Was it only a week ago that I was struggling out in Point Mugu in the tremendous heat? It feels like months ago! This week had a lot packed in, school, soul-sucking Zoom meetings, bike crash, doctors, fires...it's been a lot but let's back up.
If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. My mom and I went back out to tackle the Tough Mugu 25k on August 9th and we did it! It was a gorgeously clear day. We stayed on the trail, pushed our way through the bushes, climbed the climbs, and tried not to fall on the descents. Team "Don't Let Mom Fall Off the Mountain" finished with smiles on our faces. It was satisfying after the frustrating disaster that was our first attempt.
That wasn't enough for me, though. Six days later, I headed back to the Ray Miller trailhead for a go at a solo 25k attempt. Naturally, a heat wave had descended on California and it was 80 degrees at 6am. I knew it was going to be a struggle but I had no choice. I had to do it! I started out feeling pretty good. I tried not to think about how hot it was going to get and just charged forward. I hit Mugu Peak and knew the second half of the race was going to get me. It did. I had to slow way down and try to conserve the fluids I was carrying. I became lightheaded and nauseous but had no choice but to keep moving forward. No one was coming to save me. There was no aid station with ice and a sip of Coke. It was me and the sun. And the rattlesnake I almost stepped on. Right foot. Left foot. Right foot. Left foot.
I finally hit the last stretch of switch backs and gunned it down to the finish. I promptly collapsed on a rock in the shade. My mom was there to bring my recovery drink and take a picture of my sweaty self. I don't recommend going that hard in a heat wave if you have a choice. Still, I had a great time and taking a dip in the ocean post-run was glorious.
Results were posted a couple days later and I pulled out a win in the solo 25k! Awesome! Win or no win, it was well worth it to push myself and try for a race mindset. It's really hard to go fast solo. Next up, Bulldog Ultra 50k!
The Bulldog is a beast unto itself and I love it out there. Home turf, you know? This year's race was going to be a virtual format like the other two in the series but we just found out it's been canceled outright. Guess what? I'm probably going to run it anyway. The trails are open and they are calling.