Saturday, February 28, 2009
Too Awesome for Snot Bubbles
PCTR Sequoia 30K
Joaquin Miller/Redwood Regional Park
I'll get to the slightly cryptic title in a moment. First, I would like to draw your attention to the fabulous picture of the trail tarts pre-race this morning. This is why I love trail running. Other people might be running around, stressing about this or that-- but we spent a good 15 minutes shooting hilarious pictures like this one, in which you can clearly see the hoof-like characteristics of our hands, in honor of Suzanne's zebra arm panties.
(I'm getting some arm panties with my Zombie Runner gift certificate, I just haven't decided if they're going to be leopard or zebra. Seeing as a zebra pair and a leopard pair already run the PCTR circuit, I suppose I *should* get giraffe, but what's fast (or fun, really) about a giraffe? I want Moeben to create a pair that are tiger print, or maybe I should get the flame pair, but then I'd have to get gaiters to match...Such fashion dilemmas!)
Anyway, besides acting out zebras before our race, we also showed how strong we are. Wouldn't you be afraid if you saw us blazing down the trail toward you? No? Oh.
In any case, despite being doubled over with laughter looking at these pictures, we managed to get started. As seen in my previous post, the knee thing has definitely been annoying lately, and I really wanted to just finish with a pain-free run. To this end, I decided to run with Suzanne, who was running the 50K and who I figured would go out at a good pace-- not some ridiculous "Look at me run up the trail for the first 3 miles" pace, which is what I tend to do. Plus, it's easier to run relaxed when I'm running slower.
The race followed quite a bit of the trail we did two weeks ago, running up and down French trail, but today was minus the sheets of rain pouring down. It was a great day for running-- cool and overcast but not raining. I kept checking in with myself, trying to be positive and relaxed. I realized shortly after the 30K turnoff that when I engaged my core muscles when I ran downhill, my knee didn't hurt. Oh, so THIS was what the PT was talking about last summer about the importance of core strength? It was a pretty obvious thing, too. It made me really happy about all the yoga I've been doing, because I could feel different muscles engaged throughout the run, particularly when I got tired.
After the turnaround point, I was feeling really good and I started taking it a little faster. A very little bit, but I kept checking in with myself and trying to use my core muscles whenever possible. I feel like I'm finally "getting" why core strength is important. Duh.
The rest of the run felt good-- I was definitely running stronger in the later half of the race than I usually do, and I'm going to try and keep this in mind at Pirate's Cove, when I'm going to do the 50K, but also for AR50. Major note to self: GO OUT SLOW. There is plenty of time in a 50K or 50 miler to pick up the pace if need be. Right.
After I finished, I had some chicken noodle soup, which has become my new favorite post-race food ever. I got to see Jo Lynn, who did the 20K, and chatted with some of the other regulars of the PCTR community while waiting for Suzanne to come in.
The best line of the day came from the RDs' son, who reminds me that part of the reason I loved teaching middle school is because really, I have kind of a middle school sense of humor. At one point, after a particularly funny episode that will not be detailed here (yet which involved, not surprisingly, bodily fluids of the nose), he pronounced himself "too awesome for snot bubbles," a declaration that made me almost hurt myself with laughing. I would hate to see those who didn't make the awesomeness cut.
Great day again-- can't wait to do the 50K at Pirate's Cove next month!