Mucky Mieko

Mucky Mieko

 By Mucky Mieko Member:

OMG, it was amazing race. 

Los Pinos 50K, per Race Director "
"This is arguably the toughest 50K in Southern California. Wimps and whiners need not apply. You must possess a strong body, mind and soul, otherwise the trail will eat you alive. Don’t say we didn’t warn you."

Yup, she was right.  This race was no joke.  The 50K course was a very, very technical trail with total of more than 8,000 feet gain.  The race day was a brutal course, it rained... and added wind, gust and hail.  I began my body so many times lower than nearest tree to avoid to blow away, I remember one point I has flat on the trail so I won't taken by wind...  Fog was coming up and rain was blowing side way and hail was started hitting my face... Trail.. well.. muddy, slippy and water keep running down. 
First 12 miles was great, my favorite down hills and Art was behind of me, making sure kicking my bottom to move me, but I was having this sharp knee pain when I went uphill... so I knew I was so, so slow.  Once Art and I arrived mile 12 aid station, I told Art about my knee problem then he took off saying "You really like to play in the mud, don’t you??   I will be thinking about you when I climb up Horsethief!!"...  oh yes, if anyone know the course, it is one of the toughest trail in socal... I told myself just keep going...
Once I started climbing 8 miles of uphill... I think it was about 6,000 feet of elevation gain, I can see trail between the fog...  and I thought about the story of "The little Red Train"...  (actually Erik told me this story a couple of days before race...)  I was keep repeating myself, I am the little Red train, "Yes, I think I can,  I think I can... "... just one step at the time.  Right foot and left foot...  long long 4 hours on 8 miles alone...

Finally when I arrived at mile 20 aid station, I was going to mention the "D" word... but there were my favorite running friends.  Smiling, refilling my water... without what I wanted to say, they said "10 more miles only, you can do it, you look GREAT!!"  then they are guiding me to the next trail head...  oh boy, how they are good... when I knew, I was already next section on the course to next aid station...

Raining still hard.  Now I am in the canyon, getting cold, so I kept moving.. then I missed the marker (I knew this trail so I was just catching the speed on downhill) when I realized I missed the turn, I really screamed "WHY??  MIEKO REALLY???!!!"  then I start back tracking the trail to where I suppose to turn.     It was the Horsethief Trail.  At the begining of the trail, 3 trees were knocked down and I needed to go over and under to go through.  But my legs were beaten up with uphill and downhill with freezing weather, once I brought my legs up to go over the first tree, my tight got cramped up.  oh boy... what a pain.  My body was bending forward, could not stretch... I needed to go two more trees to go on on the trail.  I popped a couple of my salt tablet in my mouth and massaged my tight and try to let it loose, but nothing was working.
I  literally told my legs, "hey, listen, I need to go to the trail and keep going.  I need to go two more trees, I need you go corporate with me, got it??"...  then finally I started feeling loose.  I moved carefully not to get cramp again... went under the tree on 2nd one and went under the 3rd tree... PHEW.. finally, I am back on the trail.  And my final ascend started.  Yes again in my heal, I kept repeating to myself "Yes, I can, yes I can"...

When I reached top of the trail, there were DONN!!! in the rain, wind and freezing gust, he was there as a volunteer, welcomed me.  Let me tell you... these type of race, when you see the familiar face after the hell time, I forget everything just happened...  I thanked all the volunteers were there and took off to the next aid station. 
Sun was setting, getting dark... even 4pm, it was raining and got dark very quick.  Final 2 miles I was in the dark no headlamp, I got little lost at final section, but I managed to find the way to the finish line.   Time I finished??  I really don't care.  I had great time and it was brutal race.  Finishing was the most important thing for me... and I did.
Erik came in 4th over all, 3rd in male, amazing... next race, who knows which one I would do, but If you want to find Erik, just look from the top... and if you want to find me, just look from the bottom on the