2013 is my fifth year running The Calico Trail Run. This is THE RACE. The Race that lead me to trail running. In fact, it’s now grown into a family tradition to stay in Calico Ghost Town for 2 days come late January.
I wrote in my last blog entry that I didn’t expect great results on this year’s 30k, but that I didn’t want my worst time. Well, folks, I got my worst time, by 15 minutes (& I was 50 minutes slower than last year when I placed in my category). I did however have the BEST time running this race. I didn’t feel all together strong, but I felt comfortable. I felt comfortable in my “skin,” and I felt comfortable on my feet. Even though a cold, cold wind blew into my face practically the entire run, I knew the trails, I knew the rocks, the boulders, the sand. My head was cold. But, I felt in my element.
We ran sand, yes sand, for several miles. I figured out a couple years ago, to get out of the sand and run in the brush where the ground is solid. I noticed shadows behind me as others from the back of the pack followed suit.
I tried not to do much socializing, as I usually spend too much time goofing around and making friends. Regardless, I did meet some lovely people, saw familiar faces. My goal was to get as many people behind me as possible. In other words, get as many runners beneath my name on the board.
I passed very few runners. About half-way, I realized I needed to run a negative split to make last year’s time. Ha, ha. The hardest part of the run is the last 6 or so miles.
Good news, I kept the demons at bay. I didn’t bash myself when I realized I needed to run a negative split and couldn’t. I just kept on running and took in the desert’s beauty.
Once I kicked a rock so hard, I was very happy that I wore my most rugged shoes, else I may have broken my toe. I only tripped once. Miracle. And I passed a male runner with a dog. I took a couple handfuls of potato chips at the stations. Once I took some jelly beans. I gulped down one small cup of Coca-Cola at each station. Besides this nutrition my pack contained Nuun water. I also downed a few Endurolytes and two peanut-butter gels.
Here (below), I finally caught a delightful couple (from Bakersfield, Ca.) that I had been working hours to pass. For a while there, it was back and forth between us. When I finally caught them at this tunnel filled with water, there was no way I wasn’t going to get them beneath my name on the board. They were tough, tough, tough to lose, that’s for sure. Finally, I just pushed it with all I had, to give myself a good lead. And I looked back. I NEVER look back. But I needed to see if I had a good enough lead to slow it down it bit for the last big hill. I could tell . . . perhaps you know that look, “okay, go ahead and take it,” look. They had that. So I hiked up that last hill as fast as I could, where my oldest son met me. And we ran it on to the finish together.
Ends up I had ten people beneath me on the board (plus 1 DNF) out of thirty-something 30k runners. I had my family with me. I didn’t fall. I finished. What more can a girl ask for?
Oh! I almost forgot the movie . . . LOL