Monday, August 30, 2010


August 28, 2010

Easton, WA

25:59:04, 6th female, 30th overall, PR

This was my 4th finish at the Cascade Crest Classic 100. I'll be shooting for my 5th finish next year, which gets you a silver buckle! I decided I didn't want to stress myself out too much with trying to place or finish in a certain time. Besides, I went into this race feeling the least trained for any 100 miler I had ever signed up for. I actually felt in great shape for Western, but there were some aspects of it that I had no control over that I thought affected my finishing time, such as no heat training due to our late summer start here in WA state, lots of snow on the course, and no altitude training. Then I started a new job where I went from working 4 days a week to 5. That combined with longer days, a busier call schedule, and simply the stress of it all brought my training down to the bare minimum. Many assume that I must run 60+ miles a week to be able to do these 100 milers. But the truth is that some weeks I don't even have time to run on the weekdays and my average weekly mileage if I don't have a race that week is more like 30 miles. Somehow, though, I've been running ultras so long that I think it would take months for my fitness to leave. What I have notice over the past 2 years, however, is that my finishing times have declined. This was punctuated by my recent dismal performance at White River 50 mile where I ran a personal worst of 11:39. I didn't think I could run slower than my 2009 White River of 11:07 but apparently anything is possible. So I started CCC feeling the least fit I have ever felt for a 100 miler. I decided to change my attitude to just have fun since I know how amazing the course is. Little did I know that it was this attitude that helped me run a PR for this course by 22 minutes! My previous CCC times were 26:22, 26:48, and 26:40. I really did not think that I would ever be able to break the 26 hour barrier.

I have learned that taking the day off from work before a 100 mile race is critical for me to have a decent run. However, since I was the newest orthopedic physician assistant at Valley, I was also lowest on the totem pole. Two other PAs had already requested that Friday off, and no more were allowed. So I worked a full day before the race and as expected, felt poorly rested. Also, in my job, it's not as easy to stay well hydrated. I'm often in surgery and I don't want to worry about needing to use the bathroom constantly. The week before CCC and White River (where I had severe muscle cramps at mile 18), I noticed my calf muscles were twitching. I would try to hydrate as much as I could the night before with balancing having to get up all night to pee. Then I would hydrate a lot the morning of the race. Well, I did have cramping issues at CCC. More on that later.

The weather forecast for the weekend was looking very good. Mid-60s and no rain forecasted. Ken (my hubby and the best guy in the world) has crewed me at all my CCC races and nearly all my 100 or 150 mile races (17 total now). But this year, we did something different. Instead of having the weekend all about me, we decided that he needed to have fun too. So he dropped me off at the start at Easton at 8am (race started at 10) and headed out to meet his climbing buddies. They went climbing in an area off one of the forest roads we were going to run up later near Keechelus Ridge. He would be back to crew me from Stampede Pass aid station (mile 33) until the end. He said it worked out great since there was less waiting around in the beginning, and in truth, I really didn't need him at the earlier aid stations.

We had the usual race pancake breakfast together before he left and then I just hung out talking to all the other runners and crew. My race number was 100. I didn't request this number and it didn't have any special meaning. It just happened to fall on my slot in the alphabet. But OMG! It was an omen or something. I knew I had to live up to it-at least finish. Jess Mullen (my pacer) showed up to watch everyone start and wish me luck before heading home to rest so that she would be ready for her pacing duties starting at Hyak, about 53 miles (I expected to get there around 10:30 to 11pm). She said she even got back in her pajamas to pretend she was resting. She had just raced Where's Waldo 100K the weekend before but felt she was recovered enough to pace me. She ran a fine race there in just over 14 hours. The briefing was at 9am and Charlie Crissman, the RD, went over a few last minute details. Charlie runs 100 milers as well, so you know that he has your best interest in mind. First, we acknowlegded the assistance of the Easton Fire Department and Search and Rescue. He also gave thanks to all the volunteers. Then he warned us to be careful in the stretch after Ollalie (mile 47) since the tunnel was still closed and we would have to run down the Snoqualmie ski slope. Apparently, last year, he sent us down the double black diamond route, and a few runners then had some harsh words about the dangerous nature of the re-route. This year, since the tunnel was still closed, we'd be running down a "blue" slope. He said that although we had more climbing added for this section, the views from the top were spectacular. He also admitted that most of us would be running this in the dark. That got a few laughs. All the runners know that we voluntarily sign up for these races, so we should know that these events are very challenging and not complain. He also warned us that it would be cold at night so we should leave extra clothing in our drop bags if we had not already done so.

