Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Rodeo Valley 30K Race Recap

So it seems that this blog is becoming a race recap blog, and for now that's alright with me. I may try to recap my trip to the west coast with Crystal two weeks ago, but even as I type that I know I won't. Mike and I do have a trip to the Adirondacks coming up and I will blog about that (but that will essentially be a hike recap).

Back in January, Crystal messaged me saying she was going to California and she had just booked her plane tickets. I said to Mike, "should I go?" and an hour later after searching for the cheapest and most convenient flights (I took JetBlue there and Southwest back), my flights were booked too!

At Baker Beach, the area to the left of the Golden Gate bridge is where our race took place

It ended up just being a girls' trip and while we missed Mike and Joe, I was really thankful for this time with my best friend. Crystal and I have never lived in the same state (we met through Twitter), but when they lived on the Cape it was a lot easier to meet up for races and trips. Now that they live in Alaska, we have only seen them a few times over the last two years.

Crystal and I raced the Rodeo Valley 30K and it was a beautiful, but extremely difficult course! I think that it was the toughest trail race I have done so far, and that even includes my trail 50K and 50 miler.

The Thursday and Friday before the race we walked 9+ miles each day, so that may have had something to do with the difficulty of the race! It was also hot, and for me I was surprised at how hot I felt since we had been experiencing 90 degree temps before I left for the trip. I think the direct sunlight and extreme lack of shade had something to do with it.

Our friend, Charmaine, was there to cheer us on at the start and the finish (before we went off for a hiking adventure in Yosemite) and it was great to see her again!

The three of us at Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park

Crystal and I decided that we were going to run the entire race together while taking our time and taking photos. Since training hasn't been going well for me and running has felt rather difficult lately, I was glad that she wanted to take it easy. I did worry that I would hold her back, but we had a great time and really tried to enjoy ourselves (I think we both had a few moments of, "this sucks", but we got through it).

 Photo courtesy of Let's Wander Photography

We were able to run the first two miles without waking and then the "upness" began. The course has over 3,500 feet of elevation gain over the 18+ miles and we felt it. Even though we weren't that high up elevation-wise, after the first two miles you kept going up, had a brief break, and then went back up. Over and over and over.

 Photo courtesy of Crystal

I was happy to get to the first aid station and then we kept going. We chatted with people and we talked with these two older women (who Crystal said would be us in the future) and we saw the Golden Gate Bridge.

I think the race directors were trying to tell us something

 Amazing views!

The views during the race were spectacular. It helped, most of the time, to take my mind off of what I was doing. Before getting to the second aid station, we re-applied sunscreen (which was a good idea since we both got a bit of color during the race).

 Can  you see the Golden Gate Bridge? Photo courtesy of Crystal

 The views were so varied

The smaller 6.7 mile loop that we had to do was the hardest part of the race. We played music, chatted with some people and hiked the hills. I really started to struggle before returning to the aid station, but Crystal did her best to pull me out of it.

Not at the point of the race, but similar feeling, "are we done yet?" Photo courtesy of Crystal

We spent a few minutes at the aid station before continuing on for the final 4+ miles. We had a few more hills to do (ugh) and one guy we passed who was struggling said this was the hardest 30K he had ever done (agreed).

Photo courtesy of Let's Wander Photography

I could have looked at the views all day, photo courtesy of Crystal

Once we hit the final downhills, Crystal got ahead of me a bit (I am very conservative on downhills). Once she realized we were separated, she waited for me and we ran the rest of the way to the finish. Charmaine was there waiting for us and cheered us on to the finish.

We finished together after 4:09:46, a respectable time for how we ran the race in my opinion.

While it was challenging, I am really glad we decided to race the Rodeo Valley 30K and I would recommend it to anyone who is visiting the San Francisco area!

1 comment:

  1. So fun that you got to meet up with and run with your buddy. I know you miss her.