Local races… I just can’t resist them. Last year, I got home on a Friday night after the Whiskey 50 and team camp in Sedona and lined up for the Front Range 60 the next morning. This year, I followed a similar pattern. I had never raced in Castle Rock aside from the 24 hours of Erock, which quite frankly has a snooze for a course. I was pleased to see the Ridgeline course was a roller coaster ride on singletrack upon pre-riding the course! I was still feeling completely wiped out in the days leading up to the event.
I had second thoughts about racing. I had been home only 3 days after a long, exhausting 3 week road trip, my race the weekend before quite frankly did not go well, and I’ve been fighting a sinus cold for over a month. (which I started antibiotics for yesterday, be gone please!!!) I pushed aside my misgivings and went anyway hoping I’d still have some legs. For our team race report, I said I showed up to race because I wanted to earn my burger and beer (and I did… at Rueben’s in Boulder. They have tons of Belgian beers on tap and my beer consumption has been very very limited in the last 2 months trying to “shape” up for the summer. No fun).
Anyway, back to the racing! The information said we started at 8:18 AM behind all the men. I was grumbling about that because starting behind all the men has affected the outcome of several of the RME races I’ve done in the past when I had finishes separated by only a few seconds. Tons of course traffic definitely balled that up. I rolled back from my warm-up about 15 min before when I was supposed to start and heard them saying 30sec till my start. Fortunately, the order had been changed and we started behind the pro men…and luckily I didn’t miss my start!
My competitive fire was back after the lackluster at Whiskey. It was a HUGE relief. It showed in my start. I started at my normal start pace, but I guess the other racers weren’t expecting that.
Blurry Iphone video, but you get the idea!
Kelli Emmett caught up to me and got the hole shot, and I didn’t mind because she’s a great bike handler and I had never actually ridden right behind her before. I wanted to pass and push harder at the start, but I made myself hang back and not get too excited. We rode together for a good portion of the first lap, but she slowly pulled away from me and opened up about a 30-45 second gap. I was impressed with how smooth and relaxed she looked. I felt great for the first half of the race and was turning over on average for 3 laps, 47 minute lap times which was right on pace with my goals. My half marathon split was about 2:21 and I felt that I was racing at a hard, but comfortable pace that I would be able to maintain for 60 miles. My strength is normally a consistent pace in lap races like this.
Thanks to Les Handy for being all over the course and shooting so many great photos of everyone! This particular little wall climb was tough! It was very short, but required a big push late in each lap.
I was taking one bottle per 10 mile lap. I thought 24oz of water in less than an hour would be enough(it has been in the past). In the end, it was a mistake when the sun started beating down on us. By the time I started taking 2 bottles on laps 5 and 6, it was too late. Dehydration got me. I was forced to slow down, I was dizzy and disoriented, and it felt like my throat was stuck together. I drank as much as I can to get me to the finish in one piece, but my lap times dropped to 50 minutes. Kelli had less than 3 minutes on me halfway through the race… a gap that opened to 12 minutes by the finish after my failed attempt at staying hydrated. I’m wondering if the need for more water than normal was due to the sinus crap I’ve had going on for the last month. My face was caked with dried mucus (GROSS) and I was coughing a lot… maybe that required I put more water in my system, or maybe I was dehydrated to start. Whatever.
I ended up forgetting about dehydration on lap 6 because my bunion got really angry. I have to cut holes in my shoes on the outer part of the shoe for the bunions (or get surgery with a 6 month recovery period). These Northwaves are pretty new and they were hurting at the Whiskey as well. I brought scissors, but they were too weak to cut the shoe. I figured it would hurt, but not be a huge deal. It got so painful I could barely push down with my left foot and my left big toe got very sore from my foot being pronated inward from the swollen bunion! I’ll save you the photo of it at the finish, but it was not pretty.
I finished in 2nd for the day, a result that I’m happy with. Kelli got 3rd at the Whiskey and beat me by about 30 minutes the weekend before. 12 minutes with a few mishaps(which were entirely my own fault)…. I’ll take that. It’s improvement. It was also the first time I could keep up at the start… maybe these intervals Jason has me doing are working!
Limping into the finish… HORRIBLE bunion and big toe pain. I couldn’t put weight on my foot for about an hour after. People thought I crashed and got hurt. Nope, just my gross foot being compressed in the shoe.
Unfortunately, I missed the podium… first podium I’ve ever missed. I was helping support the half marathon and there was no announcement that it was going on at the other side of the venue. Woops, sorry ladies!
It was really nice to see all my Colorado racer friends! I’ve got some big adventures planned this year, but I’ll be missing a lot of my Colorado races that I love so much! It’s also cool to see the growth and improvement of the RME Series. New venues, a little bit of prize money (equal payout next time.. please??), and great organization.
Now I’m trying to get healthy, and get back to training. I have to go out of town again for work for most of next week, but in the time before and after, I’m getting ready for Trans Germany which starts June 6. 55 solo women signed up… probably the biggest field I’ve ever raced!