Monday, August 01, 2011
A few more thoughts on the Tahoe Rim
The slogan for the race is " A Glimpse of Heaven, A Taste of Hell" and you will find it inscribed on the finisher's belt buckle. For me the race turned out to be a lot more than a glimpse of heaven and the only taste of hell if I could call it that would be the climb up the ski slope. Even that offered a heavenly view every time I took a look back.
It seems odd to me that although this was definitely one of the toughest things I've ever done, I can truly say I have never felt better from start to finish than I did in this race. As I chronicled in the long winded race report, I did encounter a few challenges along the way. Falling down is never a good thing but in both cases I escaped with minor damage and was able to continue with no problems resulting from them. I did have a few blisters and a couple of them were very painful but the pain faded quickly and the worst one at least waited until just two miles to go.
I am still amazed at how good I felt throughout the race. Not once did I ever regret being out there or have to fight off the urge to quit. There was never any doubt I was going to continue. Usually at least for a while I reach a point where all I can think is how stupid it is to run 100 miles and if I ever do finish I'll never do another one. There were no "oh God I'm tired, this sucks" moments. My energy level was good and my stomach was completely happy the entire race. I could eat or drink as much as I wanted at anytime with out worrying about nausea or lack of desire. Although I could feel the altitude up above 8,000 ft it didn't affect me other than cause me to slow down more than I normally would at sea level.
I had averaged a little more mileage leading up to the race but not a lot more than in 2006 and 2007 when I did most of my other 100's and I had not done nearly as many ultra or marathons in the past couple of years so I don't know how any of that explains it. The weather was certainly perfect for me at least. It was just the type that I perform my best in so I know that it not only helped me physically but mentally. And speaking of mental I think that my race preparation, attitude and strategy going into to it were the biggest factors in my success.
It was so nice to have Jenn and Karla and Frank along for part of the trip. It's especially nice to know I have two of my special Angels and Princess Team there to wait for me to finish. We sure have put in many miles on the trails and roads together over the past several years and they are such a Blessing to my life. They each have their story to tell of this amazing weekend experience. Despite some problems with the altitude early on , Jenn was able to complete 50 miles before making the wise decision to drop. The next day she didn't look like she had just run 16 of the hardest hours of her life and was moving along so well.
Karla had completed the 50k, certainly her hardest race to date on much less than ideal preparation and was looking fresh as well. I am so proud of both of them.
This is a fantastic event. The directors and their staff of volunteers do an outstanding job facilitating the race for our enjoyment. I can recommend this to anyone looking for a great race and a gorgeous course. But if you do decide to give it a try, you need to make sure you bring your "A" game. This is a tough one and it wouldn't have taken too much to go wrong and my great race could have been a dnf.
Frank was able to get some pictures of Karla at the start and finish and then came back and got a few of me at my finish. Karla also ran with a camera and took some nice shots along the way. I have added several from them both to my album so if you desire , here is the link again with the added photos .