Archive for quad dipsea

The Quadruple Dipsea: Part B

Posted in motivation, photos, running, shoes, trail with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2016 by afuntanilla

So, as I mentioned in the last post, I was dejected after not finishing the Quad. It was the right decision for my body on that day, but i still felt really disappointed.

During the week that followed, as I would relay to others what happened, I followed my comments up by saying, “i’m going to go out again…i will do this and finish.” I wasn’t sure if it was going to be 1 week later or 1 month later. But, I knew I was going to go back.

5 days after not finishing the race, I had decided my body was good to go for it again the following weekend. I let myself rest during the week, stretched, ate well and felt good. I had the added benefit of further inspiration as that Saturday (Dec 3) was The North Face Endurance Challenge here on some of the same trails. I didn’t go watch in person, but followed via social media and was super pysched to follow some of my favorite runners do their thing, especially Zach Miller, who was the 50 mile winner.

So as Saturday went along and then into the evening, I noticed that mentally I was where I wanted to be and where I should have been on pre-race weekend. It was a noticeable difference. So, i felt both physically and mentally ready and now i just needed sleep and to get up and go.

I had my nutrition figured out and took extra shoes in case i wanted to change half way. I packed a PBJ Sandwich cut in 1/4’s, orange slices, Hammer Nutrition gels and Tailwind. I was ready to go.

I began at 8:30am and believed it would take roughly 8 hours. Anything more was gonna push me into post sundown. That would not be good.

I was up the Dipsea steps and onto the course and on my way. I knew early on that I was ok and felt much better than last week. Many parts of the trail were still a bit muddy from recent rain so my Nike Kiger Trail shoes were perfect for the gripping nature needed. They don’t have much cushion but they do grip well and are light! I was just basically humming along and enjoying myself and knowing I had many hours ahead of me so i just tried to settle in, but still stay cognizant of time. I made it to the Stinson turn around and headed back to Mill Valley. Once I got to Mill Valley, i knew I had 2 things to do; 1) grab some food from car, change shoes 2) turn around and get back up the stairs. I didn’t allow for any thoughts to enter my mind around how hard it was gonna be or anything like that…i just kept saying to myself, “get up the stairs, get up the stairs..” And I did. Once I was on the stairs, I felt like THAT was a WIN. I smiled. And kept moving.

A woman actually stopped me prior to me heading up stairs and asked if i was doing a double. I said “No, a Quad.” Her eyes widened and she said; “well, good for you. i know you will do it.”  I so appreciated those kind words.

I figured the 3rd leg, which i was now on, would be the hardest and it was tough. By approximately miles 19-20, I was really starting to feel it..my back started to hurt a bit and i was getting some ache in my legs. But, I just had to keep moving. I made it to Stinson for the 2nd time and as soon as I turned around to head back for the final leg, I smiled and texted my friend, Tim, to let him know where I was…that i was going to finish. I mean, really, at that point, my options were limited anyways…what am i going to do? Walk the rest of the way back. Hitch a ride back to Mill Valley? I better get moving as fast as I can cause the sun in starting to go down.

Let me tell you now. The 3rd leg is NOT the hardest. The 4th leg is. Even though this was the “homestretch”, there was No adrenaline rush. I was moving slow. Very slow. Different body parts were starting to really hurt, as I had anticipated, but it IS still always tough when the hurt sets in and you have to begin the battle. However, what most non-runners don’t understand is, THIS IS THE PART that makes it all so worthwhile..the HARD PART. Experiencing myself as I work through and navigate the rough patches. This is the part where I truly have to show up, stand up, rise up and above and get it done. I’m one of those people who gets absorbed in moments like these BECAUSE they are such great teaching moments…the moment that fully consumes me and I am engrossed in the nature of this particular battle…with the course, the elements, my body and my own will. I’m fascinated by how I respond. And not just how I respond; this is one of the things I’ve truly been captivated by in sports for my entire life…watching athletes of various levels and different sports compete in the most challenging moments. Deeply engrossing!

As I slogged up Dipsea near the Coastal view, I passed some fellas hiking for the 3rd time.  By now, they were wondering what I was doing and after learning, offered me words of encouragement. Thankful for that!!

My right shin of all things started to give me some real trouble. Weird, i thought. I guess from all the stairs. It was super tight and hurting. Going up the final Dipsea stairs after crossing the bridge @ Steep Revine intersection was insane. My labored breathing, my slow movement of lifting one leg and then other to step up again and again. I stopped, looked around the forest…no one in sight..beautifully quiet…and I simply said THANK YOU, out loud to this place…this place that has become my 2nd home. And then, I kept moving.

