Trailer Trash

12

RR - Grizzly Peak 50k (Read 49 times)


Ultra Cowboy

    I'm starting this RR the Day before so I can fully capture the pre-race emotion.

     

     

    When I missed my 50 k in March due to a long drawn out Flu, and accompanying respiratory difficulties, I was disappointed but happy with the progression of my training up to that point.  The training was its own reward, giving me a good base for the upcoming trail half marathon in April.  I'd been training on long runs with my friend and ultra mentor, Lori.  She had qualified and entered the Western States 100 miler, with a couple of shorter ultras leading up to it as training races.  I'd promised I'd assist with those events, so I had to get back into her training schedule rather than just slack off to HM distance training.  Coincidentally, she missed the March 50k as well due to an injury so we were both "on the mend" throughout the end of March.

     

    Lori alerted me to the Grizzly Peak Race. When I was able to knock out a 24 mile trail run as the capper to a 40 mile/three day back to back training session, my confidence was high enough.  I entered the 50k that would be 14 days later, on unfamiliar trails, with more elevation gain than I had experienced in any one run or race to date.  I fully expected that this would be my longest time on my feet in my running career.  The course repeated a 13 mile loop twice and finished after another 6 mile section of that trail.  Three times I would be at the "finish” and the urge to drop at 13, and 26 was going to be immense on this challenging course.

     

    ...continued

    Saturday evening I made the 50 minute drive to a friend's house in the Berkeley area.  It was 2.5 miles from the Start at Lake Anza.  After a Beer and a baked potato with chili that night I retired to my sleeping bag on a Thermarest.   I had Nacho the cat keeping me company as I read a few pages of Cormac McCarthy to try to take my mind off the looming race.

     

    I slept well that night and awoke well rested to a cup of coffee and ate 1.5 packets of instant oatmeal.  Lori picked me up and we arrived at the Start with plenty of time to spare.

     

    Weather was cool and foggy, with winds up to 15 mph, and occasional showers. 61 was the predicted high and I wore an Under Armour compression shirt under my tech singlet with a Smartwool merino wool longsleeve over the top.

     

    The runners at the start consisted of half marathon, 30k, marathon, and 50k distance.  There were 40 runners in the marathon and 40 runners in the 50k distances.

     

    Before we left the start, Wendell of Coastal Trail Runs gave us our pre-race briefing and mentioned that some of the trails were slippery.  A half mile in we hit a logjam of runners as we tried to negotiate a clay slick trail section that had us scrambling to keep our feet.  My NB Leadville 1210’s did outstanding in the slick mud, but it was still treacherous.

     

    I bypassed the water aid station at mile 1.7 as runners began to spread out.  Along the next few miles I began to take stock of who was around me.  I noticed an older grey  haired gentleman in cutoff jeans with a plastic water bottle, trail shoes and gaiters.  I figured him for an experienced mountain goat and vowed I wouldn’t try to keep up with him if he left me in the dust.  There also was a pair of young ladies wearing shirts that said they were “Moving for Leukodema”.  They had a strong contingent of fans along the course.  We traded places back and forth throughout the first loop, walking the steep hills that went up the side of Vollmer peak

     

    The next aid station Big Springs was 600 ft down at the bottom of the Lupine trail that came down off of Vollmer peak  at mile 4.7 where I topped off my water and grabbed  a quarter of a PB&J sandwich.  I would do this throughout the race, and the solid food, along with Clif Shot blocks kept me pretty well fueled.

     

    We took Arroyo trail up to the Seaview trail and ran along the smooth rolling ridge top where fog pushed by blustery wind rolled by, and turned down the Big Springs and Quarry trail that took us back to the Big Springs aid station 3.7 miles later.  Another quarter of a pb&j and we climbed back up the side of Vollmer peak and down the Grizzly Peak trail where we met the slippery Selby trail we had come out.

     

    I turned around at the start line at about 2:50:00 after 13 miles.  I felt pretty good that I was now running a trail I’d been on once.   The hills weren’t any easier, but I knew they would top out and where there were runnable sections.   There was a lot of uphill trudging along the way.  On the second loop I took a wrong turn up a trail that added 2 miles (and 25-30 minutes) to my second loop.  I could tell because the Leukodema Duo I was leading met me on their third loop as I was a mile from the turn around.

