Sycamore Canyon (Pt Mugu State Park) is really a beautiful place. So many of my native plant friends were out today along the course – and many of them were flowering. Rosa, Artemisia, Datura, Salvia, Achilles, Trichostema, Bacharis, Coreopsis, Lupine, Lotus… to name just a few. Oh, and of course, Platanus racemosa – aka Sycamore. Check out Las Pilitas for plant info. The rolling green meadows behind the coastal ridge were probably the high light for me - beautiful California, the way it used to be before we came and planted houses all over it.
The run was tough but good. I did my fair share of walking along the uphill sections of the route but ended up with an almost okay time anyway – a little under four hours. By about mile 17 I started getting some pretty solid belly cramps and was ready to be done. Other than that, my body held up pretty well through the race. Even though this was a more challenging course in terms of elevation gain than my usual long run I feel pretty good now. I was downing Gatoraide pretty much the whole time and I think that helped. We were lucky that the cloud cover held for most of the run. It would have been a lot harder with a hot sun above.
I was really impressed by the 50K runners. There is no way I could have done that last 20, but they just kept trucking along. Way to go.
After the race I reclined in the car while I went through my typical, wacky, body-going-into-shock symptoms like haunted legs and an interesting new cycle that goes like this: take a sip of water, get goose bumps all over my legs, yawn… I repeated this odd cycle dozens of times before I finally managed to crawl out of the car and nibble some pretzels and M&M’s at the finish area.
The drive home was murder on my right IT band as I tried to navigate through Sunday afternoon traffic. That was probably the most painful experience of the day.
I just might do this run again someday. Next time I want to be better about mingling with the other runners, though. I felt bad about missing the opportunity to hang with my fellow runners, but I was pretty wrecked. There were a couple high-fives out on the course, though, that meant a lot to me.