Shannon & Pam, after months of training, officially became ultrarunners with finishing Way Too Cool 2010 (3/13/10). They continue to run the long distances as they continue to challenge themselves physically & mentally. This is where they post those triumphs and also their tribulations.

September 3, 2010

Dirt Inspires! Shannon

Wow - yet another awesome race on an awesome trail!

Dirt Inspires! Women's only Trail Half Marathon takes place in Aptos, California, which is aproximately 3 hours away from the Sacramento area on the coast! (yes, Pam and I had to leave Sacramento at 4:45a, needless to say we were just a little tired) It's in the The Forsest of Nisene Marks State Park, which is absolutely gorgeous.  One day I'd like to go back and walk the trails so that I can truly take in the beauty of this trail.  90% Redwood tree cover keeps you nice and cool and rarely the need for sunglasses.  Although it was not a hot day, the weather was perfect for a morning race.  I was quite comfortable in my Trail Turtle shirt and leggings.

There were 7 of us there representing the Folsom Trail Runners which was really cool!!

The race starts and finishes in the Aptos Village Park which is up the road to the entrance of the State Park.  When you start the race, you first have to climb out of the Village Park area, then you continue on a road for approximately 1.5 miles before you get to jump on a single track (which is a climb up), then at mile 2 you come off the single track to your first of 5 aid stations - yes, you heard me right, there are 5 aid stations for this half TRAIL marathon - unheard of!!  Then you are back on a fire road for another mile or so, then a short jaunt on another single track, then back on road til you hit aid station #2 at mile 4.  The road portions of this run are the hardest for me and I really struggle with them (knees).  But after that you are on single track until you come back up out of the "forest" at mile 9.

While in the "forest" area you get to cross creeks.  Last year, being the fairly new trail runner that I was, I tip toed through the creeks to keep my tootsies dry.  Not this year!!! I plowed through the water around all the other ladies tip toeing through the water.  It was a blast.  I'm sure I pissed off a few, but oh well, I was having way too much fun!  Also during this portion of the trails there is a lot of down hill technical stuff, heavy roots, trees to duck under and go around, tight turns with narrow ledges - awesome, awesome, awesome!  I was in heaven!  This is what I'm good at.  I may be a Turtle and I may have to walk the uphills, but I can fly on the downhills and through the extremely technical stuff.  At one point I was stuck behind a few ladies and asked if I could shoot by them, and of course they let me by and I flew!  I heard them say, "Wow, you really did SHOOT by us!"  LOL  too much fun!

Pam & Shannon's blurry pic on the trail
Pam and I stuck together through approximately 7 miles.  Pam was struggling with a migraine, but was lucky to get some Excedrin at the aid station at mile 6.  However, when we hit the downhill stuff, there was no holding me back.

Coming up out of the "forest" area put me back on the same route we were on to get into that area and I found that to be a major bummer, cause now I was back on the roads - yuck!

I find that I struggle on the flat stuff, especially flat ROADS.  I tend to slow down, so I really have to think about picking up the pace, but sometimes its tough.  My knees starting talking to me with approximately 2 miles left, but I ignored them.  I told 'em I didn't have time to chat and that they needed to be quiet!! LOL - oh if only it were that easy.

Anyways, I made it to the finish line upright and not in too much pain.  I was really disappointed when I saw my time!  This was the second time we did this race and this year I'm in much better shape, better trained, 14 pounds lighter, ran through the water, pushed the hills, etc., etc. and I finished 20 seconds SLOWER than last year - WHAT??? How can that be???? Can someone please explain this to me, because I'm completely flabergasted by this!
Shannon finishing

Pam finishing
Next year, I've got something to prove!!

Shannon & Pam with their finisher's medals
This weekend brings my last long run before the Sierra Nevada Endurance Marathon at the end of September.  We are running point to point from Granite Bay (Cavitt Middle School) to Auburn (ADO - Auburn Damn Overlook).  I'm actually looking forward to it, although there are some really tough areas on this trail, I'll be with some awesome people, so I know I'll have a good time.  I'm planning on leaving my truck in Auburn with a cooler full of water and beer - oh yeah!!

Have a great dirty weekend!

1 comment:

  1. You probably lost those 20 seconds talking to your knees.