor woman. After all our trips to fast food we still had not consumed enough calories to replenish and were all laying on our beds moaning from being so full. We never want to see fast food again!
Our flight left at 7:50 a.m. which meant another early morning but surprisingly we all felt pretty good considering....it must have been all the food :). We got back to Portland at about 10:00 a.m. What a great weekend!

I was pretty tired on Sunday and actually took a nap which is unusual for me but it was awesome. Monday I went for a recovery run and after about a mile felt pretty good but my hamstrings are still a bit sore. This is a recovery week and I am going to milk it for all it's worth. Today is track (very short) and weights so this should be interesting.


Darin Swanson said...

Now you are talking!
It is all about the eating.

I propose that In and Out burger be the official sponsor of the Hagg Lake Aid stations next year.

Good job girls.

olga said...

Sounds like a great trips for the girls! You all ran awesome times, a 3:30 marathon is like a dream that never materialized for me back when I tried...and now that I am slow it is even further away dream :) Way to go on a great effort, and I can't believe you guys eat so much! I mean I heard it before, but it sounds as frigtening as your workouts:)
It is a flat race, but a good test for "running" legs. As last year, PNW runners were least phased out by the rain comparing to CA folks.