Monday, April 13, 2015

Testing the mind, body, and spirit.

Lake Sonoma 50 Mile - April 11, 2015

If you'd have asked me 2 weeks ago if I was going to be running LS, I would have said more than likely "no". I hit a very low patch after Black Canyon 100K DNF. It seemed like everything hit all at once. The first being that I had to deal with was my injured leg from Black Canyon. I ended up going to physical therapy and having Christy work her Graston magic on me. She also prescribed me some home exercises to do daily. I gimped along for quite awhile before things started feeling better. My IT band, left hamstring, and SI joint had been overworked and inflamed making running painful. The next setback was that I was feeling abnormally fatigued and no matter how much I slept and rested I wasn't getting better. I started getting more concerned and Coach Koop suggested going into the doctor for blood work. I did and the results were just as I expected. I was still anemic (I had been tested in early January and was around 10 mmHg) and had only raised it to 11.1 mmHg. My Ferritin is 7, which again is abnormally low. And I had a very low white blood cell count. This ended up causing me to come down with a respiratory infection/virus. This lasted a little over 2 weeks. It knocked me out. I was just physically and mentally defeated at this time. I had no energy to complete my workouts. I put training on hold and just ran easy runs. Finally, after taking an iron supplement and getting on allergy/sinus medication I started perking up. I decided that I would run LS, knowing I wasn't in shape for it, but to get the confidence back I needed from not finishing Black Canyon.  

I placed no expectations on LS. Koop and I discussed that I just needed to go out and run and enjoy it. That was the plan I went with. I had to respect my body, training, and the course. I got out with a good start and just cruised on the road. Once I hit the trails I held back a little more knowing that I was in for relentless climbs and descents that would take a toll on me. I had little to pretty much no training on trails coming into this race and my weekly elevation gain was between 2,000-3,000 ft. So, in one day I was going to get ~10,500 ft of gain! I ran with a great group for quite a few miles including Ashley Erba, Keely Henninger, Luis Taylor and a few others. It started breaking up and I started to fall off the back. I felt like my quads were sandbags and my calves were doing extra work. I needed to run within myself and make sure that I finished. I was soon caught by Denise Bourassa who bounced up the trail with positive words of encouragement. Meghan Arbogast caught and passed me too having one awesome day. She was smiling and joyful, which gave me another charge. I ran and looked around enjoying every moment. I was thankful to be running, to be seeing these magnificent views, and to be living the life I have. It was a great day for me to reflect on who I am and why I love to run. I just keep going knowing that I needed this finish to get the confidence back I had lost with the DNF at Black Canyon. 
Photo courtesy of iRunFar
Photo courtesy of iRunFar

I got to the loop to get to the turnaround and this started rejuvenating me. This piece of trail was actually runnable for an extended period of time. I hit the aid station, slammed a Ginger Ale, and charged out feeling like I was just starting! Remarkably my quads shaped up and my mind was in finish/chase mode. I was pumped to say the least. I was in 10th place at this time. I put in my iPod just before I saw Miguel going towards the turnaround, and both pumped me up. I started feeling giddy and bouncy running back and finding that true passion for running and the fire rekindled inside me again. It made me so happy and grateful. I said several prayers of thanks. I ended up coming in at 8:04:14 and 5th female. It was almost 30 minutes slower than last year, but that was to be expected. I am proud of myself for running a smart race and staying in control to not go out and potentially blow up. I did excellent with hydrating, eating, and staying within my limits. So, here is to a success and I am ready to get back into training for real. #seeyouinsquaw

Photo courtesy of Ultra Sports Live


Shoes: Nike Trail Kigers - great shoe for climbing and drained well from the water crossings.
Clothing: Nike tank top, split shorts, gloves/sleeves (cut off long socks), Swiftwick socks, shades.
Watch: Garmin 910XT
Hydration: Nathan Handheld 18 ounces quickshot 
Nutrition: CarboPro Hydra C5 (lemonade), Honey Stinger chews, gels, cookies, PBJ sandwiches, Ginger Ale, Coke.
Salt: 1 tab at mile 32

Thank you to my amazing sponsors: Nike Trail, CarboPro, Honey Stinger.
Thank you to my Carmichael Training Coach Jason Koop.
Thank you God, my family, my friends, teammates, fans, the race volunteers and to the race directors John and Lisa Medinger. Lake Sonoma is a must do race!!!