Blood, Sweat & Beers Race Review
|10.5 miles of some serious elevation|
This race almost always takes its toll on a few runners. Its not the kind that you can barrel down hills. Um. You do that and you're likely to eat some dirt in some parts. Not the best way to add iron to your diet.
It was my first trail race of the season. I ran 10.5 miles. With an elevation climb total of 2914 feet and down for 2916 feet. Lets just say it wasn't a cake walk.
|View from the top of the canyon (Photo from Folsom Trail Runners)|
|BSB Elevation Map Long Course|
Luckily, the worst of the long hills is within the first 5 miles. I've always been a hill runner. I love hills. I don't like to stop on hills. I don't like to walk hills. I'm like the little engine that could on hills. I've always felt that hill running was my strongest asset when running trails. But my knee decided to give me grief on the hills for this race. And downhill was a bitch. So I reassessed my passion for hills and decided that walking was acceptable and ultimately inevitable. I need to buck up and get used to it, anyway. I've got another serious half marathon trail run that will look VERY similar to this course and I need to have a decent hill strategy that doesn't blow my knee out. I tried lots of strategies to reduce the impact like turning my feet over faster and leaning forward. I tried to use Ken Bob's tip of bending my knees, but with my left knee annoying me it wasn't working so well so I just took it easy on the downhill.
|Photo Credit - Facchino Photography|
|The ridgeline? (My photography)|
Actual ridgeline (Photo credit FTR)
At about mile six I stopped to remove a pebble from my shoe. Yeah. I seriously considered ditching the shoes altogether for this race when my knee started bitching at me (I wore my Merrell Pace Gloves), but I just wasn't brave enough. Running Romeo (a member over at the Barefoot Runner's Society), however, was. He ran the entire race completely barefoot! Is this man a superhero or what? I was really impressed. He even let me photograph his superhero feet.
I was told by some of the race organizers that there were a lot of individuals who had signed up for the long course and switched to the short course. Probably so they wouldn't miss out on the beer. Luckily, there was still plenty good beer waiting at the finish line for us long course stragglers. I finished in 2:09 and even had enough kick left for a sprinting finish. That's how good I felt... minus the knee issue... which was more annoying than painful, really.
|Post race anti-paleo refuel|
|Pace Glove love and dirt|
Now that I've completed my triathalon and Blood, Sweat and Beers I am beginning to feel much more confident in my training. I have been training with Seth for six months now and I have never felt stronger or more fit in my life. I can honestly say I'm in better shape now than I was twenty years ago. And the best part about my training is that I'm not just fit to run, I'm fit to lift a 50lb firepit into the back of my van. It seems to make sense to train in a way that makes my body capable of doing important things on a daily basis. And as a woman, not having to depend on a man to lift the heavy things for me is so liberating! And to be able to run a brutally steep ten mile trail run the week after my triathalon and feel like my body can totally hang (I'm confident I can work this knee thing out) is an amazing feeling. It gives me even more confidence with my upcoming trail marathon in October, which I'm totally stoked for now.
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