The Canadian anthem was played on some speakers but Ben Blessing brought his tuba (?) and played the American anthem. A minute later, we lined up under the amazing banner that Daniel Probst built (it had the symbol of CCC of three large trees at the top of a wooden structure with super large feet at the bases to keep it from blowing over from the ever present wind that goes through Easton). Daniel was going for his 5th finish. I think someone said go. Next thing I know, I'm running. I had lined up in the back, determined not to start out too fast. I ran along with Tony Covarrubias in the first stretch. We were going at a comfortable pace, but even then I found myself running someone else's pace. I let him go when we hit a small hill. I slowed to a power hike. There was an area that had been bulldozed over in that first 3.8 miles that slowed everyone down. I arrived at the first aid station in 45 minutes, 5 minutes slower than in the last 3 years. But I was okay with that. The splits listed on the webcast at this point were all wrong. I was way in the back, more like the 90th person, but it showed me mid-pack. I let several runners go ahead of me before turning up the trail to Goat Peak, since I wanted to take my time. This climb in my experience and listening to other's experience is what makes or breaks the rest of your race. It is a persistent climb with plenty of switchbacks, and done in the heat of the day only saps your energy earlier, even on a cooler day like this year. My muscle twitches the night before were a warning that my legss would not be able to move fast, but I didn't expect it to be a problem so early in the race. By 6 miles, my legs were very tight and on the verge of cramping even though I was drinking plenty, had taken 3 salt tablets already, and had 3 GUs. (Shawna Wilskey said I should take magnesium pills for the cramping, which I have started.) Thus I slowed even further and was in 96th position of 115 starters by the time I reached the Cole Butte aid station at 10.8 miles. I was already 16 minutes behind my slowest previous arrival there. At least I didn't feel as crappy as last year when I had lots of back pain. I continued to eat, drink, and take my time. My patience would eventually pay off.

I started to catch other runners that I let pass me on the climb up to Goat Peak. I still kept my pace comfortable, so we went back and forth. I decided to push my pace after reaching Blowout aid station at 15 miles since I knew that some downhill on the PCT was coming (after a one mile climb). This would allow me to stretch out my legs. The climb up to Blowout and after it are not to be trifled with as well. I was drinking Nuun, eating GUs, taking Succeed tablets, and eating tator tots and beef jerky. The tator tots were great since by the time I got to eating them, they had broken up into smaller pieces that I just shoved in my mouth. I didn't even have to chew! And it didn't upset my stomach.

I was able to run when I wanted to (on the downhills, flats, and rolling), and power hiked strongly on the uphills. However, I still expected to finish well in the 26 hour range or even 27 hours since I had lost a lot of time at the start and if nothing else went wrong. Still, I had another problem arise. I had been dealing with pain and numbness going down my right arm for a couple weeks. It was accentuated on the run down to Tacoma Pass (mile 23), so much so that I had to place the shoulder strap of my hydration pack under my right armpit before attaching the clasps around my chest. I think the strap was pressing on my brachial plexus. Whatever the problem, my arm improved but the hydration pack was uncomfortable hanging mostly off my left side. I decided I needed to switch to a waist pack and hand held as soon as possible, but I wouldn't see Ken until Stampede Pass (mile 33). I had told him that I had a drop bag at Stampede Pass so he didn't need to bring my back pack with all the other supplies. I didn't get to switch until Ollalie. Also, on my way down to Tacoma Pass, one of my hair bands for my pigtails came off. I asked for a piece of duct tape there and braided the undone side on the climb out of Tacoma Pass and secured it with the tape. It held until the end and when I took it off at the finish, I didn't sever too many ends! My position improved dramatically by the time I got to Tacoma pass to 69th and I arrived in 5hr20min, 9 minutes slower than my previous worst. Four runners would have stopped at this point (one had dropped at Blowout). Oh, by the way, the section after the one mile climb out of Blowout to Tacoma Pass is some heavenly running. A lot of perfect downhill on the PCT! There is some climbing out of Tacoma Pass aid station with some runnable terrain to Snowshoe.

