Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A Long Hot Day On The Trails

This past weekend I did my final real long run before The Sierra Nevada Endurance Run 50 mile. I met up with some great friends and some new friends as well. We were all planning on running various distances so the group would get smaller as we went on. Wonder Woman and I had planned on running 20 miles while Power Girl was running 12 but ended up doing 14 and Coach Nikon came out and did 10 miles as he is in taper mode for his 100k this weekend.
Let me tell you that this group is fast, and when I say fast I mean so fast they are a blur. I did my thing and took my place in the rear and just kept on moving. I knew that I had a long day on the trails and I didn’t need to blow up. I did for the most part keep them in my sights and they were nice enough to wait for me at the 3.5 mile mark. I wasn’t that far behind, well at least I didn’t think so.

I was feeling pretty good my legs felt strong I was mentally focused and I just told myself to enjoy the day. It was a bit muggy and we were all sweating buckets when we regrouped at the 6 mile mark. Here I enjoyed hearing about some stories of the guys adventures at their 100 mile ultras. While I was enjoying the story I suddenly let out a loud scream and jumped for the sky. I had been stung by a bee. It was following me and I yelled “I got stung by a bee” and then I took off running with the others close behind. It felt like I was in flight mode, I was just running scared. Out of all 6 of us I was the one that the bee decided to sting.
I was running at a very fast paced, dodging bushes here and trees there, when all of a sudden a huge bug flew into my nose. Wonder Girl just laughed as I flung my arms about. It was a sight to see. Soon the guys decided to turn around and it was just the three of us. Power Girl, Wonder Woman and myself.  

About a mile down Power Girl decided to head back, but before she did we let 3 horses pass us. The three girls on the horses seemed to not like this section of trail and really wanted a place to get out. The closest place for them was about 4 miles to Twin Rocks. As the horses passed us we said our goodbyes to Power Girl. We started to laugh though as we had just let the horses pass us and now Power Girl was headed in the same direction as the horses and would be moving much faster than them. Opps bad planning, but I am sure Power Girl had no problem passing the horses.
Then there were two, we started the run with 8 and slowly everyone turned back. Wonder Woman and I continued on as we had 3 miles to our turn around spot at Horseshoe bar. I let Wonder Woman take the lead as she is much faster than me. We kept in contact though; she would either stop and wait or do a quick look behind to see how far back I was. We safely arrived at the turn around spot and all I could think about was how nice the dip in the river was going to be, but also how satisfying my new treat was going to taste. You see I had made myself a honey stinger and peanut butter snack. I was really hoping it tasted good because I had been looking forward to this snack for 2 hours now. When I bite into my waffle creation it tasted soooo good. It was a sweet and savory all in one and had about 400 calories as each waffle was 160 calories and I used 2 waffles and a layer of peanut butter. I just might have to try this at my next race.

Once I enjoyed a bite of my waffle and refilled my pack as I was almost out we headed down to the river to cool off. I submerged myself and I felt 100% times better. I was thinking a little clearer, I had a smile on my face, or maybe that was because of the waffle snack or maybe both. Whatever it was I felt better and ready to tackle the last 10 miles in the brutal heat.
On our return I was running a bit slower and we stopped and talked to just about everyone we saw. There were a ton of runners on the trail as everyone was getting in their long runs or taper runs before Rio and the Sierra. Miss P. came flying by me at an incredible clip, I think if I didn’t get out of her way she would have run me over that is how fast she was going and she was looking really strong. Great Job Miss P.

Wonder Woman and I slowly made our way back, or I should say I was slowly making my way back in. The heat had really taking a toll on me and I knew going into this run that I was a little dehydrated. But I continued on and found Wonder Woman waiting for me at Granit bay horse staging area where I had to use the restroom and also refill my pack as I was completely out of water. I knew I only had 3 miles to go but those 3 miles was totally exposed on the fire road and it was only getting warmer.
Wonder Woman took the short cut back and I stuck with the fire road. I slowly made my way running and hiking. I was almost back when I saw Miss P. and I decided to join her for a soak in the river as my legs were really stiff and my feet were hurting. This time though the river wasn’t as cool as I had hoped for. But it helped none the less.

This run took a bit longer than expected, but I managed to get it done. I know that the heat will be a huge issue for me and I will need to find a way to keep myself cool. I have a few ideas come race day. I might carry a bottle to squirt on my head. Maybe pick it up at the overlook or if it is warm earlier in the day pick it up at Rattlesnake, but at this point I am still just tossing around ideas.
I am looking forward finalizing my plan as I have a stellar crew and an awesome pacer. I am ready for redemption!

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