Thursday, May 9, 2013

Leona Divide Race Report.

Note: I changed the name of my blog to something I liked better (thanks to Paper Bird).  I hope you like it too.

Leona Divide 50K

As we lined up on the starting line I eagerly said hi to the few familiar faces I saw.  I was excited to run my first ultra, and I wanted to run it fast! When we started, the 50 mile guys took off and it felt good to trail right behind them.  Jeremy Humphrey was staying with me, and told me to make sure I stayed comfortable.  I heard him, but I don't know if I totally listened.  After the 1st aid station I let some of the faster guys take off, and Jeremy once again reminded me that we still had three hours of running ahead of us and to not push it too hard.  "Dully, noted." I thought as I watched him run ahead of me.

We climbed a little longer to meet the PCT. It felt good to finally get onto some single track, and to open up on the down hill.  The descent felt good, and all was well until I stepped funny coming into the next aid station and the first twinge of a cramp shot up my right ham string.  

It was great to see Jess at the aid station, and as I was about to take off I saw Yassin Diboun pulled in.  He was a welcomed sight.  I was excited to have some company up the next climb.  We took off together, talking about how fast the 50 mile guys took off.  Just as I felt I was getting into a good groove my right hammy froze up, and I had to let Yassin go.  This was the story of the rest of the race.  My legs blew up with cramps as I hiked up to the turn around.  There were a few moments that I thought about dropping as my calves, quads, and hammies cramped simultaneously, stopping me in my tracks.  I decided to keep shuffling until I couldn't any more, and so I slowly made it to the turn around, shuffled back down, and on through the rest of the race.  It was indeed a frustrating time, as I went from second ultimately to seventh and finished in a time of 4:49.

Although I had wished to do better, it was a good learning experience for my first 50k.  I concluded that I just went out too fast, and by mile 16 my legs had had enough.  That being said I am going to change my training around with more high intensity workouts thrown in (thanks for the advice Yassin).  My next race is Shadow of Giants 50K June 8th, and so I have a few weeks to beat up my legs. 

The week after the race I was able to meet some good friends in Northern California at the family ranch and spend time running around the Siskyous. 

Trent and Jeanne on top of Pilot Rock

Pilot Rock Scrambling
It was great to take a step back for the weekend, and just enjoy running and being outside with Jess, Trent, and Jeanne.


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