I blew by the Snowshoe aid station at mile 29 since I didn't need any supplies. More good running after this to Stampede pass, a mere 3-4 miles. I made there to greet Ken for the first time at 7hr44min, 14 minutes faster than last year but still 43 minutes slower than my PR in 2007 of 26hr22min. At any rate, I was slowly making up lost time without taxing myself. It's always nice to see Ken, even though my words and body language don't appear so. But for this race, I promised myself and silently to Ken that I would not be a nasty runner. I was there to have fun! Still, I needed to focus and get everything required for my journey to Ollalie, the next time I would see him, including a flashlight and back up head lamp. I also took an extra long sleeve shirt, thin shell, hat, and gloves in preparation for a cold night once the sun went down. I left Ken feeling good, and that is always reassuring for him. There is quite a bit of climbing in this next section but interrupted by runnable sections that allow you to make up some time.

I continued to pass people on the way to Meadow Mt (42mi). This stretch simply lasts forever and can be demoralizing if you are already starting to fade this early on. I felt good except I was starting to have the same problem I had at Western, which was my pinkie toes were jamming against the sides of my Montrail Vitesse shoes and starting to hurt from all the steep downhill running. At Western, I had to cut out holes for my pinkie toes to breathe and knew I needed to do the same thing here if I wanted to run pain-free downhill. I would ask Ken to locate a knife when I saw him at Ollalie with plans to cut holes in the shoes at Hyak. I arrived at Meadow Mt at 7:25pm and knew I had an hour left of light. Unfortunately, a lot of the first part of the trail after Meadow is uphill and I didn't burn up much mileage before I had to whip out my hand held flashlight. This is a very technical trek and my toes kept getting worse. Tripping over rocks in the dark didn't help. Five more runners would eventually drop here at Meadow Mt at 42 miles.

I finally made it to Ollalie (47.7) and Ken by 9:21pm. Only one person dropped here, but probably because it would be wiser to drop at Hyak, race central. The only problem is that the next section after Ollalie is one of the hardest. I remembered to put on my shell, hat, and gloves before getting to the aid station since I knew I was going to get cold from stopping. I ditched my hydration pack and put on a waist pack, which was bouncy at first but became more comfortable over time. I had it until mile 95. I told Ken about my shoes and he would have his pocket knife ready for me at Hyak. Scott McCoubrey and crew were there-always every year. They filled my empty Ensure bottle with chicken soup and I took two freshly cooked perogies to go. These were really good! The first two times I ran this race, I was allowed a pacer from this point on but these last two years, you could only have a pacer if you left after 10pm. So alone in the dark I trotted to Hyak. Also, in my first 2 years, I ran in the Snoqualmie tunnel, but it has been closed with no repair in sight. It 's such a wonderful and unique trademark of CCC, having to descend down a roped section and then running on a slight upgrade in the tunnel for 2.4 miles before hitting the road section to Hyak. Last year, we ran a new route due to the closure and it was not well received by any runner. Most runners would do this part in the dark. It is much harder and more treacherous. Basically, you descend for a short while to a gravel road that takes you to the top of the ski pass. This year, there was a little more single track before road. Then you climb and climb to the top on poor footing road, seemingly endlessly. At least this year I knew what to expect. Next, you are sent down a ski slope. Charlie said that this year we would go down a tamer hill, but I thought it was just as scary. Just had to take it slow and pick your way down. Lots of yelps heard above me from tripping and maybe falling. Don't know for sure. Had to keep focused. So after that short but steep descent, the trail does what? Goes up again. Not steep long climbs, but energy sapping rolling hills. Totally runnable on fresh legs in the light but otherwise very tiring after 52 miles. I knew a stretch of paved road was coming and was totally looking forward to it (for once). It allowed me to not think so hard about where to put my feet and I came flying into Hyak at mile 53.

Ken, Jess, and Robert Lopez were there to help me. It took me 2 minutes less time to run that section than last year. I arrived at 11:07, so not much off my predicted time that I told Ken and Jess. I changed into some lightweight capris and a long sleeved shirt, concerned that I would get cold at night. Meanwhile, Ken puts a hole in each of my shoes. I put them on and yeah! My pinkie toes were free. I had one bottle with water in my waist pack and had them fill my hand held with soup. Grabbed some more beef jerky and tator tots. Jess and I left running on some more paved road. Every year, my goal is to run the 2 mile stretch of paved road before it turns into gravel, even with 2 hills. We passed a couple of runners with their pacers. I was feeling very strong and not cold at all. Soon, Jess and I shed our shells, hats, and gloves. In previous years, I had consumed Frappicinos throughout the race but the caffeine made me pee all the time and actually was time consuming and dehydrating. It took me a while to figure out that I needed to stop that. I still get caffeine, but only in my gels and I pee about once every 45 minutes-perfect. After the 2 miles of paved road, it is nearly 5 for miles up.

