Sunday, March 15, 2009

Post-Way Too Cool

When I first tried to get into Way Too Cool, I didn't know much about it. In fact, all I knew was that it filled up according to Scott Dunlap's blog. When I ended up getting a spot, I took it without any goals or expectations. Obviously this changed a little once I ran Sequoia. My goal was to stay with the lead woman and see where my body could take me as the race progressed. Beverley Anderson-Abbs and Devon Crosby-Helms took off at the start and the first few miles I hung to the six minute mile pace. Inside I thought, ok I'll be happy with third. I loved hearing people cheer, "go gal in the red shorts." Being unknown in trail running is something I have enjoyed, but Bev told me that I would make a name for myself with this race. I ran 27 miles with Bev. I enjoyed talking with her a bit, seeing her strength, and extremely inspired by her and her running. As we came upon Goat Hill, (I had to ask her if that is where we were. I still wasn't 100% sure if it was Ball Bearing a few miles back. See that is the problem when you don't run a course beforehand.) she told me I was on my own for the race and I kept with Erik Skaden for the last four miles. My quads and hip flexors were hurting and tightening with every step, but adrenaline kept me going. It wasn't until the last 100 meters that it hit me I would be the 1st woman crossing the finish (I take that back, not sure if it has still hit me.) I crossed the finish at 4:12 and with a smile. I sat down and talked to Erik for a bit. He asked if I ever get tired. Answer is yes! Bev came through the finish at 4:17. I can't thank her enough for her pacing and friendliness. And my apologies for not pacing more, I am still getting used to the ultras and my abilities. Congrats to fellow La Sportiva teammate, Leor Pantilat, for winning the race in 3:39! Damn! Also thanks to those that believed I would rock the course (specifically Will Gotthardt who had a great race at 4:21, Jady Palko (4:34), and Jenny Capel (who ran a 5:07 even with a cold!). It makes a difference when there are people that believe in your abilities. Of course, I am always extremely grateful to my body and glad that it is feeling good today. In fact, I think I am going to lace up my La Sportiva Wildcats and go for an easy run. Looking forward to returning to the 20k distance next weekend at Pirates Cove (unless I decide to bump it up to a 50k) and then training for Miwok! Thanks Julie for an awesome course at Way Too Cool!
(PS. Not sure about doing Western States. Seems like a lot to ask of my body seeing that I just bumped up to 50k's. Thoughts? I've got 2 weeks to decide.)

Erik Skaden and I post-race.

Bev and I leaving an aid station.
If you want to read more:
La Sportiva Mountain Running
Sacramento Bee
Auburn Journal
(thanks to the Auburn Journal for the two pictures!)


kate said...

GREAT job, Caitlin- way to go!

David Ray said...

Congrats! Great run.

Victoria said...

Fabulous running! Congratulations on a really impressive race... and good luck sneaking into any more races! I think you're putting yourself quite decidedly on the "extremely fast runners" radar...

Jozsef said...

I'm so very happy for you! I still get a huge delight every time I think of you at Sequoia. I hope you're not too sick of hearing how much you inspire me and elevate my spirits. Congratulations, dear lady. :)

Mark Tanaka (Ultrailnakaman) said...

Way Too Go-o-o!

It might be a little abrupt to go for a 100 miler so soon, but if you made any decent showing, you'd definitely make your mark as (unofficial) rookie ultrarunner of the year. Are you allowed to defer your guaranteed entry one year? If they had any sense, they'd let you do that.

willgotthardt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
mountainrun said...

The other Comments are real good. Mark's was particularly interesting: bumping to 100 miles would be abrupt, but if you pulled it off, "Ultra Rookie of the Year" might be in the offing.

Do you care about that? Appreciating being in the moment is a worthy goal itself. It's real hard to do that for 20 hours.

100 mile races are the holy grail of American trail running. The rest of the world considers this bizarre ... as in "Americans like everything big." I personally think learning to run better and faster makes more sense than trying to just run longer.

Fortunately, you'll follow your intuition, and your choice will be correct!

Luis Velasquez said...

Ha!! you did it again.. Congratulations Caitlin.. I am very happy for you. :)

Suz said...

Awesome race, Caitlin! I'm afraid I'm not helping your anonymity, as I was by telling anyone speculating on the women's leader all about my hometown girl!

I don't have the experience to give you running advice about States, but I'll say two things: (1) You won't have trouble getting another entry. (2) Maybe it's just me, but I tend to know where I want to do my first at a given distance. You get to choose.

Dave - Atlanta Trails said...

way to crush that course, Caitlin!

You're making the East Bay proud :)

I'll see you at S2S

Andy B. said...

Great run Caitlin. You have really taken to ultras quite quickly! It was a pleasure to meet you, and I look forward to seeing your continued success and watching you disappear over the horizon at future races. ;-)

Hard to say about Western States, though. While it would be a big jump, it could be a wonderful experience, too. If you don't do it this year, though, I'm sure you will have plenty of opportunities to do it in the future - especially with your talent.

Sean Lang said...

Bravo! IMO you should sign up for Western States. Their is 2 possible outcomes; you run a great race and get a guaranteed spot for next year, or you suffer terribly but learn something in the process.


Brett said...

Great race Caitlin! I really enjoyed the racap and Bev's comments to you mid-race. Have fun a Pirates Cove this weekend.

ewlake said...

Great run! Okay "gal in the red shorts," I have a dorky but important question for you - what kind of shorts are those? They are just what i have been searching for. All trail ladies will appreciate info. Thanks! : )

old man paco said...

Hmmmm....fate taking you for a ride eh? I say go for WS 09. Your 1st place finishes seem cool although they sound secondary to what you're really winning. Congratulations on having a good time with some good people.

wcaitlin said...

Thanks everyone for the congratulations and for the input regarding Western States. As of now, I am thinking I'll wait to take on that race. I'll stick to 50ks and I added another 100k this year. I don't want to kill my body in the first year of doing this stuff. Shit, I am only 28, I hope to have many years of running.

Ewlake, the red shorts = Russell Athletic and the pink shorts from Sequoia = Soffee. They're super inexpensive cotton shorts that you can get at most athletic stores. For some reason, I have worn them since high school cross-country and I think they're pretty much the most comfy things I've run in.

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