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February 5, 2007

twin peaks 50/50 race report

the crazy thing, really, the craziest thing about this weekend was that i never came close to feeling anxious or stressed about my race. odd, seeing as how it has to measure up there with one of the toughest things i've ever tried. anyway, i'm getting ahead of myself. this weekend was the twin peaks 50/50 race. i had agreed to support jessica's race by running the 50k way back when she announced it. i also agreed to help out in any way that i could, and that support came in the form of marking the course the day before the race.

the weekend started with an early morning on saturday with us all meeting up at jessica's place and loading, literally, tons of supplies into the trucks for the aid stations on the course. we headed off to ortega highway and began the long drive along the main divide fire road. we spent about six hours up on the divide dropping water, tables, etc at the three aid stations and then marking the course with pink (in honor of angie, i'm sure) ribbon and flour. at the top of the harding truck trail, i handed the keys to the xterra over to angie and i hopped on my bike to mark the last/first 9 miles of the course on my way down to the tucker sanctuary. jessica and angie picked me up at the bottom and we called it a day.

up early on sunday, i headed out to get to the start by 5:45 so that angie could use the xterra as a support vehicle for the day. i rolled in right on time and was excited to see head lamps of all the 50 milers milling about. i chatted w/ angie and anne for a bit and then headed to the start. the 50 milers headed out at 6am and i had the chance to wish greg, michael and nattie well on their runs. shortly after the 50m start, i bumped into matt, standing quietly (that man is a ninja, i swear) off to the side. we got to chat for and get caught up. the guy is amazing, really. if you get a chance to meet this humble man, turn yourself inside out to make it possible to spend some time with him. it's rare that you meet someone as genuine, low key, but at the same time full of life.

matt and i headed to the start just before 7am, listened to jessica give the briefing (aren't you glad we were paying attention, jess? it's a RIGHT at the top of harding! haha) and then we were off. i ran w/ matt for the first mile or two and spent some more time just chit chatting. after a bit, i decided to go ahead and start picking up the pace, so i said goodbye to matt and headed off to catch pete and lisa. about a mile later, i latched onto them and hung w/ lisa for a while. i had figured i'd run the whole thing solo, but lisa was pacing conservatively for me and it felt good on the long nine mile climb up to main divide. before we knew it, we had done the nine miles to the ridge and the first aid station. i stopped for a bit, had a mattisse & jack's energy bar, drank some water and then headed off to catch lisa again. lisa and i ran together up to the top of modjeska and then on the downhill back to main divide, i started stretching the legs out.

the next handful of miles up to the santiago peak were uneventful with the exception of the occasional motorcycle that would come tearing past, gunning it's engine right next to runners to kick up more dirt. out of the 20+ dirt bikes that came by me, only one group of three slowed down when passing. the rest either tore past or actually made a point of kicking up more dirt next the runners. lame.

i paused for a bit at the top of santiago and gave some directions to a handful of people who had missed the modjeska turn off. i had another mattisse & jack's bar, a bottle of the oc energy water and then started the 15 mile descent back to tucker. i was feeling REALLY good at this point and just ran comfortably. just before hitting the summit, though, my big toes had started to bother me. i had noticed that my fingers were really puffy at the start, so i'm assuming that i was retaining a lot of water (i'd been taking in lots of sodium on friday and saturday) and that my toes were bigger too, causing them to get a little smushed in the trail shoes. i cruised comfortably back to the harding aid station and by mile 22 was still feeling really good. no major pains or tiredness, other than my toes, so i was ready to tackle the last nine downhill miles. i was sitting at about 4:35 into the race at that point and figured that if i could run about 9:30ish on the way down, i could roll in under my six hour finishing goal. the guys at the aid station commented on my extremely salty body, so i popped a couple salt tablets before starting back up.

the downhill on harding was fine until around the six mile remaining mark. my toes and joints were really starting to complain, so i wasn't able to keep much more than a 9:45-10:00 pace. i was still feeling really fresh, though, and on all the little up hills that i encountered, i felt really strong. the last three miles of harding were much steeper and i was having to chop my steps because the pounding was really getting difficult to take. but despite that, i felt mentally alert and was still enjoying myself. i just kept saying what angie had told me was rob's mantra, "just smile, take a gu and keep moving". it works!

i jogged across the finish at 6:05 and even though the legs were beat, i was still feeling good. smsmh met me at the recovery area and commented that i didn't even look like i'd run. she's seen me look pretty haggard after some of my races and was amazed that i didn't look like i'd been worked. the race was a really fun experience. from the fun community that turned out, to the low stress of the event, to the company on the run itself and to jessica's organization, the twin peaks 50/50 was a joy to be a part of.

Posted by jeff at February 5, 2007 9:38 AM
Comments

Congratulations on making the run! You came so close to your goal and did it in spite of being swollen.

Do you think you'll change your salt strategy in the future?

