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 Rustyboy's one millionth race report in 2 months

Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Rustyboy's one millionth race report in 2 months Posted: Mon Dec 12, 2005 8:28 pm 

Saturday morning, I ran a 20k mountain race in Sycamore Canyon at scenic Point Mugu, north of Malibu. The boyfriend of a co-worker of Dara's - Philip - told me about it, so he and I met up at 8am in the 38 @#%%&!! degree morning to run The Lasse Viren Trail Race.

About 240 runners collected at the start line. Philip has been running this race every year for a decade and was explaining the course to me: It was mostly a slow uphill climb, with one 1 mile steep ascent, then all gradual downhills to the finish chutes. All in all, a nice little, 12.4 miler, not too challenging. Philip was concerned that with all of my training for my upcoming ultra thatI'd leave him in the dust, as he hasn't been running at all the past few months. We vowed to hang together as long as we could, but that if one of us felt like pulling away, to goferit.

Off we sprang as the announcement of the beginning of the race came, by some dude shouting; no megaphone, no nothing. Hell, I could've yelled "GO!" and the 100 people behind me would have started off at my command.

Philip and I began trotting along, and he suggested that we shoot ahead a little, so we weaved off the trail slightly to pass some runners, and then...then Philip took off. I mean, FAST. I hung back, running my own race (a mantra I've come to repeat to myself over and over during these types of races) as I saw his lanky frame scoot off to the front of the pack.

It is a beautiful trail, and the sun beamed down on us as the day warmed to more comfortable temps. As I've run 3 trail races in the past 4 months, I've noticed something: Mountain runners have legs like Clydesdale horses, and not just the fellas, mind you. I've noticed a major change in my legs in the past 5 months or so, as I've changed to run mostly on hills, that my quads are getting hilariously toned and big, but these runners look like superheroes. And at this race, they were running like them.

I stayed steady and began to pass a decent share of runners, even as the rolling hills gave way to uphill climbs, and I felt great in my legs and lungs, in great spirits. Passing a completely rusted out, ramshackled trailer, a runner beside me said, "well, that's a fixer-upper." I replied, "Yeah, and in Malibu, it comes at the low cost of 1.2 million!" We chuckled as we turned a corner, and then our laughter subsided as we hit the 1 mile climb of 810 feet.

I gobbled down a Gu gel and fell into my tried-and-trusted "walk the steep stuff" routine, and, as expected, I was passed by about 10 runners shuffling up the fire road. I hit the crest and then switched on the after-burners, knowing that the next 6 miles were all downhill, my strong suit. I whizzed by everyone who'd just passed me, nearly every single one of them gasping for air, hitting a sub 7 minute/mile pace. I targeted various rabbits ahead of me, and managed to streak past them over the next 3 miles, the downhill becoming more gradual, but my pace staying steady.

The last 5k, I told myself to burn it as hard as I could, repeating another, simple, one word mantra: "Believe." My legs were starting to inquire about slowing down, but this is such a mental sport, I just shut off those requests and kept my pace, passing more and more runners. Knowing I was in the final 1 mile stretch, I began sprinting, feeling great about my strong finishing kick.

And then I saw Philip. He was hanging out on the trail's side, cheering me on, looking completely rested. Holy crap, when had he finished!? I dashed by him and into the chutes, rolling in at 1 hour, 41 minutes, an average of 8 mn 07sec miles, not too bad for a hilly course.

Philip revealed to me that he was exhausted, but that he'd hit the chutes at 1 hour 31 mns. Dammit, what a fast s'umbitch!

So, this will be my last race before the 50k (1 month and 4 days from today), and therefore, the last time I subject y'all to a race report until then. My next one will be EPIC.

Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: Rustyboy's one millionth race report in 2 months Posted: Tue Dec 13, 2005 8:46 pm 

Way to go, Rustyboy! And don't feel self-conscious about your number of race reports-- keep 'em coming! I enjoy reading them.

I like the idea of your one-word mantra. I could use something like myself that to help me keep mentally focused as the end draws nearer.

You probably already explained this earlier, but what's EPIC?


Joined: 14 Dec 2004
Posts: 225

Re: Rustyboy's one millionth race report in 2 months Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2005 2:48 pm 

Ah, my next race report will be "epic", as it will be about my 50k race, January 16th.

Oh man, that's only one month away.

I'm confident that I'm putting in the training hours now, but - having never even run a marathon - I'm curious to see what happens to me at hour 5 of the race. I'm picturing a drooling idiot stumbling along desert mountain trails, screaming for his mommy.

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