Comedy of Errors: The Blood, Sweat, & Beers Race Report

Things you DON’T do before a 10-mile, 3500 foot elevation change trail race

  • Do not eat homemade salsa brought over by your next-door neighbor regardless of her assertions of it’s freshness. Sure it looks good and it tastes great going into your body, but consider what it might do in 6 hours coming out of your body.
  • Do not decide the night before the race to make home made vegan ice cream. If you do make vegan Rum Raisin ice cream, under no circumstances EAT a BOWLFUL of it. See #1 above.
  • Do not drink any alcohol the night before a race. Not even an ounce. One ounce of good wine easily turns into a glass with pasta dinner and then another glass after dinner.
  • Do not spend all day on your feet in unsupportive shoes, running from store to store trying to find rock salt for the ice cream maker.
  • Do not spend 2 hours at Costco buying “goodies” no matter how bad you think you need them. Do not try samples at Costco. See #1 above. Do not stand in the sun outside Costco.
  • Do not go to the ‘crack house’ Fleet Feet and look at new shoes and then look at your $30 frequent buyer credit voucher and decide that new shoes might be a good idea before the race.
  • Do not go to bed 4 hours before you have to wake up for your race.

If you do any of the above, you will not go past GO, you will not collect $200.

Ok, from the list above, can you guess how BSB went ? Let’s just say, either the Costco samples, the homemade salsa or the vegan ice cream (or all three) did not sit well in my stomach. At 4:30 a.m. I rolled over and immediately sat up in bed so I could scurry to the bathroom before I soiled myself.

At 5:15 a.m. I went potty again.

I was pretty apprehensive about the race at by the time I exited my bathroom the 3rd time before 6:30 a.m. I looked at all my stuff laid out and I got ready anyway, loaded up the car and drove to Auburn and parked. At 7:15, I went to the bathroom again in the park public bathroom. This time, there was no toilet paper in my stall so I had to request some from the lady in the stall next to me. Thankfully,she was sympathetic to my predicament.

At 7:45 I went to a porta-potty next to the race start one last time. I felt worn out. I was going to start in the first wave, but held back and started my 10-mile run in the second wave at 8:10.

Suffice to say, I had a horrific race. The first 5 miles I had intermittent stomach issues but managed to keep my pace. My garmin reported the first 5 miles covered in 56 minutes. For a trail run, not too shabby.

Then I made a slight left turn, past the place I fell during the resolution run and looked at a long long climb uphill. It was at that point that my stomach had had enough, revolted and in something akin to the boston tea party, began dumping things. I’ll save you the details, but let’s just say, everytime I tried to go UPHILL, my stomach cramped to the point that I was sure I was dying. Here are some pics I took on the race course. Yes we ran to the bottom of the canyon and back up a couple of times.

The last 3 miles were the worst. It is a double loop where you get to see everyone else who is 2 miles in front of you pass by going the other direction. My garmin seemed to be stuck at 8.4 miles for about 20 minutes. I walked and walked and walked--so did the people in front of me. The last mile I half-jogged, half walked, and managed to turn my ankle. I can honestly say, never in my life have I wanted a race to end quicker.

I finished my 10 miles in 2:15, a 13.5 min/mile pace. All things considered I am proud that I did it, proud that I pushed through the pain. And in irony of ironies, because this was my first 10 mile trail run, I PR’d!

At the end of the race, all participants receive food and two microbrew beers to drink. I took my watermelon slices (I couldn’t even think about any solid food) and grabbed a beer. Three sips of beer later, I handed it off to my friend and told her that it was all hers. I just couldn’t drink it.

I soaked my legs in a nearby canal of snow run-off (many runners do this after running in this area. It’s like a nice little Ice bath) and headed home. While driving my stomach suddenly growled. What? Now you are hungry???

I stopped somewhere on the way and grabbed some food, wolfed it down at home, took a shower and then went to my mom’s to visit with her and my grandma.

Grandma: “Have you EVER gotten first or second in any of these races??”
Me: “No.”
Grandma: “You’ve NEVER gotten first or second??”
Me: “NO! Jesus!”
Grandma: “Why are you praying to Jesus?”

Below are two pics from yesterday with my grandma. She looks innocent enough, but don't be fooled.

Other than sore legs today, there is nothing to remind me of the horror of yesterday. I guess that is a good thing--

Next up--Marin Century on Saturday August 7. My first century!


  1. Revenge of the colon. Love it.

    Congrats on the automatic PR! Hope the century ride went well.


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