After losing the bulk of 2012 to injury, Cassie Scallon is officially back with her course record-setting (7:47:42) win at the 2013 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile. In the following interview, Scallon talks about the highs and lows of her race, her injury and recovery, and why she might race Western States in June.
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Cassie Scallon Post-2013 Lake Sonoma 50 Mile Interview Transcript
iRunFar: Bryon Powell of iRunFar here with Cassie Scallon. Cassie, you won the Lake Sonoma 50 today in a course record!
Cassie Scallon: Yep.
iRF: Good day out there?
iRF: It was impressive in the first half of the race. You went out aggressively.
Scallon: Yes, it just felt good. I was thinking in the first 20 miles, Well, maybe I’ll just have a miracle day and it’s all going to go really well. I haven’t run 50 miles in so long; maybe I forgot how to pace it? Yeah, then I fell apart.
iRF: You looked strong enough at mile 25. Then I saw you at mile 30, I can say this now, I didn’t think you were finishing. I thought you were done.
Scallon: I would have taken any excuse to drop out. If everyone would have passed me like it kind of felt like everyone should have (I was going so slow), then I would have dropped. Absolutely.
iRF: How long did that last?
Scallon: Until mile 40—low 40s somewhere.
iRF: Do you think there was anything in particular that may have caused it other than pacing?
Scallon: I was eating maybe too well. It was all sitting in my stomach and jiggling around. It helped to stop eating. I think it was just going out too fast and maybe being a little bit undertrained.
iRF: You fell apart for a little while there. Joelle passed you. When did that happen?
Scallon: I don’t remember exactly.
iRF: Somewhere in the 30s?
Scallon: Somewhere in the 30s.
iRF: Does the light switch go back on somewhere?
Scallon: All the sudden I saw her again. I felt like I was crawling, so I was really surprised. I saw her and a couple of the guys I’d run with a little bit. I was like, Maybe I’m not doing as bad as I thought. The cramping in my legs started to go away a little bit. I just picked it up and ran up by them.
iRF: You ran strong to the finish. Were you thinking about the course record at that point or were you just trying to finish?
Scallon: I thought about it, but at one point at 14 miles to go, I was thinking it might take 3 hours [to finish].
iRF: Not on course record pace.
Scallon: That definitely wouldn’t have been a course record.
iRF: What really makes, in my mind, your win and this course record here today all the more amazing is you had a great JFK in 2011 and ran great at Bandera (2012), and then you had a big injury. Do you mind if I ask about that? What happened?
Scallon: I had a big injury. Well, I put a complete crack up in the neck of my femur. By the time I had gotten it diagnosed, it had traveled all the way down to my knee. My whole femur was fractured.
iRF: It took awhile to find that out.
Scallon: Yes. I should have gotten an MRI right away. I kept putting it off. Everyone was saying it was probably a soft tissue injury. I was like, Oh, well, I’ll just see how far I can get with it. I had some goals I was going to try to accomplish. I should have just gotten it taken care of right away.
iRF: When did you finally start feeling you were getting over it?
Scallon: Well, I thought several times I was over it. Then I’d go out for a little run and get an MRI and find out it wasn’t healed. Finally in January (the 1st), I did my real run back.
iRF: You’ve built all this fitness in the span of three months.
Scallon: I guess so, but I feel like I’ve got a long ways to go. I don’t feel like I’m at the same point that I was at when I got injured.
iRF: What are your goals for this season? What are you looking at right now?
Scallon: Ice Age. I’m super excited to go home for Ice Age. Really, that was my only plan so far.
iRF: You get a ticket into the race today—Western States.
Scallon: Yes. It’s almost too soon for me to do 100 I think. I was actually picking up my packet for Western States (2012) when I got the call from my doctor about the injury. He said, “You run the race, your bone will probably go through your skin”
iRF: A compound fracture is not a good option.
Scallon: That was so, so, so hard. That was so disappointing. So maybe I’ll go ahead and do Western.
iRF: Maybe. You’ve got 2 weeks to decide. But it’s a possibility.
Scallon: Yes, for sure.
iRF: Awesome. Anything further into the summer, or are you playing it by ear at this point?
Scallon: I’m playing it by ear. I definitely want to be doing as much racing as I can this year. I’m really excited to be back. I have a whole new appreciation for being healthy.
iRF: Have you changed your approach to training at all in response to it?
Scallon: No. I’m just having a ton of fun with everybody in Boulder.
iRF: Congrats on your race today and enjoy your season and running in Boulder.