We make good time up to Keechelus Ridge (60.5mi) and had a chance to chat with Tony Covarrubias and Shawn McTaggart on the way. tc proposed to Shawn last year at the end of the race. They are married now. Shawn was pacing this year. They were also signed up for Plain 100 2 weeks after CCC. Plain is an unmarked 100 miler in WA with only one aid station about halfway. They seemed in good spirits except one of them had an upset stomach cause they asked for some Tums. Again, each section seemed to last forever, but we finally arrived at the aid station. We spent about a minute there getting more soup in my water bottle and moved on. I think it really helped that I didn't linger at the aid stations. My longer stops were with Ken, mostly for clothing change. I never sit unless I have to change shoes or something. You can really burn up some time sitting. Jess and I continued to stay warm-more like hot actually. Many people got really cold at night. I think because we were able to keep moving, we were able to stay warm. And I was able to keep moving because I was eating and drinking frequently. We were having a great time catching up on gossip, talking about other races, and our jobs. Jess has started a successful career as a Crossfit trainer and nutritionist.

Next was the 7 miles down to Kachess Lake aid station at 67.9mi. In my first year, I ran it in 1:12 and ended up having knee pain for the Trail from Hell section. So the next 2 years, I backed off on the pace quite a bit. This year, I ran comfortably. I didn't bomb down it but we moved along well. I completed this year in 1:16. Not bad. Jess' headlamp was pretty powerful and that combined with the moonlight allowed me to run these gravel road sections without a light. This was nice since I didn't have to hold my handheld. We passed a few more runners along this stretch, including some walking on the downhill and very bundled up. We arrived at Kachess. I wasn't expecting Ken to be there but he came thinking that Jess and I were getting really cold. On the contrary, we were looking to drop some clothes. Tracey Nguyen, a running buddy of mine and also Damien Murphy (who will be pacing me at Pine to Palm three weeks after Cascade) were there helping out. I got more broth and both Jess and I grabbed freshly grilled cheese sandwiches. It was really quite good. Kissed Ken goodbye and said I'd seem in about 3 hours.

I pulled out my handheld light for this next section-the Trail from Hell. This 6-mile section always takes over 2 hours. Last year someone counted 91 trees we had to hump over. But it seemed to be in better shape than in previous years. Big logs had foot placements carved into them. The creek crossings were easier to get over. A trail that had washed away had been restored. But Jess and I were really heating up in this section. We let a group of 5 guys pass after the first creek crossing to take off hats and gloves. We pretty much ran the entire trail alone-never passed anyone, and no one passed us. We arrived at Mineral Creek and found a pleasant surprise that there was a rock path across. Again, I didn't spend any time at the aid station other than to get rid of trash. It took 2:22 just to do this 6 mile Trail from Hell section. My fastest split was 2:21.

Ken was waiting for me up the road in 2.5 miles. Last year, it was light well before we got to Ken. This year, we arrived a little past 5:30am, and it was just starting to get light. That was a nice surprise. Ken had hot butternut squash soup for us. He also was FREEZING! What a guy! We ditched our lights and any extra clothing that we didn't need. Ken was relieved to see I was still feeling strong. I kissed him bye again and told him to get some rest. It would be a while before I got to Silver Creek. No splits were available from this point on. All I know is that I was in 38th place at Mineral Creek and finished in 30th.

Jess and I power hiked up to No Name Ridge aid station where James Varner, Laura Houston, Francesca Carmichael, Roger, and Maylon were dishing out cheese quesadillas and chocoloate chip pancake. At the time, nothing sounded appetizing but they do now! Again, little time spent there. The next section has some very runnable spots and some very steep climbs. But we made good time to Thorpe Mt. where the same dedicated volunteers return each year, hiking in supplies. Jess and I dropped our packs for the 1/2 mile hike up to retrieve a card showing we made it to the top. No views this year. The valley below was clouded in. Runners were bundled up but Jess and I ascended and descended in our short sleeve shirts. As usual, we saw Glen Tachiyama near the top totally frozen taking pictures of all the runners. It's always nice to see him. I'd almost feel lost if he was not there. He usually is up at Goat Peak at the beginning too but not this year. He had back surgery in April and had to back off on a few checkpoints. I usually try to look like I'm running well when Glen takes my picture, but he seems to always situate himself at tough parts of the course, so all I can do is smile.

