Sunday, April 1, 2007

Lake Hodges Ultra 50K and some change...

Quick Race Overview-

Lake Hodges (this is a musical slide show by one of club members) is located about 1 hour south of Orange County.

Morning lows was in the 40’s and quickly reached to the upper 80’s with no cloud cover. The terrain was mixed with some single track and wide trail roads. The total elevation climbing was close to 5,000 feet. My finish time was 7hr10min, not necessary the time I was aiming for but read below to see how the day unfolded.

Very interesting race, I went into the race feeling pretty good. My left hamstring pull went away after some aggressive therapy and the application of the STICK. After talking to several other athletes about the hamstring, I came to the conclusion it was due to my weekly track workouts and running in the same direction. However, my 5 year old decided to get sick (excessive coughing) on Wednesday and me being the hypochondriac that I am started to freak out…I started using Germ X etc… so I wake up Saturday Morning at 2:30am for my pre-race meal, and I have a scratching throat L. I tried to keep a positive spirit about it, but just a few races ago at the LA 5K, I just remember feeling like crap for the 5K let alone a 50K. Moving forward, I ran a couple of errands prior to meeting Kim at 4:15am. I decide to refill my doctor prescribed “Vitamin I” IBUPROFEN, I am so happy I did (more on that later).

Kim and I started our trek down south to San Diego, then she mentions she forgot her handheld bottles which is kind of ironic because on her pre-race list on her blog, that is the first thing on her list…hmmm. We arrive in plenty of time, and I told her to park in the area where the RD tells us NOT to park. After figuring out that we were not supposed to park there we opted to park at the entrance of the START/Finish area. This was the best spot, we decided to organize the back of her vehicle to spread out our extra nutrition/lubes etc…I went into Triathlon mode of setting up my transition area. Kim had mentioned how cold it was, I had no clue what she was talking about, I had on my full on Fleece jacket and pants on. She mentioned it was 43 degrees out, and started to kind of worry because all she had was a tang top and no long sleeve. So we walk over to the start to pick up our bag, and who do we see CHAZ man. He sees Kim and mentions that he has a long sleeve technical shirt from the OC Marathon, that has been sitting in his car for a couple of months. I had no idea Charlie had a mobile Self Storage? (If I remember correctly he had 8-10 5Gallon water jugs from the last ULTRA in Twin Peaks.) I have never seen Kim so happy to hear such great news, Funky smell or not she was pumped. After picking up our packets, I noticed someone from my sponsor Aquaphor. We were a little surprised to see each other; we both didn’t think there were many ultra runners in our sponsored team. She kind of got me to think about doing a 50mile race. We exchanged each others personal info, and I am sure we will become great friends. Jill had mentioned she had signed up for

SJ50K, please send her some LOVE if you see her on the trails. I was really impressed to see a lot of familiar faces at the race from our club OCTR.

More on the race, the RD started to shout out last min instructions at 7am, race started a little bit after 7:20am. About a 1.5miles in I hit my right big toe on a rock in a weird funky way. I started to feel a throbbing sensation due to the friction of my top foot, where my big bone meets the big toe bone. It was really swelling, I remember

having this feeling, last year when I was breaking inn a new pair of shoes, and it actually rubbed so bad it ripped off the skin. I did not want to say anything to Kim, at that time, I was just happy to be walking up the hill. On our way back, on the first leg, she had bent her ankle in a weird way, and we both started to walk and jog. I finally spilled my beans and told her I was in bad shape. My goal was to get to the drop bag zone, we finally made it, and I

quickly rushed to see the damage. It was clearly getting bad, bright cherry red, I quickly got a tube of aquaphor and put about 3 table spoons on that area. I also took in 3 nice “Vitamin I” tablets; Kim had one as well for her ankle. I also had some packed some extra goodies for backup. I included some samples of Bonkbreaker which I sampled at my recent 10K. I wanted to see how they would hold up in the heat pressed between my shorts. They rocked! The consistency was there and the Peanut butter and jelly as very tasty. I also packed ROBO

espresso cookies; the cookies packed a nice jolt high. We both quickly went and continued our journey to the east side of the course. After about 20 mins we were both feeling very loose…I had forgot about toe area and

her ankle was feeling better. We arrive to the first aid station as iMichelle is on her return. Oh yeah quick up date on the temperature it was 85 degrees bright and sunny it felt like 90. I started to scream out to Kim it is freezing out here! We both started to chuckle hoping in some weird way we would get cooler. The volunteers were fantastic at each aid station, very informative and kind. Both Kim and I were very surprised at the 2nd aid station, we were told that the turnaround point is another .5miles away… I think I almost lost it…that was the longest .5miles, we reached the final turnaround, I took the liberty of having several servings of HEED. Then we

ran into fellow group members Paul, and Nattie. I was surprised to see Paul without his Photo Tripod. He had mentioned he had a sore ankle and was not feeling too good. Nattie, looked fresh like she just started the race. The four of us start to chat a bit and walk as a group. Both Paul and I were struggling to keep up with Nattie and Kim while they were walking. Kim was a life saver during the run, turns out she does shoulder massages. I was in bad shape after holding 1.5 lb water weights for over 6.5hours. Both shoulders were in KNOTS, I asked Kim

to use her elbow to apply pressure to the knots for relief, and to squeeze my shoulders. God Bless her, she is strong.

So we arrive to the last aid station, I turned about and Paul took off like he stole something, and Nattie as right

there with him. Perhaps I was at the aid station too long sucking down more HEED. Kim and I continued to

pace each other, we had noticed that there one other athlete that would pass us, then we would pass her. This battle would continue for the last 3.5 miles. Kim gave me the orders run ahead to catch her, it was a small victory in a very long hot day. Kim had her sister waiting at the finish line, they were kind enough to get a us big gulp

coke at the extra mile. I quickly took off my shoes to inspect the damage. It was still swollen and tender, I think it will be good to take it easy for a while. I am not sure what race to tackle next, but I know it will involve running.

My focus this season is to improve my running performance. Thank you for reading, and see you at the races…

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