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!


Jo Lynn said...

I'm super happy you were able to run pain free today. And, as always, it was very nice to see you. For some stupid reason, I'm just too tired to get a race post up. I uploaded pics but my brain is not cooperating enough for me to put words together. Later for sure. :)

Mike G said...

That title is awesome. I suppose there's no point to it all unless you're having a good time.

So you're calling the arm sleeves that the elites wear "arm panties" lol? I would think a Cheetah print would sell well - possibly also a Cougar?

Victoria said...

Well, I cannot take credit for the "arm panties" label-- I co-opted it from a RW forum discussion.

I will pass on to the other trail tart that she has entered the "elite" category due to her arm panty wearing.

I would love to see the photo shoot advertising Cougar-themed arm panties.

Kevin said...

You gals look so calm before a race. Im a ball of nerves. And I'm with you on the Chicken Noodle soup thing. So good, so yummy, especially when its cold. And like I said on twitter, your pics are cool. You look, "sexy mean."

Victoria said...

Ha! Thanks, Kevin-- come out and run a PCTR trail race sometime-- I swear it will be very, very hard to be a ball o' nerves. Especially if the trail tarts are in rare form, as we were yesterday!

Derek said...

Great report and pictures, that what is so great about ultras, they are just one big party. Arm panties will be my phrase of the month!

Rick Gaston said...

Ohmigosh you guys are hilarious! See this is why trail running rocks more than road races. I don't know what I did the last two weeks, probably too much running, but my butt was draggin all week. Good thing it was my back down week. While you guys were out there singing in the rain I was motivating myself to get through a simple 3hr. run. I tell ya, some days, it's like getting your teeth pulled. Way to engage that core. I had to take pilates afer I hurt my back cycling. Some us have the core muscles we just don't engage them. Some us work them but then forget to engage them in athletic activities. It was a good revelation. See you at Pirates Cove. It will be my first ultra for the season, just like last year. Look at you, running all good and shiz.

Suz said...

I'm glad you left out the part about me swearing I would never run with you again. In fact, I wish you would be there at Cool to keep me from being lazy. Or at least to stage a hoofy intervention if things get rough.

When are we not in rare form? (Just think how funny we would be in Europe. Invest today.)

Drs. Cynthia and David said...

Awesome title! Middle school humor is the best isn't it? Honest, unpretentious silliness.

Along that vein, take a look at Half-Fast's entry on snot rockets

He cracks me up.