Friday, April 23, 2010

Leona Divide 50 Mile Run 2010

Leona Divide 2010.  A new course and a new RD.  Keira from the Trailheadz accepted the position of RD last year.  So this years run, while it kept the flavor of the original LD50, she added miles of the PCT. 
Keeping in what is becoming a tradition of our Leona start...or rather missing the start...we headed out about 4 minutes behind the last runner.  But, if given the choice of being 4 min. late or missing a chance at the bathrooms...well...go figure!
It was an absolutely beautiful morning to run!  Clear and cool.  Rick and I slowly made our way up the first hill.  Catching and passing the first runner after about a mile. About 3 or 4 miles later we saw the a small cluster or Trailheadz-Beiyi, Doug (Doug's daughter Michelle broke the women's course record!) andYen.

All things considered, we were doing pretty well.  We both felt pretty good and the miles started falling away.  The aid stations were awesome, the workers were helpful and the tables well stocked.  I tried not to graze too much, my stomach was still a bit raw from the day before...don't know why, but it was.  Took two pepto bismols before the start and they helped.  So I stayed away from solid foods untl it settled.  Gels and Heed were enough until lunch time.
The mile 23 aid station, the "70's Station" was run by what looked to be college age runners.  All very young and fit, and dressed in 70's clothing.  Just before we arrived we caught up with veteran runner Fred who was looking strong.  He was a good sport and took a picture with the AS volunteers.
It was high energy and Earth, Wind and Fire at this stop!  They pampered us, but sent us on our way. The next stop was over 6 miles away, but we were feeling really strong and looking forward to getting to the turnaround at 29 miles.
The next 4 miles, while on beautiful singletrack, were tough!!!  I struggled thru this and wondered when it was going to end!!!  We started seeing runners coming back thru this section, the front runners, this encouraged us because we hoped this meant we were close to the turnaround.  I heard Rick ask a few how much farther until the Aid station and the answers were always "at least 3 miles"...The trail seemed fairly flat, rolly mostly. Why was it so hard?  I could hardly keep up a run for more than a few minutes without feeling drained.  I pushed the fluids and gels, thinking i must be getting low on fuel, but it didn't help much.  Finally we break out of the tree covered singletrack and on to open fireroad.  Crew directed us to keep right, and it was still 2.5 miles.  But it wall all DOWNHILL!! Allright!!!! I felt the wings open up and flew the first mile or so.  It was a fairly steep grade, so after a mile I slowed it down to keep the knees and quads in shape, and also because I knew we'd be hiking up this grade in a few minutes.  We saw many familiar faces at the turnaround, Corrinne who was battling a strained hamstring was just behind us looking so determined!  Beiyi and Sue were not too far behind her.
Climbing back up the fireroad was slow and hot.  I took it a little too easy and  let people pass me.  This is where Fred found what he was looking for and passed us.  We would never see him again until the finish  line!  I was dreading that 4 mile section of the PCT.  After reaching the top of the fireroad and starting on to singletrack, I noticed it seemed all downhill...we kept going, all wonder I felt so crappy, it was all uphill the first time thru and we were trying to run the whole thing!  Well, the second time thru was fun and fast.  Shady soft brown dirt with a mild downhill. We flew, trying to make up lost time.  We get back to the 70's station happy and refreshed.  This marks the 35.5 mile point.  We are at 8.5 hours.  15 miles left.  We decide to shoot for under 12 hours and head out. 
While our legs are feeling pretty good, Ricks stomach has other plans for us.  He is sensitive to sunscreen and he thinks a bit of it entered his water bottle at the last aid station.  He battled nausea for the last 15 miles.  We would trade off leading.  I would march on and try to keep the pace while he took needed breaks.  The day was warming up and that wasn't helping him either.  After the 42 mile aidstation was the last hill. It was a doozie too, no shade and over 4 miles of climb. We passed more people, and a few passed us.  Alot of "walking dead" on this stretch.   We discussed strategy here, should we just take our time and finish, or set a goal?  Rick wanted to finish better than last year, which was 12:39 i believe.  So we leave the comfort of the last aid station and begin the final miles. I keep a close eye on my garmin and our pace.  We are running 13 min's going to be close...we reach another hill, more walking...21 min miles.   finally I recognize the homestretch.  I look behind me to see how Rick is holding up.  He's still looking strong, running straight and tall.  It's all downhill now, we hit the half mile with plenty of time left and cruise across the finish line.  12:13.
Rick finds the first bench and calls it home.  He  looks pale, but still strong...and manages not to throw up at the finish line!!   Steve and Annie of the trailheadz give us hugs and congratulations.  I see Janet and we chat, she runs off to get Rick some water.   I try to eat a bit, share a little with the TH, but his stomach isn't quite ready for fajitas and spanish rice.  After an hour he's able to shuffle over to the dining hall, get a little food down.  He's looking much better, but a nap seems to be the next on the list.  So we make our way to the SUV, and much like last year...take a nap.

