It started to sink in after Germany that I had one race left for 2009, my first 50 miler. I felt both unprepared and over raced walking into Miwok 100k back in May. I was glad things were slowing down in the end of the year and that my races were not every other week, but more like once a month. I also made a very conscious effort in the past month to rest and to take care of my body especially as I had bouts of burn out. As December 5th approached, I felt incredibly grateful that my body felt good and that I felt strong and confident.
When I showed up to the start yesterday, I was ready. Then I heard both Kami Semick and Lizzy Hawker were out due to injuries. Part of me was disappointed not to have them as well as Susannah Beck and Chris Lundy there (also out due to injury). But when a race falls so late in a season I assume it is bound to happen. When the race started I just stayed smooth and relaxed, realizing I could run my race. I didn't have to chase or prove anything. I could enjoy the fact that I was healthy and be grateful that my body could carry me those 50 miles.
Joelle Vaught and I stayed close in the first 9 miles and we got to spend some time chatting on the way up Bobcat. Then it was Sean Meissner and I chatting (or maybe just breathing and running) as we headed up to Pantoll. I looked at my watch and I was in disbelief I was rolling into Pantoll at 2:32 as I had estimated a 2:40 arrival. I felt good and relaxed, so just went with it. The next section was challenging, not physically so much, but mentally. Even though there were people close by including Joelle, we were somehow spread out just enough that it made me feel alone. On the out and back on Coastal it was great seeing the lead guys cruising back in. I started looking forward to being back at Pantoll, seeing my crew, and meeting my pacer, Peter. That is when Jesus Campos who had been right with me a good majority of the race reassured me to keep it up. I took over the pace and lead us into Pantoll. I arrived somewhere before 4:30 and Peter and I took off down Bootjack. I still felt good, but happy to have company.
As Peter and I came close to the Tourist Club, I met the guy that does Journeyfilm. He had met my brother at the Banff film festival where my proud brother told him to get some clips of me running. That made me smile and then we were off towards the Dipsea trail. As we approached Muir Beach I started to crave more downhill and flat, but of course that meant climbing. We did some fast hiking and Peter was great at keeping me relaxed and confident. My stomach wasn't so happy coming into Tennessee Valley, but at that point I had to say fuck it, only 6 miles to go. I was so happy to have that downhill after Marincello and looking forward to finishing! I finished first women in 7:38 and overall felt good. Joelle came in 2nd in 7:53.
I am incredibly grateful, for my crew, for the amazing people and support in my life, for running strong and smooth, for trusting myself and my abilities(although this is constantly getting tweaked), and for the most incredible year. I never expected to have done what I did this year, but I did and that makes me smile.
As hard as it will be, I've committed to taking 2 weeks off, so that my body can rest up from 2009. In this time I hope to figure 2010... any suggestions for particular races are welcome. I'll be sticking to 50 miles and less.