The Superbowl is Sunday February 1. My Steelers are going to the show! There will be no races, no long training runs and no hill training. Just me and the Steelers on Sunday. There are only a handful of items that would keep me from running the trails. Steelers in the Superbowl, well, that ranks as number 1.
Okay, Calico is over. Now what? After I reported in to Rick about the race, gave him the lowdown on how I felt, did I have enough training, would I do anything different? Everything was good, I probably could have pushed it a little more, but I had many things working against me before the run, so all in all, it was good. "We need to discuss the next phase of your training". Got that sentence in an email. Wonder what that means? The next time we see each other, he casually tosses out "I've signed you up for the San Juan Trail 50K in March. You can be ready by then. Or there's Old Goat's a few weeks later." 7 weeks to get in enough mileage and hill training for a 30 mile trail race.
Here's the plan-we are both crazy to even consider this... week 1-15 mile long run, 8 miles OC marathon training run, 5-6 mile el moro hill training, hill sprints.
week 2-17 mile long run, 8 mile OC marathon training run, 6-10 mile el moro hill training, hill work, recovery runs.
week 3-18 mile long run, 9 mile OC marathon training run, 6-10 mile hill training run, more hill work, recovery run
week 4-20 mile long run, 9 mile OC marathon training run, 8-10 mile hill run, hill work, recovery run.
week 5-20+ long run thru part of the course, 10 mile oc marathon training run, 10-12 miles easy, speed work.
week 6-taper week week 7-taper week.
the runs are not in order, OC marathon trains Saturday, my long runs are usually Monday and I sprinkle the rest of the miles in during the week as I have time.
The desert is beautiful this time of the year. The weather cool and crisp. And race day for the Calico Ghost town 30/50K was perfect. As we huddled around the starting gate I started peeling off extra clothing. I didn't need my jacket, warm-up pants and gloves. The temp. was about 35 degrees with no wind. I'd met up with Lauren (a fellow OCTR), this was her first 30K also, we had a few minutes to compare gear, take some pictures and then we were one our way. The first mile and a half was road and downhill. I kept an eye on my Garmin to make sure I didn't start off too fast...Rick sent me at least 2 emails before I left home reminding me to watch my pace. 11min/miles. We rounded a turn and started up on a sandy trail. For the next 9 miles it was going to be mostly gentle uphills with sand. The first aid station (6.8mi) arrived surprisingly fast. We dropped off extra clothing, I didn't eat or drink there and we moved on. We'd run the entire way so far and it felt easy because the incline was so low, but none the less, it was an incline and I was worried if I kept running the entire way I'd burn out by the end. So I started running for 10 min and walking for 2. This worked well for me. A few steep hills I walked up and made good time on the downhill. Then there was this slot canyon that was filled with rock...It was so hard to run it. I almost twisted my ankle twice. At one point after almost falling and pulling my hamstring I had to stop and regroup. It was not worth the injury to try and make up time, so I walked thru the canyon. I think it was the 3rd aid station, there was a little goat! It kept wanting to run off after the runners, I wish I'd taken a picture! The time and miles were passing quickly. No pain in my foot, quad or hamstrings. Just a little bit of soreness from my shoes. I'd decided to go with all Hammer products for this race. Gel, Heed, endurolytes and Perpetuum in an attempt to alleviate stomach issues. It was working. I wasn't tired or feeling bloated, a big improvement over previous long runs. At mile 17 we reached a turnoff, with 2 men directing the runners, as I passed them they yelled out "2 miles to go". The trail went along the top of a ridge, and I could see the finish. But then the trail led away from the town up and down some rolling hills. I could see a handful of runners in the distance. Down thru the campground, thru the parking lot and finally up a REALLY steep service road before we entered the town. It was a nice downhill run to the finish line. 4 hours and 20 min. from start to finish. And I felt great! My goal was to finish. Finishing under 4 1/2 hours was even nicer.
The Calico 30K is just days away. I've been fighting a cold, a sore foot and a temperamental left leg. A quick run around the neighborhood last night was both worrisome and encouraging. The first 2 miles were agonizing. I couldn't catch my breath, my left leg-the whole leg-felt like one big cramp and my nose wouldn't stop running. All at an achingly slow 11 min. pace. I walked for a bit, and considered walking the rest of the way home, but that meant walking 2 miles and it was getting dark. Soooo I started running again, more of a crooked shuffle than run. I saw a trail that borders the park and headed off in that direction. A little out of my way, but dirt sounded better than asphalt. As soon as my feet hit the soft brown dirt it was magic. My left leg felt better and my pace picked up. The congestion in my sinuses cleared and I could breathe. The two hills at the end of my run felt easy and my legs were light. As I turned into my tract, I wasn't breathing hard and nothing hurt too badly. Very encouraging. I realize that 4 miles is not 19, but there are still 2 days to heal. And as all my fellow runners remind me...you can always walk.
A few months ago I headed out to El Moro for an evening run. It was going to be a busy night, after the run I'd drive down PCH to Dana Point and run with the Fleet Feet people, with a Bart Yasso book signing after. I dashed out of the house with my gear and took off to El Moro. The coast was beautiful, fog was rolling in and filling the canyon. Where are my Asics? no problem, i'll wear my extra pair of old shoes that i keep in the car just for these emergencies. no spare? oh, that's right, i wore them a week ago and left them out to dry in the backyard. I looked at my watch. I didn't have time to go home, get my shoes, run and still make it to Dana Point in time. Sadly, I drove home. Swearing I'd never get caught unprepared again. Fast forward to today. hmmm, my purse has been feeling a little heavy. time to clean it out. l. Garmin Forerunner 301 2. Accel Gel-strawberry kiwi 3. Accel Gel-chocolate w/ caffeine 4. 1 tube of nuun-lemon chai flavor 5. promax bar-nutty butter crisp 6.Gatorade nutrition bar-chocolate chip 7. 21 safety pins 8. 6 non-pulling hair bands 9. a full size tube of sunscreen 10. a tube of zipfizz
no shoes... but then there is still the gear bag in the trunk of my car...
After hearing alot of good things about the WTRS I decided to try the first race, a 12K. Saturday morning was cold and windy up at Blue Jay campground. I'd arrived about an hour early and was greeted by a somewhat crazed Baz as he tried to organize the parking situation. Working with the Ranger he managed to get 150 runners parked, signed in and ready to run. Thru the campground and up a singletrack we all ran. The trails were pretty rocky and I took my first fall early on. I immediately got up and kept going, afraid I would get trampled by the runners behind me! I could feel a little blood trickling down my leg, but with about 30 people behind me on a narrow singletrack trail it was not a good place to stop. On and on we ran. Up hills, down hills. Back and forth thru switchbacks. By mile 4 I found myself running alone. I caught glimpses of a pack of runners in front of me and I knew that there were at least 20 behind. The trail was well marked and I never felt like I was going the wrong way...my biggest concern! It was a beautiful run with great weather and enthusiastic people. I believe there are 3 more races in the series and I highly recommend giving them a try. Just meeting Baz and getting one of his great hugs was worth the trip in itself. www.bigbaztrailraces.com
Like other runners, I have PR, distance and health goals. Here are my "other" goals!
1. Buy more running shoes than 2008 2. Find the perfect mascara. One that won't run during a marathon 3. Learn to read a trail map. 4. Take a good race pix. My worst, hands down, 2008 Dana Point Turkey Trot. 5. Run and talk at the same time. It's more about not falling than not breathing... 6. Beat Benny 7. Run faster so the scenery changes more quickly 8. Run faster so I can run farther and get home at a reasonable hour. And not have to worry that search and rescue is looking for me.