Posted by: 21stCenturyMom at February 5, 2007 10:09 AM

Hey Jeff - long time no comment. Nice job with the race, and kudos also for helping with the pre-race prep. The dirt bike encounters would make me nervous - don't we run on trails to get away from motor vehicles?

Hope your IM training is going well.

Posted by: Donald at February 5, 2007 10:14 AM

50k.
Wow!
I thought about your race this morning as I regretted not getting up earlier.
I thought about that distance and figured I wouldn't make an excuse but dig my sneakers out and take a run after work.
No time like the present to get started.

Good job!

Posted by: Prov at February 5, 2007 10:35 AM

It was an honor to place that medal around your neck, Jeff. Your wife's right -- you didn't look like you'd just run that long and that hard after the finish. Bravo!

Posted by: Anne at February 5, 2007 10:59 AM

whoa, dude. Smokin'. Congratulations!!

Posted by: Mark at February 5, 2007 11:07 AM

Jeff, you are like the only RBF guy I didn't get to see. I'm glad to read your race went so well especially with being out there the whole day before. I did get lucky and got to catch up with Matt at the finish line. You describe him well, genuine for sure. Ninja, I love that.

Posted by: darrell at February 5, 2007 12:28 PM

Great job!

Your new pic creeps me out!

Posted by: Laurie at February 5, 2007 12:36 PM

were you deliberating increasing sodium in your diet or you just happened to eat food with high sodium?

Posted by: deene at February 5, 2007 12:54 PM

jeff, you're a rock star. you're truck is a rock star.

sounds like a perfect race; great job. and you did describe matt so so well.

i even got to meet smsmh! (what were you doing sleeping?! ;) )

Posted by: angie's pink fuzzy at February 5, 2007 3:46 PM

Awesome, Jeff. Sounds like you had a real RBF fest, too! Fun:)

Posted by: susie at February 5, 2007 4:17 PM

"i didn't look like i'd been worked" sounds like a race horse that just went through the paces. with you i am not doubting smsmh one bit.

Posted by: david at February 5, 2007 5:46 PM

Congratulations Jeff! You did a great job out there and it's hard to believe it was your first ultra. way to tear up that course and thanks so much for all your help!!!

Posted by: Jessica at February 5, 2007 6:01 PM

Congratulations on a great race. I was the girl running with Pete. You looked solid the whole time. We tried to catch up with you and Lisa but never did. It was great to see you guys in passing though. Way to go!!!

Posted by: Kim French at February 5, 2007 6:12 PM

congratulations! i hope my forthcoming ultra will come as easy as yours - somehow i doubt it, though.

Posted by: Thomas at February 6, 2007 4:01 AM

sounds like a great time! Hope the toes stopped swelling!

Posted by: Elizabeth at February 6, 2007 9:28 AM

Jeff, fab job. Did you eat any of your famous homemade energy bars? I could have used one on the trails! Awesome run, man!

Posted by: Greg at February 6, 2007 3:30 PM

Jeff, fab job. Did you eat any of your famous homemade energy bars? I could have used one on the trails! Awesome run, man!

Posted by: Greg at February 6, 2007 3:30 PM

Jeff, fab job. Did you eat any of your famous homemade energy bars? I could have used one on the trails! Awesome run, man!

Posted by: Greg at February 6, 2007 3:31 PM

Nice job! I enjoyed your reading your report. : )

Posted by: Sarah at February 6, 2007 8:49 PM

as always, it's a pleasure reading your reports. congrats on an awesome ultra debut.

Posted by: christine taylor at February 7, 2007 10:51 AM

Cool. Sounds like a fun time!

Posted by: Amy at February 7, 2007 5:08 PM

You left out the bike spill on Sat. That cost you 6 minutes on Sunday. Thanks for taking one for the team.

Posted by: Charlie Nickell at February 9, 2007 12:48 PM

Jeff you stud, you did fantastic. You did not mention how you took the time to type some text messages at the mile 9 aid station. A big thank you for your help on the of the course. Take care.

Posted by: Pete vara at February 10, 2007 5:55 AM

Jeff you stud, you did fantastic. You did not mention how you took the time to type some text messages at the mile 9 aid station. A big thank you for your help on the of the course. Take care.

Posted by: Pete vara at February 10, 2007 5:56 AM

Jeff you stud, you did fantastic. You did not mention how you took the time to type some text messages at the mile 9 aid station. A big thank you for your help on the of the course. Take care.

Posted by: Pete vara at February 10, 2007 5:57 AM

stop picking your eyeball!!!

Posted by: Soozan at February 16, 2007 1:48 PM

HOly crap Jeff! You really are amazing. Is there anything you can't do? Congratulations!!

Posted by: brit at February 19, 2007 2:27 AM

congrats! what brit said. Your moniker is well-deserved!

Posted by: jeanne at February 20, 2007 12:47 PM
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