|Courtesy Brazen Racing|
My adventure started the night before the race when I checked the Bart schedule for Sunday only to find the first train would not leave San Francisco till 8 am!...The race was at 9 am. That would leave me 20 minutes to time trial 6 miles from Walnut Creek station to the Castle Rock Park, grab my bib, pin it on, lock up my bike and belongings, warm up, fill my bottles get in line and GO!.
I turned on to a street with the same name (lots of things that have "Walnut" in Walnut Creek) and ended up riding another 5 miles uphill only to get to a dead end and have to turn back.
By the time I got to the Start I was 35 minutes late and everyone was gone. The family walk was about to start in a few minutes and I couldn't imagine getting stuck behind a ton of people walking up steep single track so, I had to go now!
I got my timing chip, put "A" pin on my number and took off.
I would just like to say the people who helped me from "Brazin Racing" were so incredibly nice. The water/fuel stops were great the volunteers manning them so helpful.
I was disappointed to miss the start but just decided to use this as a training race and work on trail technique and utilize all that I have learned in the last few months.
Right from the beginning I climbed and with the heat my heart rate was already getting into the red zone! I just focused and concentrated on transparently moving around the 10K/5K people walking up the single track.
I figured 3 miles and I'd be ahead of it all which turned out to be right on.
Around mile 6 I actually started to pick off 1/2 marathoners! That was a confidence booster. by mile 7 I had no water left and just started to hit the wall. The climbing was pretty tough and so much of it. I cat&moused a mountain biker and was actually able to pass him 3 times on three different climbs. That felt good.
Finally I reached the turnaround and took my time loading up with salt tabs, GU's water and pretzels. Add one banana!
I felt better instantly and just started to put some time and distance down.
The downhill was like nothing I've ever experienced and it was just pounding me pretty hard but , at this point I really started to pick off the rabbits and a lot of them were guys that looked like me!
I started passing 20 and 30 somethings which invigorated me even more. Even though I was beat to crap I just kept hammering and got faster in the last 4 miles. I think the training and especially all the core work I've done lately are really paying off.
In the last mile I was sprinting up and down and runners would try and hang with me but I just dropped them like excess baggage! Must have been that last GU with caffeine!
I spotted the finish and as I came up the announcer recognized me and made mention of the guy who was a half hour late!
As I crossed the finish line and did my drop and role across the line, ala "Chrissie Wellington".
I spent some time afterwards with the person in charge of the timing chips and they compensated my start and I found out that I had the best time of my age group. Another first which I wasn't expecting.
I got my medals and ate some well deserved real food. I thought about how much I'm enjoying all this running and it's been a real confidence booster. It's very odd that last year at this time I couldn't have fathomed ever even wanting to run.
I just let the rain come down and make a brand new ground...
Thank you Universe...and Save Mt. Diablo!