     

    I’ll have to admit it was tough to not get down on myself for getting off course, but I kept my head up and reminded myself I could do the extra mileage.  I focused on the trail ahead of me.  When I was about 1000 yards from the final turnaround, I passed a smiling 71 year young lady headed out for her final 6 miles in the 50k.  She asked if I was finishing and I replied “Nope, I’m right behind you!”  That cemented my resolve.

     

    I rolled in to the start area to Lori waiting to kick my ass back out onto the course.  I grabbed my PB&J and topped off my water drank a shot of Coca Cola, and ate as I power walked my way back for the final 6 mile loop.   My goal was to catch the runner ahead of me sometime in the next 6 miles.

     

    I hit the 1.7 mile water station and no sign of her.  On the latter part of the 1.8 mile climbing section, I would catch a glimpse of her purple shirt above me through the trees.  I kicked it up into a run on the downhill section, and finally caught her a half mile from the finish.  I managed to roll into the finish looking stronger than I felt. The clock read 8:10Tight lippedx but I was happy I was able to cover the distance and glad to get my Finisher Coaster with the roaring grizzly emblem.  This one will be onmy desk for awhile.

     

    As I drank my recovery beer, and ate some soup I learned Lori had been 2nd woman overall, and 2nd in her age group.  I think she is on track to do well at Miwok in May.

     

    We celebrated with pizza and beer that night and demolished both deep dish and thin crust pizzas. We talked about the Annadel trail half marathon, and how I was going to recover in time to do it.  Right now the elation of finishing a tough race is eclipsing the muscle soreness, and time concerns of next week’s race.

    I'm a rambler, I'm a gambler, I'm a green lumber handler, I'm a gypo from Pelican Bay....

    runtraildc


      Good luck, rocky!

      NorthernHarrier


        Rocky-- I like your style. Cool! Ditto on the good luck!

        jamezilla


        Follower of Forrest

          Good luck...the anticipation is building!

          6/21 - Manitou's Revenge 54mi

           

          A man may never run the same trail twice for it is not the same trail and he is not the same man


           

            Hope the running gods smile upon you,  and you have a great race!


            Uh oh... now what?

              Uh... is this a "How do you keep Trashittes in suspense?" thing?


              Ultra Cowboy

                I added on to the OP...

                 

                 

                Short Version...Got a lot of work this AM...

                distance 50k 6900 feet of elevation.

                time 8:10Tight lippedx

                Bonus miles : 2 (my fault) I figure it cost me a good 25 minutes getting back on track.

                 

                Happy I did the race.  Happy with my fueling.  Minimal "bad mood" times.  Pleased with all my gear.

                 

                My training partner Lori was 2nd in her AG (50-59)  and 2nd woman overall.  (40 people total entered in 50k)

                 

                I wasn't DFL.  I really thought that was going to be a possibility.

                I'm a rambler, I'm a gambler, I'm a green lumber handler, I'm a gypo from Pelican Bay....

                AT-runner


                  Congratulations, Rocky.  Bonus miles are always free, and will add to your story for years to come.


                  Uh oh... now what?

                    I added on to the OP...

                     

                     

                    Short Version...Got a lot of work this AM...

                    distance 50k 6900 feet of elevation.

                    time 8:10:CoolSmileBig grin

                    Bonus miles : 2 (my fault) I figure it cost me a good 25 minutes getting back on track.

                     

                    Happy I did the race.  Happy with my fueling.  Minimal "bad mood" times.  Pleased with all my gear.

                     

                    My training partner Lori was 2nd in her AG (50-59)  and 2nd woman overall.  (40 people total entered in 50k)

                     

                    I wasn't DFL.  I really thought that was going to be a possibility.

                     

                    Fixed the smiley .. congratulations.


                    Ultra Cowboy

                      John your words (from your bio in Ultrarunner) about running more and racing less have done  a lot on improving my perspective.

                      I'm a rambler, I'm a gambler, I'm a green lumber handler, I'm a gypo from Pelican Bay....


                      Uh oh... now what?

                        Kind words, Rocky, thank you--from somewhere else.

                        Running or Racing—a comparative analysis

                        Runners…

                        Racers…

                        stop to look at the trees as they pass by.

                        ricochet off trees as they zoom across the landscape.