Finally, atop, and on my way to pass Cardiac for the last time. Next 3 miles all downhill and no, not easy. Just a few hours ago, i was flying down this section and now I was slowed to gingerly running down. As I crossed over the roots and rocks, i was so glad i had changed my Nike Kigers for the additional cushioning of my Hoka Challengers. Again, still no adrenaline rush. Still had one little climb after I labored DOWN Dynamite and into the Muir Woods parking lot. Ok…here I go…lumbering up and knowing now that this is it and trying to push faster in any way i could as I was less than 2 miles from the finish. Finally , I get up to Panoramic and take a quick glance at the gorgeous scenery and i smile big…this is it…1 mile downhill to the finish. I went as fast as I could on the Dipsea Stairs down into the finish at old Mill Park, where I began, 8 hours and 5 minutes earlier.

I was done with my Quad Dipsea.

I’m good and me and the Dipsea are good.

Thankful for this Body, this Life

 

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The Quad (part A)

Posted in photos, races, running, trail with tags , , , , on December 15, 2016 by afuntanilla

The Quadruple Dipsea

The Quad Dipsea (http://quad-dipsea.com/index.html) is the Double X 2. (28.6 miles) The route is Mill Valley to Stinson beach and back. and REPEAT.

Why am I even telling you this since I wrote in my last post that doing the Quad was not something I wanted to do? Well. Things changed.

Even after running the Double, I continued to run on the trails in Muir Woods. Time passed and we got into September. I was having so much fun out here that I thought well, I’ll just see if i can still sign up. NOPE. The race was already sold out. I think they only allow 350 runners. I got on the wait list and continued to run and train on the exact trails. Specificity is everything! How lucky i am to live in such an amazing place as NorCal and run on these fantastic and wonderful trails. The beauty is simply awe-some and tremendous.

I was #34 on the wait list. Then I was #32. #29. #15. #12. #4. And then, I was IN. YES!

I had been training a lot but I was also feeling pressed on the time and miles I felt I needed to feel strong about going into the race. I did all the training i felt i could do, in a smart way, and I just had to let the chips fall where they may. The training was equally challenging and rewarding. It’s never easy on those trails. As many times as I run up the stairs or the hills, it’s never easier. I get better, faster, but it does not necessarily feel easier. I will tell you this…IT IS FUN. I was having so much fun out there…loving it even more so if we got any kind of rain or showers or mist or fog. I feel so free out there. I was encapsulated by nature and I was in heaven.

My longest training run was a double (14 miles) and this was during a week I had already run 10 miles and then 12. So a good week out there with almost 36 miles and over 11k of elevation change. Even though I felt good, there was this lingering feeling like maybe IT WASN’T ENOUGH. Maybe the longest i should have gone was 20/21. But, I had already made my decision that i could not smartly fit that in…so…

2 weeks later on Nov 26th was race day. I woke up and I was not very excited to race and I was shocked at that feeling. it was very wet and rainy out but that didn’t bother me at all…it was something else and i had a hard time shaking it. Even the night prior, I simply was not in get-race-ready-mode mentality. Anyways…i went thru my usual morning routine and headed to the race start. I became a lil more excited as I arrived and got ready to hit the trails.

In a light drizzle, we headed off and up the stairs. Super packed to begin and hard to move well. This continued on for about the first 2 miles. By mile 4, I knew something was not right with me and my body, specifically my legs. They were tight, tired and felt like I had little to no lift. NOT the way I wanted to feel especially today. My feelings ranged from surprise to anger to confusion to disappointment. Then for the next 8 miles or so, I went back and forth in my head: should i even finish this thing today? maybe i should just do half. No, you can’t do half! You can finish. You already did a half. If you don’t finish think of how disappointed you will be. Can you deal with that. No, No…i can finish. Ugh. Thinking like this ruined me mentally.

I was not having fun, i was in my freaking head!! All my work and fun on the trails was slipping from me and i was pissed off. And, my legs just had absolutely abandoned me. I had so little in them and that little bit was falling away with each mile. As I came down the stairs and into Old Mill Park at the turn around site, I saw my pal,Tim, cheerfully waiting for me.

After a few words with him, I decided I would not continue…that it simply made no sense to try. ..that today was just not my day. I told the time keepers of my decision. Tim went on with his plans for his day and i changed my clothes, got some food and went home. I was pretty damn dejected.

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At the turn around point which would be my finish line today.

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