Pat is a very talented runner, capable of running 100+ miles a week with several thousand feet in elevation change. His very recent half marathon PR is 1:13:04. Mostly running trails Pat has spent some time on the track and the streets. He has a very high level of fitness and is capable of a podium finish on Saturday. Having not seen him in the context of the Midnight Half before, he is a bit of an underdog but fully capable of causing an upset if things go his way. Keep an eye on his performance, i am sure it will be an impressive one.
From the start, I had the mindset of being out for a long run with 400 people. I followed the assembly line of racers up the first steep climb and then at the first downhill the eventual winner, local Meira Minard (she has won Rothrock multiple times), went bombing gracefully down. I tiptoed down as if on hot coals. I realized that I was not going to win this race by being conservative. I ran alone for the next several technical miles. Around 7 miles, a group of chatty men caught up to me. They kept me entertained until I fell flat in front of them and stopped the train. While I was rolling around on the ground, the third place girl passed me. I motioned them on so I could take my time and carefully maneuver the rocks. Despite my trying to be careful, I caught my toe and fell twice and rolled my ankle several times. Fortunately, just a couple scrapes and bruises to show for it.
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Lake Sonoma started off just fine. I didn't feel great on the road but nothing really worrisome and I was right about where I expected to be in the ladies' race. But the constant up and downs on the trail just tuckered me out so fast and by mile 12 (yes, 12!) my legs felt like they were at the end of a 100. But my mental state was worse - over the next two miles I traveled through a deep, dark pit of mental despair: "I am not even any good any more. I am such a fraud to be here as an elite. I don't even think I want to be an elite; why do I want to kill myself in every single race? I am a total has been. And why the fuck are women doing a trail race with full eye make-up on?!? It's a trail race, not a fucking fashion show! Ugh - I am such a loser; I can't even put mascara on for work. I do not belong here: I am not elite and I didn't even match my shirt to my shorts."
The La Sportiva Fast Hiking collection is our newest and most technologically advanced hiking shoe in years. It was conceived out of the desire to create the most versatile footwear for day hikers, fast and light backpackers and anyone who wants lightweight, waterproof breathable protection for their outdoor adventures.
I cursed a lot. I almost started crying.
By the time I was back up to the highway crossing, I was frantic. I found the small trail heading down into the wooded abyss on the other side of the highway (you could see flagging about 100-feet downhill in a headlamp beam once you were on the opposite side of the road). Running angrily downhill through every bit of pain, I was nearly hyperventilating. More...
After carefully analyzing topographic maps and satellite imagery I saw potential for an aesthetic route from the depths of the Carmel River Canyon directly to Ventana (single) Cone, arguably the most remote major summit in the Ventana Wilderness. Only an average of one party a year visits Ventana Cone and all appear to access via the 2 mile bushwhack from Pine Ridge. More...
A runner on my heels yelled to me to get up which is always good advice as it usually starts hurting if you don't get up and run right away. I bounced up and ran the rest of the way in a little fatigued and scraped up but no worse for wear. More...
No matter where you are at in this sport, you have probably come a long way. Take pride in YOUR progress. This may mean making a screen on your garmin that tracks total gain for the day (hallelujah when that goes past 10.0k!) or maybe making note of the main climbs and giving yourself a hell-yea when you get to the top of one. Celebrate how far you have come already and you will see you don’t really have that far to go. You CAN do this!
La Sportiva and Honey Stinger athlete, Laura Haefeli has won 7 Mountain and Trail National Championship titles, made 5 World Mt. Running Teams, been named Mt. Runner of the Year 5 times, and was the first U.S. Woman ever to win a medal at a World Mt. Running Championship. She also married into a beekeeping family. Here is what she has to say about beekeeping and trail running.
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