Thursday, June 30, 2011

Western States The Short Version

Hanging with Kathleen by Glenn Tachiyama
Kathleen Egan and I are on our way to Mosquito Ridge. Kathleen paced me at my last hundred - Pine to Palm. It was great running with her again. A Glenn Tachiyama original.

Wow I got beat up on that run! Usually I'm able to go for an easy run by now, 4-5 days after a big race, but not this time. This is the best I've felt since Sunday, a good thing too because work was piling up. I have so much to do because I was so useless on Monday and partly useless on Tuesday. Deadlines don't care about 100 milers.

The event was another success and I got that finish. I missed the 24-hour mark and admittedly I'm still a bit disappointed by it but I'm more thankful to have finished as I did, losing a wheel the last 10 miles of the race. I couldn't have done it without my crew and pacers though; Jessica Fewless, Sarah Crosby-Helms, Steven Bin and Peter Duyan. I had a great crew.

I started the race nice and easy and for the first 55 miles I kept it conservative. There were many times when I just wanted to let loose but I kept that heart rate at the range it needed to be. My heart rate monitor was my speedometer. The climb out was tough and I felt breathless but once we summitted I felt good. The 4-mile climb was followed by 11 miles of snow however. Snow on flat ground is not a big deal, snow on the side of a mountain, up and down small hills...ummm yeah, not so good. I and the people I found myself with were slipping, sliding and falling all over the place. I worried that the early snow acrobatics we were doing would bite us in the butt later and in my case it did. After Michigan Bluff (mile 55) I had the energy to burn and from that point all the way to mile 90 I made up time, passed a lot of people and was within the 24-hour mark. However it was also at Michigan Bluff that I felt the twinges on my left posterior tibial tendon (runs along and on the inside of the achilles tendon). I could feel the twinges of pain going up my shin. By mile 90 the pain, even with acetaminophen and my lucky orange bandana wrapped around the ankle for compression, got a lot worse and I pretty much ended up walking the last 6 miles. The pain and pure exhaustion kept me out of the 24 mark. Like I mentioned I'm still a bit disappointed about that but I'm not too broken up about it.

Everything is okay except that damned tendon. There is a specific point that is swollen and tender to the touch, it also still hurts to walk. It's injured I'm sure and it will just need time to heal. Lucky for me I haven't planned anything for the summer. I can take my time healing and coming back. I'm also lucky that the injury is in an area that I can easily get to with my fingers. I can ice it and also massaged it when it's much better.

Steven Bin used my camera and took pictures all day, videos too. I have a lot of images to process but in the meantime I have pictures that friends took of me, from registration to finish. Enjoy the pictures.

By Jorge Velasco
At registration with fellow Pinoy runner, Jose San Gabriel. Photo by George Velasco.

With Carmela and Ben by Ben Gaetos
With more fellow Pinoy runners, Ben Gaetos and Carmela Layson, during the pre-race brief. Photo courtesy of Ben Gaetos.

With Sarah at the start
With Sarah Crosby-Helms at the start line the morning of the race. Photo by Steven Bin.

The climb out of Squaw Valley by Drymax Socks
Almost at the top of the climb out of Squaw Valley. Photo by Drymax Socks.

Tip Toeing on Icy Snow by Gary Wang
Cath Todd in front of our merry group. This was an icy section, notice how the snow is not giving way under my feet. Yes it does suck falling on top of it. Well first it sucks tripping or sliding on it then it's the gift that keeps on giving when you slam on top of it with your knee or whatever. Photo by Gary Wang who volunteered all day. He was on the course as a safety runner and again at the river helping people cross.

Mosquito Road by Glenn Tachiyama
Mosquito Road with Kathleen Egan. Another photo by Glenn Tachiyama.

On the Course by George Velasco
This may be Dusty Corners. Photo by George Velasco.

By Glenn Tachiyama
This may be Dusty Corners. Photo by Glenn Tachiyama.

