Monday, June 8, 2009

Squaw Peak 50- 2009 report

Well, it just wasn't my day. I know anything can happen in a race but I was sure hoping for more. I got to the start in time this year which was a plus. I dropped off my drop bags and began to focus on my 3rd running of the race. Once again my goal was 11:30 and I really thought I could do this. To put it in perspective, the winner finished in 8:05.

I lined up next to my buddy Phil and the race began. I wanted to get off the bike path ahead of a lot of runners in order to be in good shape at the beginning on the dirt trail and climb. I settled in behind Tom and Kacey. As we hit the dirt I felt like I put myself in a good spot not to get stuck behind too many people on the first climb. After a stop to take care of a wardrobe malfunction I was off again. I decided not to look at my split card until AS #6. I didn't want to put any added pressure on myself and just wanted to run according to how comfortable I felt. I felt strong early on and just tried to keep on top of my nutrition. I was hoping for a little cooler temps and even a little sprinkle during the day but no luck. I came into AS #5 and knew I needed to run Hobble Creek road in order to have a realistic shot at my goal. In the two prior years I walked almost if not all of the road. I HATE running on roads! I ran about 90% of it this year and was pleased with the effort. I got to AS#6 and checked my split card for the first time. I was 2 minutes off my projected pace. At that point I was psyched. Last year I felt I had a great second half of the course and looked forward to getting it on again. I left 6 and about 15-20 minutes later, all hell broke loose. It started with my Achilles. It felt great all day and I hadn't even thought about it but I got some good pain and then what I would describe as "spasms". I sat on a rock to assess what was going on. I rubbed my Achilles for about 5 minutes and began to push up the dirt road. Out of nowhere my stomach turned south. I decided to walk ab it to see if I could gather myself. I knew by going this slow I would need to push somewhere else along the way. I hit AS#7 and still wasn't feeling that great. I looked forward to leaving 7 because I love this section of the course. Fortunately/unfortunately it lasted long enough this year to enjoy it. I came into 8 and knew I couldn't stay long. I grabbed my drop bag, reloaded and off I went. After the endless climb I got into a little groove and ran the single track do the bottom of Windy Pass. It looked like a death march up the mountain and I was next. Half way up I came across a guy who decided 2- 10 ounce water bottles were going to be enough for him. SURPRISE- it wasn't. He was in pretty bad shape so I gave him some of mine and kept on going. As I was going through the bowl on Windy there was another guy just shivering on the side of the trail. I gave him my gloves and arm warmers in hopes that would help. As I got into AS #9 a few other runners already notified the volunteers about the dude shivering on the mountain so they grabbed a blanket and went after him (I hope he was okay, I never heard anymore about him- you can keep the clothes though). I left 9 knowing my goal was out of reach and could only think about my wife and kids waiting for me to show up at 10. Poor family waited along time. I bombed down the mountain and before I got to 10 I saw my 2 kids and my sister. What a rush! I then saw my wife who took pictures of her ego broken husband. I limped into 10 and spent a few minutes with the family before heading down the final 3+ miles of road. I HATE road! With about a mile and a half to go, my wife jumped out of the car and paced me the rest of the way. Boy did that ever help. Without her I wouldn't have gotten my PR. I would have probably walked it in-Thanks honey! As like the 2 years past, I met my 2 beautiful girls and we crossed the line together. 12:26:44. YIKES! Not real happy about it but hey- what can I do about it now. Overall I am disappointed in the result. Yes I got a PR but my time was less than stellar. No excuses- I just didn't have it on this day. My littlest one said' "what took you so long", my response- "it just wasn't daddy's day". No excuses, the mountain beat me down.

It was great to see so many friends and family at the finish. I feel so lucky to be surrounded by so many great people. Thank you all for your support and friendship. Congrats to all those who ran- too many people to mention. Congrats to Corky Esquivel for a PR of 13 hours- good luck at Wasatch this September. A huge congrats to Scott Jaime- 1st place in 8:05 and 8th fastest time ever. Way to go Fast Eddy! You deserve it!

It's too early to break down what went wrong/right but I am sure I will figure some things out. Prediction for 2010- under 11 hours! No question. Squaw Peak is already my focus race for next year. Race results are not up yet but I will post the link soon.

Hey- did anyone else get cut to hell on all the over growth?


Brad Mitchell said...

Hey Aric - Sorry your day didn't come together as planned - at least you got one hell of a fifty mile workout! Other great races to look forward to. Enjoy recovery!

FastED said...

some days it comes together, some days it doesn't. Either way you came away with a PR, stronger, smarter, and above all wanting more!

Great job and great seeing you and the fam!


corky said...

Hi Aric,
It was great meeting you after all my wife's glowing comments about you at work. You ran an amazing time in a hard race. The disappointment will only make you more motivated to train for next year's adventure. Sami sure is cute! See you on the trails.

Christian said...

Great effort Aric! Given what you had to work with (achilles) I would say you persevered and conquered the course, not the other way around. Recover quickly.

Sami said...

Great job dude I couldn't be more proud! I love so much! Don't be disappointed you tried your hardest and that was great!!!!!!!!!!!!
I look up to you and hope to one day have your extremely positive, out going and always tring attitude! I love you love,

Aspen said...


Translation: I love you Dad. Good job! Thank you for the love and for letting me snuggle. Thank you for letting me help on the road.
Love, Snuggle Bug.

Melony said...

It was an honor to run along side of you. You are an amazing inspiration to all of us. I am so proud of you. You had a great run and next year will be even better.
I love you!

Brian Beckstead said...


Lots can go wrong but maybe that's why we love ultra's so much. Something about the process of overcoming. Way to work through it and get a PR. See you on the trails.