prAna & the #WeirdWorkout

I’m super excited to be partnering with prAna and Fitapproach as they debut their new fall line.

To kick off fall, prAna has teamed up with Organic Valley for a super awesome contest surrounding #WeirdWorkout.  You’ve probably seen a few of my photos on Instagram and some other on Instagram & Twitter.IMG_5429

So you say you want a chance to win $300 worth of prAna gear & a 2 month supply of Organic Fuel?

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Head over here to enter.

There are six ways to play and 10 people will win.  The contest runs from August 15 – 31, 2016.  Ten winners will swing away with some awesome Organic Fuel swag, a two month supply of Organic Fuel and $300 in credit to use on prAna.com.

Don’t forget to post your #WeirdWorkout photos on Instagram – we want to see too!  Use the hashtags #WeirdWorkout, #SweatprAna, #sweatpink AND #prAnaFallStyle.

In September, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on 2 new fall pieces, both of which are made with organic cotton, the super cute Yarrah dress that I’m excited to wear it for work & London Jean (shown on the far left model in the second photo) if they are anything like the Meme Pants I already own, I’m going to be super happy.  If you’ve been reading my blog, you might remember that I’ve had the opportunity to review the Meme Pant & the Prism Capri, both of which I really like.

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Want to get some pieces from the new fall line?  Use code PFS16LEGS to save 15%.

Don’t forget to enter the contest and tell me what’s your favorite #WeirdWorkout?

Gerolsteiner #SparklingDetox

I am super excited to be partnering with Gerolsteiner & FitApproach for the #SparklingDetox Challenge in mid September.  I received a free case of water for the challenge, however as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.  All information on the actual water is from Gerolsteiner.

First let’s talk about who Gerolsteiner is.

Bottled in Gerolstein, Germany directly from the Volcanic Eifel since 1888, Gerolsteiner is know in international markets as the “World’s No. 1 Sparkling Natural Mineral Water”.  It is sold in 40 countries.

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What makes Gerolsteiner mineral water so special?

From Gerolsteiner: With many waters there are two criteria that are mutually exclusive. Either the water tastes neutral but contains only a small amount of minerals, or the water is full of minerals but tastes salty or bitter due to the sodium chloride or sulfate content. Gerolsteiner mineral water combines the best of both. It has its origin in the Volcanic Eifel – an area that offers soil conditions unique throughout the world: Gerolsteiner’s well-balanced water is the result of the carbonic acid of volcanic origin and the region’s dolomite rock, which is exceptionally highly mineralized. Thus Gerolsteiner neither tastes bitter nor salty – but pleasantly neutral and refreshing naturally. Not many waters contain essential calcium and at the same time essential magnesium as well.

The unique source, the Volcanic Eifel, with its naturally high mineral content means Gerolsteiner has almost 2,500 mg of mineral content per liter which is quite a bit higher than other brands.

Interestingly, the mineral water is bottled with carbon dioxide from natural springs.  This means there is no need to artificially carbonate the water.

Now that we’ve introduced Gerolsteiner Sparking Natural Mineral Water, I know you are interested in what the #SparklingDetox is.

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It’s super simple, which is great for someone like me.  I love pre-packaged juice cleanses & trying new things that are easy.  Between all the travel, work and running, I just don’t have time to do anything complicated.

So basically all you need to do is, commit to drinking Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water for 5 days from September 12 – 16.  You can eat your normal meals, exercise like normal, but you’ll give up soda, juice, alcohol and coffee (insert crying emoji here, lol) &/or tea.

When I first saw the info on what was required for the #SparklingDetox I almost started crying because I’ll be in Tahoe crewing Sean at Tahoe 200 and I was like oh, no! I’m not going to be able to eat for 3 days I’m there? But then I read a little further and found out I can eat whatever I want, I just can’t drink anything else, super easy :).

Why do I want to do the #SparklingDetox?  It’s so easy, just drink Gerolsteiner water then eat & exercise like normal? How can you go wrong?

As an added bonus, Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water not only tastes good, it also contains 33% of our daily requirement of Calcium and 25% of our daily requirement of Magnesium (per liter), which means for all of us that don’t really drink a lot of milk or don’t want to take a supplement, we can get a good amount of calcium just from drinking Gerolsteiner.

