Thursday, June 12, 2014

2014 Idyllwild 10k Race Report

So I need to give a little bit of background before I get into the actual nitty-gritty of the race. As I mentioned in my previous post (here) we were renting a cabin with the family and staying the entire weekend. My son and DIL were driving up from LA and then we would head to the cabin to get everything settled in and the rest of the kids would join us that night after work/school obligations.

So mid-afternoon my son & DIL show up at the house and my DIL is immediately struck with severe stomach cramps and the need to visit the restroom STAT! She starts feeling quite off so we take a little break and allow her some time to just curl up in a ball on the couch while giving her some crackers. She finally starts to feel well enough to go and we head on up the hill to the cabin. The cabin is FABULOUS!! Like seriously perfect for us. A lot of times the cabins tend to be a little on the smaller side and we are a big family - with the babies we had 11 people! This cabin had 5 rooms so everyone got their own space. Win! My DIL continued to feel "off" the entire night, but never really let it keep her from having a good time...she was a super trooper! So we ate dinner and went to bed at a later than I wished time of 10:30 PM or so. That is WAY past my regular bedtime...but when in Rome, right?

A majority of the don't see here my other daughter Melissa, her SO, Curtis (Melissa had to go to work so they met back up with us after dinner) and my DIL Tasha that is taking the pic. Let's go clockwise around the table starting with my lovely son with the cheesy grin right there in front (haha): Robert, his wife Auxi, the Hubster, empty chair (Tasha), Angie in the high chair, her daddy (and my son) Brandon, me, the bubbies Joshua and his mom (my daughter) Michelle.
I slept fairly well until about 2:30 AM when I woke up with horrible stomach pains. GAH!!! Off to the bathroom I went where, okay totally TMI, I was so glad there was a trash can because I was so nauseous I thought I might just have to use it as getting off the toilet was out of the question. And there I stayed for probably about an hour. No bueno. I was able to go back to sleep, but I was exhausted and still not quite feeling 100%. I woke up with the alarm but hit snooze a few times and then went reallllly sloooooooow getting ready. Way slower than I had wanted to. I ate some toast and coffee, but I can't say it was all that appealing to me. But I was bound and determined so I headed off to the race with about 30 minutes to spare before the start. I actually had to drive PAST the 5k runners because they were already close to finishing. Understand that I usually prefer at least an hour before the race start to get all checked in and settled. That obviously didn't come close to happening on this one. Okay, so now we are finally to where I can get into the nitty-gritty of the race.

The weather was actually pretty good in comparison to what we might have in the valley down below, but it was already shaping up to be extremely warm with a projected high of 85. Now the thing you have to keep in mind is that you are at elevation (about 6,000 feet above sea level) so the air is thin and that means that the sun pretty much has a direct shot at ya. So any cooling effect of being in the mountains is negated by that sun hitting you in full force. But I was prepared and had slathered on the sunscreen and was decked in shorts, a singlet and no compression sleeves. In past years at this race I have been overdressed and paid for it dearly while sweating buckets in the later half.

Right before the start...ready to go but feeling a little less than stellar. That's the "I really hope I don't puke, face".
There was a small group running the 10k - 79 participants total finished. I was able to take down a GU Espresso Love right before starting, but it definitely didn't go down as easy as I would have wanted. I was still feeling a little queasy, but at least didn't feel too shaky. Finally our little ragtag group lined up and then we were off! I had to really remind myself at the beginning to run my own race and not get caught up in the pack. I didn't care that people were whizzing by me or widening the gap in front of me. I was out there competing with me, myself and I. I kept it at a nice easy pace and, honestly, I felt great for the first several miles! I felt strong, nothing hurt, and I was able to pass some folks that were already showing signs of struggling. I was able to take on the slow rolling hills with no problems and I even realized that the part where I usually start to feel my calves cramping I was able to continue running through. Everything was great. I was probably a good 2 miles in before I took a short walk break.

I got right back to running and was truly enjoying the scenery. For the most part I was by myself but was keeping pace with a couple ladies in front of me. I hadn't even turned my music on because I was enjoying the peace and quiet. The hills started to get a little bigger and I started to get a little slower. And then every time I started to get a good jog going I would alternately feel like either puking or passing out. I just wasn't feeling great anymore and I started to walk more and more. Instead of worrying about it, I just decided to Instagram enjoy the scenery instead.

I was at least happy that even though I was mostly walking, I was keeping up a pretty decent walking pace! I was also happy that even though I was mostly walking, I was still keeping up with the lady in the purple tank top in front of me! It's the little things...

