Whew. What a day! I guess I was a little off in my earlier post, Squaw Peak 50 pre-race. I said the race will really start for me at mile 33. WRONG! The race starts at 5 am. Phil and I pulled up to the race, got out of the car and woo-hoo, the race was under way. We sprinted to drop off our drop bags and get to the start. Not only were we late but it was raining pretty good too.
I clocked some PR down the first 3+ miles on the paved path. I knew I had to get ahead of alot of people to keep my chances of a sub 12 alive. Once you get off the path, you start going up and I didn't want to get pinned behind everyone. I ran with Phil until the pavement ended and he stopped for a potty break and I kept going.
The rain has made for an unexpected experience. MUD! The trail was a mess. We were going straight up and the mud was brutal. People were sliding an falling everywhere. I later found out a few people broke bones on this part. Yikes. The rain got harder and heavier as we made our way up the muddy single track.
I was definitely behind in my splits and was trying to adjust mentally to the fact that after 7 miles I was off on my times. Things turned for me surprisingly enough when it started to SNOW. Yep, wasn't expecting snow in June. Started off as a flurry and while others were complaining I thought, hey-this is pretty cool. My feet were soaked which is a huge peat peeve of mine and the snow just froze them. As we trekked along, we had entered a blizzard. The snow was now falling sideways due to the wind and I would guess there was at least 3 fresh inches on snow on the ground.
The views were spectacular and the snow made it surreal. I chose not to pull out the iPod and just enjoy nature.
I came into AS #5 and was feeling the effects of a long decent. Once we hit Hobble Creek road, I was pretty beat up. I used alot more energy than I was expecting with the slick conditions and my feet felt pretty bad. Once on the road, i wanted to see if I could make up any time but I just didn't feel it. I was sputtering along and came across Jaime and Ron Remkes. WOW, talk about speed walking. Without them there I would have really struggled but talking with them helped me forget how I felt and they really pulled me on the road.
We hit AS#6 and I was in and out quick. Just a few hundred yards past the AS, I stopped and took my shoes and socks off to clear them out. Good move on my part. The sun started to come out so I stopped and pulled off my Pearl Izumi Fly jacket which saved me thus far. Once I took off the jacket, it revealed the Team Pearl Izumi-Smith race shirt. Talk about an adrenaline rush! I felt so proud to wear it and once I saw it I had to get moving. I am just the manager, not an athlete so I couldn't let them down. I passes quite a few people up the road to AS#7.
In and out of AS#7 quick and headed toward #8. This is my favorite part of the course. It is beautiful. Aspens, creeks and groves of trees everywhere.
Hit AS#8 and got in and out of there quick too. Walked all the hills and caught up to a couple guys who were running so I thought, what the hell. Stayed with them all the way to Windy Pass.
Windy Pass beat me last year but I will be a little cocky and call it a draw this year. It cheated and decided to be covered in snow. It was a crazy rough climb but I kept on keeping on. It wasn't as bad as I thought and I actually passed a few people going up which is a far cry from last year.
Ran with Kasey, Billy and Joel until AS#9. In and out quick.
Time to haul off of Windy.....wait-tons of damn snow. Took longer to get down but knowing I would be done soon I flew. Got to AS#10 and there was my family. Surprise! That felt great. I took off my Nathan vest, grabbed a handheld and hit the road.
I ran the entire road to the finish which for me felt great. As I turned the corner to the finish I knew I would finish sub 13 which was nice. I picked up Aspen and grabbed Sami's hand and headed toward the finish. 12:44! I will take it. Considering the conditions I feel good with this. I cut out almost 2 hours from last year and overall I felt good. What a difference a year can make.
Thanks to everyone who helped me through this.
I left a few things out but didn't want to write a novel. If we talk soon I will share a few "war" stories.