Sunday, April 29, 2012

2012 Big Sur

Early reports are that it was a beautiful day and course but that there were some big winds out there. Bakersfield Distance Projecter Diana Daves ran 5:28, Sarah Lewis ran 6:02 and her dad ran 6:06. Diana ran for a relay team and then just kept going.

Men - Big Sur Marathon
1 Adam Roach 2:32:25
2 Chris Mocko 2:34:11
3 Jesus Campos 2:37:08
4 Oswaldo Lopez 2:41:30
5 Chris Calzetta 2:41:47
6 Andrew Parsel 2:43:33
7 Martin Conrad 2:47:15
8 Crispin Lazarit 2:48:37
9 Xiao Wang 2:49:12
10 Ben Clarke 2:49:24

1     Nuta Olaru    2:50:08
2     Amy Lane    3:09:42
3     Cassandra Allred    3:11:34
4     Cindy Lynch    3:13:30
5     Melissa Longley    3:14:32
6     Carolyn Thompson    3:16:33
7     Heather Morgan    3:20:51
8     Chevaun Tarrach    3:21:54
9     Jennifer Cherland    3:22:21
10     Rhonda Glass    3:22:28

In 8th for the men was Crispin who is a SoCal Coyote! Crispin did the Boston / Big Sur Double.

  • Full Results can be found HERE.

Kian Azimian     Bakersfield, CA     4068     3:55:55     9:00     M 35-39/76     M-36     470     3:57:07
1212     Ben Robert Rosete     Bakersfield, CA     840     4:16:45     9:48     M 35-39/121     M-39     787     4:18:10
2137     Carrie Azimian     Bakersfield, CA     4072     4:52:48     11:11     F 30-34/166     F-34     869     4:58:08
2504     Nicole Cortichiato     Bakersfield, CA     4090     5:06:59     11:43     F 20-24/29     F-23     1051     5:12:19

My Leona Divide 50 Miler

Well I PRed by 9 minutes despite having a very off week and day. Everyone at my house has been sick and I have something. Joining me in the 50 miler was Nicole who ran 9:18:28 for 11th women overall. This was her first ultra btw. Two other Bakersfield athletes ran their first ultras as well. Amanda ran the 50k in 6:10:04 and Garrett ran it in 6:50:20.
  • 2012 Leona Divide 50 Mile Results HERE.
  • 2012 Leona Divide 50 K Results HERE.
  • 2012 Photos HERE.HERE.
  • 2012 Ultra Signup HERE.
  • 2012 Race Video HERE.

I past most of the people in the last 8 miles.
My old time was 12:47 and I did 12:38 today. Once again I was great on the uphills but the downhills killed me. I made the whole 9 minutes in the last 8 miles for the most part.

The day started at 2am when I went shopping at Foodmaxx for supplies and did not end till 2am when I finally fell asleep. After a hard race, you would think you would fall asleep quick but that is not the case. I am so wired that sleep is hard to come by.

Originally, I planned to drive to the race on my own because carpooling would not be fair to the others that would finish hours before me. At the last minute one of my BDPers decided to go and shoot the race so I had company. It was great to have Stephanie on the course and I know of the Bakersfield runners liked having her there.

She also helped me out at mile 42 with one of my many mistakes I made before the race started. I had two pairs of Hokas and could not decide on which pair to wear. My older pair I got before the LA marathon and they worked great but they were beat up. I like the Combo XT /Stinson Bs nut they really are a lot of foam attached to a real minimal upper.

This upper proved to be my downfall on the course. It was fine on the first 10 miles of fire roads and the first section of PCT to the 16 mile aid station but on the rest of the PCT part of the course they did not work. The trail is narrow and often slanted plus I had to get out of the way of 100s of people during the race. The shoe stuck to the ground okay but my foot floated all over the place.

This made running difficult because of all the lateral stress on my foot especially the right one. I looked down at my shoe and the sole seemed to be way to the right of my actual foot. So as luck would have it, I brought my new ones (Bondi B) and Stephanie had them at mile 42 for me to change into them. The uppers on these offer a lot more support and I felt great in the last 8 miles.

