Siskiyou Outback 50 mile was simply splendid. Good camping near the start. Stars, stars, stars! Huge views of big mountains, layer after layer. No clouds in the sky. Perfect temperature in my SFRC crop top. I was sharing the course with some of my best friends, and the rest of the field was friendly in return. I couldn't run that well uphill as I was gasping for oxygen at 7000 pathetic feet, but I could crush downhills. My legs felt good, and I was proud of my training for Pine to Palm thus far. I didn't feel fast, but I felt strong and sturdy, which is more important for 100s. I successfully troubleshooted some minor issues, didn't listen to a lick of music, and stayed present for the entire run.
Besides trying to unemotionally think about how so many people are running fast ultras these days, I really only had four thoughts all race.
1) Where is Dmack?!
2) Let my body go to work, work, work, work, work, work, work, work
3) Donald trump
1a) Dmack CRUSHED SOB. He ran through the first aid station while I spent all of 15 seconds topping off my water bottle. He was gone, gone, gone. I spent the next seven hours trying to catch up to him, running purposefully. At the turnaround, which had an awesome short off-trail portion to a peak, he was about 10 mins ahead of me. I smashed the downhill after the peak and never even caught sight of him. Around mile 45 I realized I wasn't going to catch him, and was truly happy that he had such a killer race. I don't think Dmack has ever beaten me, and I was happy knowing he was happy. I would have loved to run with him as I ran about seven hours alone, but he finally had a good training block and didn't bonk. At mile three I told him, "don't you bonk today!" He quipped back, "don't you bonk tonight (at the bar)!" Deals a deal--he didn't, and I didn't.
2a) Song of the trip.
3a) I didn't think much about that guy, but just the name popped into my head.
4a) Ashland, my favorite summer spot, has only good vibes and memories associated. Lots were linked to previous years and previous relationships. Even though that was an age ago I had to reminisce. I wear my heart on my sleeve, thanks to the Taking Back Sunday albums that raised me. (Can I grow out my hair and paint my nails black again, Bartlett?) I run emotionally. Not sorry.
The boys rallied hard after showering and shotgunning beers in the bathroom. We slept horribly, went to my favorite bakery, and proceeded to make the six hour drive home in relative silence. We're back at work, the world still spins, but our heads are still freezing on the ground, wrapped up in sleeping bags, excited for what's to come.