SD100 Race Notes
Of all the things I need to remember about running the SD100 it is that friends are super important. There is no way I could have gotten to the finish line without the people that helped me. обичам те!
- Prior to the event, I ran 855 miles in 2018. This included about 105,000 feet of climbing.
- Thanks to the Trail Crashers, I had run on every bit of trail prior to the run. Being familiar with the course gave me confidence.
- I also did boot camp twice a week with Kelly and sometimes Debbie at work. That helped strengthen my core for climbing.
- I got mono in March. This impacted my training for about 4 weeks. My biggest regret was not being able to get out of bed to go see my friends run the Lost Boys run. I’ve never felt so exhausted. Becca and Julie Anne checked on me via text often which I appreciated.
- I fell at the PCT 50 and bruised a rib. It hurt to breathe. Coughing and sneezing was painful for 3-4 weeks. It didn’t bother me during the 100.
- I also had a sore calf ligament leftover from Sycamore Canyon. Ibuprofen was essential for any training runs over 5 miles.
- I was going to run solo but Robert told me I needed a pacer for the night part up from Cibbets. Michelle was the first person I thought of because she is a good friend and awesome runner. Thankfully she accepted. Then, Randy and Maggie agreed to be crew. Louka, Andy and Rosario also agreed to pace me. It is hard for me to burden so many people but this was a dream team.
- Michelle told me that the pace/crew team should meet before the run. I set it up but didn’t know what to ask for. Thankfully Michelle and Louka had experience to get everyone aligned.
- Becca and Ricky planned a Trail Crashers dinner at Buca de Beppo on Monday before the run. Last minute tips are super helpful. I was nervous prior to dinner but then talking about the event all night made me anxious. I had some insomnia Monday night but then slept okay the later nights leading up to the run.
- I drove my motorcycle to the pre-race briefing and packet pickup. The best part was hanging out with the Trail Crashers to ease race jitters.
Race Day(s) - June 8, 2018 - June 9, 2018
- I will never be able to thank Michelle enough for all she did to help me on race day. She started by waking up at 2:00 AM to pick me up at 3:30 AM and get me to the start line to pick up my bib at 5:00 AM. The run didn’t start until 6:00 AM so we slept in her car for about 40 minutes. I did not sleep though – too nervous.
- At 5:45 AM Michelle and I went to the start area. I only wore a short sleeve technical and shorts since I knew I and the weather would warm up and I didn’t want to carry anything extra. I also carried by 1.5 liter Camel-back with about 10 packets of food, toilet paper, ibuprofen in a Lululemon token, and my red name card for good luck.
- I saw Scott, Gemma, Becca, Ricky, Gloria, Summer, Phillip, Evan, Daniel, Robert, Anthony, Nell, Kellyn, and many of my friends. It gave me comfort to know we were in this together.
- The race started precisely at 6:00 AM.
- There was a bit of congo line (bottleneck) at the start. It opened up at Milk Ranch Road. We crossed 79 and headed up the fire road. I saw about 4 dear running in the hills. I love seeing wildlife while running.
- The run itself was mostly uneventful. I was very focused on running a comfortable pace (as Robert instructed) and not tripping and falling. I liked the trail that descends from Middle Peak down to Paso along the stream in the pine trees.
- Sometimes I don’t remember people’s names when running because I’m focused on moving forward. At Paso (mile 7.5), I was happy to see Teresa and Anthony in their red dresses. I thought Michelle told me she was going to volunteer at this aid station but I was bummed I did not see her. I left the station then high fived Michelle at the exit because she was on road crossing duty.
- Up and over Stonewall Peak. I took my time on the rocky descent on the back.
- Over to Chambers (mile 12.5). I passed many runners I know on the out and back to Chambers. So awesome. I’m normally in and out at aid stations. I ate some Pringles while Randy Z filled my bladder. As I was leaving, Loan asked if I wanted ice. I said no, but then remember Robert’s advice to start icing early. I went back and Loan made an awesome ice bandanna that provided cool melting for at least 5 miles.
- All of the aid stations were amazing, awesome, and energy boosts. Every station boosted my energy and inspired me to keep going.
- Up to Sunrise (mile 21). I slow jogged up this gradual climb. Passed The Jester. Felt strong. I saw so many friends at the aid station. Nartaya in a Trail Crasher shirt, John S (who drove all the way up for a 3 minute visit). I was super surprised and happy to see Michelle again (when will she sleep?) who helped fill my water, reminded me to eat and sprayed me with sunblock.
