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You flew to CA to do what? Trail run story

horsemom2010-05-01 19:05:41 +0000 #1
Well, I flew from NY to CA to join my friends at the Western States 100 training run over Memorial Day weekend. I am not going to do the run (not yet) but wanted to see more of the trail, which is also a famous 100 mile horse race called the Tevis Cup. I have crewed for Tevis and run parts of the trail at different times, so I was familiar with the area.

What a hoot. First, it was so nice to be with a group of fit, (I was the most unfit person there, btw) like minded people. I did not have to explain how or why I run or ride 100 miles through the woods to anyone all weekend!! Sometimes, even at the gym I go to, I feel like a square peg in a round hole--but I looked around at these people and saw lots of square pegs!!

The weather had been really hot the week before and I had packed my running clothes early. Good thing I checked the weather just before I left, as it was predicted to get much cooler. I threw in some warmer clothes and headed off. I didn't expect rain. Yikes. They let us off the shuttle bus up the mountain on the first day and it was in the 30's and sleeting. Double yikes. The run was scheduled to be 31 miles, but there was snow at the original drop off so they shortened the day to 27 miles. I sat with a man on the bus who was 71 years old. SEVENTY ONE. He was looking for his 14th WS buckle. What an inspiration!!

We set off on the run like lemmings--right off the bus and down a road to the trail at a trot - almost 300 of us crazies, in the sleet. It did not take long to be soaked to the skin. Luckily I had left on the silk longjohns and nylon pants under my skort. I almost took them off before I got on the bus, but didn't. People ran by me with mud and icy water dripping off their red legs. I guess they were ok, but I don't run fast enough to stay warm, and was glad for my pants!

The footing was treacherous, and I found myself bracing and searching for each foothold on the downhills. I am not good at the downhills anyway, and the footing made me slower. There was water running down alot of the trail and mud every where. I struggled down into one canyon, and just got into a good rhythm when I did one of those backward wave the arm, lift the legs, arch your back and still fall down moves. I was hurt all over, and still had to climb out of a section and up a canyon called Devil's Thumb. Oh poop! I went very slowly up, which is usually my good direction, and got colder as I went. It was impossible to be more wet, but more cold was happening fast.

I got to the aid station at 15 miles and could not bring to mind the word 'hypothermia'. Hypothyroid, hyponutremia, hypertension... I knew I was cooked - or frozen. I climbed into a car with a couple other women and we blasted the heater for an hour before we stopped shaking. It was not until I took a hot bath that evening that I really thawed out.

My friends who had run the whole way were not going out on Sunday's run, and I thought of joining them for breakfast, but after a cup of Starbuck's, I raced back to the hotel, jumped into my shorts and headed to the start. I was glad I did, as I had a great run (weather was better) and felt good after that.

I headed home on Monday determined to come back next year and do the entire three day training, and someday do an ultra....

Laura (just an average middle aged woman certain that we can do anything we set our minds to)


Tri Girl2010-05-01 19:12:51 +0000 #2
WoW!

I can't believe the crazy weather, and that you stuck it out for 15 miles. You're one tough cookie!

I'm glad you joined them the next day for the other (warmer) run.

Sounds like you had a great trip, and that you'll be coming back for more. Thanks for sharing your weekend details with us- I was anxious to hear how it went.
maillotpois2010-05-01 19:20:47 +0000 #3
What a great story. You couldn't have been in more beautiful territory. Yeah, it got a bit cold and wet last weekend....

Glad you survived and had such a good experience.

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