Saturday, May 27, 2006

5/27/06 Racing Downstream

This was the only weekend this month that I didn't have to run a race so my friends and I went river rafting! I hadn't slept the night before because of a late hockey game. Staci had never gone rafting so she was a little nervous. Michael had us laughing our heads off during the three hour drive. And Joanna was the token "sane" friend.

Staci, Joanna, and Michael on the bus.

Angela & Michael couldn't hurt each other despite our best efforts because the life jacket provided too much protection. Hey, maybe we should wear those ALL the TIME!

Staci and Michael get comfortable on the water!

After surviving a horrific bike accident, Michael's tushie hurt every time he hit a bump. Here you can see how brave and stoic he is despite the agony coming from his back side!

We survived and were pretty pleased to be back on land. Little Miss "I've Never Been Rafting" Staci is excited about going again! One of the highlights was watching Michael try to ingest gallons of river water through his face. My second favorite part was the nap during the car ride home while Joanna drove!

Saturday, May 20, 2006

5/20/06 - Bishop High Sierra 20 Mile: "Checkmate!"

Bishop has always been one of my favorite races. Probably because it's named after a chess piece and this race requires a lot of strategy. And the views aren't bad either!

My plan began with arriving Friday in order to acclimate to the altitude and do some fishing in the Sierras.

Then I went to the pre-race dinner and briefing where I caught up with many of my running buddies. Everything went according to plan. I ate my pre-race standard meal: steamed white rice from the local (only) Chinese restaurant. Here's Xy (pronounced Chrissy). If you think she looks good here, wait til you see her running Badwater in July!
Photographer Don, Xy and King Bill.
Michelle, the Queen of Speed!

After dinner, the wind and the rain came full blast. So I retreated to the room and went to bed. The next morning, my opening move had to be made: what to wear... Since it was still dark, this was a tough call.

At the start, I put my game face on and told Scott how brave he was for doing the 50 mile event (yes, I'm standing on a log).
The race is unique because it features the 50 Mile event, the 50K event and the 20 Mile "Fun Run" but runners are permitted to switch distances mid-race. One part of my strategy that I was quite set on was that I would NOT be switching from the 20 to anything with the number "50" in it.
At 6am, it was time to put the game plan into action.
I reminded myself to run a smart race, not to strike too soon. Then I slowly approached the long steady hill. To my amazement, my tactic worked. I attacked the hill, but kept a steady pace and maintained my breathing. I stayed calm as I maneuvered over and around many rocks. Most importantly, during the "heat" of the battle, I recalled some valuable advice from the wise race director, "Be weary of rattlesnakes."
3:07:14 - 1st place female, 5th overall.
Five minutes faster than last year!
Afterwards, I let my guard down and had some fun. Here's Chris Rios, the race director for the Ridgecrest 50K, passing the post-race field sobriety test.

I really wanted to lay down and go "Knightey-Knight!"
Receiving 1st place female award, which included free entry into next year's race. Hmm: 20, 50K or the 50 miler? So many possibilities...

Saturday, May 13, 2006

5/13/06 Malibu Creek Trail Challenge - 14 Miles

Malibu in May usually gives me nightmares. Visions of the four mile uphill agony called "Bulldog" is enough to seek out the nearest confessional, even if you're not religious. "Forgive me Father, for I have sinned and I'll do anything, I beg you, just PLEASE don't make me run up Bulldog!" I'm telling you, if Hell was on top of a hill, this would be that hill. This year, Mother Nature or God or someone actually took a little pity on the runners because the weather was Heaven sent: "May Gray" overcast skies and a cool breeze with temperatures in the mid fifties. Now that the race is part of a series sponsored by Xterra, the course markings were excellent. The thick fog was quite a blessing since it prevented me from being able to see just how steep some of the hills were. The conditions allowed the top female finisher to break two hours, possibly a new course record. (Will check when the race website is updated.) So thanks to the race organizers for working a weather miracle and please pray for another cool day at Bishop on May 20th.

Xterra Scramble SoCal Trail Series Results

And we're off... If it looks like we're slow, it's because we know what's coming.

Diana is amused as Greg pours himself a drink, or two.

2:10:42, 3rd place in division and six minutes faster than last year.

Blisters + Safety Pin = Fun!

This woman is older and faster than you think.

Congrats on 2nd place in your division Kathy!

Keith made the hill look easy.

Lisa and I were thrilled to make it back to the car.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

5/6/06 Wild Wild West - Lone Pine, CA

Some people never learn: Running at 6,000 feet altitude isn't easy for a sea level city girl. Luckily, I entered the 10 mile race, not the marathon or 50K, so I kept the suffering to a minimum. I did the same event two years ago with a time of 1:37. This year was 1:32 which was good enough for 1st place female and 3rd place overall. I was pleased considering I played a hockey game the night before and got about two hours of sleep. There was a grueling three mile climb at the start with lots of sand. Miles 5-7 had some speedy downhills, but every now and then, a patch of soft sand would interrupt an otherwise nice steady pace: "left, right, left, rrrrrriiiiiiiiigght... left, right." It was almost as comical as inadvertently swallowing herds of mosquitos. My theory on why I didn't bonk: the mosquitos must have been full of GU and Cytomax that they injested from sucking on other runners' blood.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Very tormenting finish. The last two miles were uphill.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting If I remember correctly, I'm saying "Got air?"

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Well at least I didn't just have heart surgery a few weeks ago like some people... At this rate, I may need the number for his cardiologist!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Don Feinstein & John "I've Got Heart" Holcomb.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Santa Monica Mountain Goats: Scott, Elena & Christian.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting The Happy Couple: Dana & John. He won the 10 mile and she was third in her division.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting Angela & Staci at the Whitney Portal Waterfall.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting You know you are tired when sitting on a chair made from skis is actually comfortable...