Friday, December 18, 2009

What's Up?

Oh, by the way...did I mention my name was picked for WS100 2010?
But, sadly, I will not be running this wonderful race.  I did not qualify.  My 2 attempts at 100 milers were failed ones.  My 2 50 miler times were both greater than 11 hours.  I'd thrown in my name into the WS lottery pot before JJ100.  After not finishing, I'd gotten an email from the lottery folks asking if I'd like to enter my qualifying run at this time.  I had to let them know that I did not qualify and to take my name out of the pool.  So, on the morning of the lottery, I'm at work, and I can hear my blackberry making all kinds of noise.  It's busy so I ignore it all until I get home.  Imagine my surprise to see several texts and emails congratulating me on getting into Western States!  I knew there was a mistake, but first time entered, I'm the second name picked...I didn't know whether to laugh or cry !!!! Soon after, I got an email from the lottery guy confirming there was an error.  Boo....Maybe next year?
Which brings me to this post...What's up for next year?
This is my list...and it is all subject to change.
1.  Transrockies-we are officially signed up.
2. Miwok-no i didn't get picked, but I will help Rick out if he wants it.
3. Coyote 2 moons-looks like fun?
4.Way too Cool
5. SD 100-unfinished business
6. LD50-my first 50 this year, will try to run it for time next year
7. PCT 50
8. Death Ride-a bike ride!
9. Quad Dipsea-gotta practice running stairs for next year
10  ?? open to suggestions! any idea's??

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Mighty Chimera

We'd been watching the weather forecasts all week. A couple of storms were due in the week of the Chimera 100K/M race. Maybe the Wednesday before and maybe the Saturday of the race. Wednesday was overcast but no rain, looks like the storm stayed north. What about Saturday? Could we be lucky and skirt that storm too? Friday was cold and cloudy. I decided I'd better be a little proactive and get some warmer running gear. My North Face Summit series jacket would work-seemed to be warm enough on Whitney, but I needed some running pants. Got an online deal for some NF rain pants. That would have to be enough...maybe it won't rain that much...

Packing up my drop bag, more like a drop suitcase, I put in a complete change of clothing, a waterproof shell and matching pants. These were just in case items, I was figuring the storm to hit in the evening, and clean dry clothes would be a big pick me up at mile 44.

We arrived at Blue Jay campground at 0530, and discovered the race start was pushed back to 0630. We relaxed a bit, chatted with other runners and tried to get a glimpse of Karl Melzer.
At 0630 we took off down the first 9 mile loop. Narrow singletrack, rocky and rooty. The first couple of miles were great fun, bombing the downhills. But then came the mud and uphills. At least the weather was cooperating! A bit of drizzle, but pretty warm-good running temp. We get back to Blue Jay to stock up on essentials, then head out to the main divide. The majority of the next 50+ miles were to be on the main divide road, a short downhill on the motorway and maple springs trail.

As we head out to the trabuco trailhead aid station the weather takes a dump. It is now pouring rain. Along with the wind the rain feels like hail hitting my face. Temperatures are dropping. And we are climbing...and climbing....and climbing...The Trabuco Trailhead aid station was manned by many familiar trailheadz. Steve Harvey, the RD made sure his runners would be well taken care of. Hot soup/drinks at all the aid stations. Heaven!

Next stop, trabuco peak aid station...

