Monday, March 18, 2013

To The Rope With You!

Saturday morning was another Mt. Wilson time trial, this one to The Rope.  I checked my training history from 2009 and don't have a time recorded for that time trial, so I must have missed that session.  Drat.  I love having historical data to compare against because it tells me where I stand against myself, the only person who really matters.  Oh well.

It was a perfectly gorgeous morning for a climb... cold and foggy, at least for the first mile.  We had a good sized group, even with the beginners we had Parker, Sachiko, Kelley, Joanne, Dick and Carmen.  Dick started a few minutes ahead of us.  I started next to Sach, with Kelley and Pam right behind us.  Parker passed us all  long before we hit Mira Monte and Sach pulled away from my right before we turned the corner.  I caught up with Dick right about the stairs, the same place Kelley and her friend Pam passed me.  Dick is such a strong climber, I wasn't able to keep up and they all slowly pulled away from me. That was it from our group, the only ones who passed me on the rest of the way up were the intermediate and advanced runners.

As I was nearing the switchbacks, I was passed by the Baker to Vegas crew, all very intent on racing hard.  I paused for a moment, realizing that we had risen to full sunlight and when I looked to the right, the valley was completely covered, it was a really beautiful sight.  I called out to those around me to stop and look around them, but of course... it was a time trial, so no one looked.  Too funny.

The rest of the way to First Water was just long, warm and uneventful.  But, it was really quite humorous, as I was climbing from First Water to the Rope... I kept seeing the same faces back and forth (the other teams were running penalty repeats)...  Made me joke that I was stuck in some Mt. Wilson Trail Race nightmare where I'm being forever looped by other runners.

I passed First Water at 42:30, (which was the exact time it took me two weeks ago), and hit The Rope in 51:11.  I touched the rope, immediately turned, and started running.  I was wearing trail shoes, but not my good ones, and I could feel my traction wasn't great, which kept me more conservative than I would have liked.  It didn't take me too long to pass Dick on the way down, then I caught Kelley, who decided to try and keep up with me, at least until my left foot almost slipped off the trail when I was trying to dodge a hiker in the middle of the trail... creepy, but I didn't give it the energy to create fear and just kept running, with a strong focus and awareness of my shoes.  I crossed the line at 1:20, 7 minutes behind Sachiko and about 2 minutes ahead of Kelley.

Afterwards, Dave, Joanne, Carmen and I went to Fresco's for breakfast... way to far overpriced for all of our meals.  Last time we'll be eating there.  On a more positive note Dave, Joanne, and I found some wonderful common ground in the world of nurseries... ah the fabulous dreams we share!

BTW... I couldn't find any photos of The Rope (and of course I don't carry my iphone on a time trial!), but I did find this super cool picture of the trail maintenance crew making things right after the devastation from the 2009 fire.   It just brings home the fact that these are OUR trails and WE need to ALL help maintain them. Next trail maintenance day is this Sunday 3/24... come out and join us!  Email Pete Sieberell the Race Director to let him know you'll be there...

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