I attempted to take a Chocolate Outrage GU as I started up the worst of the hills, but I was only able to get a couple little mouthfuls down - probably about half of the packet. I'm going to take a little side route here for a Mom & Sister were also both participating in the 10k race. My sister had done it back in 2010 when it was both of our first times tackling it, and my Mom had been doing the 5k race each year along with my sister in 2011-2013. They both knew that it was going to take them a fairly significant chunk of time to complete the race and they also knew that with it being such a small race, the race organizers shut it all down fairly quickly. Even though they don't have a time limit posted, the announcer leaves to do the kids races, the volunteers all take off, etc. and if you aren't careful you are coming in to a completely normal town center instead of into a race finish line. Have you ever been at the back of the pack? There's a great blog post about it here that I think every runner, spectator or race organizer should read!! Okay, PSA over and back to the story. Since my Mom & Sis knew it was going to take them a long time to finish, they were cleared to begin the race with the 5k runners 45 minutes before the 10k start to give them a little head start.

Here's another pic, just because...this is right before you hit the "Big Hill"
Okay, so back to my story: As I was nearing the top of the big hill I finally caught my Mom so it was nice to see her for a few moments! I was also able to pass the lady in the purple tank top on the hill. And I need to note, it isn't necessarily that the big hill is super steep, because it isn't, it is that it goes on for FOREVER. No, like seriously...FOR-EV-ERRRRR.

You get to a curve and think - okay, this is it, I've got to see the top of this hill...and no. Then another curve and you foolishly think the same thing just to be denied again. And it goes on and on like that for a ridiculously long time. It is a cruel joke...

Elevation Profile from my Garmin stats
But finally there it was, the crest of the hill! From there I knew that it was downhill for a good little while and I was ready to give it a worthy effort. So off I went and I was able to go for a good bit before a new sensation entered the equation. As I was coming down the hill I got to now feel like I was going to either Puke, Pass Out, or Pee! Downhill running is not a friend of the bladder...I seriously considered ducking into the bushes, but there were a lot of houses, not a lot of brush, and I, of course, worried about ducking into a patch of poison oak or poison ivy. That just would NOT be a nice thing to subject the hoo-hah too, so I held it and did the best I could to finish strong! I finally caught my sister and wished her well after taking a short walk break with her and then got moving again. At this point I just wanted to finish so I could be done feeling like dookie.

The rest of the race was fairly uneventful. I was thrilled to see my Son & DIL cheering me in at the finish line and I was thrilled that there was still cold water left (I think this is the first year I actually was able to grab a cold bottle!).

Final Finish Time: 1:20:12
So it wasn't a PR, but you know what? It also wasn't my slowest time either and I felt like serious crud for a lot of this race. So I totally consider it a win!! And it did leave me feeling fairly confident that I can get a PR at the Mission Inn Race in November. So my dream isn't dead, yet!

My splits are honest in telling the story of this race:

Mile 1 - 11:18
Mile 2 - 11:12 (see, feeling good and keeping a nice casual pace!)
Mile 3 - 14:17 (slowing down)
Mile 4 - 15:12 (gain 174 feet of elevation in this mile)
Mile 5 - 15:27 (gain another 251 feet of elevation)
Mile 6 - 12:16 (lose 253 feet!)
Mile .2 - 0:14 (okay, my Garmin shows it as only .03 miles so who knows...)

So there you have it - it was a successful, challenging, and crazy race! I have a lot of mixed emotions about it because I wanted it to be a great race but the stomach thing really crossed that want off of the list. I did continue to feel pretty icky the rest of the weekend and was glad that we only spent a little bit of time walking through town on Saturday afternoon and that Sunday morning was full of relaxing. I was also super glad when we got home that evening and I could crank the air conditioner because it was toasty warm! My stomach sickness was not isolated either, my hubby ended up being sick all day on Sunday and let's just say his tummy is not as strong as mine so he got the joy of actually puking instead of only feeling nauseous. Poor guy... :-(

Even though this race is so challenging and it does have some areas for improvement it is one I look forward to every year and I can't wait to go back in 2015! I have a funny story to tell about a little post-race adventure, but I will have to get to that another day since this is already more than wordy enough. Look for it soon though!

I will close with this last pic just because it cracks me up to no end! Can you tell she loves to take pictures???


  1. Oh man! So sorry you guys all got sick! That stinks. It sounds like you made the most of it those which is good. Congrats on the race! You're a real trooper for hanging in there. I don't know if I could do that if I felt that bad. Which is why, of course, you're a rock star.

  2. Even though we weren't feeling great, I do think we made the most of it so all in all I count it as a great weekend. And thanks girl...I thought about quitting but there wasn't anybody to drive me back so the only way was by foot anyways - HA! Figured I might as well finish since I hadn't passed out or puked yet. ;-)

  3. Ohhh so sorry that happened! Great job hanging in there....and good point about there being only one way back :). Considering all that was going on those are some pretty good times :).. What a cute little girl! She looks like she is full of personality!

  4. Wow! What an intimidating elevation gain - especially after the night you endured! I'd be so proud of myself for sticking with it. Throwing in the towel would have been the easier choice, but you followed through with crossing the finish line! Bravo, my friend.