Tuesday, March 25, 2014

OLD GOAT 50km Trail Run.

Climbing up towards Blue Jay another 8 miles to go!
So I signed up for Old Goat 50 miler, I had had quite a good March, LA Marathon, then a 200 mile double bike ride at Joshua Tree and thought a nice trail run would compliment the activity of March...
However I also knew that Old Goat 50miler was a challenging course. So you can imagine my horror when I opened my e mail on the Monday to see the course had been changed to plan B, and before we panicked there was 48miles of technical single track and two miles of asphalt! My heart sunk into my stomach the blow was softened by the final paragraph you can do a 50km option....with out hesitation I had changed my 50miler into a sweet 50km run albeit still 30 miles of stuff I would not rather run or hike on with a mile of asphalt...(do happy dance
All smiles at 6:15am
I arrived at the race Blue Jay camp ground at 5.15am with my friends Jill and Andy. There was a lot of runners already there and we had quite a walk from the car to the check in. It was not that cold and I was hoping to have an awesome time out on the trails out of my comfort zone for sure!
the trail was magical

Started out on asphalt and with in  a few minutes a right turn put us on a steady 3 mile down hill of single track not even two miles and I was dead last!! I laughed out loud I refused to be sad instead I embraced the hesitancy I have with downhill trails full of rocks! mmm were do I put my foot? will I trip. The first loop was 11 miles and the saying what goes down must go up is very true. at around mile 4 the loop swerved to the right and was marked Cocktail..mmm an appetizer of what is to come may be? That first loop was fun down hill of sand stone and single track strewn with rocks and roots. Unfortunately in this loop one of the women called Pam had some how injured herself on the technicality of the down hill as I approached the group she was having a piggy back of a fellow ultra runner while her ultra running buddies supported her by talking and camaraderie her ankle had been splinted with two sticks and her spirits were high Oh how I admired the runners taking turns to piggy back her to safety were the EMS could take over....
well marked no excuse to miss the trail..

Cocktail loop did not disappoint it was everything that Steve said it would be ......
Pam with her ankle splint out out sticks!And this is were Pam made a lot of really great friends, I truly hope her ankle heals quickly these runners carried her down some serious single track...

Loop One ended back at Blue Jay I had to climb up 3 miles to get to the start/finish line, after goofing around and enjoying the aid station I headed out for my 20 mile loop.
 I went down the same 3 miles instead of turning at Cocktail I ate one of my hammerbars and actually felt quite happy! I went straight it continued down hill to the Pirates aid station! Do not ask what Pirates were doing at Mile 15 but I was grateful to see them! I stocked up on my water and Hammer Fizz and endurolytes then they said only 4.8 miles to the next aid station which would be Candy land!!

With hopes of a chocolate fountain and promises of Candyland ahead I set off to what would be probably the most challenging single track I personally have ever tackled...quitting was not an option and the fast runners were already on their way back up this stretch of rocks sand and boulders! I thought I would never get to mile 20! The look of agony on the runners returning up this hill made me wonder why I should keep going down!Yet it was really pretty and eventually I found myself on a loop were there were no runners, was I on the right trail? had I gone wrong...then I saw the tell tale sign the orange and green ribbon...and soon I was at Candy land which did not disappoint they shared their stash of chocolate covered pretzels and I was on my way back to Blue Jay 10 miles of mostly up hill....
Candyland Volunteers..

The last 10 miles were fun, as I saw returning runners doing 50 miles; it was mostly uphill and I do not mind running up hill, I saw my friends Ray, Andy , Jose and Jill on their way out for another 20 mile loop I was Happy it was a beautiful day and I had conquered my fear of rocky downhill technical trails familiarity of the return was gratifying...Back at the pirates Aid station I saw another volunteer I knew Kristen The amazing thing about those volunteers is that they hiked all the water and supplies so that us the runners could keep hydrated and well fuelled. I smiled I gave out high fives I would soon be back at Blue Jay.
As I left the Pirates aid station not but a mile Fabrice past me in first place 50 miler! Yikes he was like 15 miles ahead of me!!!
Expresso Hammer gel yum!

Kristen at Pirates Aid station!

 I enjoyed the scenery of the Cleveland Mountains, I admired the wild flowers I gave out encouragement to the other runners doing the 50 miles and then I was crossing the finish line woot woot I had survived the 50km run! I felt awesome and Steve Harvey the Original Old Goat was there to give me my finisher medal. I had placed 2nd female and there was a LOT of runners who had decided not to make that second 20 mile loop!

Running Happy

finisher medal and 2nd Place in 50km

 It seems appropriate to share this snippet from The Twenty16 Pro Cycling team training log by Mari Holden....
When the team met for dinner later, Barry would tell us all "Work on your weaknesses. When you work on your strengths, all you are doing is satisfying ego." This sounds like a modernization of Shoshin. Shoshin means coming to a situation with a beginner's mind. It means leaving judgment and pride behind. It means allowing yourself to see something with fresh eyes. When you focus on training your strengths you are closing a door on what you are capable of. You do not have a beginner's mind. When you work on your weaknesses, you are not afraid to challenge yourself, you are not afraid to fail, you are not stroking your ego, and you are pedaling with a beginner's mind.
~ Mary
Colleen and Lorraine at the finish line.

A huge thank you to Steve Harvey and his race committee and volunteers. The course was as challenging as it was beautiful, the aid stations were well stocked, the weather was perfect, the camaraderie of the runners and volunteers amazing. The finish line was amazing, veggie burgers,vegan chili, great medals, hula hoop etc etc
Big Shout out to Hammer Nutrition, Brooks Running, Kool n Fit, Rudy Project USA, Ocean Potion, Polar USA, To Andy and Jill for the carpool. to Ray for getting me home, Just an awesome day thank you.

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