As we get to the bottom of Thorpe, we see a girl heading up. She looks so fresh. I fear that she will catch us. So I pick it up as much as I can in the next section, which is not easy since this is the Cardiac Needles, a series of 3 very steep climbs 86 miles into the race. Plus, I am not able to run the downhills fast, braking too much but legs too tired to let it all go. I slip on a rock in this section and land good on my butt. I figure that if the girl behind is a good downhill runner, she'd catch me for sure. We still make it in good time to French Cabin but sure enough, just as we are leaving, the other girl comes into the aid station. I gave Jess a look that said, "I knew it!" But then we find out that she is just out on a training run. I don't know if I was happy or angry to hear that. People have every right to use the trails, but I was thinking I could've bonked trying to stay in front of her. I chose to think about it positively in that she pushed me to a stronger finish. I found out at this aid station that I was 6th woman, which is what I came in last year. I couldn't believe it. I was sure I was not going to crack the top ten with the stellar field this year. But I did know of three girls who had dropped: Devon Crosby-Helms, Alison Moore, and Kirsten Ramage.

We ran down then back up for our last big climb of the race. It felt great to top out. The next 6-7 miles are mostly downhill, flat, or rolling. There are shallow creek crossings. Last year I started to have trouble with my asthma and had to walk some of the flats. This year I felt okay because I took 2 puffs of my inhaler after No Name Ridge aid station and did this section better. We caught up and passed a couple guys. Brian Morrison was pacing Dan Paquette in his first 100. They tagged along with us with me in the lead. I usually don't like to have others behind me. It gives me a sense of urgency and I waste energy that way. But they reassured me that they were happy with the pace. Brian became a father 2 weeks prior to a new baby boy named Jack! Jess and Brian did all the talking as Dan and I just struggled to keep our breathing under control. We pulled ahead of them but they passed us when I had to make a pit stop. Jess and I were trying to calculate our timing to the last aid station. Was it possible that we would make it there by 11am? We soon realized that we had quite a ways to go. The last technical downhill to the Silver Creek aid station lasted longer than I remember (of course!). We arrived at 11:19. Jess said I only had a minute and we needed to get going. I left with only a hand held and gels. I had taken a GU right before the aid station since I knew I needed to run hard. In previous years, I had run this section in 53, 46, and 43 minutes. There was no way I was going to make it to the finish before 12pm or 26 hours. But I still knew I was going to PR.

The trail in this last section was hideous to begin with. There were these short dips and rises where every time my feet came down on the low spots, it was very jarring. But, I was determined to run this entire last section (except for the steep short hills). We passed Dan again. Then we caught up with a couple of guys that we had leap-frogged most of the 2nd half with. There was a third guy-a pacer. When they realized we were running and catching them, they started to run too. It was really dusty here, so this was unpleasant, but I pressed on. I wasn't trying to beat them. I didnt' care since they were guys, but I wanted to PR as much as possible. Eventually, they slowed to a walk again and we passed them. "Good jobs" were exchanged and we moved on. We then passed Grant Larsen, a younger guy age 20. He was really stiff and struggling. More encouragement as we passed. As soon as we hit the paved road and had about 2 more miles to go, I started to pick up the pace. But Jess said I needed to calm down and not drain myself. I had another GU and got back into a comfortable but strong pace. But boy was it hot on that road. I'm glad I had my hat. We looked back and saw those three guys running again. At this point, I didn't want to get passed back.

Finally, we saw the turn onto the train tracks and I started to run faster. I was really starting to feel my effort. I looked down at my watch, but Jess told me not to bother. It didn't matter anymore anyway. I was running as fast as I could. She was right. Besides, I had accidently stopped my watch earlier in the race so didn't know exactly how much time had elapsed. I had to go just on the time of day, but did we start before or after 10? I stumbled along the rough footing and large rocks along the train tracks. I could see the finish but it was not getting closer. Jess told me not to look up. Okay, pay attention to feet. We made the right turn over the train tracks and saw the clock. I was going to break 26 hours! NO WAY! I was estactic! Jess and I crossed the finish line together and I gave her a big hug. 25:59:04. I thought I would never break 26 hours.

Here is the shakedown:

Goat Peak 3.7mi in 45 min, 4 minutes slower than slowest split 2009. 90th of 115 starters.

Cole Butte 10.8mi 2:37, 16 minutes slower than 2009. 96th place.

Blowout 15.2mi 3:40, 19 minutes slower than 2009. 92nd place. One runner dropped here.

Tacoma Pass 23.3mi 5:20, 9 minutes slower than 2009, but making up time. 69th place.3 drops.

