UROC 100K – Spetember 26, 2015
My race was similar to the course elevation, where the highs are high and the lows are low.
It was a beautiful morning standing on the street seeing the moon and stars still faint in the sky as the sun was just starting to rise. The start of the race was on road and downhill, which are both my favorite. I got off quickly and felt really good. We made a single file within a mile to start our descent down to the single-track trail. After a steep descent down Cardiac the trail smoothed out and was runnable switching back down to the No Hands Bridge. I caught up to Luke Garten who was running smooth, and enjoyed a short time running with him until I was forced to slow down going up the long climb to the second aid station. I wanted to make sure I kept my breathing and heart rate down. After that aid station was a sweet single-track multipurpose trail. It went on for several miles until we popped out onto a service road.
At this point I am still on a high, feeling good and running well. We next had a section that went up and made a big loop. Then we came back out to the road service AS again and had to make our way down a very long descent to the river. I knew Coach Koop was going to be there, so that kept me excited. Coach swapped my bottle and put my ice bandana around my neck and said to keep on moving. The river crossing was nice and cold. I definitely would be enjoying this on the way back. The river was so low that we had to run through the sand that reminded me of one of my roads back in Dannebrog, Liberty Road. My mom will get that!
Next, is the road that never ends…up, up, up. I ran what I could and hiked what I had too. Then at the top the course is back to single-track and it was undulating going up and down. It started getting warm and being in the trees made it worse as it was very till. I was thankful to have my ice bandana. Soon, I started seeing the leaders, Justin Houck and Mario Mendoza, working hard running up a long climb. They both looked good and focused. Next, I saw the very happy and cheerful Ford Smith. He always makes me smile with his positive enthusiasm.
The next part of the out and back, we got onto an exposed section of trail that ran above the river. I could tell the heat was getting higher and I couldn’t wait to get to the next aid station to refill my ice. I started seeing more men come back and then the ever so graceful, Magdalena Boulet. We wished each other the best as we passed. She is another person that always lifts me up and inspires me.
I started thinking more about the aid station and looked over to gaze upon the river when suddenly my foot clipped a tree root and I went down. I fell completely on my left side, which I am so thankful for because I am still dealing with my right side fall from about 4 weeks ago. I picked myself up and said to not even look at the damage and to keep running. I made it to the AS. I took a little more time than I would have wanted to assess everything. I was still able to move, so there was no stopping. It hurt, but so does running an ultra…that’s kind of the point right?
|Photo: Courtesy of UROC|
I hit a low point going out of that AS. My knee kept me from running well on the descents, and I had to hike most of the uphills. I just kept telling myself that I would not quit. I will NOT be a quitter. I made it back to Coach and he gave me a bottle of OSMO full of ice. It was exactly what I needed for the long climb up to the next AS. I was still in a semi-low mood, but better than before. I got to the AS and was directed back to a single-track trail where I would make my way to Cool.
It started heating up more, and the sun was relentless. At one point I felt like I was running face first into a furnace. It was brutal. Finally, making my way to mile 47 AS. Next, was what the locals call the KT climb. It was a beast…that thing was so steep and relentless. It was one of those climbs that you kept looking up never seeing the top, and wonder if there really is one. I consider it similar to Devil’s thumb, but with less switchbacks. I got to the top and was able to start running again. I came into an exposed prairie that the sun felt like it zapped the life out of me. I had to stop and walk. It frustrated me, as it was a runnable section. I knew at this point the temps were above 90, and to just keep chill into I got into Cool (no pun intended!).
|Photo Courtesy of Richard Watson|
I finally made my way back to the AS and was raged. Coach calmed me down and said there is 8 miles left. Just take it one mile at a time. I thought, alright 8 miles or basically a loop around Lake Zornisky…I can and I will do this. I walked out and started running soon after. I started recharging and got my head back in the game. I prayed on my way back and it calmed me. The miles started clipping off and I forgot about the pain from my falls and focused on the finish. I got to the last AS and blew through it knowing there was 5 miles left and I was on a mission to reach the finish line. I rallied back strong and finished hard to place 3rd female and 9th overall in a time of 10:56:22.
It was one of the most challenging races I have done both physically and mentally. I fought off demon after demon and came victorious. These are the races where we become stronger. To know that you can rally back from the darkest depths is something that I will remember. It reminded me of when I fought hard during the 2014 Western States 100. I took that experience and used it during this one.
Overall, I highly enjoyed the course and the event. I want to thank the race directors Gill and Dr Francesca for all the hard work in putting this event on. Thank you to all the volunteers for giving up your valuable time to take care of us runners. I thank God for giving me these opportunities in life. My family, for always believing in me. My friends whose words and thoughts keep me fighting when I was having low points. And my Coach Jason Koop with Carmichael Training System, who helps me on and off the race course to achieve my goals. Nike Trail, who provides me with support and the best gear!! CarboPro for the proper nutrition and supplements for pre, during, and post running, in order for me to perform the best I can.
|Nike Trail Kiger 3's|
What I learned:
1. I just have to be patient and remind myself that in 5 miles I will not have the same attitude.
2. When in doubt pray.
3. I can push myself beyond what my mind believes, and to never give up on myself.
4. Focus on what I can change, not what I can’t. Exp: (mood, attitude versus weather, falling, etc)
5. Zero GI issues (fixed this from last Western States)
6. This is why I love ultras – expect the unexpected!
· Nike Trail Kiger 3’s – another flawless race with no rubbing, blisters, or hot spots!
· Swiftwick socks
· Nike race top (orange) Nike Pro shorts
· Nathan and Amphipod handhelds