Monday, April 6, 2009


On Saturday, I toed the starting line, along with 509 others, for the 30th annual American River 50 mile run.  Julie Fingar took over as the race director this year and she did a fabulous job!  It turned out to be a spectacular day.  You couldn't ask for better weather and the flowers on the trail were beautiful. 
 We started the run on the bike trail near the Guy West bridge in Sacramento.  The start was a little different this year but I started out with Bill and we were underway in the dark.  I lost Bill and ran alone for some time before I put on the ipod.  Tony Overbay and Scott Dunlap came up beside me, WOW, I was going way to fast.  They didn't stay long but I did play leap frog with Tony for most of the way to Beals aid station.  
I've changed up my eating and drinking, trying to fine tune it.  I started with Gu2O drink in my handheld and refilled with the same.  After that I switched to plain water.  I think this is working well.  The electrolyte drinks tend to get too sweet after awhile.  I also had the privilege of trying a new product - Gu Chomps.  They are like Gu Rocktane only in a shot block.  They are fabulous!  like little magic beans.  They don't have any caffeine which is okay with me.  I also changed the brand of electrolytes I'm taking.  The endurolytes seemed to repeat themselves and after a bit, I had a hard time getting them down.  I've switched to SaltSticks and they seem to be doing the job.  
Onward with the day, I did my usual run for 10 minutes, walk for 1 minute.  I felt pretty good.  It's funny how sometimes when your running, your mind isn't in the game but your legs feel good and vice versa.  I, unfortunately, had the latter on Saturday.  My legs were not perky.  This is understandable with all the hard miles I've put in in the last 3 weeks. 
At Nimbus dam aid station, this man was waving and yelling at me so I took off my headphones and he stated, "your the 20th female".    A few feet further, another man said the same thing.  This struck me as funny, I was only at mile 18.  I had along way to go.  Besides, I figured all 19 other females were probably in my age group.   The 40 year old female age bracket is TOUGH.  Look at Kami Semick, she kicked ass!
 I finally arrived at Beals.  I was greeted by a happy Melissa and Nancy.  

I headed out for the last 23+ miles.  Once I hit the trails, I turned off my 10:1 ratio and tried to keep moving.  My mind was saying, you can run this, but my legs were saying, oh no you can't!!
I was now playing leap frog with Tim Quinn.  I left Rattlesnake with the happy thought of only 9 more miles.   We had 1 1/2 hours to go 9 miles, could we do it?   Tim said no, I said yes.  We started out and I passed Tim in my attempt to do it,  I really wanted to finish in 8 1/2 hours.  Well, I hit the last hill and looked at my watch - 8:17.  I wasn't going to make it.  I decided to run for 50 steps and walk for 50 to get up the blasted hill, 3 miles to go.  The folks working Last Gasp aid station were awesome.  They came running to you and refilled your bottle while you just kept on moving.  
I caught up with a group of 4 people.  They were very nice.  It turned out to be Lisa Henson, the RD for Lake Sonoma, which I ran the previous weekend.  She was very encouraging!
I finally made it to the top of the hill, rounded the corner and could see Connor and Kaytyln waiting for me.  We all three ran in together.  I crossed the finish line in 8:48. 

I got my very cool Brooks jacket and tickets for an awesome BBQ, complete with Cold Stone ice cream for dessert.
Full results can be found here:  Capital Road race.
Our running club had a great showing for this race - 13 runners in total.  It was awesome to see them come across the finish line.  Charles had a great day, a sub 8 hour run and Berklee ran her first 50 in 8:30.  Barb Elia, who never ceases to amaze me, ran under 11 hours.  She is the energizer bunny.....  We had many club members come up to pace and cheer us on.  Our club, Shadowchase, rocks!
I had a great day.  No stomach issues at all and I am VERY happy with this.  I will still continue to fine tune the hydration/nutrition component of ultra running because this is what makes or breaks you!
I have an awesome family who supports me in my endeavors.  I don't think I'd be able to do this if I didn't.  I received a text from my son and daughter in law, wishing me a good run and of course, Roos and Connor at the finish line cheering me on.

Up next, Mount Diablo 50 miler!

Run fun.....

1 comment:

Tony Overbay said...

Leslie, you were unbelievable! Seriously, you run 100 a few weeks ago, 50 last week and then this 50 AND kill me whilst making it look easy! It was fun to play leap frog for a bit and nice seeing you and your family after the race!