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Capitol Peak Mega Fat Ass - Run


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Olympia, Washington
United States
40F / 4C
Precipitation
Total Time = 2h 35m 7s
Overall Rank = 2/82
Age Group = 30-35
Age Group Rank = 1/19
Pre-race routine:

I've committed to diversity this month with a focus on strength. I have been running a little less and doing things like rock climbing, hiking, mountaineering, snowboarding, cross-country skiing etc.

The night before I was top-roping then came home and had some beer!
Event warmup:

Jogged to the start, checked in and hustled to the race briefing
Run
  • 2h 35m 7s
  • 17 miles
  • 09m 07s  min/mile
Comments:

This was my very first real trail race!

The vibe is so different than road racing. It's very laid back and casual. Everyone just stands around, they read off a list of hazards and anything notable about the course and then off you go! There isn't even really an official start. Because of this, I have a lot to learn!

I immediately was boxed in, pretty far at the back because the casual start took me by surprise. There weren't many places to pass because it was primarily single track so I just sat back and waited. This is probably the first thing I would do differently. As the race wore on I realized people were totally awesome about stepping to the side if you asked nicely. Next time I will not only get to the front for the start but ask right when I would like to pass.

We wound our way through the forest and up some switchbacks before the first major climb.

Lucky for me, the climb was on a forest service road so it was relatively wide. I passed a TON of people here just before we ducked back into the woods again. Once I was here I stayed on the heels of a few guys for what must have been 2-3 miles. The puddles were deep and the mud very slippery. Having people in front of me meant that I had to trust the lines they were running and didn't have much time to anticipate roots/rocks/etc.

We came to another wide spot and I was able to get in front of all 5-6 guys I was with. I saw 2-3 people ahead on the switchbacks and slowly picked them off. By the time I was at the next climb, no one was around.

I kept following the trail markers but then I hadn't seen one in a while so I stopped. Looked around. Shrugged then kept running. Luckily I hit the aid station and knew I was on track.

BTW the aid station had PBR and tequila. WHAT? I had to smile to myself. This kind of racing was heavenly.

I tore down through the trees and the first descent. I couldn't see or hear anyone. I was all alone.

Having gone to design school and been involved in a ton of retail design projects in my career I have always given a lot of thought about how you control people's movements within a space. You use a visual language and people follow it. It's quite manipulative, really.

Anyway, I thought about how nature does this in trail racing. Mother nature can pretty much make you do whatever she wants. You want to run fast but there is a big rocky hill, sharp turns and slippery mud. You want to capitalize on a downhill but there is a tree across the trail you have to navigate. After a while you just have to roll with it and get in sync with her, and do her little dance. She's calling the shots the whole time. This is also a variable that most other races don't have. Even though there were no competitors around me, I still had to run the way nature dictated. Not how I "wanted."

I had no idea where I was in relation to the front runner, the middle of the pack or the back. I just relaxed and did my thing. I stopped, took photos and really tried to take it all in. I had read this quote that said something like, "Go fast enough to finish well and slow enough to take it all in" or something like that, I know I am totally butchering it.

I looped around the valley where it was relatively flat but really muddy then I came out onto another service road with a long steep ascent. I put my head down and went for it. I finally spotted another human and slowly reeled him in about a half mile before I crested the hill. I descended but not fast enough, another mile or so and he caught and passed me easily (descending is NOT my strength.)

I heard gunshots in the distance...and then they were getting closer. And closer. They were all on my left and the course was curving right so I was trying to get out of there as quickly as possible. THEN I heard a shot to my right. OMG! I was really glad I was wearing bright azz pink and orange. Later I was looking through instagram pics and someone had posted a "selfie" of them with this huge semi-automatic wearing a skull bandanna across their face, not far from the run course. EEEEEKKKKSSSS!

I saw someone coming towards me, it was the course sweeper. He told me I was second woman and I was shocked. I really wished I had known I was in contention for a win or at least a race. We were only 2 miles or so out so I pushed hard but figured catching her was unrealistic as everything was downhill from here (again, descending.)

I saw the sign for the campground and knew we were close. I was wearing ankle socks and they had rolled down under my foot and were super uncomfortable. Mud had filled my shoe and my feet were icy cold from wading through the chilly puddles. It had been raining the entire time and I was soaked.

I kept churning my feet, got onto the paved road and ran through the finish chute where I was greeted by the RD giving a high five.
What would you do differently?:

-Better starting position
- Not be afraid to ask to pass
- Push a little harder, even when all alone
-Taller socks
- Descend better

So. Much. To. Learn.
Post race
Warm down:

Jogged to my car, did the "changing out of wet clothes trying not to flash anyone" dance, jogged back to the finish, got chicken noodle soup and drank a big ass IPA by the fire.

I met some really nice people and shared my beer. I love trail racing.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Inexperience, no one to race


Profile Album


Last updated: 2015-01-20 12:00 AM
Running
02:35:07 | 17 miles | 09m 07s  min/mile
Age Group: 1/19
Overall: 2/82
Performance: Average
Course: The Capitol Peak Mega Fat Ass is one of the oldest and most tradition-laden early season races in the Pacific Northwest. This year's the thirteenth annual, making this mean-mugger officially a teenager! What's a Fat Ass? Fat Ass means good, old-fashioned, unsupported fun! No awards. No t-shirts. No aid. No frills, and NO WHINING! 3000' elevation gain, 17 miles "Watch your ankles, and try not to think about all the gunfire. They’re always shooting there, but very rarely does anyone get hit."
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Average
Mental exertion [1-5] 3
Physical exertion [1-5] 3
Good race? Ok
Evaluation
Course challenge
Organized?
Events on-time?
Lots of volunteers?
Plenty of drinks?
Post race activities:
Race evaluation [1-5]

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2015-01-20 11:20 AM

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Seattle
Subject: Capitol Peak Mega Fat


2015-01-20 11:52 AM
in reply to: #5085331

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Master
6586
50001000500252525
Rio Rancho, NM
Subject: RE: Capitol Peak Mega Fat

Wow. As usual you, and your experiences, are epic.

