Friday, May 20, 2011

Miwok 100K 2011

This is my third Miwok 100k in a row.. The first time it was cold and wet, the second time it was hot and beautiful and I had a horrible time. This year was a different more challenging course and I wanted to redeem myself.

This time, I was actually looking forward to this. I was excited to the fact that I was going to have a pacer, Janet was coming to pace me the last 20 miles of the run. I knew from last year that people with pacers were passing me, I was on my own and I wasn’t in any shape to run faster of try to keep up with people and their pacers. In any event, I was excited.

The day of the race I woke up at about 2am and started my prerace routine, some canned fruit, a scrambled egg and a fruit smoothie, and a cup of earl grey tea too. I also made sure that I was going to take care of my feet; I didn’t want to get any nasty surprises. I have been running wearing compression socks, and I totally swear by them. They are awesome, they make feel so good and most importantly, I do believe it helps to keep my plantar fasciitis on check.

So after a healthy high glycemic breakfast, my ride arrived. Jason Jones a terrific ultra-runner came to pick me up. I got into his truck and drove away to the city to pick up yet another ultra-runner. I was planning to sleep during the ride, but I couldn’t. He and I had a great conversation and after we picked up the third runner, we talked some more.

We arrived at the start line with plenty of time, I got “dressed” went to pick up my bib number, delivered my drop bags and visited the boys room… and just like that it was close to 5:30 so we headed to the beach for the start of the race. And after a great speech of the race director she sent us away…. And that was it, Miwok 100K 2011 had begun.

Just Before the start... Awesome

Check the morning.. how beautiful was it. About to start Miwok 2011

The course was changed this year, and the first miles of the course it seemed pretty hard and steep. Within the first two miles I was already drenched in sweat ( and I sweat a lot) and my HR was up the roof. But I knew it was going to be a long day so I took it easy, last year I went out too fast and I paid dearly at the end . This time I didn’t want to make the same mistake.. .

The first five miles were brutal.. This is a new course, and my God it started uphill.. really uphill..

The views are amazing... check this out

The glorious SF Golden Gate bridge from above through the fog.. awesome!!

Coming back from to the starting line after the initial loop was great, I hate running in sand, but I managed to keep sand away from my shoes. I passed a few people coming out of the beach and then it occurred to me, I will keep a score. I will keep a point for everyone I passed, and if I was passed then I would deduct a point from my score. 1, 2, 3, 4... it was a great way to keep me motivated and tackle the course with earnest. I arrived to Tennessee Valley aid station and I promise myself I was going to take it easy there, which I did. One thing I like the most about ultrarunning events are the volunteers… these people are amazing, they really give it all and for what ? Just to see a few crazy people running very long just for the fun of it.. At Tennessee Valley I took my time to drink, refill and get something to eat. And just like that the first few miles of Miwok 100k had gone by. I kept keeping score, 12, 13, 14… and I was passed a few times but my score was still positive.. That was a good feeling. At the aid stations I actually stopped counting, but it did not matter.

The downhills were brutal.. the hills did not disappointed at Miwok 2011..

A “few” miles later I reached the Pantoll aid station, in there I saw my dear friend Leigh Mooser, and she really took care of me. Gave me all I needed, it felt like she was crewing me. I am sure she did that for all runners, that is why she is so awesome. And then I was off again..

So here is the funny thing, before I reached the Bolinas Aid Station I saw the guys at the front coming back… OMG… they had almost 20+ miles ahead of me… Unbelievable.. What gave me a good feeling is that I saw the Elites pretty much at the same spot I saw them in previous years, which meant I was going at a good speed. Bear in mind, I was NOT wearing a watch as I wanted to just “listen to my body”. When I reached the Bolinas Aid Station, I saw George Miller, and a few others I knew, that made me happy. And the thought that when I was coming back I was going to find my pacer Janet to take me to the finish line gave me some more needed gas. And I was off again, going down to the turn-around I found Abe, he was having such a great race. We talked for a few minutes and then we were off again, I downhill, he uphill. J I was wearing a belt that holds a bottle of gu, well I forgot to close the damn bottle and gu was all over my shorts, Pretty nasty. As soon as I go to Randall Aid station, I used some water to wash the gu off my shorts. Drank, ate, drank some more (Thank God for caffeine) and I was going up again. When I reached the Bolinas Aid Station again, I saw Janet my pacer. She had just arrived, she ran all the way from SF to meet me there. And after exchanging a few pleasantries we were off.

My Awesome Pacer Janet..

It was such a refresh to have someone to talk knowing that I had just over 20 miles to the finish. We kept, what I thought, was a good pace. Reached Pantoll aid station once again and Leigh was there to cheer us up. She had some avocado that I ate with earnest, I also had some pickles, cookies, and whatever they were serving.... and… of course coke… lots of it. My score was in the high 20’s and it kept getting better, but for some reason in the aid stations is where I got passed quite a bit. I spent too much time in there, but in reality it was all good.

The day was beautiful, the company was awesome, it was a great day and I was running.. I wasn’t having a bad time at all, I was in good spirits. When we got to the Tennessee Valley once again I knew the worst was over, we thought, we will have just 3 or 4 miles tops. But then we asked and it happened we had almost 5 miles to go.. my spirts just went down and I was like. OOOHHH SHIT… So after taking some Tylenol (I took 12 in total during the whole day), had some coke (probably drank over 2 litters of that stuff) and some gel we were in our way. The afternoon was georgous and we just kept the good pace. People passed us, but what the hell, I was about to finish my third Miwok 100K anyway.

Then we turn a corner and a couple of guys were there directing runners, and one of them told us, you guys are almost done, just over a mile to go. I heard that and I bolted, I took off like a bat out of hell. I ran so hard that mile that no runner could keep up with me, I passed a few in that last mile. Janet and I were breathing hard, I could hear her breathing so hard next to me, but I was on a mission. I wanted to make the last mile memorable. And then I started to see little lights, my vision was blurry and I wasn’t focusing, I just kept on running as hard as my body could. And with that last effort I crossed the finish line, I put my hands on my knees and started to catch my breath and little by little my vision started to come back. Rujeko was there and she came to give me a hug and that made me feel so much better. She is just amazing, I was happy. We ate, we talked, we ate some more, I took a shower, changed clothes got in the car and Rujeko drove us back to the city. First to drop off Janet and then we went to grab a bite to eat. She took me to a Ethiopian restaurant, pretty cool and I was so hungry I left her not much to eat. Then fall asleep in the drive home and when I woke up I was in our driveway. Took my things inside, took a shower and went to sleep. Oh, what a great day, Miwok 2011 is done, now lets wait for 2012.. oohhyeaa!!

Great photo after the finish.. OK.. I am officially pooped.. :)

Rujeko came to take us home and she just made me feel so much better.. :) she is got a way to do this all the time.. :)