Monday, August 26, 2013

2013 Cascade Crest 100 Race Report

"Perseverance, the secret of all triumphs." ---Victor Hugo

Perseverance is really the secret to all 100 milers!  Cascade Crest was my first 100 mile trail run and I had to go back to try to nail the race. I had a pretty tough race in 2011.  My inexperience led to stomach problems in the first 50 miles that left me pretty deficient in the second half.  I was also under trained for the distance that first year, endurance wise, and was in a lot of pain the 2nd half of the race.  Coming back, I knew endurance wouldn't be an issue. Between that first CC and this one, I'd run 3 hundred mile races plus two FKT 100 mile-ish routes with lots of good training.  The question in my mind was, can I do it a lot faster?
On the first climb up Goat Peak. I'm having fun and taking it mellow.  Photo by Seth Wolpin.

Coming into Tacoma Pass, mile 23.  I like this picture because it looks like I'm swearing, "F@%k! Whose bad idea was this anyway?!"
Although I didn't accomplish quite what I'd hoped for this past weekend a sub-24 hour run, reviewing the stats I realize that I did something that I've never done in a 100 miler-- an almost even split for the 1st and 2nd half of the race.  It began with me feeling sub-par on the first climb.  I was in about 20th place at the beginning of that climb, and by the top, I was in something like 68th place.  It was really tough mentally to be okay with that, but heck I was only 2 hours into the 100 miler.  The climb was about 10 miles with 3,000 + feet of climbing.  No need to push hard on that section anyway I told myself.  It took a lot of self confidence to believe that I could run a strong race even though I was pretty far back early on.  I've studied and run enough 100s to know that most those people who passed me would run a much, much slower second half, while I would (hopefully) just keep trucking along. 
I was still in something like 68th place at mile 29, but by the finish I was in 29th overall, 5th woman.  I moved up 39 places by running consistently through the entire 100 miles.  I ran a 12:15 first half and a 12:38 second half.  I never bonked.  Although I never felt great I never felt horrible either.  I had hoped for a day where I felt "on" the entire time, but instead I had a consistent day, which is the key to success in training and racing 100s.  More importantly that placing well, I learned a lot more about where I'm weak as a endurance runner and I learned to trust my body and my pace.

2013 was a big PR for me at CC. I ran 3 hr 40 min faster than I had in 2011. I finished in 24:53 with a fun and challenging 4 mile "sprint" to the finish.  I was pretty sure I could get under 25 hours so I teamed up with Matt Query and his wife, who came into Silver Creek, mile 96 right after me and my pacer Brandon Williams.  Together we pushed hard to the finish, easily getting under 25 hours, but destroying my legs in the process!

My nutrition for the race worked out really well. I stuck to liquid food to avoid GI issues.  For the daylight hours on the first day, I did gels and Hammer Perpetuem powder mix in water, and coke at aid stations (with a little watermelon here and there). By Meadow Mountain, mile 42, I began having 2 cups of soup at every aid station (roughly every 7 miles).  I drank a water bottle (20oz) with 2 scoops (270 calories) of  Perpetuem between aid stations, supplemented by an occasional gel.  The entire second half I didn't drink any plain water, which is really odd for me, only the drink mix.  I didn't do any electrolyte capsules either, but there was some in the Perpetuem and gels.  

Big thank you to James Varner and Brandon Williams for being my crew, pacers, paparazzi, and most importantly for believing in me!  You guys are the best and I couldn't have done it without you! The race was incredibly well organized thanks to all the wonderful volunteers and race director Rich White.  It was a pleasure seeing so many supportive friends running, pacing, and volunteering!
Thanks Brandon for being my paparazzi for a day!

Making some jokes at the finish.
I kicked some rocks and roots along the way and popped off my 2nd toenail with a blister.

Cleaning up post race

Me, James and Brandon after the race.


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