Steep Ravine 30K yesterday…

…totally kicked my ass.

Probably because I ended up running an extra mile or so (damn confusing trail markers!) before some runners coming down the switchbacks into Muir Beach were like “you’re going the wrong way!”

So I turned back around, literally sprinted towards Muir Beach, found the correct Orange trail marker and double-timed my ass through a really cold and shaded tree single-track, passing a few runners but the damage was already done- I was cooked by the time I started up the Miwok trail to the Dipsea, that uphill was intense (it was about 30 seconds of running followed by 2 mins of power hiking, repeated about 50 times until I got to the crest and the Cardiac AS).

I was passed by about 4 or 5 runners as I realized my calves were crampy as all hell. I figured my strength is my near-mountain goat downhill running, and my quads felt great. Another Gu, a few Chomps, some boiled potatoes and a bunch of water and Cytomax (I lingered long at this AS, wanted to go out really strong- I had just passed the Dipsea “4” marker notifying me that the Stinson finish line was only 3.2 miles away, all downhill). I took off and passed as many runners as I could- maybe 10 or so, I was w00ting all the way down that trail- it was just as steep down as the first climb up.

So, the final result- 31st place (out of 82), total time of 3:14.22. Add that extra mile on and I ran about 19.6 (or like 31.62 kilometers). These totals were both the farthest and longest I’ve ever run.

A ton of boiled potatoes, a bag of kettle chips, an avocado, a half pound of turkey, about a gallon of both water and Cytomax and a soak in the ice-cold Pacific, then a long car ride home (followed by shower and nap) and a huge dinner later seemed to do the trick, I’m sore but I could totally run today.

Some other thoughts: I hate that I was counting the runner’s numbers (every three-digit bib that started with 4 was in the 30K) so I realized I was in about 15th place going into the Muir Beach AS, took a Gu really quick, 2-3 water shots and 2-3 Cytomax shots and left Muir Beach in about 12th (there were three other 30Kers I left behind at the AS that didn’t look so hot, they were definitely lingering and grabbing their knees).

I must’ve gotten passed by those 3 dudes and another 10-12 racers when I took my detour; my goals were either a top-20 finish or to finish under 3 hours. I can say that 1) I ran my race to the best of my ability and 2) I can take ownership of the fact that I made a huge blunder- that’s some “rookie mistake” shit right there, and if there’s anything else I can take away from this experience it’s that 3) I trained great, ate great, slept great- the only thing I didn’t do was practice mindfulness on the trails. I was like on autopilot, just running and not thinking that I’d have to practice some orienteering skills.

I heard some other runners, both in my race and the marathon make similar complaints- that the trails weren’t marked well- but in Coastal Trails Runs’ defense- that was a damn hard course to mark, and I think they did a fine job throwing a great race. Best AS and nicest people working them!

So, there’s my newest goal- to be more “aware” of the trails and have my last training run before my next race on the actual course, to familiarize myself with exactly what to expect.

I did not use my head, and I’m making a promise to myself to be more mindful next race. There it is.

Here’s the link to the results page: Steep Ravine results, 2012

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