I have always been a fan of mineral water and have always known that not all waters are created equal.  It’s fascinating to me that depending on what region, what type of bedrock the spring comes from, can really have an effect on the taste.  And let me just say, I am super picky about my water and always have been.

Partnering with Gerolsteiner has really educated me on how different water can be.  There are 3 different types of water, mineral, sparkling & purified.   So what does that mean?

Want to join me in the #SparklingDetox?

A How To in 3 easy steps.

  • Check out the store locator to find a store near you that sells Gerolsteiner so you can make sure to have a minimum of 1 case to drink during the week or sign up get the chance to win a free supply of Gerolsteiner Water http://bit.ly/SparklingDetox.
  • Commit to drinking only Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water for 5 days from Sept. 12 – 16.
  • Join the Sparkling Detox Facebook Group to meet others participating in the detox and hear their experiences.

How much easier can it get?  I’m so looking forward to how easy this detox will be and how good I will feel drinking a lot more water!

REVIEW: XX2i Australia1 Sunglasses

Disclaimer: I received a pair of XX2i Australia1 sunglasses to review  as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

My collection of XX2i sunglasses continues to grow with the addition of the Australia1 that came out in mid July.  I have previously reviewed the USA1, the Hawaii1 and the casual Bermuda1.

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With all those other glasses, what makes the Australia1 different?

From the XX2i website:  Equipped with the tools for a variety of adventures, the Australia1 is XX2i’s only performance sunglass featuring an interchangeable temple arm / strap system for intense activities. The Australia1 also incorporates a removable padded insert for extra protection against the elements, and a sturdy frame with a unique wraparound style for enhanced peripheral vision. This model comes standard with polarized lenses that employ 8K optical technology, ensuring the utmost lens clarity and frame durability.

The Australia1 comes in 3 different colors, Matte Black, Matte Black & White & Matte Turquoise.  I choose the turquoise because I really liked the Brown lenses on the Bermuda1 vs the grey lenses on my USA1 and Hawaii1 and wanted to try something different.

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When I first opened the glasses, I was a little concerned because unlike the USA1 & the Hawaii1, they don’t have an adjustable nose piece.  It looked similar to the Bermuda1, but I was pleasantly surprised that it fit much better than the Bermuda1 and the temple pieces are adjustable.

The padded insert and action strap that are included with the Australia1 are super easy to use.  The padded insert clicks right into an open area above the nose piece and then you just fit it with the glasses.  The arms pop out easily to put on the strap.  This is so much easier than changing the USA1’s interchangeable arms.

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While I don’t participate in activities that require these additions, it is nice to know that if we ever decide to run in a windy desert or participate in water sports, these glasses will help to protect our eyes.

I don’t have any major complaints about these glasses.  The fit is decent, although I do feel like they can be a little tight if I put them on top of my head.  I like the color of the lenses and that the arms are easy to remove.

Want a pair for yourself?  Join us at #bibchat on Tuesday, Aug. 16 to win a pair or use code XX2iROCKS for 50% off the Australia1 or other styles.

Race Recap: The San Francisco Marathon 2nd Half

This was my 3rd year running The San Francisco Marathon and Sean’s 5th time.  I have run the first half twice and if you’d like to read those recaps, they are here 2014 & 2015.

This year we weren’t going to run the race, but then in June, Sean asked me if I wanted to go, since this is our anniversary race and he’s done it so many times.  I agreed but we did end up paying a lot more than normal due to the lateness of our entry.  I paid $135 for the second half.  To put that into context, we signed up for the marathon at the expo this year and it was $110 with a $25 discount so we ended up paying $92 with the fee so it’s definitely better to register early for this race.

We flew up on Saturday morning, took a very long BART/bus ride to the city (they were doing construction on a station on the way to the city), got checked in and then immediately ran down to the expo at Fort Mason, which is where the expo has been the last few years.

The SF Marathon, Running4thosewhocan't, Orange Mud, XX2i, Lululemon, We Run Social, ProCompression, San Francisco, Expo

We got our bibs, shirts, Sean’s loyalty gift for running 5 years in a row, a travel mug, some snacks and wandered for a few minutes just to see what was there.

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Afterwards, we made our way to Fremont via the BART to see my sister and my brother-in-law David.  We got a bit more information about how David, who is fighting cancer, is doing.

