Sunday, May 13, 2012

McDonald Forest 50k

One of my 2012 New Year's resolutions was to not run any 50k races. So Saturday I headed down to McDonald Forest to run my fourth 50k this year. New Year's resolutions are stupid and are meant to be broken.

I know I should race less and since 50k's are more or less "fun runs" in my book, it's be a good idea to cut back. But there always seems to be a reason that I don't want to miss out on the fun. McDonald Forest is my "home course", the place I do most of my trail training, I didn't run last year because of Miwok, and this year's race was dedicated to a good friend and one the most supportive people when I was getting into this crazy sport, so what the heck? What's one more 50k?

The sun was already bright in the sky when I left my house. As I cruised through the sleepy town of Monmouth, two cop cars passed in the opposite direction. Right after they passed, one flipped on its lights. I wondered what was going on, but then the front car flipped a U-turn and eventually pulled me over.

"Ma'am, I pulled you over for speeding. Do you know how fast you were going?" Right about then the second cop car pulled up, too. Ooh, so this situation was so serious Cop #1 needed back-up! I must have been really bad.

"Umm, about 35." I offered.

"Actually, it was almost 40 mph in a 30mph zone. I had you at 38."

Oh, THANK YOU, officer for correcting me, because 38 is SO much closer to 40 than 35. And really, how the heck can 38 mph be considered speeding?? Your average 90 year old drives faster than that!

He let me off with a warning but not before telling me, "When you are speeding and you get pulled over it really ends up costing you more time than if you had just driven the speed limit in the first place." Are you serious? I don't talk to my 7 year old like that! But I guess it was a small price to pay to get out of a ticket. I was so pissed I drove right past the first entrance to Peevy Arboretum, but still got there with plenty of time to spare.

In my head I was planning to start with Ashley. I don't think we had gone two steps before I took the lead. Oops. But I got to run with Lewis Taylor and Dan Olmstead, who were taking a nice conservative start before busting out 4th and 5th place finishes. I should have followed their lead, but I felt great on the downhill gravel road. I fell back a little on the first big hill but overall had a pretty steady climb up to the top of the first aid station. The first part of the maze went well and I felt really good down the Extendo trail (I felt even better when I passed two U of O boys!). But then the climb up Uproute was miserable. We don't walk that section in training and I think I hiked a switch back or two - not good!
My first race in the La Sportiva jersey. I swear two different people asked me  in regards to my shoes "Are those Montrails?" Hmmm, what am I doing wrong? (They are C-lite 2.0 and they were perfect for this course)

At the top Dennis told me he thought I had a 2-3 minute lead on Ashley. I told him it wasn't near enough the way I was climbing. About mile 15 she chugged right by me on an uphill and I knew I wasn't giving chase. It probably should have been upsetting but it wasn't at all. I just stepped over and said,"Hi, Ashley. Why don't you go on ahead; you're the mountain goat." And then she proved me right and left me in her dust.

I pathetically jogged up to Dimple, sweating like a pig. The normally crass Craig Thornley got all shy when I asked for some Vaseline. "You want me to do it??" he asked. Um, yeah, grease up my sweaty back, Big Boy.   Yeah, I guess I can understand his reluctance but he kindly obliged. Unfortunately, it didn't help my uphill running at all, but it made my back feel better.

Alinna caught me at mile 19 and I was like a proud parent as I have been helping her with her training. I am being paid in cocktails, so I think that makes me more of a lush than a coach, but still it was cool to see her training plan culminate in a great race. I encouraged her to run strong and not give up on catching Ashley. She closed the gap and only finished two minutes back, but Ashley was able to hold her off for the win.
Alinna and I cruising down the trail in sync.

I had a horrible time with the ups and then just flew on the downhills. I know I walked way more than I did last time I did this race, but my leg speed is so much better this time. The combo resulted in a 3rd place finish that was less than 20 seconds slower than 2010. Some of that uphill struggle may be due to lingering fatigue from Worlds, just three weeks prior. I had been feeling really good last week, but I know hill climbing muscles are always the last to recover. (My recovery goes endurance, speed, hills, in that order). But I suspect the complete absence of any serious hills in training for the last 3 months played a part, too.
This was my "Ugh-why did i do that?" face. When I look at this picture, I make that face again, and think "ugh!  why did I make that face?" 

My hubby Mac was out on the course all day, too, only he was sweeping. He is obviously the photogenic one in the family. He has decided that maybe he has found his true calling as an ultra-runner as he thought it was great fun to go at a casual pace with a few companions eating up all the aid station left overs.
Mac cleaning up in the Mac
Tough job!
After the race it took me forever to get home, because I set my cruise control to stay at exactly57 mph going up Hwy 99 with its lame 55 mph speed limit. 57, of course, being much closer to 55 than to 60. But I didn't think I could handle another righteous officer speech. ;)


Olga said...

How is that everyone gets warnings, and I get tickets? What am I doing wrong? I already never go 5mph over!
Nice looking singlet, Ms. FOMO!

Ronda said...

Great job Pam! Nice recovery from Worlds and best of luck at WS.

Careful with that speeding! I just got off driving restriction and if I get another ticket before Sept. 1 I lose my license for 30 days. All due to annoying speeding tickets under 45 MPH. Ridiculous, now I drive the speed limit and have never been honked at and flipped off more in my life!