I must say, for all the cold and wind and rain...this run was a true adventure. We had a great time slogging thru the mud. Dodging falling rocks. I'd long ago given up skirting the puddles. My montrail mountain masochists seemed to be made for this type of punishment.
We finally arrive at the trabuco peak aid station. Those poor volunteers had their hands full. Their tent was barely standing, and they seemed as wet as the runners. Yet they were still there offering help, food and water. After a brief stop we headed up again, to Santiago Peak.
We'd been out on the trail for 6.5-7 hours. The last 4 in pouring rain. Running the downhills allowed me to warm up, but the slow hikes uphill were hard, you feel the cold. In my mind I just wanted to get to the Maple springs AS to get some dry clothes and waterproof clothing. So I was counting down the miles. Finally we make the peak AS. As soon as we enter the tent the Kristen the Ham operator in charge of the AS tells us the race has been called. The conditions are too dangerous now. The trabuco peak aid station has completely blown away leaving runners having to navigate 9 miles unaided. The roads are washing out and people are getting hypothermic.
We have the option to continue on 5 more miles to the Maple springs AS, or wait it out until the rescue vehicle can haul us out. The tent is filling fast, the wind is howling and snow is falling. We all are trying to make the best of a seriously crazy situation.
After an hour a rescue vehicle arrives, a young man with a SUV who volunteered to drive the 13miles in crazy weather to pick up standed crazy runners! We are packed into the Exterra, dirty, wet and muddy, slipping and sliding over the main divide. Great fun!!! All part of the adventure!! Over an hour later we finally pull in to Blue Jay campground. We thank our driver and head over to warm up on hot homemade delicous soup.

Total miles...about 23. Would I do this again next year...absolutely!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Still Running Along

I haven't posted since September! Time flies much too quickly. This year has flown by at a supersonic pace.
Let's see, much has happened since we summited Mt. Whitney. I had to take a few weeks off from running to let my ankle heal. That was very hard. And it was even harder to start running again. Javelina Jundred, my second attempt to run 100 miles, was Oct. 31, so my goal was to get my ankle healthy enough to run that race. By the end of September I could hobble thru a 5 mile run. 2 weeks before JJ we shuffled through a 19 mile flat road run...that would be our long run. Rick's heels were bothering him and my ankle was still weak, but getting stronger. The JJ course is sandy and mostly flat, so our hope was to make the most of this "easy" trail run.
It was a 100 mile Halloween party! Runners in costume and families with their kids filled the start area and campground.
Now the JJ course feels very flat. Especially the first loop when your legs are fresh. But it is actually about 6-7 miles of slight uphill, and then back to the start with a slight downhill. So pace is critical. Most runners burn out starting at an all out run and having nothing left by the 5th loop. We completed the first loop in 3.5 hours. Very easy, a good mellow pace. 2nd loop was a little slower, but the temps were going up too, about 3.75 hours. Loop 3 was hot. Staying hydrated was our big concern. Alot of people were not looking good. We finished in 4.25 hours. Now, loop 4 was started at dusk. Hot, tired and undertrained we fell way off pace. We both had ugly painful blisters. People looked like the walking dead...these were the ones without costumes! We both were considering dropping at the 100K mark-the end of the 4th loop, but hadn't yet spoke our minds. At the last aid station before the start/finish line we sat, drinking hot coffee and taking IB. I was exhausted and my feet were killing me. After about 30 min. we gathered whatever strength we had left and headed out to finish. Kris B. runs past us, looking absolutely marvelous! She say's she's gotten her second wind and flies by! Her bewildered pacer trailing behind... The coffee and IB kick in, suddenly both Rick and I feel pretty good and we chase after Kris. It was a good last couple of miles. We arrive at the campground somewhere around 4.75 hours. Nearly 5 hours to complete the 4th loop. We would have to complete the next 36 miles in less than 12 hours. Our feet were toast. So we accepted the 100k belt buckle and offically dropped.
Considering we didn't train for this, I think we did pretty well.
Rick and I had an extra day to enjoy Scottsdale before heading back to the OC.

Quad Dipsea-This race is run the Saturday after Thanksgiving. 2 up and backs along the Dipsea trail in northern CA. Beautiful views, a hill named "Cardiac" and 600+ stair steps make this a memorable run for all those who attempt it. Rick's run this about 10 times, when he asked me if I'd like to run with him this year I was thrilled that he felt that I could finish this tough race. I am not much of a hill runner...
There is a "generous" 8 hour cutoff for this 28 mile race, and we used pretty much the whole time to finish. But, we took alot of pictures...too many great views to let slip away, and chatted with some great people, Catra Corbett, Ann Trason and her husband Carl, and Errol the rocket Jones. Life is too short, gotta stop to smell the ocean air and meet some wonderful runners along the way. After crossing the finish line, we had grilled sausage and some bean soup (beer was long gone) and headed home.

Next up...Chimera 100K Dec. 12.