|Ready for my 30K!|
I said hi to several people I knew, and then found my friend Zach. I threw my drop bag down near his on a picnic table covered in plastic, reluctantly threw my jacket inside of it and went to get in line for the start gun. Zach was running the 30K and his friend David was running the 50K so I decided to start out with them even though I figured they would be faster than me. The race starts on a straight paved sidewalk, then goes up a large wooden staircase before heading into the trails. I kept up with them for about a mile or so, but I knew if I stayed with them I would push myself too hard in the first few uphill miles and my race would suck. I know my pace and it is the opposite of fast on those trails. Slow and steady was my goal, so I just eased up and soon they were gone from sight but I didn't mind.
|I just finished my first trip up Achille's Hill and then back down!|
|Devan joined me for a few minutes|
Speaking of heading back down to the starting area- so Nellie's Gnarly Descent was the last part of the course I was unsure of. Basically you head off of the main road and hike down, down, down a cliff and there is a rope for you to hold onto for part of it so you don't
Once I reached the aid station I refilled both water bottles and drank quite a bit. I was feeling kind of yucky at that point- a little bit dizzy and a tad nauseated so I was grazing on a couple of chips and a piece of watermelon hoping it would magically make me feel better. I had 5 miles to go and I think my garmin said I was close to 18 miles at that point. I set off back down the hill and a few miles later I looked at my watch because it beeped at me that the battery was low and I noticed that it was on pause- and it still said 18 miles! Great. I must have bumped it at the aid station or stopped it out of habit and not realized it.
The last mile of that race was the longest mile EVER in my life. I could see the time on my watch and I knew if I hurried I could still possibly make it in under 4 hours and 15 minutes but it would be close. Once I hit the road I tried to match pace with this guy in front of me, allowing him to pull me along until the climb back down to Owen's beach. This time the descent was a little more difficult. The dirt was looser and my legs were jello- I took a long miss-step at one point and by some miracle my left quad actually held me up. There was a guy standing just below and he said "good save!" and I was like "I am just glad my legs still work!" cause that would have been a fine way to end my 30K by rolling down to the finish line!
|The beautiful finish line|
|My "too clean" legs and feet!|
I absolutely loved everything about this race. It was very different from a road race- the runners were much friendlier and easygoing. There was just a different attitude in general. I loved that we all just left our bags out on tables trusting that nobody would mess with them. I loved chatting with random people along the way and being surrounded by nature the entire time. I never felt dread during this race and I never wished it was over. Those things are important to me- I do not want to spend money and time on something that I don't enjoy. I distinctly remember reminding myself in those last 5 miles to relax and enjoy my race- the race that I spent the last 2 1/2 months training for. And that is what I did. Best race ever. If you are interested in a trail race or an ultra in the Seattle/Tacoma area- THIS is the one you should do!! I will be back next year. Thank you Tacoma City Marathon Association for making me proud to live and race in Tacoma.