Sidenote: If you have a few extra dollars, even just $5-$10 (the cost of approx. 1-2 days of Starbucks), please consider helping Sean & I raise money for the James Blake Foundation to run the NYC Marathon for David.  You can donate here.

David was in amazing spirits, he is so incredibly positive and has a huge will to live.  That being said, his condition has not improved a lot, the cancer in his leg is growing so fast that the many chemo treatments he has already received are only able to attack the new growth vs the original cancer.  It’s a very serious situation but he and my sister, Diane, are doing well considering.

After our visit, we headed back to the city, had a little dessert from world famous Ghiradelli’s.

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I got my Flat Jenny ready and headed to bed, it was going to be an early morning.  Sean’s race started at 5:30a, I wanted to go to the We Run Social meet-up and then needed to take a shuttle over to the 2nd half start.

The SF Marathon, Running4thosewhocan't, Orange Mud, XX2i, Lululemon, We Run Social, ProCompression, San Francisco, Glukos, Altra Running, Garmin

After seeing Sean start, I saw a few other friends and then headed over to the shuttles which were a few blocks from the marathon/first half start.

The SF Marathon, Running4thosewhocan't, Orange Mud, XX2i, Lululemon

There were a ton of school buses there to take us over.  I got in line to wait until 6am when they would start taking us over.  I think I got on the 2nd or 3rd bus.

The ride was actually pretty long, I think it was about 25 minutes until we got to the start line.  I was super tired so I was half asleep for most of the ride.

Once off the bus, I headed over to the starting area.  The 2nd half is much smaller than the first half/marathon.  I hit up the port-a-potties as soon as I arrived so I would miss the lines, then I checked out a few of the sites, there was a huge Dutch style windmill near some rose gardens, before heading up towards the gear check area to hang out for a bit before checking my bag.

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It was sooo cold.  I’m glad that I had my hoodie and track pants because I would have froze if not. As I was waiting, I ran into fellow BibRavePro, Bradley.  We, of course, got a photo. (photo courtesy of Bradley)

BibRave Pro, Bibrave, The San Francisco Marathon, 2nd Half Marathon, We Run Social, Running4thosewhocan't, Orane Mud

I finally found out that the line I thought was for the port-a-potties was actually for the drop bags.  It was not well marked that you had to go to just one table to put your number on your bag and then you could drop your bag at your UPS truck.  Compared to the main start area, this was a bit of a mess.

I felt like the 2nd half start line was kind of an afterthought.  The girl who was the announcer seemed really nice, but was not the right fit for this event.  She wasn’t really very energetic and focused more on things that aren’t really important.  I was not impressed.

The race finally got its start at 7:30a and I was in wave 3 so I started at 7:45a. By that point it was starting to rain a little and I just wanted to get started.

Unfortunately for me, my legs didn’t feel great from the get-go.  I just tried to focus on being in the moment, listening to the end of my Daniel Silva audio book and run/walking the majority of the race.

This part of the course didn’t have the huge hill up near the Presidio like the first half, but it was a bit hillier than I was expecting.

I just did my best to keep moving through Golden Gate Park for the first 4 miles, hoping my legs would loosen up.  It was pretty, we ran around a lake, saw a pagoda, ran past the first half marathon finish line before heading into Haight Ashbury and through the city.  Obviously I didn’t see this photographer because I appear to be “in the zone” lol.

The SF Marathon, Running4thosewhocan't, Orange Mud, XX2i, Lululemon, We Run Social

Interestingly in the part of the course that was the least exciting, between 6 -9,  was the part of the course where they would periodically close the course to help with traffic flow.  They don’t do this in the first part of the course so I’d never seen it happen before.  At one point I was coming up just as they were closing the section so I saw it first hand.

Finally around mile 11 we headed towards the Embarcadero and around AT&T Park.  It would have been nice to go on the field, but alas, no go for that. 🙂

The SF Marathon, Running4thosewhocan't, Orange Mud, XX2i, Lululemon, We Run Social, ProCompression, San Francisco

We made our way down towards the finish line.  As we got closer to mile 13, I could feel that I was getting tired so I actually drank a Glukos gel in the last 1/2 mile.  I literally couldn’t move any faster, I could see all the people gaining on me and running past me but my legs were just not having it.

