Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Save Mt Diablo Trail Challenge - Brazen Racing's 50k Recap

Honestly, if you want the recap you could really just read last year's post. I started, ran half the course, and DNF'd.

Brian's recap is here.

If you stick with my recap till the end, there's a video of the day for you!

It was a different day than last year, with different reasons, and different circumstances.....but at the end of the day the cold hard truth is that I was not mentally strong enough to keep pushing and get it done.  It was not a matter of physically being able to do it. Mentally I was not in the game, even before the game started. If I could have gotten my head in the game, I could have pushed and gotten it done. I have no doubt about that. head was not in it.  Some of you already know both Brian and I were up till around 1 a.m. with a sick kiddo.  The alarm went off at 3:30 to get out the door by 4:30 to get on the bus by 5:30.  Most of you also know I had been on the fence all week with the weather and the heat.  Friday night should have left me no doubt Sat morning that the wise thing to do would have been for me to drop to the 13.1, letting both Brian and I sleep in, and drive Brian to the start of the 50k at 7.  But, that is not what I did.

I wanted it so bad this year! I did everything right. This was the year. I really thought the excitement of the day finally being here, the excitement of a race day, the bus ride, all the other runners...surely that would perk me up and flip the switch and it'd be "go" time.   If I'm being 100% open and honest here (which I always am, maybe too much at times)...there had been 'junk' in the weeks before this race, and all the stuff that went on the week of (Boston, ricin, earthquakes, news all day Friday, etc) that had left me a little drained, and lacking enthusiasm for Diablo.  Which is really a shame after months of being so focused.  Again, this is where mental strength, focus, and determination come into play, and bottom line is, again, I did not have it on race day.

I showed up. I started. I ran. I climbed. I climbed. I climbed more.  Went up and down a few more times. Cursed the hills. Cursed the heat. Had stomach troubles and me, who will poop in a bush at the drop of a hat, debated for miles whether or not I should go or wait.  For the record, the answer is always go! Go, get it over with, feel better, and move on. Do not cover miles in discomfort because you cant make a decision.  Oh, and...I was alone. Very alone. Occasionally I'd spot people way behind me, and way in front of me, but most the time....I was alone. I normally run alone, but 4:40 is a long time to be alone, and it was lonely!  I had my music in, but honestly, my internal voice was so busy convincing me I was going to drop at 15.6 that I don't remember hearing my music, which I so enjoy normally.  I normally sing, laugh, and nearly dance along the trail.....I can't even remember hearing it, but I do remember being annoyed that I wasn't enjoying the songs I normally love. I got to 15.6, said I was done, and headed right to the outhouse. Came out....turned around and went back in. Came out, sat, and really wanted to sleep. Every time I'd shut my eyes I'd get tapped on the shoulder by a Search and Rescue guy asking if I was ok, and if I wanted to eat.... 3 times this happened, and then I just tried not to close my eyes because I knew the guy was watching me and I didn't want to stress him out.

The positives - while I did give in and drop at the 15.6, same place as last year, I got there 40 minutes faster than last year.  I climbed faster, and ran harder on the downhill. I was not too far behind Brian coming into 15.6, as I saw him heading out and up the trail leading away from it. I was able to hollar out to him that I was done, and he said, "Do you want me to come back?"  Um, no. Keep going!

Eventually I got a ride back to the finish area, where I knew The Beast and NTL and Diane would be. The rest of the day was much funner than the first part! I gotta say Brian and I have a great 'Running Family'! After some hugs and tears, I got to spend hours talking with these guys, and cheering in all the finishers, down to the very last one.  Diane made sure I was keeping up on my pizza and slushies and Brazen Family gossip/news.  We got to see a few friends finish the 50k, including The Beast's husband, who finished covered in bananas (he says if you rub them on your skin the potassium works quicker).

We were able to check in with Sam and Jasmin and knew approximately where Brian was on the course. There were some tense moments of not being sure of where/when he was spotted last...but after a long 10 hours of moving, he came across the finish line!!  Everyone was so great helping him with recovering a bit, cramping legs, bringing food/drinks, helping him sit up, stand up, walk, etc.  It was neat to be there at the very end of the day and get to see every last runner come in and still have a small crowd there to cheer for them and show some appreciation for their hard work!

That pretty much sums up our day. I'll do a separate post on Save Mt Diablo/Brazen and the actual details of their role on race day and all the goodies that were there, and my thoughts on future 50ks.


  1. I love that video! And I can't believe you are a Trout Head! (And what a perfect song!) Thanks for putting this together. And an even bigger thanks for being brave enough to give the 50K a shot under less than ideal conditions. You have to try things out of your comfort zone so that you can learn and grow. You are awesome!

    1. I just found Trout Fishing in America when I was putting together the video. I listened to a ton of their stuff deciding which one to use and loved everything I heard!! So I'm a new Trout Head I guess : )

  2. Wise words that are so true and I greatly appreciated receiving. Thank You. -

    " What I have to tell you is this--- truly the accomplishments are not what I cherish. At a young age I learned that the steps you take along the way are what matters the most. I learned to enjoy the hard training sessions and practices more than the event I was training for. I always got much more intrinsic rewards from the dedicated conditioning sessions than the events participated in."

    "I read your blog and I envy you. You have the most beautiful place in the world to train. I can only imagine what you feel on your runs. Endorphins must flood every brain cell. I wish I could be there to run as well. And you get to run with your family. Compare all the hours spent training with how long it takes to complete a running event. Learn to enjoy the steps more than the destination."