Monday, September 5, 2016

Sizzlin' Sasquatch--I did day two.

A mere few hours after running a 25K in western Oklahoma and driving for 4 hours across the state, the Sizzling Sasquatch was next on the list. This 3-day event features a 5K, 10K, half marathon, full marathon, and a 50K. Again. like yesterday, I was on the fence between two distances and chose the shorter one. I thought I'd actually try to pick up the pace and see what the old body could do.

Once again, I slept in the truck, and was actually comfortable getting a full 9 hours of ZZZs. Good thing, since a 6:30 start was on tap. Here, Abby gives Mike and I last minute instructions. I had no coffee in me and comprehended 10% of what was given out.

The word GO sent us shuffling into the morning darkness. We were well advised to wear a headlamp, and found our way on a short out-and-back which put us back at the start 2.2 miles later and I dropped off my light at my truck. From there, we had 3 3.65 mile loops on nice single track and mowed trails across fields of tall grass.

It was cool. I actually had to break out a blanket during the night, and we eventually hit the mid 80s by mid-afternoon.

We had been warned about wild animals on the course. Lurking in the woods were coyotes, snakes, chicks and tiggers,  donkeys, and possibly BIG FOOT. The donkeys seemed harmless enough, and I had sprayed liberally for blood-sucking critters. But coming face to face with an 8 foot Squatch had me nervous.

 Pumpkin Holler has Bathtub Rocks, and so does this race course!

 Big foot??? No. Just a 15 foot Zombie.

RD RJ had this course idiot proof. Look for orange flags and they're always on the right hand side. I never felt lost.

And don't cross yellow caution tape. (I did go on the wrong side of this orange flag.)  

 (And I did cross under this yellow tape. Shhhh.)

These shady sections were welcome in the later laps.

I fell victim to the trail sharks FIVE TIMES!! Yes, five times I had one nip my foot and I went crashing to the soft ground. I wore a blue-shirt-turned-brown. But no red. And a funny side note. On lap one, I stepped just off the trail in the first wooded area to pee. Then on lap two, I had my third fall. I always plant my water bottle (in my right hand) into the ground and roll out of the fall. It's a smooth roll, and turns a mediocre fall into a spectacular one, and I rarely end up injured or bruised. On this particular fall, I realized I was in EXACTLY the same place I had peed earlier!! My shirt was sweaty but I wasn't sure if it was all sweat!

And YES!! There was a big foot sighting and as sure as a sheet of plywood is 8 feet tall, this Squatch was definitely 8 feet!!

Well here's how my race played out. The out and back was a steady jog in the dark. On loop one, I focused on staying smooth and getting my legs to moving without any aches and pains from the day before. Half way through loop two, I decided I was gonna try to catch up with Mike Rives. My stride felt fluid and good. This had turned into a great run for me. Near the end of loop two, I thought about the chances of coming in under three hours. My fuzzy math skills could not compute what pace I would need to average to reach my goal so I took a walk break and got out my phone and entered the needed pace per mile to run 13.1 miles in 3 hours. 13.7404580. So I rounded that to 13:44 per mile, and at that point I was at 14:21. Doable--maybe. I stretched it out and purposed to run every step all the way in. I passed quite a few people, some of which might have been in the half, but I'm sure most were in the full or 10K. But no signs of MIKE! I turned the last corner with the finish line in sight and looked at my watch and saw the magic n umber of 14:44 as it turned to 13:43 average for the race. I thought I nailed it!!! But my finish time b y my watch was 3:00:26. Maybe I didn't run the tangents. One less fall and I'da made it. Still, I was thrilled. Best run for me in many many months.

One of the best things about small trail runs is the laid back atmosphere. Folks hang around, eat, shoot the breeze, etc. Strangers become friends, friends become BFFs.

Turns out Mike also had a stellar run. He finished in 2:25. He was a couple of zip codes ahead of me. DANG!!!

Misty did great in her run. I'm thinking this might have been her first back-to-back run. Meego probably had something to do with that!

Jenni WON the 50K on Saturday, and may have also won the 50K again on Sunday. Congrats are in order. What an animal!!

Every runner got these squatchy hats, and all finishers received these handmade big foot cutouts. Meego is gonna have Mike make a skateboard out of it.

Gotta say, I give this run an A+ rating. It's on my list for next year, and will be on the Oklahoma Dirt Trail Series.

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