The SF Marathon, Running4thosewhocan't, Orange Mud, XX2i, Lululemon, We Run Social

I made it over the finish line in a not horrible 2:16 and I immediately saw Sean waiting for me :).  We went to get our medals and food.  Yet again, the actual race food sucks.  There were bottles of water, think thin bars, bananas and muscle milk drinks.  The only one of those 4 things that I like is the water.  It was pretty disappointing because I was really hungry.

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But that being said, after we got out of the race finish area, by the Ferry Building there were a ton of vendors giving out snacks.  We got 2 different types of greek yogurt, vegan Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Lara bars, these amazing Coconut chips from Dang.  I’m not a fan of coconut normally, but these were amazing!

Since I had run the first half last year and then the second half this year, I earned a 2nd challenge medal, The Half of It All medal, which is pretty cool.  It has the Golden Gate Bridge on one side and the Painted Ladies from Haight Ashbury on the other.

The SF Marathon, Running4thosewhocan't, Orange Mud, XX2i, Lululemon, We Run Social, ProCompression, San Francisco, Half of it All, Challenge, Medals

This race has soooo many challenges.  The Half of It All, California Dreamin’ (SF Marathon & Surf City), SF/Berkley, there is another challenge where if you run the 1st half, 2nd half and marathon in consecutive years you are part of the 52 club and you get a special hoodie.  I’ll earn one of these next year :).

This is an interesting race, because of the weather in San Francisco during the summer.  In the 3 years that I’ve run this race, it’s been pretty cloudy & humid during the actual race, it’s always cleared up afterwards but it can be pretty brutal during the actual race.

Now that I’ve run both halfs, I would say that the first half is definitely more exciting.  I mean a lot of the more iconic spots in SF are in the first half of the course.  It was pretty cool though going through Haight Ashbury & by AT&T park, you could see into the stadium when we got closer.

I still say, SF Marathon needs to step up the post-race food game, and I definitely think that they need to step up the announcing at both start lines, but especially the 2nd half.  But the free photos and a decent expo kind of even out the bad things.

Outside of those things, I think it’s a pretty good race.  I liked that they upped their game on the race medals this year.

Do you have any races you continue to run every year?

TRT 50…A Taste of Heaven…A Glimpse of Hell

Seeing as it’s Throwback Thursday, and I’m so far behind on my recaps, I figured it was time to recap my experience at the Tahoe Rim Trail 50 miler.  Just an FYI – this is going to be a long post!

Spoiler alert…it was the best race ever. I had a blast!  But if you want more detail than that keep reading.

First off, a little background on how to get into the race, there is a lottery on January 1 for spots in one of the three TRT Endurance Runs, 100 miles, 50 miles & 55k.  There are some requirements for the 100 mile race but none for the 50 & 55k.  There is also a waitlist for all 3 races for those who don’t get in via the lottery or decide, like me to get on the waitlist months after the lottery.

I initially put my name on the wait list for the 55k but then after signing up for Cuyamaca 100k, I decided to add my name to the 50 mile wait list as well.  I started the wait list at 103 for the 55k and I think somewhere around 90 on the 50 mile wait list.  I think I signed up back in May? I can’t remember exactly, but I would periodically check Ultra Signup and the 50 mile wait list moved a lot faster than the 55k one.

It was a little nerve-wracking because Sean was also on the wait list for Hardrock 100 and as a lot of us know, it’s almost impossible to get into Hardrock so if he got in we would have definitely gone to Silverton.

Fortunately when I got the notification that I was in for TRT, on June 30th, it was a real long-shot for Sean to get into HR, he was still 8th on the list and no movement so I registered.

So then WOW, I needed one last weekend with decent mileage to make me feel ready and fortunately we had the 3 day weekend since it was the 4th of July, so from Friday – Monday, we ran/hiked a little over 40 miles.  The next weekend, I paced Sean the last 17 miles of the Santa Barbara 100 and I felt ready.

The week before the race, I had to be in Phoenix for work, so I tried to hydrate as much as possible, being at elevation can dehydrate me even more and it has been pretty dry there the last few times we’ve visted so I wanted to make sure I was plenty hydrated.

We flew up to Reno on Friday morning, I worked most of the day, but we had time to get our packets and then get our drop bags ready before the mandatory meeting for the 100 milers. Sean was running his 3rd straight TRT.

