Signing up for Calico was exciting all on its own. I had planned to do my first ultra in December 2005, and had to cancel due to injury. 2006, same race, same injury. 2007 the same race was on my radar, but instead I went for one in January with the whole Arroyo Trail Blazers group that I have been running with. And I’m definitely glad I did! The 14 of us green shirts had fun (I'm in the orange hat, Mike in the black hat and sunglasses)!
Mike was all speedy fast (doing the "short" 30k) and actually won it overall.
The first part of the race was mostly uphill.
Up, and up, and up. Except for a surprise out and back about 8 miles in. I knew it wasn’t on the course map (yes, I’m a map geek) and it threw off all my plans of where I’d hit aid stations, and when I’d be at the top of climbing, by a mile and a half. Even each aid station and its mile marker reminded me for the rest of the day! That was probably the hardest mental part for me. Of course, I later learn Mike was *the only* person who didn't run it!
I just kept on... keeping on though. The whole climb the thoughts of how nice the downhill would be were stuck with me. We were on fireroads, most of which were not a horrible grade. And only some bad sandy or rocky spots. But that was only to be for the way up. Instead, after running up for almost 20 miles, it was a steep, rocky, slippery, deep, crazy descent to introduce our legs to the down feeling.
There were definitely points where I wondered WTF I was doing out there... this pic captures the face pretty well:
The second half of the course was definitely more fun though (not always a good thing). There were rollers
and a tunnel
But somehow I kept going. Through some crazy foot pain, and some frustrations, and some tough miles. But at that finish line, it's like at an Ironman. And the feeling... wow...
Final stats for the day:
6:17:43 for 32.2 miles and about 4800ft of climbing
4/7 W18-29 (first 3 were SOOOO speedy — awesome!)
Full Motionbased report
If you want the wordy version, check it out on my blog :)