Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Frozen Sasquatch 50K Race Report

Drove to Charleston with my friend Chris the day before...she did the 25K which was her longest distance in a couple years. We got to the park trying to find the packet pick up and couldnt figure out where it was....we were about 15 minutes early but you would think there would be some sign that a race packet pickup was somewhere? We drove back to the entrance of the park and saw a car sitting so decided we would sit also. Shortly after a truck pulled in and had some boxes in the back end but then he backed out of that parking lot and into a driveway across the street. We saw him take a small cardboard thing and lean it against the fence by the road and decided maybe this is where the packet pick up was. A few minutes later a few others showed up and started to walk across the street. Sure enough the hand written sign said Frozen Sasquatch Packet Pick Up. We waited in the garage and I kinda felt uncomfortable....seemed like the few folks that were in there knew each other and we tried to make some small talk while we were waiting for them to get organized. We finally got our stuff and left. We went to the hotel from there and just ordered Papa Johns pizza. I didnt sleep well and during the night woke up very thristy alot....Chris said she did also so the pizza musta really been salty. When I got up in the am I ate a panera bagel and drank a diet dew. I was starting to get anxious and had no idea what I had gotten myself into. We drove to the park and I ate a banana on the way to the park. The lot was pretty full already when we got there and not knowing even what way the run went we found a place close to the "finish" line. Now I wish I woulda parked down at the other end due to the fact that my car's trunk was my special needs place for the second lap so I had to go alittle further to get to the car and then back track to the second loop.
The run begins and we were towards the back...it took off down the road and then onto the main road of the forest for only about .25 mile then starts a crazy ass climb. There was no running here at all and there was no way to walk a fast pace because you were at the mercy of everyone in front of you. A couple people tried to pass around but the track was a true single track trail and super rocky and super steep so there was no way around. Instead you just make some nice friends and tell jokes all the way up. I was told it was a little of 600 foot climb and im guessing this covered only about a half or 3/4 mile. Once you were at the top things opened up a bit. I ran with a couple guys for a couple miles chit chatting and on the way up another crazy climb I met a couple great gals from Akron. This was around mile 3 or so and I think I ran with them and close to them for the rest of the first lap. I dont remember alot of the first lap and the locations because I was so busy being entertained by other people it kinda just flew by. When I got done with lap one I stopped at the car to atleast change socks, they were wet, muddy and full of grit. I had brought some other trail shoes but they are white and there was no way I was changing shoes!! Off to the second loop. I start that big 600 foot climb with nobody in site. 150 people were registered for the race and I believe by looking at the results there were 103 in the 25K and 47 in the 50K with only 42 finishing the 50K. So on the second lap it was pretty lonely for awhile. I could hear people every so ofter but didnt see anyone until I got to an aide station. The girls from Akron were leaving the station while I was coming upon it. When I was leaving the station the lady working it said can I get your photo with sasquatch...I said sure where is he and she said right there behind you....LOL Low and behold was a giant sasquatch cut out! I said was he here the first lap and they said yes....I didnt see him at all! When I got to the bottom of a big downhill where the trail turns back into a road and a big rocky type road (which sucked!) there was a truck and 2 guys with 3 cairen terrier type dogs. 2 were on long tie outs and one that looked younger was lose. The younger was really friendly but almost tripped me and wouldnt leave and the ones on the tie outs were freakin vicious! They growled and barked and jumped at me and I kept trying to move away as the pup tried to trip me and the guys said nothing....then one that was on the long tie out jump and bit my freakin thigh! I screamed he fucking bit me! And they didnt say a word.....just ahead was an out building so I ducked behind it to tinkle and check to be sure the dog didnt break any skin and it was just red. When I finished John had ran thru. I had passed John awhile back as he was waiting and trying to encourage a friend who just wasnt feeling well that day and was finally told to go ahead. John is a 67 year old ultra runner from Charleston WV area. He has been doing ultras for numerous years and trains on these trails. This would have been around mile 20ish and we stayed together the rest of the run. He was awesome! He knew every bit of the trail and would tell me we had a couple long jaunts then a short one then we would go onto a fire road and then another short trail then aides station. I was all about the last aide station...this was the station about 2 ish miles before the finish and they were cooking soup on a fire in the cans. On the first lap they offered me soup and I wasnt ready for it but I told them I would catch them second time around. For 8 miles I thought about that soup!! and when I got there it was the best soup I had ever had in my life :) Before we got to that station I was running low on water....this was the longest between stations and the weather was unseasonable and 50 degrees. John had some candy bars and offered them to me and at first I declined as that just didnt sound good and he said paydays are great...so I said ok....he gave me a fun size payday and it rocked!! The perfect amount of salt and peanuts and sugars....then about another .25 -.50 mile he said how bout another candy bar...i have babe ruth...I said thats my favorite!! So here is another bite size babe ruth....never woulda thought about either of those as nutrition for a run but I will be bringing them with me for the next one! One of the sweepers and another runner met up with us just before the last aide station and they told John they had passed his friend who wasnt feeling well 10-12 mile back...he didnt make it that day :( We got to the last down hill which was treacherous...I was scardt of all the downhills...i had never run trails in reality and I was affraid of tumbling over and over the side of the mountain and then being so careful as you try to go down just jars the crap out of your knees and quads. My knee bothered me some and I made due with it and would turn sideways and try to go down hill that way. Then we saw the finish!!! I was so full of adrenaline and shock of actually finishing and finishing in the time allowed!! My first lap took 3:45 and the second lap took 4:15. I knew the second lap would take longer and I was fine with that. I felt amazing!
I must say I was so shocked the next day that my knees didnt hurt one bit....i had some tenderness in both quads and my glutes and a little in my right calf and Achilles area. On monday I still felt some tenderness and did 45 min on the efx and taught spin class. I managed a massage that afternoon. Today I went out and hit the road for an 8 mile run and managed to average a 10:14 pace. It felt better running for my quads then just walking around.

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