Exercise: 15+ hilly, technical, cliff scaling miles at the Bulldog
Today was pretty awesome. Hands down, Trail Run Events puts on the best races!
My alarm went off at 4:15 and I was actually well rested and ready to go. I was asleep just after 9 so I got a solid 7 hours of rest for the first time, pre race, ever. I had my Red Bull and plain bagel, no coffee or fiber pre race for me, I'll spare you the reasons ;). I got all my gear together yesterday afternoon to calm the nerves so I was ready in record time this morning. I spent a good 20 minutes just hanging out. I finally left at 5:30 to meet some ladies I was carpooling with to the race. We arrived bright and early but we got awesome parking and had plenty of time for potty breaks, bib pick up, and photo ops at the beautiful location.
The course winds around Malibu Creek State Park and it is absolutely gorgeous. Music Man took me hiking out there on one of our early dates and it was so romantic. The green shade trees, creek, and rock formations are stunning. It's also where the show M*A*S*H was filmed so there are a ton of old military vehicles out there. I love the trails I normally run but Malibu Creek is breathtaking and i can not wait to go run out there again.
Support on the run was so organized. There were park rangers every few miles and aid stations every 4 miles. And the aid stations had EVERYTHING. Gatorade, water, gels, orange slices, licorice, candy, cookies, salt, and someone said they saw honey buns and veggie sushi at one of the stations. Oh and first aid was there too, but somehow I finished without even a hot spot, so I never looked in their direction.
There were a few scary moments because the course was fairly technical. It was like an obstacle course at a few moments. There was the rock jumping, mountain climbing, cliff scaling and the creek crossing. I actually lost my footing at the creek and fell in but it was around mile 12 or 13 so I only had to run in soggy shoes for 2 miles. I think that's also when I started going crazy because I was thinking "this was probably what Vietnam was like". Except I was wearing shoes made for trails, technical clothes, it was about 1000 degrees cooler and 200% less humidity...Oh, and no one was trying to kill me. Yeah, so I'm a little crazy, but most runners are ;)
My outlook on this run was pretty bleak. I've been sweating my training the last few days and have been pretty cranky. But I have to say my training was pretty spot on for what I was hoping to accomplish. The official times haven't been posted yet but I did wear my Garmin and I'm pretty sure it worked. I went into this run just wanting to qualify for the 50k- sub 4 hour (this course is no joke). My realistic goal was 3:30, my happy place was 3:15 and my lofty goal was a flat 3. Garmin says.....3:11:06. Not too shabby! And I really worked my booty off for it.
What's important is that I finished happy, healthy and strong. I conserved energy by walking the hills. I used my tried and true fuel of Cytomax and Sports Beans. I had no tummy issues. And I smiled the whole time. I feel so grateful I was able to participate in this awesome event. If you're in SoCal and looking for a beautiful, character building 25 or 50k the Bulldog is awesome. Or if you feel like running some challenging trails I'm available!
Enjoy the rest of your weekend!