They do some nice swag at this race, the women got an super cool Patagonia tank in a mint color with purple details (two of my favorite colors!), a bottle opener, a cup and a photo/map of the course.

TRT Race Swag

After the meeting, we still needed to get in our shake-out run.  We just did a quick out and back in the neighborhood by our hotel.  It was sooo hot out that I had a really hard time, this seems to be a trend for me lately having horrible shake-out runs lol.

I set up my Flat Jenny to make sure I had everything I needed and then we headed to an early dinner.  We had to get up around 3am to drive over to Spooner Lake, where we would take a shuttle over to the start line so I wanted to get a decent nights sleep.

TRT 50 Flat Jenny

I think I was asleep by 7:30pm and with the exception of waking up around 10p to go to the bathroom, I slept pretty well.

We got to the parking lot around 4:15am, caught the first shuttle we saw and were at the start area within minutes.  It was a lot colder at the start than it was in Reno and I was a bit nervous because I was only wearing shorts & a tank top.  I really wished I’d brought my arm sleeves but I unfortunately hadn’t even brought them with me.

Chilly at the TRT start line

Sean started his race at 5am so I wished him luck, watched the start and then headed over to the “Ultra Lounge” to sit down and wait until it was closer to my start to get out of my warm clothes. I chatted with a few other runners and then about 20 minutes before the start, I packed my jacket and track pants in my finish line bag to get acclimated to the temps.

Side note…funny story, I remember last year when I just crewed for Sean, I was like why do all these people have finish line bags?  Well went you are a mid/back of the packer like me it’s going to be dark and cold when you finish so you’ll definitely want warm clothes to put on before heading to back to your car.

Near the start, I saw my friend Fern, who is crazy fast and totally killed it coming in 3rd overall in the 50, I chatted with him for a few minutes before making one last visit to the port-a-potties.

Both the 50 milers and the 55k runners started at the same time.  The 55k runners would go to the Red House Loop and then turn around, while we would do a complete loop, the 100 milers would do 2 complete loops.

I started about 2/3s of the way back, I really wasn’t sure how this was going to go.  In the back of my mind I thought about the experience I had in Utah, when I got elevation sickness and I didn’t want that to happen here so my plan was to go slow and steady the whole way.

In the materials, there was just one major cut-off that we needed to worry about.  We had to get to the Diamond Peak aid station, mile 30 by 3:45pm. And then it said we had to be done by 10:30pm, but it looks like they were a bit lax on that because I saw in the results that there were about a dozen people who finished after the 16.5 hour cut-off.

Off we went, on a fire road up to the Marlette Lake Trail, where we would start our climb.  I was in a pack of other runners and I followed along running/hiking on the uphills, just taking it nice and easy.  A few miles in, we got to this amazing downhill, Tim got this great photo of Sean there last year, where you can see the lake.

Marlette Lake Trail

All this way, there was a cold breeze and it was just overall much cooler than I was expecting.  But I think the worse part was my hands were really cold, I had gloves in my suitcase but that wasn’t going to do me much good was it?

After a serious climb, we made it to the first aid station Hobart.  They had whiskey shots and the aid station was inside a decent size tent.  Little did I know that when I returned hours later it was going to be super windy.

I knew from crewing Sean that it was best to get in and out of the aid stations as quickly as possible, so I tried to just fill my bottles, eat a few orange slices and get out fast.

Heading out of Hobart Aid StationPhoto from I-Tao Tsai

I had my trekking poles velcro’d in the middle of my Orange Mud VP2 and I asked them to take them out for me.  Of course this section we didn’t really need them, but I didn’t know that, oops.

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As I ran this section to Tunnel Creek Aid station, I realized that Sean & I had done a bunch of this section during Tahoe 200 last year.  It was nice to know I recognized a portion of the course.

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There was a nice downhill section during this part, little did I know I would have to go back up later in the race, oops. I made it to Tunnel Creek in pretty good time, saw our friend Noe, who told me that Sean had already come and gone both times.  He refilled my bottles and filled my Running Skirts neck gaiter with ice.  I moved through here pretty quickly.

And down I went towards the Red House, this is the section of the course that is considered the taste of hell because you go down to the lowest part of the course and then have to make your way back up again.  It’s about a 10k loop before making your way back to Tunnel Creek Aid.