- Over to Pioneer Mail (mile 28). It started getting hot on this long climb. I felt good on the descent but took it easy on my feet. The Pioneer Mail aid station was fancy. Two RVs with awnings. There was carpeted floors, chairs, and food in silver chafing bowls. Karen was the DJ. I stick to food that is easy on stomach but the bacon and eggs looked delicious. I had a popsicle on the way out here. Then Anthony, Maros and Michelle cheered for me along S1 as they exited in the car.
- Champagne pass descent is beautiful. It got hot going down into the valley. The Pine Creek aid station was hot. Volunteers sprayed me with mist – felt good. But they were rationing ice so I left feeling incomplete. Angela S told me to dip my bandanna in the stream in the canyon.
- Entering Noble Canyon. I love this trail but it felt hot. And it is harder to climb after running about 30 miles. The little ice I had only lasted 1-2 miles. It’s a long climb. I dipped my bandanna in the stream crossing by the ferns. It was cold and refreshing. More climbing - I was hot and tired.
- Pass the big tree to the exposed trail. This is where things fell apart. Robert told me things would fall apart and I could get back on track (he was right). Then he said it could happen a second time. Around mile 40, I felt horrible. Something hurt inside my guts. I ran out of water. I thought it might be my kidneys failing. I was barely walking 30 min/mile pace. I computed that it would take me 1 hour in the hot sun to cover 2 miles to get to Penny Pines. Here is where I decided to quit. I knew there was no way I could finish. Many other runners passed me. I sat on a rock and thought about how I would get home after quitting because I had no phone to call anyone. Kept walking.
- Entering Penny Pines (mile 44). This aid station has many people laying on tarps, in dirt, sitting in chairs. Phillip was here. He is a stronger runner than me. I took off my number and laid down on a tarp. Seemed like I wasn’t the only one who found that bit really difficult. An event photographer kept trying to take my picture when I was almost crying. I did not like the camera in my face at that time. He was also talking to a woman who planned to quit. He was telling her she will recover and she can make it 5 miles to the next aid station. I still planned to quit. I drank some chicken soup and cups of Coke then sat in an open chair. The aid station volunteers were saying “it’s time to move on - open the chairs for other runners.” Casey sat in an open chair next to me. I told him I was going to quit because my friends were supposed to come out to pace me late in the night and I didn’t want to waste their time since there is no way I would finish. He told me that my friends would be more pissed at me for quitting early. And he said that I would feel better in 10 minutes and I’d be pissed at myself if I quit now. Nell came into the aid station and left with a smile on her face (this was inspiring). I drank more chicken noodle soup.
- Then I decided to try to go one more aid station. Dave M came and said "hi" as I was getting ready to leave. I could not speak clearly. Not sure if it was exhaustion or emotions. Dave helped me tie my bandana. He said, “see you at mile 80” and I headed back out. I think I was in the aid station about 25 minutes.
- Over to Meadows (mile 49). Life seeped back into my bones during this segment. I ate some Gu packs and drank some water. I was very happy to make it to Meadows because 1) I made it to Meadows and 2) many friends were here. I hugged Julie Ann. Nartaya got me a cheese quesadilla. Randy, Maggie and Michelle (will she ever sleep?) brought me my gear bag. Michelle filled my bladder. I took off my socks and caked on fresh RunGoo and put on new socks. I drank some grapefruit juice. I felt so much better here. I put on my headlamp.
- Up to Red Tail (mile 55). The sun started setting. I talked with Trail Crasher Steve for a bit. I turned on my light. The final ascent to Red Tail Roost did not crush me like it did on training runs. Happy to high five Jeff Miller. Had 3 cups of chicken soup. Picked up my first pacer, Andy.
- Down to Cibbets (mile 64). Andy was a good pacer. He often asked me if I should drink or eat. He offered me a biscuit, woof woof. Chatting on the long descent made the time go fast. We got to the Cibbets aid station about 45 minutes ahead of schedule. Saw Vera, Greg B and others. I saw Jamie C here and at several aid stations, but he finished much stronger than me. But my crew and next pacer were not here. I drank chicken soup and they arrived in about 5 minutes. It was good to see the next pacer, Michelle.