Mile 42 (Photo by Louis Kwan)

Mile 42 (Photo by Louis Kwan)

Another mistake I made pre-race that was directly related to my shoe dilemma was not using my Dirty girl gaiters. I had my Bondi's ready for the gaiters but could not get the velcro to stick on the Stinson's. So I decided to go naked. Well that was a big mistake especially on the section of PCT where I had to step aside to let the faster runners go by. I did this hundreds of times and often right of the trail conditions were either rocky or sandy.

So I ran 30 plus miles with a lot of junk in my shoes, Plus I stopped at every aid station to empty them out. What a rookie move. Running 50 miles makes you feet sore especially when you weigh 240 pounds and every piece of debris feels like a boulder in this state of tenderness.

Beside footwear screw ups, I also came into this race over trained and with too high of expectations. I really thought I could go sub twelve and at the start, I went for it but by mile 12, I knew it was not going to happen. I was moving really slow down the first section of PCT to the 16 mile aid station and just felt dead. Plus my stomach did not feel good.

Now I was not throwing up like a number of friends did during the race but I just felt bloated or worse. Usually I can eat during a race but I had to force food down all day. It was not pleasant and I think the warmer than 2011 conditions may had something to do with that. Makes me really dread this summer's Angeles Crest 100 in late July.

So my feet hurt and my stomach hurt and lastly my arms hurt. In the past, I have been a Camelbak or Nathan wearing man but over time I have tired of wearing a backpack. So I decided to copy the faster runners and carry to handhelds. I like this better and I drink more (to make them lighter) but my arms got tired. I trained quite a lot with the 2 bottles but often they got empty by the time I was done.

In the race, I topped them off at every aid stations so the weight was a lot more for longer periods of time. This made my arms sore during the run but I stayed hydrated and like the feeling of going packless.

Travis, Garrett, Andy, Nicole & Amanda. Photo by Jeff
So back to race morning, after getting to Lake Hughes around 5am, we spent most of the time inside because even though it was 50 plus outside, it was windy. It was nice seeing old friends and hanging out with my Bakersfield Peeps!

Photo by Jeff
But then it was time to go to the starting line and fine my place in the back. This year was nice because it had chip timing at the start and finish.

The first 3 or four miles are mainly uphill on fire roads and I ran about the same splits as I did last year.
  • Mile 1 - 1525 / 1549
  • Mile 2 - 1352 / 1355
  • Mile 3 - 1319 / 1314
  • Mile 4 - 1220 / 1205
  • 2012 split / 2011 split

Miles 5 through are downhill to the first aid station and I was not much faster this year. The Hokas helped a little with the downhill but I still could not go as fast as I wanted and I had a lot of people pass me.
  • Mile 5 - 1216/1250
  • Mile 6 - 1122/1217
  • Mile 7 - 1209/1116
  • Mile 8 - 1359/1259

After the first aid station, the course goes up a fire road for 3 miles and I was able to catch up to a number of people. I always feel good hiking up hill.
  • Mile 9 - 1605/1615
  • Mile 10 - 1420/1454
  • Mile 11 - 1248/1238

After our climb, we finally got on the PCT and for awhile I felt pretty good but as it got steeper downhill, my pace got slower and slower. I was just not feeling it and I was pretty much by myself to the 16 mile aid station.
  • Mile 12 - 1322/1259
  • Mile 13 - 1539/1425
  • Mile 14 - 1509/1423
  • Mile 15 - 1421/1344
  • Mile 16 - 1443/1541

As the splits show, I was quite a bit slower on this section this year. I think last year having the 30Kers on the course help me run faster. When I am by myself, I go slow. In fact, at mile 16, a couple 50Kers caught me and hence I speed up.

