I going to be honest, I’ve been struggling this year. After a really amazing 2018, this year has not been nearly as awesome so far.
I have been having some breathing issues lately which is making running hard. I went into Coldwater Rumble knowing that this was going to be a challenge, but I would go out there and do my best!
We flew into Phoenix on Thursday evening, both Sean & I had to work on Friday and ended up being really busy so we didn’t have time to get to the packet pick-up on Friday like we normally do.
We did have time to get some pre-race pizza from Mod Pizza near our hotel. Sean & I went there last year as well & it’s probably the last time he ate pepperoni before going vegan.
We got our gear out, I love taking #flatjenny photos because it means that I have all my gear ready & waiting for me on race morning.
Since we were close to the start, we didn’t have to get up too too early. The 100 mile, that Sean was running, started at 7:00am so we left the hotel around 6:10a & got there within 10 minutes.
Estrella Regional Mountain Park does have a $7 entrance fee that you have to pay when you get to the park. There wasn’t a long line when we got there so we were heading to the start area within minutes of arrival.
Aravaipa does a great job, they have a huge set-up at the start-finish area, with packet pick-up along with the timing tent & aid station.
We grabbed our bibs & shirts and then hit up the port-a-potties before setting up our drop bags & then hanging out with some friends before the race started.
I didn’t sleep well at all the night before, I feel like I might have slept at the beginning but then I was tossing and turning the rest of the night. I wasn’t in a great mood, but I had plenty of time so I started my race fully expecting to run the full race.
The 52 mile starts at 7:30a and you do 2 – 20mile loops and finish off with a 3rd 12 mile loop. Just like at Javelina they have you washing machine the loops so you mix it up.
I started out feeling decent, I was surprised to see that I was in the top 1/3 of the runners & barely anyone passed me in the first 10 miles or so, except Eric Senseman, who won the 52k & set a new course record & a few other 52k runners. The 20 mile runners didn’t pass me until about mile 15 – Yay!! lol
I tripped a few times, this course has a few sections were there are a lot of rocks. There are a few other sections with a lot of sand, but all in all it’s a pretty runnable course.
I was planning to be out there for a while so I wasn’t moving super fast. I did end up having to work while I was out there, I had a trip that needed to be changed & so I called the agency to get it sorted & put my phone on speaker. I ended up being on hold for over an hour!
I ran into Sean on his 2nd loop before the last aid station. I was feeling a little tenderness in my shin from a when I tripped and kind of hyper extended my ankle. oops.
I got to the last aid station, filled up and then headed out for the last 4 miles. As I started running & walking this last section, I cheered on other runners. This is my favorite part about running. I love cheering everyone else on. I was starting to get a headache around this point. I was drinking a lot from my pack to try and get rid of it. I thought maybe I was dehydrated so I wanted to get as much to drink as possible.
I made it down the mountain, I wasn’t moving super fast, but I was moving. I finished my first loop with a pretty bad headache. I sat down by the drop bags for a few minutes to check my email – I had to do something for work again and as I was sitting there booking a hotel room, my headache just got worse & worse.
After a few minutes I decided that was it for me. As I checked my email I saw I had a test result from my doctor. I looked at it and I found out that I am slightly anemic which is probably why I’ve been having so many headaches lately & why my breathing has been so off.
I got some coffee & my free pizza from Freak Brothers Pizza that came with my entry. After that and some water, I felt a little better. I crewed Sean for the rest of his race & chatted with some new friends from Performance Tea. I cheered other runners on & just enjoyed being out there.
I have no regrets, of course I would love to finish another 50 miler, but it wasn’t my day and that’s ok. This year isn’t going to be as easy as last year, but it’s ok. After I figure out a few health issues, I’ll be working hard to get back on track!
It was getting hot out when Sean came in from his second loop. I helped him get ice in his bottles & he put lots of ice in his buff before heading out on loop 3. Note: Always make sure to give your runner their headlamp before going out if they finish mid afternoon. Sean took his smaller headlamp & good thing because he came in after dark.
We switched out his headlamp, got him some more CarboPro & his pack. He put on his headphones & started some podcasts. It was around 7:30p when he left & he was going to try to be in around midnight.
I got another pizza for dinner & then went to take a short nap. I set my alarm for 11:20p. It wasn’t easy to sleep because they were playing music really loud but I think I drifted in and out for a bit before heading out to the start/finish area to watch for Sean.
I sat down next to this older lady, who was there crewing for her grandson. She had crewed her son at Bigfoot 200 & Wasatch many times so she was a pro. We chatted for a little bit and then Sean came in around 12:30a. I got him some warmer clothes, just in case because it was getting cold out and some more CarboPro. He had a little over 6 hours to finish in under 24 hours when he left at 12:40a.
I attempted to get a bit more sleep, they did turn the music down a bit so I was able to fall asleep eventually. I set my alarm for around 4:30/45 so I would be up in plenty of time in case he decided to crush it this loop ;).
The moon was amazing, huge & right in front of the finish line so it made for an awesome back drop.
A few runners came in while I was waiting, but only maybe one or two that were finished. We were waiting and waiting & then I saw him coming in!
Sean crushed it with a 23:05 finish which is faster than the last time he finished Coldwater back in 2016. He was 5th overall & had a nice & easy training run.
We love Aravaipa races, they always do a great job, have good markings, although I did get off track 2x this race, fortunately I figured it out pretty quickly.
We will be back again, I’m sure of it :).