It was last year around this time that I ran my first and last(?) 50k. A month or so ago, Paulette asked me if I wanted to run the Inside Trail Racing Folsom Lake 10k with her. The very same course and race that held my first and last(?) 50k. For a chance to have Paulette visit and with the free entry I had from volunteering at Fort Ord, I immediately said yes!
The day of the race we discussed in great detail our race strategy plan.
The Plan - To run together, chat and cheer on other runners as we passed. No hard feelings if we split up or decided to actually race. Perfect plan if you ask me!
Our race did not start until 8:30am, but we got there early as I wanted to see friends who were running the 35k or 50k. Among them was my friend Jen who ran her very first 50k. In fact, last year as I ran my first and
last(?) 50k, Jen ran the 10k. This year the tables turned, only I did not run the 10k as fast as speedster Jen. I also got to meet fellow SFM ambassador Scott who was running the 50k. So many other of my friends were there either racing or volunteering it truly was a start line party!
|Group photo w/ a few FTR's.|
|Awesome volunteers - Crystal, Hassan, and Janelle|
|Scott and I|
|Paulette and I before the start|
Time seemed to pass quickly as it was our turn to toe up to the start line. Tim, the race director seemed to have a longer than normal pow- wow regarding the course so it seemed like forever until we were off and running.
|Ham I am! At least I'm smiling! Photo credit goes to Hassan!|
I know the course well. Perhaps too well. I had ran this particular trail quite often in the past. To be honest, I was slightly dreading it. But man, once I was out there running, all dread seemed to disappear. The trail was breath taking! Fields of purple lupin held up to the backdrop of the lake. That post rain drop smell dazzled my senses and all around, runners were getting their endorphin highs. Paulette and I were running mid pack on the single track. It was cool to see runners wrap the turns in a single file line. It reminded me of a colorful caterpillar. There were times that Paulette and I got separated and when that happened she was kind enough to wait until I caught up.
|Paulette's turn to be the ham...Meanwhile, I am very serious! - Hassan for photo props!|
I dragged a bit the first few miles but something magical seemed to happen at the turn-around that happened to be an aid station. I received a pep in my step! Since the course was an out and back, I got to see other runners pass. This part was so much fun as Paulette and I cheered and hi-fived every runner! Because of the fabulous company and overall just feeling great, the miles seemed to fly by. That’s what happens when you’re having fun, right? When we got to that dam dam, I picked up my speed. Paulette told me to go ahead as she wanted to run her own pace. So, with that, I started to sprint. I love sprinting as you are well aware, and embarced the wind hitting my face. There was a gal ahead of me, that was just out of reach, but I kept my eyes on her anyway. After the dam dam there was more single track leading to the finish line. I thought for sure I would loose the gal ahead as I am not fast on dirt, but to my surprise I picked up my speed even more, passed the gal and crossed the finish line!!!!
My buddy Hassan (who should really be a photographer, he captured some great moments as always) placed a medal* around my neck! Paulette crossed the finish line a minute after me and I was thrilled to be able to put a medal around her neck!
*Medal - Inside Trail Racing is now giving out a medal to everyone who crosses the finish line. At first I thought it was odd, then I looked at the medal. It’s a fish...In case you couldn’t tell by the picture. I really like it a lot!!!
So there it is! I ran 6.9 miles with my good friend (for most of it). I laughed a lot and had a fantastic time...Not literally, but I did cross the finish line in 1:13:36. 4th in my AG.
I felt great after this run and happy that I had such a strong finish. To celebrate, we went to Gold Hill Winery and Brewery and Knee Deep Brewing where we may or may not have over indulged.
|Penny the Pup waiting on her beer at Knee Deep|