                        worry about their flashlight batteries lasting.

                        get to the finish line before dark.

                        enjoy the aid stations

                        sometimes pass through before the aid stations are set up.

                        take naps in tents at aid stations.

                        take naps as they wait at the finish line.

                        watch flowers opening in the morning sun.

                        pass through in the predawn darkness.

                        worry about cut-off times.

                        worry about course or age-group records.

                        write next-of-kin information on their wrist bands

                        write split times on their wrist bands

                        wonder if there will be any beer at the aid stations.

                        wonder what kind of electrolyte replacement drinks will be at the aid stations

                        get a hamburger as they pass through towns

                        slap down one more bit of tofu enriched yoghurt, whey, and scampi granola

                        talk to local farmers as they pass by

                        scare chickens, cows, and small children

                        are relieved to hear someone approaching from behind

                        feel the pressure of someone approaching from behind

                        seldom get lost as they follow those hundreds of sets of footprints

                        worry about course markings (color, context, intent, malcontent, bent… )

                        admire the view as they amble on across the landscape

                        are vaguely aware of something off to the right—or was it left?

                        know the names of the “sweep” at 17 different events in 8 counties and 3 states.

                        drop if more than 17 minutes behind predicted time for the day.

                        say “Thank you.  Yes, I do believe I’ll have another brownie” just before being pushed out of the aid station.

                        smile and say “Thank you” over her shoulder as she heads for home.

                        have been seen grabbing trees, cactus, and other runners to keep from careening off the course on a switchback.

                        make it look so easy, seldom stirring up dust or even disturbing the llamas.

                        have out-of-body experiences as the day goes by and the finish line recedes in the afternoon sun.

                        have been heard to wonder admiringly about how the rest of us cope with being out there so long.

                        sometimes curse day of race registration.

                        follow a plan conceived months ago.

                        have long involved conversations with others as they pass or get passed.

                        surface long enough for a smile and an often monosyllabic response.

                        have teddy bears, dragons, and other karma caretakers of the foray jangling from their fanny packs, CamelBaks,…

                        have a hand-bottle.

                        have been seen in cotton t-shirts.

                        have all that super-neato logo stuff.

                        slay inner dragons on good days.

                        slay inner dragons on good days.

                        compete in their time, in their style, on their terms…

                        compete in their time, in their style, on their terms…

                        Sweet?

                        Sweet?

                        Sweet!

                        Sweet!

                        jamezilla


                        Follower of Forrest

                          Nice job Rocky, sounds like a tough 50k.

                          6/21 - Manitou's Revenge 54mi

                           

                          A man may never run the same trail twice for it is not the same trail and he is not the same man


                           

                          jamezilla


                          Follower of Forrest

                            John, that comparison is great.  The funny thing is, I read it and thought "this is biased to make RUNNERS sounds like they have the better deal".  I had my GF read it and she says "It was good but it was geared towards the RACERS".  My conclusion is that it is a fair and unbiased comparison.  I certainly enjoyed it.

                            6/21 - Manitou's Revenge 54mi

                             

                            A man may never run the same trail twice for it is not the same trail and he is not the same man


                             

                            FTYC


                            Faster Than Your Couch!

                              A very well run race, Rocky, congratulations on finishing and pulling it through! Seems like you had a great day out in the wind and mud.

                               

                              John: Funny, and spot-on!

                              Run for fun.

                              mtwarden


                              running under the BigSky

                                congrats on a what sounds like a tough 50k (is there such a thing as an easy 50k? Big grin)  can definitely relate to the flu/respiratory problems, sucks

                                 

                                I'm hoping to officially join the ranks of the 50k finishers hopefully in the not too distant future Smile

                                                                                           2014 

                                HURL Fat Ass 50k  1/11- DNS sick :(

                                Zion Traverse 47 miles 4/5 DNS :( stress fracture in heel

                                Don't Fence Me In 30k  14k 5/10 ✓

                                Pengelly Double Dip 13.1 miles & 3000' 6/7 ✓

                                Devils Backbone 50 mile (I'm running 25 as a two person relay) 7/19 ✓ Wow!

                                Ellkhorn 23k 8/2- this is a maybe- little close to the Bridger???? signed up :)  ✓ 

                                Bridge Ridge Run 20 miles 8/9  ✓ 

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