|Photo: Billy Yang|
2012 Lake Sonoma Podium. Joelle, Tyler, and I.
So the first year I raced I finished third. In 2013, I was planning to race, but was forced to sit it out due to injury. 2013 was a big year for learning. I was injured almost more than I was running. I learned the hard way not to do too much too soon. Looking back now, I'm like what were you thinking?!
In 2014 I returned to Lake Sonoma, healthy and ready to run. It was a cool day and I felt much better than my previous attempt. Emily Harrison took the win and course record that year in 7:26. I finished a several minutes back, in 7:33 for second place. I cut off nearly 45 minutes from my previous time, which I felt good about. Plus, Emily is a runner I really look up to and was psyched to not get totally annihilated :)
|Emily and I, Lake Sonoma 2014|
If you would have asked me my goals going into LS this year, I would have said that it was a bonus race for me. I wasn't targeting it nor did I feel that I had really nailed my training leading up to the race. I simply wanted to get another race start under my belt for the spring and to run the last 1/3 of the race better. My goal that I didn't really tell anyone was to run around 7:30. I thought that was attainable if I had a great day. I thought 7:33 that I ran the previous year was pretty darn fast under ideal conditions. I also wanted to finish on the podium. I knew there were quite a few women capable of that feat, and I wanted to be among them. irunfar Pre-Race
Turns out someone lit a fire under my ass.
I don't know what got into me. Somewhere around 5-6 miles into the race I decided it was my day. It was my f$%^& day to run this race. I wanted to lead wire to wire and if I couldn't, well at least I'd put up a good fight. That doesn't mean that I went balls out from the gun. I still paced myself early on and had some good chit chat with Cassie Scallon early on. Once we crossed the river, around 11 miles in, YiOu Wang, Topher Gaylord, and I grouped up and ran for the next 10 miles or so. It was pretty comfortable and I was enjoying their company.
|I look cold. Gary should have shared his blanket!|
Photo: Chris Jones
1. I'm halfway (duh!)
2. To see and cheer for other runners passing by running outbound. It boosts my mood to see other racers, especially some of my good friends!
Somewhere around 30 miles in, I sort of paid the price for all the "fun" pushing the downhills. My quads were trashed. Oh well. I knew I could run 20 miles on trashed quads, it was just a matter of keeping my energy levels up. I continued to fuel well (3 Clif shot gels per hour) and tried to run as smooth as possible.
When I race I normally don't look at my watch at all. I like to just go off feel. I do keep tabs on the miles though, and when my watch buzzed at mile 44 I looked down at the time. "Holy crap- if I can just average 10 min miles for the last 6 miles I'll have a course record!" That was actually the first time that thought crossed my mind. And as I neared the finish, the course record became a more tangible prospect.
The last mile of LS is killer. If anyone tells you different, they are lying. It's mostly uphill and there are some rocky sections. It's seems to take an exponentially long time. In the past years I've fallen in the last mile because I just couldn't pick up my feet enough. No falls this time, but plenty of fatigue.
|Photo: Chris Jones|
irunfar Post-Race Wine Tasting Interview
Ultra Sports Live Interview
|Thanks Wilson Wine!|
Photo: Billy Yang
(2014 Lake Sonoma Strava)
Of course, I couldn't have raced so well without some great support. I am the luckiest girl alive to have THE BEST crew on the planet! Thanks Elisa Cheng and Brian Carroll for being awesome. And a special thanks to Zach, who not only crewed for me, but also put up with my pre-race shenanigans and drove me to the start at 5:30am.
And another big thanks to my sponsors: The North Face, Clif Bar, Flora, Nathan, and Julbo. Their support and products make it possible for me to race!
And finally, (is this the academy awards?!) thanks to my coach Ian Torrence for preparing me to kick ass and to Burke Selbst at Focus Physical Therapy for keeping me healthy.
It takes a village.
|Post-race wine tasting with the Cheng's|