The course - was beautiful! The first few miles were pretty exposed, but once you got to Skyline Blvd, you had plenty of shade. It had a nice mix of fire road, single track, and what I call a mix of both - wider than single track, but not fire road wide. It had steep climbs, steep descents, and some technical downhill single track that was a blast. There were lots of Redwoods, and lots of Eucalyptus trees that smelled so good!
|The view to your left up the first climb.|
|A fun section of single track.|
|I'm guessing that pointy Mt in the distance is Diablo??|
|If you look close you'll see the fence that runs along side the trail we were on.|
|More fun trail as we start a long downhill stretch.|
Coastal puts on a good race and this is one I would do again.
Cons- man, those loops do a number on me mentally!! You have to have the will power and determination to get with in feet of the finish line and veer left instead of crossing it. There was an aid station full of all the finish line food/drinks and people standing around talking and celebrating their finish (5 mile and 13.1 were mostly finished)....and you have to keep going and basically start your race again, heading out for another (shorter) loop which started off with the hardest climb of the day that you have already done once. I grabbed a cup of Sprite and kept walking. Had I paused at all I would have been done.
My Day - The honest truth is I was swinging from high - highs, to low- lows pretty rapidly from the start of this thing. The climb was tough, but we were staying mid pack of everyone getting it done. I have had insomnia for the past 9 nights/days (this happens every few months, no biggie, it's just inconvenient) and tummy issues for a week...after maybe 3 miles I was doubled over in a bush heaving with no relief. If I could have just puked it would have felt so good!! Brian and I both used the potties at Skyline Blvd, and I took off while he was still doing his business. I ran with 2 ladies, we were doing the pass/get passed thing for a while. I left the next aid station first and didnt' see them again. I did not eat anything at the aid stations, just drank sprite and refilled my water. I stuck to my Peach Tea Chomps that I always use because I knew I could get them down. Brian caught back up to me by Chabot Space Center, just in time to take the road kill picture. We actually just cross the road, we didnt' actually run along it. I told him to go on by himself, I would be fine, and he did.
|View behind us heading up the first hill.|
|This I believe is part of the second 5 mile loop as it cuts down to the creek.|
|Did I mention it was COLD at the start? Like frozen grass cold??|
|The first aid station we came to.|
|Brian catching up to me right below Chabot.|
There was some really fun, beautiful sections as we looped back to the finish area. The views from the ridge were amazing, and the single track was a blast. I had updated my music the night before and kept finding myself smiling like a crazy person, running down the hills to songs like "Chicken Fried", "Fishing in the Dark", "Pontoon", and Alabama's "Mountain Music". "Mt Music" starts off with an old man who says, "see that mountain over there? One of these days I'm gonna climb that mountain"...and every time it made me laugh out loud. I guy passed me at one of my deliriously happy moments and said "isnt' this just amazing??" Yep. The feeling of singing out loud to "Fishing in the Dark", running all out downhill on fun single track, jumping over roots and rocks with beautiful trees and wildflowers flying by....I can't really explain how good that feels.
|Made for some fun downhill running!|
|Obviously one of my deliriously happy moments.|
|And another happy moment.|
|There were a few times you could look down over the edge and see the trail you'd soon be on.|
|Yummy smelling Eucalyptus trees.|
|That can only mean more downhills coming!|
|This would be one of my less than stellar moments..look how glassy eyed I am.|
|The first ridge, second time around. Lots o sun!!|
|A good example of how well marked Wendell's trail runs are, you see ribbons like this every few minutes.|
|Hot Dang!! I'm going that way!|
|This was heading up the climb for the second time, it was much warmer the second time and I swear it was steeper, too : )|
Post race thoughts - still swinging from "you did ok, you pr'd, you'll be fine for Diablo" to "good lord lady, if 70 degrees and under 3000 ft of elevation was that hard, you have no chance of finishing Diablo". That said, I feel ok today. If I had to run today, I could. I will workout later. I'm not as sore as I thought I'd be. I have to remind myself I haven't slept for longer then 2 hours at a time in over a week, I've been sick with stomach stuff on top of that, and I got it done. It was right at a 16 minute PR over the last 30k I did. Brian finished 16 minutes before me.
Other thoughts - 4:20 is a long 30k for most people. I get that. But, it was 18 miles. The first Diablo cut off is at 15.5 miles/5 hours. I did 18 in 4:20....sick, not sleeping, and taking a butt load of pictures. The second Diablo cut off (which is new this year) is at mile 23/7.5 hours. Even if I barely made the first 5 hour cut off, I'd have 2.5 hours to go 8 miles. Then if I barely scraped by that, I'd have 2.5 hours to go another 8 miles. And, I'm totally ok with barely scraping by the cutoffs if it comes to that. It all sounds very doable.
So, as you can see, I'm stuck somewhere between 'your an idiot for attempting this again', and 'you can totally do this!'
|Put a fork in us and call us DONE!!|
|Those are some nasty looking elevation charts!!|