The description alone makes this race interesting but your experience of it is incredible. Gun shots, tequila... and you always amaze me at your ability to run through equipment malfunctions. And to top it all off this was only one of many adventures you had this weekend.

Again, E.P.I.C!

2015-01-20 12:44 PM
in reply to: #5085331

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Master
6581
50001000500252525
Englewood, Florida
Subject: RE: Capitol Peak Mega Fat

Great job!!! Drinking in the entire experience and an IPA results in a really cool finish. Congrats on another great race experience.

2015-01-20 12:50 PM
in reply to: #5085331

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Elite
7783
50002000500100100252525
PEI, Canada
Subject: RE: Capitol Peak Mega Fat

Wow!  That sounds absolutely incredible.  I sense more races like that in your future.  

2015-01-20 12:57 PM
in reply to: #5085331

Master
10208
50005000100100
Northern IL
Subject: RE: Capitol Peak Mega Fat

Nice going! Definitely a lot of new aspects to learn when getting off the roads.

2015-01-20 12:57 PM
in reply to: #5085331

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Pennsylvania
Subject: RE: Capitol Peak Mega Fat

As always, an incredibly descriptive, enjoyable RR, a great performance, and a fun time had by the one and only Salty!  Love the pics, love the write-up, love your attitude.  Score on the 'special beverage' stop and your IPA reward by the fire at the end, nice!  There is something very special about trail running, even if it sometimes causes a little blood-letting (thankfully not for you!).  It is so very true that Mother Nature has the final say and one must stay alert or feel her wrath!  Great job out there, can't wait to read about more of your adventures and races!



2015-01-20 4:08 PM
in reply to: melbo55

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Master
2235
200010010025
Pacific Northwest
Subject: RE: Capitol Peak Mega Fat

Well done out there! I had similar thoughts in the same places--"am I lost??"....long stretches without any others. That's what I love about trail running, the lack of competition, especially since I am waaaaaaaay slower than you.    I am happy that I beat 37 people.    Looking forward to the next one for sure.  I hope you don't mind if I steal a couple of your pix, I only took photos at the tequila stop and the finish.....

 

2015-01-21 6:42 AM
in reply to: brigby1

Master
10208
50005000100100
Northern IL
Subject: RE: Capitol Peak Mega Fat

Originally posted by brigby1

Nice going! Definitely a lot of new aspects to learn when getting off the roads.

Oh, and how does feel with 9 min miles being a good pace?

2015-01-21 11:07 AM
in reply to: brigby1

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Seattle
Subject: RE: Capitol Peak Mega Fat

Thanks TJ, Melanie, Arend and Chris!

I'm super excited to try something new!

2015-01-21 11:09 AM
in reply to: brigby1

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Seattle
Subject: RE: Capitol Peak Mega Fat

Originally posted by brigby1

Originally posted by brigby1

Nice going! Definitely a lot of new aspects to learn when getting off the roads.

Oh, and how does feel with 9 min miles being a good pace?

Right!?!?! It's kind of hilarious. And it's funny...going fast is so challenging on the trails. Not just because of the obvious things like steep hills and mud but just simply watching every single step...it's hard to have a high turnover. Part of that is just the nature of trail running but the other is my own inexperience, I am certain.

2015-01-21 11:38 AM
in reply to: Medusa_Ann

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Seattle
Subject: RE: Capitol Peak Mega Fat

Originally posted by Medusa_Ann

Well done out there! I had similar thoughts in the same places--"am I lost??"....long stretches without any others. That's what I love about trail running, the lack of competition, especially since I am waaaaaaaay slower than you.    I am happy that I beat 37 people.    Looking forward to the next one for sure.  I hope you don't mind if I steal a couple of your pix, I only took photos at the tequila stop and the finish.....

 

I absolutely love the lack of ego and the laid back atmosphere, but I think competition is good. Competition doesn't have to be cutthroat either, it can mean finding a group that pushes you a little out of your comfort zone and working together to finish really well. And I don't think trail racing lacks that...you just have to find them out there in the woods

And beating 37 people is great! It's all relative, ya know. 



2015-01-21 9:23 PM
in reply to: Asalzwed

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Master
3869
200010005001001001002525
Overland Park, KS
Subject: RE: Capitol Peak Mega Fat
Well done Adrienne, even stopping and smelling roses you still manage to exhibit badassery
2015-01-22 10:23 AM
in reply to: 0

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Member
2689
2000500100252525
Denver, CO
Subject: RE: Capitol Peak Mega Fat

What a fun race and RR!!  I love that you allowed yourself to fully experience the richness of the vibe and scenery.  Even with your selfies, politeness, and the challenge of a new kind of racing, you clearly rocked it.  I foresee you not only doing lots more of this kind of racing, but taking the OA as well.  Way to go, Salty!!

ETA:  I love the way you recognized the impact of nature on your racing, then stopped fighting it and gave in to the flow.  Beautiful.



Edited by laffinrock 2015-01-22 10:29 AM
2015-01-22 1:45 PM
in reply to: brigby1

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Master
7714
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Raleigh, NC area
Subject: RE: Capitol Peak Mega Fat
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