Monday, May 11, 2009

Redwood 50K

Elevation profile of the Redwood 50K, not bad huh?

Yesterday, Sunday the 10th, I went with a bunch of other runners to celebrate mothers’ day by running the Redwood trails in Oakland, Ca. This is another event put together by PCTrailruns. Sarah, the glue of the organization, was there to welcome all runners as we were making our way to register. This time, Rujeco and Sabrina came with me to do this race. Janet, my running buddy, was out of town. Met Kim Evanson at the starting line and we exchanged a few words. She had a friend visiting from the Midwest and she was going to run this one with her.

And we were off, this time I knew I was going to go slow since I really was not sure what was I thinking when I signed up for this race. I guess all I wanted was to go have fun and that was the goal. The day was glorious, it was sunny and warm, totally opposite from the run last weekend. The Miwok 100k was twice as long, twice as hard, twice as miserable and twice as lonely. It was great to be in familiar territory, everybody knows my name here, I love it.

The trail in Oakland is just beautiful.

As soon as we started I took off fast. Little did I know that the day was going to be a little longer, and humbling. I wanted to do well, but in the process, I soon realized that I was not in a position to push it. My legs were still hurting from last Sunday and my feet were still a hamburger. I settled in a steady pace and plow the miles away, when I got to the first aid station I got my usual, coke and coke. I also drank some coke and chased it with coke, man I love that stuff on a hot day. Running through the hills of Oakland I soon started to realize two things, everybody there seems to have a dog and everybody seems to be nice about picking up the dog poop, put it in a bag and leave it by the side of the road for the poop fairy to come and pick it up. What the hell!!, what am I missing. Is there somebody that actually comes and picks up the shit away, why just leave it there?. Leaving that crap in a plastic bag is not good, unless there is something I am missing. And the other thing that was funny, people talk to their dogs like they understood. They do not understand!! They are dogs. As I was running, this dog came in front of me, the owner says, “Fido you did it again, you keep getting in front of people”. It happened twice and I was cracking up, dogs do not understand, but a little apology would have been great. Anyway, I thought it was funny.

Pick up the crap!! Sheeshh!!

As I finished the first lap, I was still feeling OK. I ate some and then started the second lap (10K). This particular lap is a hard one; the hills are very steep and hard. There is no way you could actually run them, not me at least. So I walked them as fast as I could, and these 10K were the longest 10K I had run in a while. A guy came from behind and we started to talk. It was fun to have some company for a change. I was wearing my miwok shirt, and that shit was giving me some major nipple chaffing, so I took it off. It was hot and nice so it felt good to run without a shirt. I am a little self conscious about doing that, but yesterday I felt I had no choice. It was either that or bleed to death, so I took it off. As the hours and the miles went by I thought about quitting. I made my mind, I was going to quit after the 10K loop and just do 30K. My legs were already screaming, my feet were hurting and every step was a pain. So with that in mind I had nothing left but to “finish”. I picked up the pace and got to the finish line. As I was talking to the volunteers about finishing up, they kept telling me, “Come On Luis, you need just one more loop, you can walk those 20K”, and I was peer pressured to go on. So I did…. I ran in front of the finish line, to save face, and once I got to the beginning of the first hill I questioned my decision. However, there was not way in the world I was going to go back…. So I kept going.. and going… and going… I soon realized that I was not feeling as bad as I though I was. I run the flats and walked the hills, and I made it to the end. I was done..

Rujeco and Sabrina, this was Rujeco's first trail run.

As I was finishing and contently eating all the goodies at the finish line, I became aware that if there is one thing I treasure, is friends. It is great to be in company of such a group of amazing individuals. Sarah from PCTRAILRUNS is an amazing mentor and cheerleader. Janet my running buddy was not here today and I missed her a lot, Rujeco and Sabrina, what a pair. This was Rujeco’s first trail run and she did awesome. Kim and her friend were out there still when I finished, and I am sure they were having a blast, it is great to run these things with friends.. I truly believe that life gives us what we need when we need it. There are times that seem insurmountable, but we need to rely on friends to make it through the end. Things are the hardest when we decide to do it alone, and today was one of those days for me. I realize how lucky I am to have found such an amazing running partner in Janet.. Yay!! What is next? I truly don’t know yet…


Jo Lynn said...

Yup, friends rock. These events are what keep me going, as far as my trail running is concerned. I love the atmosphere afterwards (unless it's pouring rain and cold).
Glad you decided to finish up what you started. Good job!

fastheartslowfeet said...

People who bag up the dog business and leave the bags by the side of the trail are planning on doubling back and picking it up on their way out. They know there is no bag fairy.

Luis Velasquez said...

I thought that too.. but there were too many little bags that obviously were old there.. :) I am sure that was the intention, but I don't think many actually pick the "shit" out in their way back..