Monday, July 8, 2013

Trail Stories From Western States

My race report is up at iRunFar (link), but I had a few stories from WS left to share.

At Dusty Corners there was a lot of shock when I came in leading the women's race as I was most certainly not one of the favorites. Craig Thornley was there joking around with me and giving me good advice. But after the race, my crew told me he asked them, "Does she really think she can win?". I guess he was a little shocked, too!

At the bottom of El Dorado canyon, I asked if there was any ice and a nice volunteer said yes, he had some and where would I like it. I held open my bra for him and he sheepishly threw in a few pieces. "Oh, you gotta do better than that," I told him, "Come on now, get friendly!" I left with a bra full of ice. ;)

At Michigan Bluff Mac was there to crew me alone because he left Dennis at Bath Road to make sure he was there ready to pace when I got there. No matter as so many great people stepped in to help Mac including Jimmy Dean Freeman, a couple of volunteers and Ken Sinclair. Mac expressed it best on Facebook, to say how amazing the ultra-community and how much they were like family, as Ken's wife Denise was running for a top 10 spot, and I was her competitor. When I thanked Ken, he said he was just there to give me a rub-down. Awesome sportsmanship, Ken, and the best rub-down on the course by far!

I mentioned my encounter with Karl Meltzer in my report and how he said to me, "Hey, Pam. You're gonna take my M9." What I didn't say is that I got a little cheeky with Karl and fired back, "Well, I just had to prove to you that I should have been on your odds list." I am pretty sure the Speedgoat can handle a little sass. But then I thanked him for leaving me off his list, because I've had three great races that way and the only one he ranked me well, I completely bombed. I told him I was ok if he wanted to leave me off all the rest of his lists, too. We did ask him if he wanted to run with us, but I don't think I made a good enough first impression for him to break his no pacer rule!

Running up Robie Point there was a rustle in the bushes just off the trail and I had a flashback to the stories of 2011 when several of the lead ladies got stopped by a bear. I told Dennis I couldn't handle it if a bear jumped out onto the trail and that that would be a sucky way to lose the race. Dennis told me not to worry because he would chase any bear that got in my way! The bears must've heard that because they didn't give us any trouble!

When I came onto the Placer High School track my daughter Megan was waiting to finish with me. When I got on the track, she took off running madly until Mac yelled at her, "Megan, run next to your Mom. Don't try to beat her!"

At the finish I finally met Gary Gellin, someone I had had an online debate with over the importance of speedwork in training. I think it is an important part of training but he is not a big fan. After I won, he congratulated me and said, "Well, I guess you can keep the speedwork."

At the award ceremony when Tim and I went to pick up the cougar trophies he very kindly warned me,"Careful, that thing is heavy. I nearly dropped it on my toe last year!"

And the funniest story: JB Benna and his crew were out filming again at this year's Western States, this time with more emphasis on the women's race. They had done a lot interviews with the top women before the race. But since I was not I favorite, I was not included in those interviews, so after the race, I had to do a fake pre-race interview. It was hilarious. He was asking me how I thought my training went and what my goals were for the race and did I think I'd be up at the front of the pack. And in my head I was thinking about saying, "I am feeling so confident in my training that I can guarantee a victory!" but even after winning I knew I couldn't pull that off, so I answered with these vague silly responses, and the whole time I had the dorkiest grin on my face because it just seemed so ridiculous. Can't wait to see the movie!


Sara Montgomery said...

Ha, such funny stories, thanks for sharing!

Huge Congrats on your Win!!!

Olga said...

Totally can't wait to see the movie too! :)

Unknown said...

Wow, congratulations! A fellow Williams alum (I graduated in '92) just sent me the article about your race! So inspiring!

I was especially happy to see that you also have a full-time job and two kids because that's what I'm juggling (with distance triathlon training, not ultra-running) and I wasn't sure there was anyone out there who's got the same kind of crazy going on! I fully agree that it can be done! It's not easy or pretty but it's awesome!

Your post on being a bad-ass mom was great and it was helpful to see what's worked for you. Congrats and thanks for sharing your experience through your blog!

Nicole said...

Great race report on irunfar and thanks for sharing more fun stories from the race and congrats again! I really enjoy reading your blog. I'm an ultrarunning mom of 3 boys (6 and under) and you are an inspiration!
Hope you are enjoying some R & R with your family. :)

Trisha said...

Congratulations. Thanks for sharing this great story and please keep doing, cause your are my great inspiration.

tri-fit mom said...

you are so funny. I LOVE to read your words!

Goes On Runs said...

I love the one about megan! can't wait to see the movie. make sure you post when it comes out! congrats again.

Paul Shigley said...

I was ice man in El Dorado Canyon. I appreciate your description of me. Keeps me in good standing with my wife.

I was surprised at the time mostly because (a) I didn't expect to see you in first place, and (b) you looked remarkably fresh and strong in the heat of the day. Congrats on making all of the expect and non-expert prognosticators look foolish.

Next year, I'll get out the large ice scoop for you!