Way too Cool 50k - March 4th 2017
This was the first weekend in my life where I was finally way too cool for school. Oh, what the middle school boys who thought I was weird and too tall would think now. Actually, they would still probably think I am a weirdo. But now instead of going home and worrying about how I could redo my makeup and wardrobe or spice up my flirty vernacular, I am totally okay with it. Most people have a different definition of cool than me, and it typically doesn’t involve running 50 km through beautiful, windy, California trails, but I’ll cut my losses.
This is the only cool for me.
Way too cool 50k is a pretty early race to start the 2017 season. It is a test on how well you survived and trained through the winter months, among other things. I was excited to train for something a bit faster than usual and continue to build my speed this winter, and even more excited to race against some awesome, fast women. And since it is a race of over 800 people, and nearby one of the best trail communities in the world (SFRC), I figured it would be a blast!
I spent the weekend with one of my favorites, Celia Santi, who is from GU energy labs and is an absolute badass (SPOILER ALERT: she crushed her first 50k)! We hung out with her awesome intern Gabi, Rebecca Murillo (another badass) and Sablle and Brent from Nathan (who were also running!). It was a rather obnoxious, lively crew, and it was awesome. It’s safe to say that going into the race, the stoke level was HIGH.
We got to the start pretty early to set up the rest of the GU tent (talk about VIP parking) and hand out some gels and dance around with some of the racers. My stomach and I were pretty jazzed that GU would be on course at this race- no TNF repeat!
After a little warmup jaunt, obnoxious frog-jumping boomerangs, and some last-minute coffee chugs, we were off!
05’55”/mile- Mile 1 marker!
Woof- we were off hot! I had expected nothing less, and due to the ever-prevalent buzz and excitement, it didn’t feel that fast. Starting off running with Cat and Amy was fun, chit-chatting up the road, where we saw David, I gave a squeal and an awkward happy jump and we ran on.
Since I had found out that the super speedy, undefeated Megan Roche was racing, I had decided to sit a little bit behind her until over half way. Keeping her close enough to try and catch later on, but running my own race and not going out too fast. The first 8 miles were awesome, pretty fast, flat, and crowded. They were great for mind-numbing chit-chat with some cool SFRC dudes, and it was easy to cruise. I circumnavigated a puddle/lake as well as I could when I saw Coach David before the 8 mile aid station and whooped loudly.
The next part flew by, running along Highway 49 for about 5 miles was awesome. It’s a beautiful non-technical road along the river. It was here where I saw the hilariously decked-out Gordie saying;
“The trail is, thiiiss waaayyy.”
I yelled,”You’re amazing!”
And after another “The trail is thiiiiss way.” I got a “You’re amazing toooooo!”
Day made. What a weird, perfect, man.
After this I ran into Billy Yang, who trotted alongside me casually running a 6’20 mile while carrying camera gear. He’s awesome, and a total badass, going to great lengths to get cool shots for his films. And like always, was super encouraging, leaving me with a smile on my face.
I played a lot of leap-frog with some dudes, and the next thing I knew ~8 miles had passed and we were already at the next aid station! I found out Megan was ~80s ahead of me, filled up my bottle with some Summit Tea, and took off.
Still on the hunt, I enjoyed the mental aspect of chasing someone rather than racing scared or intimidated or worse, passively from behind. However, I still resisted the urge to run faster, thinking it still too early, and wanting to save something for the end of the race and not blow up.
At mile 18- I saw David again, who eagerly told me to keep on going steady. As well as a whole lot of people yelling and giving out high-fives. IF only you guys knew how awesome you were for being out there. THANK YOU.
Nutritionally the GU was sitting well and the Summit Tea Drink was perfect. I was thankful that my nutrition was going well and that I found myself looking to eat before my 30-35 minute time table. I am starting to figure this eating while racing thing out. It’s about time.
Mile 26 was where all the hype was at. Goat Hill did not disappoint- it was steep as hell! But it was actually nice to have the break from the speedier running and yog/hike up it. Shoutout to the man with the cowbell near the top- you brought a smile to my face and a bounce to my step. You rock.
With ~4-5 miles to go I had no clue how far back I was from Megan or where the 3rd place girl was and started to feel a little bit shitty. After popping my ankle pretty badly in one of the many frequent water features on course and cursing myself out, I settled into a shuffle and finally into a run that was a bit slower than I would have liked. The leggies were revolting a little bit to running fast, but overall they felt okay. I ran into the final aid station- expecting it to be the finish, confused on my watch timer in relation to previous years times, and wondering why it was taking so much longer than I had planned. ( I later found out that they had added a bit more climbing/mileage this year) I left the final aid station with 1.25 miles to go running a little bit scared- having heard nothing about 3rd place female the entire race, and a little bit excited.
I rounded the bend and could see the finish and smiled. A smile that had been sparse for the last 3 miles, but that I had been present for the entirety of the race prior. Time to soak it all in, a sub-4 finish, and a lot of great trails shared with awesome people. Not too shabby of a day, eh?
Tip-toeing into the muddy, sink-holey, finish shoot trying not to fall or get my pretty pink shoes dirty- I was so happy to see Megan and David, Gabi, and a whole bunch of others cheering me in. I love this sport.
After a finish line hug from Megan, I waited around cheering in the guys who I had shared some of the run with throughout the morning. I love that feeling, I think I may get more excited for them than I do for myself. After Amy (THE CRUSHER?! AH! Aka badass) Leedham crossed the finish line we all gathered for the typical podium pic. Everyone complimenting and helping each other brought a corny smile to my face. These are my people.
2nd place female, 16th overall, 3:59:05, I’ll take it. For now. I can't wait to see how the rest of 2017 pans out.
-14.8 PB or PB/Chocolate GU energy gels
-2 lower legs full of POISON OAK… arghhh
-3 awkward jump/dances when I saw David/Ryan on course (When/why did I start jumping/trying to dance for photos? I think I am turning into a puppy.)
-4 bottles of Roctane (Summit Tea!)
- >20 “whoops!”
-8 river crossings (that I can remember)
-15 high fives to awesome people crossing the finish after me
-1 photograph fail (as told to me later by the photographer)
-3 speedy Billy Yang sightings
-2 hugs to 2 bad ass ladies at the finish
-1 Gordy Ainsleigh (wearing gypsy clothes) sighting @ Highway 49
-1 pair of beautiful HOT PINK Nike Kiger 4s
Big thanks to my sponsors Nike Trail Running, Gu Energy Labs, Bobo's Oat Bars and InsideTracker for supporting me in my journey. And a special shout-out to Celia Santi with Gu for making this weekend amazing and letting me tag along with her adventures. Coach David was awesome out there supporting his athletes and most importantly keeping me sane in my training. And thanks to everyone else out there volunteering/cheering/giving high-fives/and making the race one of a kind! I will be back! :)