At the aid station, it was nice to see Stephanie shooting all of us and I was looking forward to catching some people up the hardest climb of the race.  It  was getting warm and 50Kers were already coming down the trail.
  • Mile 17 - 1850/1901
  • Mile 18 - 2110/2040
  • Mile 19 - 1705/1720
  • Mile 20 - 1542/1648

This section is pretty steep and there was quite a bit of traffic too. It was nice seeing Amanda and Garrett running their first 50K. Only in the mile before the aid station did I go faster than I did in 2011. Around my mile 19, the lead 50 miler ran by me which was a mile earlier than last year. The course record was broke this year.

Miles 21 to 27 is on the PCT and it rolls up and down with plenty of turns. Here I got to see the leaders and had to stay alert because they would come flying around turns. At this point I was mainly walking because the running was just not working. Often in these races, I want to run but my running is so slow and painful too.
  • Mile 21 - 1641/1713
  • Mile 22 - 1612/1544
  • Mile 23 - 1557/1639
  • Mile 24 - 1734/1902
  • Mile 25 - 1839/1857
  • Mile 26 - 1839/1719
  • Mile 27 - 1433/1512

The section from the 20 mile aid station to the fugly fire road is tough because you can not get in a rhythm. It goes up, down with lots of turns. Plus the lead women start coming by too. At least around mile 24, you get to visit the SoCal Coyote 80s aid station. They make you feel welcome out on the trail and pump you up to make it to the next aid station. funny thing is the 80s aid station always runs out of Coke!

Once you leave the 80s, the runners heading towards you are the middle packers and they are hurting a lot more than the top runners. So the dance around each other is a little more dicey and at times, I seem to be the one in better shape. With the fast guys and gals they whiz by you with a "Good Job"  and graceful manner to their stride.

At long last we make it to Fugly Road! Two miles down and two miles up on a super ugly fire road that takes the full brunt of the sun. I do not mine the up but the down sucks. Every step is painful and going by those going up is not encouraging either. Most are moving slow and look beat. One wonders how we can possibly recover and go another 20 miles!
  • Mile 28 - 1329/1355
  • Mile 29 - 1329/1350
  • Mile 30 - 1832/1825
  • Mile 31 - 1913/1640
 I was doing Fugly about the same as 2011 but caught a gal with a mile to go up hill and slowed down. she seemed to really be struggling and usually I kill the hills and show no mercy but I decided to pace her up the hill. Of course as soon as we got back on the PCT. She and the other guy left me in a heartbeat.

The section back to the 80s was really hard, I could not run much and got passed by 3 or 4 more runners. By the time I got back to Jimmy Dean and his Coyotes I was in bad shape. I could not run at all and my walk was not going well either. The Hokas were all jacked up and on the narrow slanted PCT trail, I was a mess.

Sadly the 80s station was out of coke but Jimmy asked how I was doing and I said I was really off today and he said that happens. It was what I needed to hear and I decided to give up trying to run and do what I do best: HIKE.
  • Mile 32 - 1916/1828
  • Mile 33 - 1707/1529
  • Mile 34 - 1758/1522
  • Mile 35 - 1815/1614
  • Mile 36 - 1708/1734
  • Mile 37 - 1609/1615
  • Mile 38 - 1714/1615
  • Mile 39 - 1716/1733
 These miles were bad this year and I was slower on most of them then I was in 2011. Not sure why but I do believe it was hotter this year plus I never felt good. Also in 2011, I had a partner in crime on this section. A very small Asian lady ran along with me for most of these miles and to the 42 mile aid station.

Now I was not feeling good but others were throwing up. Sole 2 Soul's Travis had to quit at the behest of the medical staff, Dominic (winner of 2011 AC 100) said he was ill too but rebounded to go sub seven and lastly my LA Law buddy Alison had been sick too.

I meet Alison at a Coyote training run and then we did a lot of the Ray Miller race together as well. She did the 50k that day and I should of stayed with her and done the same but I was signed up for the 50 mile and tried to finish it (I missed the 28 mile cutoff and then ran back to the start for my own 44 mile run.). So the plan was to do Leona together because it was her first.

