Sunday, October 17, 2010

Diablo 50k!

I have decided I love San LOVE!!!

I had one of the best weekends of my life, and I am super excited to tell all about it! I flew up to San Fran on Thursday for the Diablo 50k. The race wasn't until Saturday so I was just super excited to reconnect with some friends from up north, and enjoy a weekend away form all thats been going on. My mind was super focused on the race, but being it was only a 50k I knew I was due for some serious fun, and the weekend was gonna be nothing but good times~

When I landed on Thursday afternoon I quickly drove to my hotel, and was just amped to be in the heart of the city. I love San Francisco, and if I could have it my way I would travel here a ton more than I do! I booked this hotel on purpose as I love to visit this city, and had plans with friends in Berkely that night so it was perfect! My next goal was to find a Whole foods! Whenever I travel to races I always find a Whole foods, and get a ton of food I can eat for a few days. I was super excited to head into Berkely as my son would LOVE to go to school at UCBerkely, and he begged me to stop by the campus, and get some pics. After grocery shopping I stopped by the campus, and got some great pics. Tyler was stoked when I texted them to him.

Thursday night was great. Too many Fat tires, and way to much talk of hiking the Jon Muir I love all my friends in this sport. It is just so much fun to travel up to a race, hang with friends, and just put in perspective what's important in life. Honestly I had one of the greatest nights I have ever had, and somehow I ended up hanging with myself and about 10 guys!! How does this suck!?? Haha...what a blast we had!!! Totally what I need right now!

Friday was another great day. I somehow got talked into running 8 miles(don't ask), but it was super fun! I was pumped to run trails I have never run with such an elite crowd! Wow what a day we had! We ended up showering, and then running around the city for the day, and even had lunch in china town! So out of character for me, but I loved every minute of it!! By friday night I was exhausted, and by 9pm was out cold asleep! Friday night I had switched hotels to stay in Clayton so I was closer to race start. I woke up race day super excited, and ready to rock. I was a little nervous, but sincerely felt super confident form the minute I woke up.

I drove to the race start, and was delighted to see Sara(the Race Director). She has always been super kind, and generous to me, and I just really think she puts on great races. We chatted a bit, and it was great to catch up with her. Before long it was time for the race to start. I knew the 50kers would be starting with the 30kers, and my goal was just to stay within myself, and run a smart race. The last race I did was Rio Del Lago 50k, and although I won, the race was super tough for me. It was two weeks after AC100, and honestly I had a horrible race. I have been running a ton since, and I really wasn't sure if I was even 100% recovered from AC or Rio~I was running scared that was for sure!

The Diablo 50k is a super tough course. The total elevation gain is 9,000 feet, and about the same in loss. It's technical, and hands down the toughest 50k course I have ever done. It's two of the same 16 mile loops, and after the first loop you come back to the start/finish. The course starts out with a solid mile climb up a runnable fire road. It was extremely steep, and even when I connected with the single track it was nothing but climbing. Although it was absolutely beautiful it was just extremely steep climbing. I settled into my power hiking mode, and kind of giggled as I watched a few women ahead of me running the whole climb. I eyed them for the entire length of the climb, turned up my bad religion, and would trade places with a few of them as I hiked and they tried to manage a run/slow run pace. Eventually I would power hike past all of them, and come out at the top of the climb ahead of all of them. Once at the top it was a great down hill section. This section was extremely steep(I mean STEEP!!), and I hammered it. I must have passed at least 5 guys on this section, and when I finally hit the aid first aid station I felt super great! It was early still, and I had been taking my time, and just trying to stay within myself. I was pumped to see Catra and Andy at the aid station, and laughed my ass off as they took some pics, and I charged out of their aid station!

From there you have to run up to the summit of's 2.5 miles of solid relentless climbing. It's gnarly, technical, and just brutal. The great thing though is that once you summit it's a solid 2.5 miles down back to Catra and Andy's aid!! I HAMMERED this section, and did this section in under 14 mins! Once back at the aid I slammed some soda, and was amped to run 5 miles down to the finish. When I came through the 25k mark I was surprised to see my friend Leigh! We had hung out Thursday night, and this was totally unplanned. He is a stellar athlete, and I was so excited to see him! He had my drop bag out, and we quickly got me in and out of the aid station. Right before I left I asked him how many men were in front of me? He smiled HUGE, and said 5. I had ran the first loop in 2:53, and my goal for the second half was to do the same. When I headed out for the second loop I knew immediately I felt awsome.  I Quickly started running the entire climb up to Catra and Andy's aid, and passed three of the men on the climb. I LOVE doing that!!!! Silly boys ultra running is for girls!!! Ha!

Once at the aid I filled up quickly, re-summited Diablo(WAAAAAY harder 2nd time!), and then returned to the aid. From here I only had 5.5 miles to the finish, and it was then I looked at my watch. I had less than 50 mins to get to the finish to break the course record. I had Catra fill up one of my bottles, and left the second one with her. I knew I had to really push it, and a second bottle would just slow me down. From the aid it is nothing but extremely steep fire road. A few times I almost lost contol, and ate it. I am super light on my feet right now(about 3 lbs lighter than my AC weight) so I just flew. I let gravity take its course, and turned up my music. First I was listening to Kings of Leon, but then the new  Eminem/Rhianna song came on. This was all I needed to fly!! I turned the volume up, and just ripped this section to shreds. Once at the bottom I had about a mile of flat icky, but knew I was close to the finish. When I crossed the line I was stoked to see I had done the second loop 20mins faster than the first loop, ran that section in 40 mins, and was 2nd overall, and first female! I was so friggin stoked!!

 After I went to lunch, and then I was off to the airport, and ready to get home! Tyler was going to meet me at home that night so I was eager to get back! My flight went great, and once home I re-capped with Tyler my entire day. He loves hearing about my races, and is just the greatest kid ever!

All in all this race was just amazing!! The course markings were perfect, aid stations perfect, and the course was absolutely spectacular(be ready to climb!) I cannot wait to return next year! My trip this weekend up North made me re-evaluate my 2011 schedule. I am on a mission to get up to San Fran at least a few more times in 2011, and just love traveling to places for races. I had such a blast, and look forward to visiting again!

I spent the day today doing a great 3 hour recovery hike, and the watching my Vikings win!! Man that makes me happy!! I then went out to dinner with some friends, and am looking forward to a crazy busy week! Next weeknd I am racing the Malibu Creek 50k, and I cannot wait! Busy is what I love, and I am just loving my life right now! Love that I have gotten my new "Leona Valley trail races" up and going, and am just super excited to dive head first into this challenge, and Leona Divide, and Los Pinos! Life is what you make it, and I am doing my best through tuff times to make it great!


  1. Yay! I'm happy you loved Mount Diablo. Yes, it is relentless but so lovely. I hate missing events there becaue I enjoy the mountain so much.
    Congratulations on the finish! ;)

  2. Congratulations Keira! Way to negative split the course! That is awesome!

  3. Congratulations, Keira! I can feel the smile and excitement as I read your blog.

    While you posted the blog yesterday morning, it was a great way to start the day for me, as it made me smile when I read along.

    Keep us posted on your great adventures!

  4. Great Blog K! Can't wait to run and volunteer for all your 2011 races! You're a true motivation to me.