|Getting off the bus to start day 3|
|Aliza and Meghan|
I figured that would be the last I would see of them for the day and I went about trying to pay attention to the course, which was beautiful. I was expecting quad pounding downhills and instead what I got was super nice single track through a pretty forest mixed with the occasional water crossing.
|Aliza and Meghan|
|The train that I latched onto|
On the other hand I felt pretty good about being able to keep up with some elites and it was a great mental boost, even if they were just cruising at what was surely a pedestrian pace for them. Lately in the Ultra-running crowd I really don't know where i fit in. I have only raced once this year and I was a little disappointed with my 9th place finish. I know that I am not a mid-pack finisher anymore, but I haven't made the mental jump into convincing myself that I can place with the front runners.
We seemed to always stop to take a food or pee break right when I needed to and I felt great on the climbs, which we ran rather than hiked for the most part. I kept wondering when I was going to blow up.
In a little over 2 hours we came to the 14 mile aid station and took a nice couple minute break. As we headed out up a dirt road climb, I heard dirt bikes. There was a motocross track right down the road and I really enjoyed watching the bikes.
Meghan gave us a lot of commentary on the course, which was excellent and sure to help on race day. In 4 or 5 more miles we came to "No Hands Bridge", the 97 mile point during the race. The camp had set up another aid station and again we took a nice relaxed break where I ate a few more pieces of my new favorite training food, Payday bars.
|Meghan, Aliza and Adam at No Hands bridge, mile 97 of the race|
It was a great mental boost to be able to run those last 22.5 miles in around 3 1/2 hours. On race day it will be much slower, but knowing that for three days I banged out 30, 19, and 22.5 miles without being very tired or sore is encouraging.
|The finish line track|
|Altra Instincts (left) and Intuitions (right, womens version)|
There are only 4 more weeks before Western States and the beginning of my Potentially Painful Summer. I'm finally starting to feel like I might be ready for this and that my hard work is paying off. Of course that could change any minute, but for the time being I'll take it!
|Can't wait to see this plaque on race day.|