Well that plan did not work on till mile 35. From the start I never saw her and was not sure where she was. I figured in front of me and I was right. When I got to the bottom of Fugly she was at the aid station trying to recover from nausea. I asked her if she was continuing and she got up and soldiered on.

I did not wait for her because she is a lot faster on the run then I am (30 minutes faster in a marathon) and I knew she would catch me. So before the 40 mile aid station she rolled up on me with another gal or two in tow. I just tried to hang on the back for as long as I could and we made the aid station where my buddy Marcus took care of us!

I did not stay long and wanted to get a head start because I knew Alison would catch me. When she did, she was moving and I barely hung on until we hit the really step 2 mile descent to the mile 42 aid station.

  • Mile 40 - 1357/1535
  • Mile 41 - 1435/1501
  • Mile 42 - 1502/1454
 If Alison had not caught me, I doubt I would have bettered my 2011 splits. I was content to just hike and did not even want to run but she gave me the incentive to run as much as possible. while we were descending, I kind of felt bad because I knew her nausea was still with her. she could run on the flats and downhill but when she hit any rise she could not move fast at all.

So when we got to the 42 mile aid station, I knew I had to leave her because the next four miles were up hill and that was my strength. I hoped she would get to the top and recover and catch me. At this aid station Stephanie had my other Hokas ready and I put them on and took off.

As I was leaving, I notice 4 or 5 people at the aid station that had passed me earlier as well. with my new shoes on, I felt good and knew I was in my element and it was time for some rabbit hunting. I also pulled out my iPod shuffle which was cued up with Above & Beyond's Trance Around the World podcasts. I try to only use music at the end of races and ABTW gets me going.

  • Mile 43 - 1828/1818
  • Mile 44 - 1712/1943
  • Mile 45 - 1532/1756
  • Mile 46 - 1452/1806
So for 42 miles, I was not feeling this race. I was in better shape and I was running with faster people but my time was the same or slightly slower than 2011. I was over trained for the event because I have the San Diego 100 and AC 100 in the summer but I still thought I should be doing better. I think my fellow competitors added to the confusion because they were faster runners but almost all of them were new 50 milers and were not a good gauge of where I was at in the race.

But as you can tell, this is where I earned my 9 minute PR. I was moving fast and caught 4 or 5 that had passed me miles before. ABTW was blasting in my ears and I felt amazing. I was even pumping my arms in the air like I was at a rave at times. Now I do not do drugs and have never been to a rave but at mile 45 of a 50 mile race the trance music and the exertion of the effort must be similar to the trips people have at all night raves.

When I got to the last aid station I was still going strong and just grabbed a ginger ale and then went after some more runners. After the aid station it is all fire road and uphill for a little bit more. In these last miles I caught at least 5 or 6 more people and felt great. sadly with a mile to go, I ran out of people to chase down so I lost some of my motivation.
  • Mile 47 - 1151/1407
  • Mile 48 - 1101/1316
  • Mile 49 - 1128/1020
These final miles were a lot faster than 2011 and i think the Hokas helped a lot. Plus I had a lot of people to catch. I think I passed 15 people or so in the last 8 miles and was glad to see that I was sub 14:40. It was nice to see the Coyotes and Stephanie at the finish.

  • 2012 Garmin Data HERE.
  • 2012 Results HERE.
  • 2011 Race Recap.HERE.

Elevation Gain: 8,962 ft
Elevation Loss: 8,921 ft
MinElevation: 3,016 ft
MaxElevation: 5,250 ft
Distance: 48.63 mi
Time: 12:37:54
Avg Pace: 15:35 min/mi
Elevation Gain: 8,962 ft
Calories: 6,925 C

Time: 12:37:54
Moving Time: 11:56:07
Elapsed Time: 12:37:55
Avg Pace: 15:35 min/mi
Avg Moving Pace: 14:44 min/mi
Best Pace: 8:07 min/mi

Nicole came in 11th in her first  miler in a time of 9:18