Thursday, February 16, 2012

Golden Gate 50k

Sometimes I forget. I forget that 31miles (or in the case of Saturday, 31.8) is a long ass way. I forget that my feet will be sore. And I fail to recall that sensation of replacing my muddy Salomon's with a pair of flips-flops, wiggling my muddy toes and feet, until that moment is there again. It’s been a year since my last 50k. I’ve seen a bit more pavement in the last year then I’ve seen the Headlands or even Redwood Park for that matter.

Transitioning back to the trails after the Olympic trials proved to me that what I do on the trails isn’t easy. That running up and down hills can be just as challenging, if not more so, than keeping an even steady pace. I hiked a lot more hills in those first few weeks, my legs were still causing me discomfort, and there was also the reality that, well, my legs were now accustomed to flat terrain. So, like any normal person I got frustrated and doubtful. But, I let go of the watch, stopped questioning my stop and go on hills, and I just kept trying to remember why I love the trails. I really questioned why I used to say I loved the hills, but I remember now. And, I do love them.

I signed-up for Coastal Trail’s Golden Gate 50k to remember what a 50k felt like, to remember what I am capable of, and to just run in the Headlands again. So that’s just what I did this past Saturday. I just went out and cruised without urgency, anxiety, or doubt. And thank goodness, my body remembered how to manage 6,000 feet of climbing and four hours on my feet. And, I uncovered a few things:

-Peanut Butter & Plain GU are my new favorites.
-Mud on Pirates Cove is dangerous --- thank goodness for the long weeds, which kept me standing (I probably tore at least twenty out of the ground as I braced near to close falls.)
-I like chasing guys. I need to work on chasing girls or at least not being afraid of it).
-Flip-flops are amazing!
-I love Epsom salt baths & crosswords. They’re the essential after-party.
-Marincello is fun the first time through. The second time it’s just well, it’s just different.
-I still find the Headlands absolutely magical.

Oh poor hamstrings, I love you, and welcome back!

So anyhow, it is good to be back spending time on the trails. I think I’ll still find a little space for the pavement. But, yup it feels pretty good being back.


Sarah said...

Nice job, Caitlin - and welcome back. :-)

Unknown said...

Course record, or just a win?

willgotthardt said...

To the Unknown...she broke women's CR by just over, uh, 2hrs, and in fact broke what had been the existing men's CR by 33secs!

Excellent run Caitlin, yeah I didn't much care for the 2nd trip up Marincello. :-(

PatrickGarcia said...

Congrats on (yet another) win! And, congrats for grabbing a great unintentionally dirty photo of the two guys to your left :)

Anonymous said...

"unintentionally dirty photo of the two guys to your left :) "
LMFAO , great run!!! Jacob

Anonymous said...

What shoes specifically are you wearing- I know they are Salomons, but which ones exactly? They look awesome- how do you like them (I'll forget you are sponsored by them, haha)?

And the water bottle- just curious- which one is it, and do you love it? Have issues?

Thanks from a starting trail runner! I was at the aid station near the start/finish, it was inspiring watching you run!

wcaitlin said...

Salomon S-Labs & Ultimate Direction Handheld... both great for the ultra distances! Best, Caitlin