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Fortunately for me, I had my poles so the steep downhill wasn’t so bad.  I made it down, talking to other runners, a lady who had just taken a survival first aid course, a guy who was telling me about some bears they’d seen in that section earlier in the week, really? I didn’t need to know about that, lol.

During this section there were 2 water crossings which I didn’t know about.  I used my poles to try and keep my feet dry because I didn’t even think to put another pair of socks in my drop bags so I didn’t want to destroy my feet.

I eventually started walking and chatted with another runner for a while, before we made it to the Red House, which was a really nice aid station.  They said it was about 3 miles back to Tunnel Creek.  I think it was a little less, but it’s possible my Garmin wasn’t accurate during this part of the course.

I personally didn’t think this loop was that bad, it was steep in the last mile, but other than that, it wasn’t too bad.  It was probably a lot worse in the dark since it’s pretty shaded in spots.

I slowly made my way up the hill and eventually I could hear the music from the aid station. Yea!! I made it out of the taste of hell! lol

I debated about taking a 3rd bottle when I left Tunnel Creek because it was getting warmer and they recommended it for the 8 mile section between Bull Wheel & Diamond Peak, but in the end I decided against it because I wasn’t drinking a ton.

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During this section, I saw a lot of the lead 100 milers and 50 milers on their way back to Tunnel Creek. I walked a lot of this section and it was beautiful.  I eventually got to Bull Wheel, I was keeping an eye on my watch, just to make sure I wasn’t going to miss the Diamond Peak cut-off.  I had plenty of time.

At Bull Wheel, another runner happened to take my photo, which was really cool.  I refilled my bottle, big mistake, the water there tasted horrible and ate some orange slices.   I took off up the hill only to be yelled at saying I was going to wrong way, thank goodness because I was heading up to the top of Diamond Peak when I needed to go around!  Oops! And huge props to the people at the aid station for letting me know quickly.

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This section was pretty hot, there were 8 miles between aid stations and I had to go to the bathroom.  Of course in this section there wasn’t a lot of tree cover so I walked a bunch until I could find a semi private place.  I hadn’t seen another runner in what seemed like forever, until I stopped…Murphy’s law right? Haha.

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And then I was able to run the nice downhill.  By the time I got to the Tyrolean Village neighborhood near Diamond Peak, I was with a bunch of other runners.  We all made it into the aid station at around 2:20pm so I was a bit ahead of the cut-off.  I took a bit more time here, drank some broth, ate a bunch of orange slices, refilled my bottles, used a real bathroom.

When I checked out of the aid station, I asked them if there were any other aid station cut-offs.  They told me I had to make it to Tunnel Creek by 5:11p.  As I climbed Diamond Peak, I was thinking, that wasn’t a lot of time to make it about 5 miles with a 2 mile 1,700ft climb up the Crystal Ridge ski run.

You know how people ask you what you think about when you are running?  Especially when you are running that far?  Well I’ve never done this before but I spent a lot of time counting steps.  I have no idea why or what I was doing but all of a sudden at one point, I realized I was counting.

Diamond Peak Selfie

I very very slowly made my way up Diamond Peak, it just seemed like it kept going up and up and up some more.  Finally after what seemed like hours and a few photo breaks, I made it to the top and then down to Bull Wheel again.  I didn’t need much in terms of water so I grabbed a few orange slices and kept moving.

By this point, I was exhausted, I had to stop my Garmin because it was low battery and I didn’t want to have to keep pulling my phone out so I turned off the GPS to be able to see the time.  I had no idea how far I had to go which probably didn’t help.  At one point a guy ran past me going the other way and told me I only had 17.5 miles to go so that told me I had 2.5 miles to Tunnel Creek.

I finally made it there, around 5pm, I was kind of nervous because I just made it before the supposed cut-off. Noe asked me how I was doing and I said I was tired but ready to go after a quick refuel.  I grabbed my headlamp, even though it wouldn’t get dark for hours, I was going to need it eventually, and my Lululemon swiftly long sleeve since it was cold in the morning, I figured I might need it night I’d need it.

Before I left, I asked the guy at the check-out table if there were any other cut-offs, just in case and he said that there weren’t any more for 50 milers, thank goodness so I didn’t have to worry about that.  Just finishing the last 15 miles in less than 5ish hours.

