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Jake C ran: Best Race Ever. 12 M...
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- 12 miles
- 03:11 time
- 15:53 pace
- 2657 calories
Best Race Ever. 12 Mile Dirty Thirty in Golden Gate State Park –West of Denver about an hour. Long summary is below... Tried to put together a decent summary, but the end nails it for me.
Last week, after Alyce kicked my ass on hills, I went to the gym the next day and destroyed (no exaggeration) my legs. I could not walk or sit or do much for like 3 days. I really need to learn to taper. I was questioning if I could even run, but as the week progressed I felt a lot better. Note to self: DON’T run with Alyce a week before a race!
I was packed and ready, went to bed at 11pm (like any good runner), woke up at 430AM (actually slept) laid in bed for another hour waiting for the damn alarm… Get ready, gears, coffee, food, headed out at 6AM to catch the shuttle (an hour drive). Parked there and took the shuttle ride – which was about 4 miles on a big yellow bus to the starting line. I ran the 12 Miler – started at 9AM. 50K was already in progress, started at 6AM (fastest time was like 447: WTF!). Checked in, and started chatting with some folks and had a good time for the hour + before the start.
I started in the back (like 4-5 of us were actually THE back of the 100 racers). There is a mix of single track and some double, but most is single and not easy to pass. We had fun at the start and were amazed by the young lady (11 years old) who was running the 12 milers – her mom was running the 7, her dad the 50K. Amazing (more on that later).
My plan was to keep moving, attempt to keep my HR lowish, and have some fun. I had fun.
The course headed up and it was getting hot quickly, I was sweating a lot right from the start. My legs did not feel bad, but did not feel like they had much in them. At one point I swear there were sand bags tied to my feet (invisible ones – I kept looking). Once we got up the first “big” hill, at about 9,000’ feet, I passed a lot of folks on the downhill, just hit it as fast as I could. Legs seemed to be holding up well there. Grabbed some strawberries and watermelon and popcorn at the aid station, topped off my Nathan and got out of there quickly.
The next climb was a FotherMucker – It was about 1200’ in 2 miles. There were a few short sections of down and flat, but the uphill was relentless. Somewhere in there we notices the dark storm clouds out west. I wondered if it would rain and thought, that might me nice and cool… The clouds came in, but no rain – the shade helped. I was not able to go uphill with my HR above about 165 – I just did not feel like I could breathe and ended up stopping a number of times (Garmin says 10 minutes total – although I stopped to let 50K runners by me many times as well). Finally getting to the top of Windy Pass, got my bib punched, a number of the people I had been talking to during the day were yo-yoing with me. I started doing some hi-fives with some folks – so we had a little cheering group going. I saw the 11 year old heading up, as I was heading down windy pass, she looked tired, but focused. A short while later a man was asking about her, and it appeared to be her dad, running the 50k – so they were going to meet up soon, perhaps at the top of Windy Pass, though she did not know it yet. Very Very Awesome.
The downhill from 8-10 and I did that as fast as I could, but this was a serious course with a lot of technical work. There were plenty of points that you had to be error free on! Somewhere in mile 8 it started raining, a light drizzle and cold air that was nice. Still wondering if we would get more. Totally overcast now. By mile 10, a last hill, I had to stop a number of times to breathe. Just had nothing in the lungs. Finally at about 11 I was at the REAL top – bombed it down at a sub 10 pace, was about all I had left… I was not about to trip in the last mile! (even though bloodiest would win $100!!)
No major pains, cramps, or other issues – just did not have the energy I wanted. Avg HR was 166, mainly because I could not Fing run uphill above that… Elevation was right on at about 3800’ up and 3800’ down. Time was 3:10. Elevation low was 7654, High was 9178’
Finished the course, and tried to relax… Noodles was serving up killer grub (I had 2 plates!!!)… Then I walked over and listened to the band, and got a free 20 minute massage, in an aspen grove! No shit! I thought I was hallucinating… I am getting a massage, looking into the trees, in a light rain, listening to a band… felt a bit like Wanderlust! Right after that BAM – full scale downpour… on and off… Ate some food with some of the people I met (ya more food) got on the shuttle and then it REALLY started to rain. Plenty of lightning as well… Hope everyone was able to safely finish. Drive back to the cars was interesting… suddenly the ground was white… we passed a camp site that looked like it had 2 inches of SNOW! (8800’). Got to the cars and snow was so wet the wipers would not move it, so had to slog it off with my hand. Gave a guy I met on the bus a ride to his car in Golden – he had done the 50K… he told me of a few races I had not heard of… good info!, grabbed $5 mocha… and that was that…
Certainly the most well organized race I have ever heard of. Everyone was nice, talkative and plenty of fun and encouragement. People knew their shit! Noodles crew was kick ass… TONS of food – very nice! Brought my own container (suggested to reduce waste – it was cup free as well) for the food – nice to have a lid while walking around!
Overall, I wanted to feel like I did my best and did not leave much, if anything out there. Somewhere on that last downhill when I heard the band (at like 1 mile out), I got that teary/choked up/emotional feeling – when you have nothing left – But it is exactly where you wanted to be… ahhhh… (oh ya, but a mile to go… ) That is when you know why you run and you know you are where you should be. I felt it at Colfax last year, my first Marathon, but not before or since… until today. sweet.