Rain poured down upon us all night, waking me every couple of hours. I said out loud, “Boy am I in trouble.”
2:55 AM, I lay in bed, wide awake. Finally, I made it out to the couch where I slept until 5:45. Thankfully, the rain had ceased. First thing I did (after brewing coffee) was check weather.com. The website reported rain all day, except for partly cloudy skies between 8:00 AM and noon. Exactly what I needed.
I will try to make a long story short (because I did after all, make a video). The weather was cold in Blue Jay Campground. Runners bundled up in winter running gear. I couldn’t decide: wear or pack? After much debate, I finally decided to pack warmth in my hydration pack, because I figured I would rather put on than take off during the race.
I saw quite a few running friends, and some running friends were absent. I was especially happy to see Lori, whom I haven’t seen in so long (unfortunately, the photo I snapped of us, didn’t turn out, but she’s the girl wearing back in front of me in a portion of the video).
Oh yes, I wrote that I’d make this short. Well, in short, Horse Thief Trail was hell. PURE HELL. I kept up pretty well with “my” group up until nearly the top of that trail. My energy temporarily drained, that’s when I lost them. I was utterly wiped out at the top of Horse Thief that I had to stop at the aid station there. The guys at the station asked how I liked Horse Thief. I told them, I didn’t much like it at all (though the views were gorgeous.) The ranger said I had just missed the snow flurries (bummer) as I stood there gulping down their cold, cold water. I got brain freeze drinking their supply before taking off again.
I can’t tell you the relief I felt passing the last aid station with only 2.5 miles remaining. I was quite cold, but didn’t want to stop to take out a warm shirt. I thought to myself, just easy-going from here (mistake – never think that!) And then out of the corner of my eyes, I saw her! There was a woman gaining on me. And behind her, another woman. Where did they come from? I hadn’t seen anyone for a long time.
“SH**!” I said. And I had enough energy to kick it in, keeping my pace at around a 9 minute mile for the remainder of the way. My motivation: I had already accepted my place in the race. (Races with about 100 runners, basically all trail races, I have a pretty good idea how many runners are behind me). Anyway, if these two women passed me, or even one of them, well – heck, I suppose I don’t have to explain. I was a little disappointed for lollygagging it back when I was all by myself.
Well, I made sure the two women didn’t pass me by focusing hard on the trail (didn’t want to fall) and focusing on the garmin. And I crossed the finish line smiling.
Conserving Energy Going Up San Juan Trail
Going Up Horse Thief Trail
Aid at Top of Horse Thief
Lake Elsinore View from Main Divide
Elevation Profile: + 3051 ft. & Video Below
Upon reaching home, it pretty much rained the remainder of the day.
p.s. I kept up with my target a good long while, almost to the top of Horse Thief, then he took off like a thief in the night!