I had to go back up the part that was so fun to run down at the beginning.  It sucked, I was so tired, I was walking really slow, like really slow.  Finally, I was like that’s it.  I moved off the trail, sat down for a minute, drank one of my Glukos gels and got my Trekz Titanium headphones out.

A few people asked me if I was ok, and I was, I just needed to regroup for a minute or two before continuing on.  After this, I turned on my audio book, Daniel Silva‘s, The English Spy, which I’d been listening to for a while.  I swear as soon as I turned that on, it was like a switch, I felt a 100x better and not nearly as tired as I did moments before.

As I made my way back to Hobart, it started getting windy! Seriously there were some spots that I couldn’t hear the book because it was so loud.  I made my way down to the aid station, following a few other runners and took my longest stop of the day.

After getting my bottles refilled, I sat down to have them take a look at my foot, I felt like I was getting a blister on the midfoot.  Turns out it was just a hot spot, thank goodness, so they put a little bit of something like glide on the bottom of my foot.  Then it was time to go.  They told me I was going to have a 3 mile 1,000 ft climb up to Snow Valley Peak before a 7 mile downhill to the finish.

So off I went, I thought I might see Sean before I took the turn but unfortunately I missed him.  I slowly made my way up to Snow Valley Peak, which was a 9,000 ft.  I wanted to make sure I didn’t have any additional elevation issues so I made it up slowly.

It was really pretty once we got closer to the top, with a lot of greenery.  They had a sign out saying food & lodging in 1 mile and then little signs with funny sayings as we made our way up the last mile.  I had stopped to put my jacket on, I wish I had gotten my Altra Stash Jacket at Diamond Peak, but I forgot to grab it, because then I could have put my jacket on without taking off my pack. But then I followed this girl and her pacer up to the top of the hill.

We finally made it to the aid station, I again refilled my bottle, got some more orange slices and then got out of there quick!  There were a lot of runners sitting down and I just wanted to be done!  So off I went, attempting to run, it was very rocky at the beginning of this section so I did my best.  Not that I cared what place I was in, but when I looked at the tracking afterwards, I was in 123rd place when I left this aid station.

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They told us that it was 5 miles to a water stop and 7 miles to the finish.  I just booked it as fast as I could down.  I stopped to turn on my headlamp and one girl passed me, which actually was a good thing because I could see her ahead of me for quite a while.

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After a while I caught up with 3 other runners, I chatted with them for a few minutes and then had to pass them, I was so ready to be done!  Just a few minutes later there was a guy standing on the side saying that it was a 1/2 mile to the water stop and then 1.7 miles to the finish.  Sweet!

I passed the water stop and just kept moving, at this point, you could see the aid station from across the lake, it was pretty cool.  We crossed over a few wooden bridges during this section and I just kept moving.  Eventually we would get to the other side of the lake and the it didn’t take long to get to the finish line, in fact it was a lot sooner than I was expecting.  I thought the start & finish was in the same place, but was closer to the water.

And then I was done! I had finished my first 50(.48) mile mountain race.  This was not an “easy” 50 miler, with 9,000 ft (although when I checked the website before & after the race, it said that it had over 12,200 ft of ascent & descent so I guess it was wrong). The min elevation was 6,800 and max just over 9,000.

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By the time I had finished, I had somehow managed to move up 12 spots and I finished at 111 overall, with a time of 15h46m49s, which was under written cut-off of 16h30m and I wasn’t DFL, which I totally would have taken, my main goal was to finish under the cut-off.

I actually felt pretty good after I finished, a little sore, but not bad.  They gave me my finishers cup and a finishers plaque, that’s pretty cool.  Instead of a medal they gave 55k & 50 mile runners a plaque with the logo and the race on it.

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They had a taco truck there were we could get a hot meal and hang out in the ultra lounge. I had tacos, which were good, but I couldn’t eat that much at that time.  Sean had a rice & bean burrito the next day that was really good.

I’ve run a lot of races, most of which are just training for something else, this was one of my proudest running moments, because even though I was super slow and probably walked 75% of the race, I did something that I never in a million years would have thought I’d do, I didn’t ever think about quitting, and even though I was tired, I never once gave up on achieving my goal.

I’m positive I could have run/walked/hiked certain sections faster, but I’m happy with my time, how my race went and I learned a lot about myself & 50 miles.

Thanks for reading along, I know it was a long recap, but it was a long race, lol!