Coming into Michigan Bluff by Amy Freund McCrea
Happy to be out of the Canyons. Heading into the Michigan Bluff aid station, mile 55. Photo by Amy Freund McCrea.

Mocha at Michigan Bluff by Jessica Fewless
Checking calories at Michigan Bluff. I like the cold coffee drinks later in the day. Photo by my crew chief Jessica Fewless.

At Michigan Bluff by Ben Gaetos
Leaving Michigan Bluff with my crew, Steven Bin (in the back), Jessica Fewless (lugging supplies) and Sarah Crosby-Helms (also carrying gear and supplies). Photo by Ben Gaetos.

With pacers at Michigan Bluff by Chris Perillo
Leaving Bath road aid station, mile 60, flanked by my two pacers, Peter Duyan (60- 80) and Sarah Crosby-Helms (80 - 100). Photo courtesy of Chris Perillo.

Coming into Foresthill by Amy Freund McCrea
Coming into Foresthill, mile 62, followed by Peter Duyan. Felt really, really good here.

Last mile by Jessica Fewless
The last friggin' mile to the school! Photo by Jessica Fewless.

At the Finish by Stan Jensen
Look at that sprinting form, a thing of beauty! Errr okay, maybe not. I like this photo because it shows Larissa Polischuk and Sarah Crosby-Helms running alongside. Photo by Stan Jensen.

Well that's it. I'll spend part of the weekend processing my own photos and videos, thank you Steven Bin. I should have those up by next week.


  1. Love the pictures Rick. Great job on your finish! Hope to see you soon. Perhaps at Javelina? E

  2. congratulations, rick! you are really an inspiration. good job! looking at your splits, i could sense that something went wrong on the last 10 miles but that injury will make you stronger and faster in your future races. please keep inspiring us!!!

  3. Yeah Rick! Awesome job. Sorry your tendon got messed up! You are such a trooper!

  4. Congrats on another WS finish! Rest up and I hope that tendon heals soon.

  5. Awesome job, Rick! those pictures tell a great story. And oh that posterior tib tendon! I know that one all too well. Heal fast, my friend!

  6. Sorry that I didn't see you out there this year - I was having some trouble keeping up with my own runner :). Bummer that you didn't get that silver buckle you deserve, but congrats on toughing it out for another finish. You're probably the best ultra runner that I know who doesn't have a sub-24 WS buckle yet ... but you'll get one some day for sure. Keep running strong, dude.

  7. Congrats! Hope the tendon heals soon. Loved your RR:)

  8. Congratulations! Awesome time and effort. I hope I can make it next year. Cheers.

  9. Great Job Rick, glad we had a chance to catch up!

    Love the pics and recover well my friend, U done good grinding it out at the end!

  10. Rick, my sincere congratulations to you for finishing that race. I can't even imagine! Fantastic pictures! Way to go, and I hope you are recovering well!

  11. I don't think I've ever met a Pinoy ultra runner! Way to represent. Awesome job. Love the pictures and congratulations! How's the recovery after a grueling race like WS? I'm curious.

  12. Thanks Everyone!

    Aileen: It all depends, sometimes 4 weeks sometimes as long as 7. Depends on the race, how hard it was and the kind of shape I'm in going into it. Recovery times are also different for everyone, I know folks who have run another hundred two weeks after. Yeah there's a bunch of us Pinoy ultra runners here in California!

  13. Anonymous7:20 PM

    Hi Rick. Hope the recovery time is going well. I'm still enjoying your blog posts. Followed the TRT 50/100 over the weekend. Lots of things have happened since last seeing you. I've joined (or rejoined) the Pamakids Running Club last week. Also, I've moved from blogger to wordpress. The URL is Please take care and will see you soon! Next ultra? Likely the Six Hour Run on New Year's Eve is not something beforehand.

  14. I ran through some of the creeks with you after the snow section. Glad you had a good race!

  15. I remember you Brenda. We froze our feet on that first creek crossing!

  16. Great to see you at the SF Marathon this weekend! It's been far too long. Glad to hear things are well.