Since the race was long, my race report will be long but I’ll take of of pre-race details in this post.:) Most of you know that I decided to run the Orange Curtain 100K in order to meet the qualifying requirements for my goal race, the San Diego 100. I was definitely nervous about the race because my I have not done many long training runs (over 12 miles) in the past 7 months. My longest runs recently were two marathons this year and, though I ran those comfortably, 62 miles is a lot farther than 26.2!! I was especially concerned about how my body (and mind) would handle the course. The course is an out/back 3.1 mile trek on a bike path along and small “river.” I knew there was a dirt path alongside the pavement and I fully intended on running on the dirt because my legs would hate me otherwise. The course is extremely flat with the only slight ups/downs being when we cross under 3 overpasses and I was very worried about my legs holding up under extremely repetitive forces; at least trails or hilly runs allow the leg muscles to be used differently and cause less strain.
My fears about the distance were lessened because I kept reminding myself that I’ve covered the distance before. I did a 65 mile “run” last year the evening of July 3rd into the morning of July 4th; however, that run caused my left ITB to hurt around mile 20 something and to lock up completely by mile 39ish; I ended up walking most of the last 25 miles in excruciating pain. That run was a course I mapped out and it had some elevation changes and variety in scenery…in other words, it was mentally easier (plus, I was doing it as a memorial to my father who passed away the previous July 4th so nothing could prevent me from finishing it).
Two days before the race, I made a list of the things that I might need during the race and Thursday/Friday, I hit my local Target and REI to load up on stuff for my drop bag..oh and to buy a waterproof bag in case it rained. I looked at many bags and settled on a large Drybloc one by Granite Gear since it would be large enough for all my stuff and, especially, my stick. Friday night I nervously packed, putting items into ziploc bags and trying to organize things so that I could easily find them. I packed my drop bag, a bag with clothes/towel for car for post-race, and bag with things I would be wearing (Garmin, ipod, Ultimate Direction fuel belt). Finally went to bed around 9:30pm and tossed/turned until almost 1am…just getting 3 hours of sleep before crawling out of bed and succumbing to my alarm at 4:15.
Stuff for drop bag and to wear during race
After quickly getting dressed in my Operation Jack shirt and other gear, I made the short 30 minute drive to the race location, checked in (got my #54 and cool tech shirt), and then finished preparations for the race…more BodyGlide on feet, putting moleskin and athletic tape on blister-prone toes. I made my way to the start line around 5:50am and ran into a running buddy (James) who came out to say hi and see us start. I chatted with a woman who has completed almost 20 Ironmans and who was out for the 50K. The race director, Jay, gave a quick run through of the course and the race was on.