TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Calico Trail Run 2013

2013 is my fifth year running The Calico Trail Run.  This is THE RACE.  The Race that lead me to trail running.  In fact, it’s now grown into a family tradition to stay in Calico Ghost Town for 2 days come late January.   

I wrote in my last blog entry that I didn’t expect great results on this year’s 30k, but that I didn’t want my worst time.  Well, folks, I got my worst time, by 15 minutes (& I was 50 minutes slower than last year when I placed in my category).  I did however have the BEST time running this race.  I didn’t feel all together strong, but I felt comfortable.  I felt comfortable in my “skin,” and I felt comfortable on my feet.  Even though a cold, cold wind blew into my face practically the entire run, I knew the trails, I knew the rocks, the boulders, the sand. My head was cold.  But, I felt in my element. 

Waiting to Start:

Starting off on pavement into the lonely, colorful desert:

We ran sand, yes sand, for several miles.  I figured out a couple years ago, to get out of the sand and run in the brush where the ground is solid.  I noticed shadows behind me as others from the back of the pack followed suit. 

I tried not to do much socializing, as I usually spend too much time goofing around and making friends.  Regardless, I did meet some lovely people, saw familiar faces.  My goal was to get as many people behind me as possible.  In other words, get as many runners beneath my name on the board. 

I passed very few runners.  About half-way, I realized I needed to run a negative split to make last year’s time.  Ha, ha.  The hardest part of the run is the last 6 or so miles. 

Good news, I kept the demons at bay.  I didn’t bash myself when I realized I needed to run a negative split and couldn’t.  I just kept on running and took in the desert’s beauty. 

Once I kicked a rock so hard, I was very happy that I wore my most rugged shoes, else I may have broken my toe.  I only tripped once.  Miracle.  And I passed a male runner with a dog.  I took a couple handfuls of potato chips at the stations.  Once I took some jelly beans.  I gulped down one small cup of Coca-Cola at each station.  Besides this nutrition Smilemy pack contained Nuun water.  I also downed a few Endurolytes and two peanut-butter gels.   

Here  (below), I finally caught a delightful couple (from Bakersfield, Ca.) that I had been working hours to pass.  For a while there, it was back and forth between us.  When I finally caught them at this tunnel filled with water, there was no way I wasn’t going to get them beneath my name on the board.  They were tough, tough, tough to lose, that’s for sure.  Finally, I just pushed it with all I had, to give myself a good lead.  And I looked back.  I NEVER look back.  But I needed to see if I had a good enough lead to slow it down it bit for the last big hill.  I could tell . . . perhaps you know that look, “okay, go ahead and take it,” look.  They had that.  So I hiked up that last hill as fast as I could, where my oldest son met me.  And we ran it on to the finish together.

That delightful couple maneuvering through the tunnel:

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Ends up I had ten people beneath me on the board (plus 1 DNF) out of thirty-something 30k runners.  I had my family with me.  I didn’t fall.  I finished.  What more can a girl ask for?

Running 1-27-2013, Elevation - DistanceRunning 1-27-2013

Oh!  I almost forgot the movie . . . LOL

First race of 2013

14 comments:

  1. Wow, what a great course that is. Well done, I mean it :)

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    1. Thanks Daniele. This is one of my favorite courses. Some people I know don't like it because they don't like desert running. I love desert running (so far : )

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  2. Well done Lauren! I looked at all your photos on FB and so want to run this race...sigh... It looks like a race I would just love. Oh well, maybe one day we do run something together.

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    1. Thanks so much Johann. I would love for you to join me on this race. If you are ever in the states during January, be sure to stop by California. : )

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  3. Beautiful, as always! Congratulations on another finish, and on finishing happy - sometimes, that's just what you need :)

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    1. Thanks Giraffy. You could so do this race! It is simply beautiful. But more than that, it is fun. Thanks for reading!!

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  4. Very nice! It's been ages since I've been to Calico. Maybe this next year?

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    1. Thanks Glenn!!! I hope to see you there next year. I love Calico. It is my childhood.

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  5. You drank Coke? I thought you never touched that stuff. It's like rocket fuel for me. And you didn't fall down? Great! I love the music choice in the video too!

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    1. Yes, Lumberjack, I drink Coke during races. Why? Because it is TOTALLY rocket fuel during the run. I don't usually drink it (because I'm trying to lose weight -- FAIL), but in races, it really boosts me. Thanks for reading!!

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  6. Congrats! It sounds like a fun race weekend:)

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    1. Thanks for reading Rachel. Good thing is, I love this course so much, I'm happy with my time (even though it was my worst so far). If you like the desert at all, this is a must do race.

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  7. Found your blog by searching for this run! Awesome post! Congrats :) Loved the video, you look so happy, it made me totally sign up for this race for next month. Maybe I'll see you there :)

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    1. Have fun Clara!!! I love this race. The first 7 miles are uneventful and there's lots of sand running. After that, it's desert beauty in my eyes. (As far as the sand running goes, run the trail edges or actually off trail a bit if you want harder ground). Say Hi if you see me. Again, have fun!!

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