I'll be short, I've got a presentation at work this week I need to focus on, but I want to get it out of the way and satisfy the possible curiosity since the website is not fast on updates. I made my flight on Sunday, and even got on an earlier one - but not the way I would have liked to. However, I have no regrets. At first, I regretted not recognizing I need to give my body, mind and soul some rest and respect by switching to a 50M option (which I could do even on the race morning), but after spending time thinking it through, I realize with a 50M finish, while I would justify the money spent and travel time, and get a recognition, I wouldn’t make many of the soul-searching I did. I needed a lesson, and I got it.
From emails Larry sent to a local trail group:
“According to the live updates, Olga has made it through the first 50 miles of Tahoe Rim in 12:10:25. They took an already difficult course and added another 4,000 feet of gain to it this year for a round number of 24,000ft gain. At the pre-race briefing yesterday, there was mention of a big bear that has been harassing people on the trail. Hopefully, the bear stays away as she is still recovering from the two bear encounters, very large ones I might add, when we were out in the Sierra a few weeks ago. :) The course consists of two 50 mile loops in the mountains along the east side of Lake Tahoe, all, mostly above 8,000ft”.
“Just got a call from Olga. She’s dropping at mile 61. Hasn’t eaten since mile 40 and was throwing up quite a bit during those 20 miles. Also, was dealing with a pre-race injury. Still, very, very proud of her and I’m glad she didn’t get eaten by the mean bear.”
And here is mine response:
“It was absolutely beautiful and the views are magnificent, so was the single-track trail. I didn't find the course to be too particularly difficult, but I am comparing to the mountain races I had done, and I tend to lean towards the harder ones. The combination of the altitude with heat (not "hot" TX style, but hot 80F at 8,000 feet) and general fatigue from previous 100's, along with long-lagging injury had taken its toll, and worrying about making my flight didn't provide incentive to slog through the night and next morning without possibility to put any calories in. At the end, I could "gut it out", but I had nothing to prove and had done it before. I am just not interested in "gutting it out" that much anymore, more in having quality runs. I had fun times in the first 50 though! So many wonderful folks I ran and chatted away with, so awesome views, fantastic race organization, and just happy to be alive, able and willing.”
photo by Scott Dunlap
I am thrilled to have been there, on this course, and meet so many friends, some old, some new. Rick Gaston and Glenn Tachyama, thanks for taking care of me at the 50M point! Annie C-T and Rob Cain, it was awesome to spend time pre-race and chat Oregon! Joy, what a joy to have finally meet you in person, and spend fantastic 45 minutes climbing the ski pass talking non-stop and passing guys like they were standing still! Gretchen, you rocked! And Donald, always a pleasure! To co-RD George Ruiz – thank you, thank you, thank you. You guys put a lot of effort, and you personally were so tending to me all the time, I really will never forget it. It’s a beautiful run in a beautiful place with beautiful people behind. Brian Myers, the miles we ran together, whether at SD100 or (even more so) at TRT, were priceless. You win our own “quest on most 100’s” – and the summer isn’t even over – because I am not going for P2P. I wish you all the best! To the Tunnel Creek AS guys who tried to change my mind – thanks for the thoughts, and mostly for recognizing I had made the decision and was ok with it. To Kirsten Ramage who dropped with me and made it possible to arrange a shower and a shut-eye at the hotel room - thanks. And the biggest thanks - to Larry, my "biggest fan", who had patience and wisdom to let me make my own decisions. I love you, honey.
It was awesome to cheer runners coming through while waiting the ride back off the mountain, and having a most fulfilling conversation with young Mark from BC who was there (second time on trails, may I add) to help his friends celebrate their 40th birthday. This is why I am in it – to talk about what’s inside you. Because it’s here where we open up to the true “us” and allow “us” to come out. I am not in it to prove anybody, or even myself, what I am made of – I know what I am made of. I have a passion. I never want it to become a burden or an obligation. I am pleased I was able to sense the difference. I am glad my body spoke to me loud and clear, and I listened. I've had a fantastic 11 months of hard training and great racing season since last fall. I need a rest. I’ll be back on my own terms. Now, "Don't ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive."
For more pictures of the course and for a wonderful description of an awesome race head over to Gretchen's blog.