At that night race, Larry ran the 30k version and did an awesome job, despite doing it after 6 hrs of back-breaking work of putting the floors down in my office (the one he hung the doors for the week prior), and I was Master wearing All Hats.
The evening started with me giving a little pep-talk to each of the (separate) starts of 60km, 30km and 10km races. Basically, I wanted them to follow some set of rules, and warned the new runners that I'll be the one with loud voice yelling directions, which I expect to be followed. Yeah, don't mess with Olga!
Then I was sent out to the first (officially unmanned) AS at mile 5 and, well, manned it with one other girl, Lynette, also yielding traffic (different race distances went different ways). I also have to mention that Pedernales Falls race went cup-less for unmanned AS's and limited cups for those 2 that were manned - an admirable act, and all survived (there was a number of 10k runners who didn't carry a bottle, so they either got down under the cooler's spigot, or I gave them ice in hands to suck on).
After an hour and half there, I returned to the Main AS (start/finish) and helped Peter there until midnight.
Just as I was about to get back to AS stuff, I was sent out to sweep the course marking of the first section. It was about 1:20 am as I left, and the first mile was very manageable, with streamers clipped on the trees...and then the stakes with signs (arrows and wrong way's) of a square foot began, the glowsticks, more streamers, more signs, PVC poles with tape closing wrong trails...nothing fitting in the pack, carrying those sings in my forearms, ever expanding in numbers, falling out, still jumping to get clipped streamers, can't see my watch, can't drink my water hidden burred under all that...taking 3 wrong turns for some odd reason (I always manage to get lost!)...6 miles took me almost 3 hrs! When I finally hit the road, the AS was wrapped down, and nobody there...so, a responsible gal I am, I began walking on the road still carrying some 30 lbs of al that crap, until a car stopped and gave me a ride. I wish I had a picture, but alas, you have to trust me, my forearms were dead and I had scratch marks.
|This is not even a 1/3 of the stakes with signs, but you got the idea what they looked like!|
|The Moon was beautiful though! I walked with headlamp turned off most of the time!|
I drove home and collapsed on a couch at 5:30 am, no shower, for 3 hrs...and the Sunday began with my "other" jobs:)
A gal Amanda was taking interview with me and posted a great recap, word to word, in a newsletter, the part of why I volunteer. Take a look! I think it even sounds Russian:)
Once I caught up on sleep by Monday morning, I was ready and motivated to begin training! And on Tuesday morning the opportunity struck luck to fit in a trail run in the morning - and that was DELICIOUS! Yum! Slow but steady, I was back!
Just in time for the GREAT NEWS! You know how I never talk about any product unless I believe in it. That was one of a few reasons for the last couple of years I raced completely un-attached: no team, no sponsors besides Drymax socks. Even as much as I used to like Sportiva shoes, after my foot injury and their getting away with Fireblades I couldn't vouch for the shoes either.
BUT that did not mean I didn't come across products that I loved using! When I began my no grain/no dairy/no sugar/no legumes journey past October, I questioned what shall I consume while racing now. And while there are many advocates of real food, or baby food, etc., I can't neither carry such large items, no digest them, when racing. And then I read that Kami Semick, having being on a similar eating plan, uses VFuel gels - so I found them, got them, and liked them! This gotten even better when Timmy Olson confirmed while visiting for Bandera run in January, that he does same eating plan - and uses same gels! I was sold, they worked, and I never looked back. The difference is - they don't use fructose, a common additional sugar in other gels, which causes stomach distress. So, armed with my awesome performance at San Diego 100 - and in general a great racing year - I contacted a rep, and was offered to be an Ambassador! Yes on great product and great people!
That was not all. My old-time friend Bob Gentile had disappeared from my horizon for a while, only to show up, suddenly, 2 months ago, and, according to his Facebook posting, he was repping for some endurance stuff BRL Sports. I asked, and he stepped forward with an offer of some free product - Epo-Boost pills (similar to Optigen from First Endurance I had taken before) for pre-race and Endura-Fuel as a recovery drink (many athletes use it as in-race fuel as well). I tried it, got on 3.5 weeks of those pills, used powder for my long runs and hard workouts, as well as 3 packages during SD100 - and become a believer. Hey, placebo or not, when you're aging and not extremely talented, every help helps! :) That said, they, too, offered me similar program as VFuel, ambassadorship, and since those products do not cross-over, there is no conflict of interest - and I am thrilled to represent both of them!
See, good things come when you believe in them (see my post a while back on these products before I even considered in my wildest dreams to contact them!), and when you work hard to be considered.
The good thing is, as not a Sponsored Athlete, I don't have to WIN USA Championships and Big Races...just use it and run strong and happy!
Now, if only Pearl Izumi shoes would step in with their N2's so I can TRULLY get ready for Grindstone 100...hello, anybody?
All in all, life is moving on. Check out my Partner's Page if you get a chance, and see if there is something that spikes you interest.
With that - best of luck to ALL Western States 100 runners this week, and all the other racers as well! Enjoy the fact that you're blessed and able to have such a pass-time!