Snowshoe Butte 29mi 6:57, 6 minutes slower than 2009. 59th place.

Stampeded Pass 34.5mi 7:44, 14 minutes FASTER than 2009 but 43 minutes slower than PR year in 2007. 57th place. 10 drops.

Meadow Mt 42mi 9:25, 41 minutes slower than 2007. 50th place. 5 drops.

Ollalie Meadow 47.7mi 11:21, 51 minutes slower than 2007. 49th place. One drop.

Hyak/Gold Creek 52.7mi 13:07, 50 minutes slower than 2007. 51st place. 7 drops.

Keechelus Ridge 60.5mi 15:11, 1:01 slower than 2007 for shoe stop at Hyak. 47th place. 4 drops.

Lake Kachess 67.9mi 16:28, 1:04 slower than 2007. 40th place. 2 drops.

Mineral Creek 73.9mi 18:50, 58 minutes slower than 2007. 38th place.

Finish 100mi 25:59:04, 22 minutes FASTER than 2007. 30th place. Somewhere between Ken at mile 76.4 and the finish, I made up a chunk of time!

I have kept my splits from Hyak to the finish in the last 3 years. In 2007, my fastest overall time, it took me 14:05. In 2008, it took me 13:54. Last year, I improved the second half dramatically to 13:10. This year it was 12:52!

Charlie, RD, was there to welcome us in. I didn't hear anything that he was announcing but Ken said that he said something like, "Here comes Van, a fixture here in the NW ultras!" A fixture? Am I getting that old? Actually, he said the same thing about Tony Covarrubias. I guess we just keep coming back for more. The next two guys came in a minute after me and Grant 5 minutes. Dan finished 6 minutes behind me. I was finally able to sit. Ken took good care of me. I got rid of my shoes and washed off my feet. Usually, I'm nauseated, short of breath, and cramping. I had none of that. I took care of myself during the race for once so I could enjoy the finish. I was so glad to see everyone who stuck around to see me finish. Gwen Scott, a regular running partner of mine was 4th female in 24:36. Alison Moore was there to see her guy Owen Connell PR in 25:24. Unfortunately Alison had a rough time on the climb to Kecheelus ridge. I think her hip flexor was the problem. All I know is that she's one tough gal.

Ken was a sweetheart and went to get Jess and I hamburgers and fries. Jess requested a diet coke (c'mon, diet?) and he brought me back a vanilla shake. Actually, Jess treated and Ken went and got it. It's me who should be treating Jess. I got into some dry clean clothes and watched as other runners came in. I got to see four key people I was waiting for. First Sara Malcom finished her debut 100 miler in 27:26. She looked very strong coming in with the help of her pacer and super nice guy Steve Stoyles. Eric Barnes was there to take pictures of it all, including when I had come in. Sara gave her hubby a great big hug. Spouses are so key in these races, particularly totally supporting us. Next, tc came in after toughing it out in 28:38. Shawn was there to share his joy. He has run this race sub 24 I believe. Heidi Perry came hopping in estatically into the arms of beau John Pearch at 28:57. She had the biggest smile of all the runners that day. Her trusty pacer Kris Rydig will be at the Pine to Palm 100, another veteran 100 miler. Finally, Phil "Ransom" Sustar, came through in 29:04. He looked happy if not a little out of it. He traveled all the way from Atlanta to run this and had good local WA friends to support him all the way.

It was time to leave. Ken was good enough to let me stay and see most all my friends come in. I still had not felt the need to sleep. We got home, I had some ramen noodles then showered. Then we had leftover pizza, which was great heated up. Then we went to bed at 6:30pm. I had taken some ibuprofen and was able to sleep 12 hours. I didn't have asthma problems during the race but coughed up dust balls before falling asleep. My throat was raw. I had that Monday off and stayed loose by cleaning house all day. I was most stiff by Tuesday and had trouble with breathing Tues and Wed night. I felt I had a reactive airway problem, but it resolved by Thursday. I felt that I could run on Wed but had no time because of work. I felt pretty back to normal Thursday and felt great for a short run at Cougar Mt. on Sat. Unfortunately, it was raining hard and one of our runners had a calf cramp that cut our run short. It was just as well. I was not lacking miles for the week. Then I did a 21 mile run on Rattlesnake Ridge on Labor Day. I definitely was not fully recovered, but still ran strong and no harm done.

Next up-Pine to Palm 100. It is supposed to be just as tough or tougher than CCC. Oh dear!