I was finally able to get my California Jinx out of my system. I've never lost an Ultra marathon anywhere other than California but in California I had lost all 5 that I had run before yesterday. Hopefully this is the start of at least two California wins in a row.
The American River 50 went pretty well yesterday. It felt a bit too much like a road race for my liking, but I had a lot of fun with it nonetheless. I felt good most of the day, but I never felt really confident for any long periods of time. I kept wanting to find the kind of groove that I got into last November at Mountain Masochist but I couldn't ever quite get there for more than a few minutes at a time. I felt better as the tougher terrain came up in the last 20 miles, but unfortunately for my liking the tougher terrain was still pretty smooth and flat. I was physically pretty tired at this point, and at times felt like I was stuck in mud and could hardly move, but mentally it felt really nice to be on trails and climbing up and down a little bit.
When it was said and done I was able to pull away for the win (I took the lead for good with about 18 miles to go and never saw another runner after that) and squeak across the finish line in just under 5:50. I was very pleased with my race from a competitive standpoint, but I do still feel a little like my body is in early season form and will hopefully feel stronger and stronger as the season moves forward. Or perhaps it was the 30 miles of pavement that made my body feel a bit "off".