Saturday, February 21, 2009


Good turn out at Baz's place for the last of the WTRS race. 21K with the highlight section being up West Horsethief. At least for me, that was the section of the race that had me waking up in the middle of the night wondering if I could finish in under 4 hours! I'd run up Holy Jim-main divide-down West Horsethief-parking lot, about 14 miles and it took 4 hours. This training run, about 3 months ago included alot of breaks but i remembered feeling wiped out. And I remembered going down West Horsethief and being grateful I wasn't going up this steep trail.

The run started with a gentle uphill out of the campground. Rick, who passed me within the 1st mile of the run became a blur as we made our way up the ridge to the first aid station manned by

the so cal Trailheadz. After leaving the aid station, there as a downhill that lead into West Horsethief. I walked it up horsethief. Almost everyone in my pod of runners hiked it at a brisk pace, a few runners came up from behind, but most of them soon stopped running and hiked it also. So for about 40-45 min. we trudged up the trail getting the know the person in front and in back. At the top there was another aid station, again manned by the Trailheadz.

Up and down rolling hills on the main divide road then down Trabuco trail. I tried to make up time on my down hills. At one point I checked my Garmin and I was running under 7 min miles.
I think I passed 4 or 5 people during this stretch and if I didn't hit too many more uphills I could finish with a decent time.
As I entered the campground there was one really small incline before the finish, maybe 300 yards legs just put on the brakes! I could see the finish line but I had to stop for a few seconds catch my breath and will my self to shuffle over and finish the race.
Final time was 2:29 and I was grateful for that.
Rick had my camera and took some amazing photos, check out Baz's website to see them.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Training for the OC

I finally made it back to train with the OC Marathon group. After missing at least 3 or 4 weeks of the Saturday long runs due to the trail races I was curious to see what pace I could maintain for the 9 miles planned for today.
I'd been running 10 miles-from work to the HB pier and back-on a pretty regular basis. But my times have been horrible, and I felt that it was a struggle just to finish.
After a busy night at work I jumped into the car and tried to get to the group before they left. They took off as I was still getting my gear in order and I was about 3 minutes behind. It was a push as I tried to catch them. The run felt good. The air was clean and the temp. was perfect.
I never caught up with them, somewhere along Jamboree they took the high road and I went low and never saw them again. Using the Garmin to track the miles I turned around at 4.66 and headed back. My pace out was between 8-9 min/mi but I was feeling it on the way back, and my pace fell to 10. So I took it easy back, enjoyed the scenery and thought about next weeks WTRS 21K race. Final numbers: 1:30, 9.38 miles, 9.41min/mi pace. Thanks for the cupcake Nicole!
Happy Valentines Day everyone!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

"Ultra" Training

During my long run on Tuesday my mind drifted in and out of various subjects. 14 miles at what averaged out to be 11min/miles pace allows you alot of time to think. The most telling of my rambling thoughts was of knitting. Before I started running, I used to knit.
I had stashes of yarn hidden away in closets, boxes in the garage and under the bed. I collected patterns and knitting needles. Every ball of yarn became a beautiful handknit sweater in my mind.
Not knowing how to knit was a little problem, but I checked out books from the library and downloaded instructions on the internet. Soon I could knit scarves and beanies. The next step...socks and sweaters...actual clothing!
Here is where knitting socks and training for an ultra become one.
In 2 years of knitting, I never finished a sweater or a pair of socks. I think I had at least 7 projects going, and DNF every one.
Will I finish a 50K? Will I train hard enough? Do I have the mental fortitude to push on?
Or will the SJT 50K be like the first pair of unfinished socks in my running career?
I should be at 18 miles this week, yet I'm only at 14 for my LSD run. 17 total for the week so far.
Will I dream of knitting or running tonight?

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Baz's WTRS 18K

About 100 hearty runners showed up this morning to run Baz's 18K trail race. At 4:41 am the sound of pouring rain woke me up...and I thought "no way I'm running today". But, there I was with the rest of the trail addicted, at 0730 standing in line to check in.
There was light drizzle throughout most of the run, nothing like running the Dana Point Turkey, weatherwise the temp. was good, but the trail was really wet. After trying to mince my way around all the puddles and mud holes for about 4 miles and losing alot of time I just gave in and slogged right through the middle of them. This was better until I hit a puddle the size of a small pond and sunk shin deep into squishy mud and nearly lost a shoe! About another mile along and I misstep and faceplant in the mud. I get up, wipe off my hands and take a few steps and fall back into the mud. My shoes weigh about 10lbs and now I'm looking for puddles to rinse off my feet!
My friend and co-worker Rick ran this race also, he was so fast I lost him after the first mile. He doesn't just run up the hills, he 'floats" effortlessly. I round a corner and look up this crazy hill and he's standing there as the unofficial trail photographer, snapping pictures. I ask him "how long have you been standing there?" "not long" is his answer, but looking at his watch the time difference is 20 minutes! He probably could have placed in his age group if he didn't wait up for me. Thanks!

So, despite the mud it was alot of fun. And at the finish line there were alot of people who looked like they had a good time too. Getting dirty, running in the rain it all makes for Magic...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Mt. Whitney-2009?

February is the month the Mt. Whitney lottery opens up. It brought up the question, "Shall we go again?". If we do make another attempt, will it be another easy 2 nights on the mountain or will it be the "do it in a day" madness that seems so infectious?
I enjoyed the backpacking, the night in the higher altitudes, the camaraderie with the other campers and the feeling of accomplishment after carrying the 40 lbs to Consultation Lake. The leisurely pace allowed us to take in the beauty of our surroundings.
If we try do the the same hike in a day, there is the added pressure of time, weather and stamina.
There is also no time to acclimate to the altitude, which was a big factor in reaching the summit last year.
We have a few weeks to decide.