- Up to Dale's Kitchen (mile 72). This is 2000+ foot climb from mile 64 up the hill. My lights worked well. Michelle kept the conversation going and reminded me to eat and drink. She won the beer mile race for the girls and Louka won for the boys. Did I mention I had a dream team pacer/crew team? We turned off our lights and looked at the milky way for a moment. I might have had minor GI issues during this bit (sorry Michelle). Saw Sean S and Vito at the aid station.
- Over to Todd’s Cabin (mile 75). Angela was at this (and several other) aid station. I felt good. Ate some soup, drank Coke. Not as much energy at aid stations in the middle of the night but they are still very motivating.
- Over to Penny Pines (mile 80). I felt fortunate to enjoy an awesome sunrise with Michelle on one of the most beautiful trails - PCT near Penny Pines. I felt really good. I like the coolness of the night but I wanted to turn off my light and see stuff too. Michelle: Did you want to share anything about this section? (ha ha). We saw Louka at the end of this section. He greeted us with an “обичам те” and his usual smile. It was great to see him. I again saw more friends at Penny Pines. Dave was still working there.
- Run to Pioneer Mail (mile 84). Louka was also a good pacer. He reminded me to drink and eat and also often suggested when I could be running. My feet hurt quite bad and I resisted but I appreciate the motivation. I love this section of trail. We saw a snake. I said it was not poisonous or venomous. At Pioneer Mail, I ate a breakfast tortilla and drank a Red Bull. By this time, Randy and Maggie had mastered what I did not know about crewing. They filled water and offered what I didn’t know I wanted, had food laying out… I felt very spoiled.
- The last aid station, Sunrise (mile 91). Louka and I jogged it into Sunrise. I was happy to see Rosario and kiss her. Nartaya was still here. Julie Ann. And I got to hug Carolyn who I haven’t seen in a while. She gave me a frozen wash cloth from her personal collection and felt good on my head. I drank, ate, refilled, … and I headed out for the last time!
- To the finish (100.5). Rosario was also a good pacer. Reminded me to eat, drink and keep moving. We talked to other runners on the hot, exposed trail. This section isn’t hilly but it took forever. The highlight was a bonus aid station 2.4 miles from the finish that had a tent and some popsicles. I also drank Mountain Dew here.
- We passed through the narrow fence by the lake and saw Jeff. He told me I had a chance to beat his 2016 finisher time. I appreciated that motivation. Rosario and I ran around the lake. I could hear people whistling and cheering – amazing. Someone said, “only one more hill to climb” – I wasn’t’ sure what he meant but yes, there was a 10-foot climb to get to the finish line. Ruby joined me for the last 50 feet to the finish line. Finished in 30:31:41. I got a medal.
- At the finish, I saw Michelle, Louka, Randy, Maggie, Di, Saul, Fern, Becca, Ricky, Kellyn, Tom, and many others. Robert had his usual grin – I could not talk to him or anyone because I almost started crying. It was an amazing feeling to have so many friends at the finish. Ruby was a good sport and hung out for a while. Rosario gave me a cool finisher’s poster that the entire team signed. That was awesome!
- Rosario had me home by 4:00 PM (maybe). I did not want to sleep because I wanted to celebrate. Rosario convinced me to lay down for a leg rub. I laid down and fell asleep immediately. I woke up at 10:00 PM then went back to bed and slept until Sunday at 9:00 AM.
- On Sunday, I went and bought a belt and had a hamburger for lunch.
- Rosario came over and cooked delicious recovery dinner with chicken marsala, garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus.
- I was able to walk around on Sunday though my Achilles were tight.
- Went for a 3-mile run on Tuesday. Need to stay loose for Grandma’s Marathon on Saturday.
- I’m writing this on Tuesday and going through the pictures people sent me. My favorite photo is a panoramic of me on the trail with the sunrise that Michelle took around Penny Pines. I will print that one and put it in a frame.
To everyone that helped get me to the finish line... обичам те!
267 entries; 151 finishers (56%)
|Station||Distance||Place||Time In||Time Out||Elapsed||Pace||Section Pace|
|Pioneer Mail 1||28.2||0||--:--||--:--||--:--||--:--||--:--|
|Penny Pines 1||43.8||160||06:22pm||--:--||12:22:00||16:56||26:11|
|Red Tail Roost||55||125||09:38pm||--:--||15:38:00||17:03||16:36|
|Penny Pines 2||80.3||98||06:16am||--:--||24:16:00||18:07||18:36|
|Pioneer Mail 2||84.3||101||07:26am||--:--||25:26:00||18:06||17:30|