Monday, July 31, 2006

Coming up 5's in Santa Cruz

I ran the Santa Cruz Mountains 50K this past weekend as my second race at that distance. Everything sorta came together: great course, inspiring trail companions and great weather. I actually went sub-6 hours and had a top-10 finish! OK, so there were only 33 people in the race including a number of first timers, but it still felt good to have a single digit result (7th place). Two of the first timers were a couple named Eric and April Lehman whom I had met earlier in the year at the Muir Woods Marathon. I was training for my first 50K there and they said they were considering doing one some time in the future. I guess they decided the future was upon them. Congrats to them both! Another first timer was Matt Baumgardner who was out there for a full 9+ hours. Congrats Matt! In an ultra, the real warriors are at the back. I wanted to stick around and cheer you in, but family duties and the Sunday night-Hwy17 traffic beckoned me home.

Oh yes, as for the fives. For the 50K my race number was 550 and my finish time was exactly 5:55:00. I wanted to try and finish on my race number, but just couldn't push it much more those last few miles. I swear the downhill came sooner during the first out-and-back section and what's with time moving faster in the final 3-4 miles?!? Oh well, I'm not about to complain. It was a great race and a great day.

5 comments:

angie's pink fuzzy said...

Sweet!! I grew up just down the road in Salinas, and hopefully one day I can do one of the runs on the coast. Way to go on a 7th place finish!

matt said...

thanks so much, steve! i missed out on an opportunity to meet you. I kept trying to guess which 500-runner you were as I passed people. I really fell apart out there and ended up having kind of a downer experience. I came into the 29K loop aid station on pace to finish the race in 7:30, which would have felt like heaven to me. Unfortunately, my knee went horribly wrong on me and I had to walk every bit of the final 21K loop. It took me 5+ hours to walk 13 miles and I am hoping I didn’t make a bad decision because my knee has been killing me every since the finish line. Anyway, it was a great course. You must feel great about your race. What did you think of that course? Did you enjoy the river crossings? Anyway, hopefully next time we will get a chance to meet. You are running Dick Collins, right?

Congrats on a great race, Steve!

miki said...

Congrats Steve! Sounds like a perfect day. Wish I could have joined both you and Matt but darn vacation interfered. :)

Eudemus said...

Matt,

I loved the course even though I am not a fan of out-and-back or multiple loop courses in general. The water crossing was the best (the unmarked trail the worst). I think I remember seeing you as I was heading towards the finish. You definitely looked to be struggling, but seemed to still smile when I passed. I was wearing my Ohlone 50K shirt, was carrying one handheld water bottle and had a single bottle waste pack on as well.

I may have had a great race, but you really deserve the congrats. You fought a great battle and to me that is what ultra's are about, pushing through your physical limits. I think when all is healed you will find that you did just that and have learned something in the process. I look forward (with trepidation) to the day when I have one of those very tough decisions to make and need to dig deep to see if I can push on or not. So far all I've had to contend with is really sore feet which feel fine in two days leaving me to question whether I pushed hard enough during the race.

I have finally officially signed up for Dick Collins. I am not one to make the big plan far in the future and then train for it. I generally sign up for my next big race only after training has led me to beleive that I am ready. It took me three failed training plans to finally complete my first marathon. When I did, I didn't commit until a month before the race after I was already sure I could do the distance regardless of when it was. This is pretty much how I approach all my races now.

Eudemus said...

Miki,

Thanks for the congrats. Hmm...vacation getting in the way of your running? Something about that seems wrong, though I'm not sure which part :-). I actually planned to do Santa Cruz just before my vacation since I knew it would give me time for a forced rest/recovery. I am typing this from a beautiful resort near Disneyworld in Orlando.

-Steve