Happy Sunday friends! It’s been a while since I’ve been on here but I attended Blogfest this past week and I’m feeling extra motivated to share. 🙂
After a busy few days at Blogfest, with multiple workouts a day & amazing speakers, Sean & I hit up one of our fav San Diego vegetarian/vegan restaurants, Plumeria, for a pre-race dinner. I’ve tried a lot of the food at Plumeria, but the Tangerine Chicken is our favorite.
We got home, I threw together an outfit for the race, I was so exhausted that I didn’t even bother with a real flat Jenny, just a pile of clothes, lol.
Black Mountain was a new race for both Sean & I, neither of us have been out there so we had no idea what to expect. The 50k started at 6:30am & the 25k at 7am so we left our house around 5:20 to get there by 5:50 or so. It was a pretty casual race, we picked up our bibs & race shirts, which for the women is a nice tank, hit up the porta potties and then just chatted with all our friends.
There are a lot of Rabbits in the SD area and we got a pre-race photo. I’m the odd one out, for some reason choosing to wear a different shirt, which once I saw the photo, I was like what was I thinking lol.
The 50k start was super uneventful, the race director was like 1, 2, 3 Go and they were off. I wasn’t ready and only managed to get a few snap shots of Sean taking off & he was chewing gum at the time so it’s not the most flattering of photos lol.
After they started I ran into Sarah, the race director for Ramblas Run & chatted with her for a few minutes, then chatted with one of my fellow Dirtbag Runner ambassadors, Pamela & some others at the race.
We listened to the RD tell us a few things about the race, i.e. what color ribbons to follow, thank the volunteers, pick up your feet etc., etc. and then we were off!
After Nanny Goat at the end of May, then all the travel, work & being sick in June, I really have been slacking on my running so I didn’t know what to expect from my body so I started out relatively slow.
The race starts in the park with about a 1/2 mile on the sidewalk before getting to the trail head. Once at the trailhead it’s a bit of a climb, which I choose to hike up. I knew there was about 2,500 feet of climbing during the race, but I didn’t know when or where it would be, except in the last section, so I wanted to make sure I had something left for the big climb. Who am I kidding, I always hike the big climbs lol.
After the first mile or so I settled into a comfortable pace & started chatting with a guy named Owen who had just moved to SD from Italy with the Navy. We chatted about running & training and just how nice it was to be out here on the trails. I was having an exceptionally amazing attitude morning, I was truly so happy to be out on the trails & I pretty much smiled the entire race.
After a while we had another guy join us, we all chatted for a bit more & then I lost them for a bit when we started climbing a little more & I slowed down. This race had a lot of little out and back loops, I went through the first aid station without stopping, did my first little loop, came back through the aid station & met back up with Owen. We headed out on the next section. I lost him again but another lady passed me on the uphill & we ran together for about a mile or so. It was her first trail race.
After I lost her, I was by myself for a bit heading into the next aid station. We went down a really steep & rocky section before heading onto a beautiful single track section heading into the next aid station, I think around mile 9. From there we had another little loop to do, about 2 miles before heading back the way we came.
There were a lot of really beautiful purple flowers in this section so of course I had to grab a photo ;).
When we got to the top of this section, I think I heard people call it the Glyder Port parking lot or something like that, we headed down a fire road & then out on to the actual road for a short bit. Then we started climbing. And it’s about here that I started to feel that the lack of CarboPro was starting to take it’s toll because I essentially had 2 scoops of Gnarly Hydrate (approx. 60 calories), 3 orange slices & a half a bag of Skratch Labs gummies in 12ish miles. Not really my best fueling, lol.
Needless to say, the lack of calories was really starting to catch up to me. I was fine for most of the hike up to the peak until the last .6 mile section. It was getting hot & steeper, but I kept it going by saying good job to all those coming down. I finally got to the top! They had Otter Pops & ice so I got my pack refilled, had 2 otter pops & then started my descent to the finish.
I was feeling amazing on that section! Those otter pops really gave me some extra energy & I had a pack full of ice cold water. I was drinking a ton, so much so that I ran out of water with about 3/4 of a mile to go, oops! I was using a different bladder in my pack, the camelbak bladder because I’ve had a lot of trouble with the hydrapak bladders & I had a 1.5 lt bladder in my OrangeMud gear vest, it doesn’t fit perfectly & I don’t think the volunteers realized that it wasn’t fully filled. I’ll have to look at that more closely the next time I use it.
In any case, I was cruising in this section, feeling amazing, I passed a bunch of people and made my way down to the park, which was a tinsy bit farther away than I was expecting. I think I hit 16 miles just as I got to the park. But trail races are always a little long or short depending on the race so it is what it is :).
The photographer told me which way to go because there wasn’t a marker there and I just kept the momentum up the best I could. I was starting to feel a little sick from the lack of calories as I made my way to the finish, but I was able to maintain a sub 9 minute pace for that last 1/2 mile which felt really good.
Arms up & out in my signature Jenny pose at the finish & I was done! I got my medal, an Elevation Culture original & a cute little rubber cup from the race director and then immediately headed over to grab a coke. I needed sugar!
I was drenched for the majority of the race, I’m not sure if it was the humidity or if I was just sweating like crazy, but both my shirt & then eventually my shorts were completely soaked by the end of the race. Which was nice for keeping me cool, but I don’t really like the feeling of sweat dripping down my legs, lol. After getting my coke & a finish line photo, I immediately went to get changed.
Side note: As an avid racer, the #1 tip, I can give if you are a heavy sweater like I am, is to always bring a change of clothes to either have in your car or in your finish line bag. I hate walking around in wet clothes after the race & sometimes it can get really cold. I always bring an extra pair of shorts, top & a new sports bra (because that’s the worst part, when is someone going to design a quick drying sports bra???) and put them in my finish line bag or in the car & I put them on as soon as I can.
The race had pizza for the finishers, I’m not sure if it was vegan so I passed, had some grapes & a handful of almonds & granola while I waited for Sean to finish. I chatted with some other runners and just enjoyed a little time in the sun.
When Sean finished he explained that the markers got vandalized and that a huge group of about 20 runners got off course for about 3ish miles. It wasn’t like a marker fell off and was put back accidentally, the people who vandalized the course did it maliciously by putting more markers about a half a mile down the wrong way, which resulted in a big group going the wrong way. So not cool people. Is it really that big of a hindrance to have runners in your neighborhood for one morning?
Overall though, the 25k didn’t have any issues with course markings, I had a great time & we got lots of CarboPro after the race so I shouldn’t have any issues in my next race :).