Next up...Miwok 100K May 1st.

Friday, April 9, 2010

"Speed work"

The weekend after the Way Too Cool 50K, I felt the need for speed.
I used to run 5 and 10K's all the time.  Once or twice a month! My times were never great, but they were fun and fast..
So, a very spur of the moment decision had me in Newport Beach running the Spirit Run 5K.  I originally had the 10K in mind but I overslept and ran the 5K. 
It's been about a year since I last ran a 5K.  This one even had chip timers, so it would be an "official" time. 
Standing at the starting line, I was feeling very nervous.  And very slow.  Especially after my less than stellar times in the back to back 50K's.  But, I'd decided to just do the best I could and treat it as speed work. 3 miles at race pace.
At the gun the race began...and it was a race!!! 1st mile at 8:06, even after dodging the walkers for the first 2 blocks.  2nd mile 8:03..negative splits!!  The 3rd mile was when the "race" began.  There was a man about 5 yards ahead of me, i'd kept him in sight since mile 2. He was easily loping along.  From behind, a man who looked to be in his 70's, passed me.  Slowly he caught the jogging man.  Jogging man, sensing he was about to be passed picked up his pace.  So I picked up my pace to keep the two of them in view.  Now, I could hear the steady breathing of someone behind me, on my right.  As I picked up my pace, the breather fell back a bit, but caught up.  A slight downhill ahead, again, I tried to pick up the pace and gain more of a lead.  A short distance later the breather was again on my tail.  The jogger ahead was no longer jogging...he was running trying to keep his lead, the 70 year old was not letting up!  On my tail was the breather, and 50 yds ahead was the finish line.  Should I go all out and smoke the breather or "maintain" and look casual as I cross the finish.  Being one to never want to look like she's trying too hard, I just kept my pace, and the breather passed me the last 20 yds.  I think the jogger kept his lead but he looked like he was spent. 
At the finish line the breather-I saw it was a woman, caught her breath and came over and shook my hand.  It was a good race, and a PR for me.  My final mile was under 8 min, because my overall pace was 7:50.  So negative splits! Woo Hoo!!!
Saturday is the Seal Beach 10K!  Last year was so much fun, Benny and I battled it out!  This year I have to work, so I'm going to be running after working all night, I'll try to keep it under 55 min.  Still it will be speedwork!
Oh, almost forgot!  After looking online at the Spirit race results, I discovered I placed 2nd in my age group! I think the woman that passed me took 1st!!


I've been good.  Added a few more miles since my last post.  I wanted to mention my run on Wednesday, which was less than memorable in miles, but a good reminder about running in the heat. I'd worked all night Tuesday, it was busy and didn't really have a chance to eat or drink much during my 10 hour shift.  After getting home and logging about 4 hours of sleep I got up and got ready for an afternoon run, it was going to be an easy short run thru the hills, recovery from Monday's run.  Ate a quick snack and ran out the door to el moro.  I started out feeling pretty good, but after the first hill my legs were quickly becoming fatigued.  It was warm out, so I started drinking.  Didn't help much.  By 3 miles I was walking back to the car, shaking my head trying to figure out what went wrong...Not enough sleep?  Don't think so, I do alot of training after work.  Heat?  Maybe, not enough heat training yet.  Low on calories?  Maybe, had only a p-nut butter sandwich in 12 hours.  Low on water?  Very likely.  I'd had 3 cups of coffee in 24hrs.  Thats it.  So I started out very dehydrated and as soon as i hit that first hill and started sweating my muscles were overheating.  Even after drinking a bottle of heed, I was still probably 3L low, and it didn't make much of a difference. 
I got home and downed another half liter of water, took an endurolyte, drank another half liter and ate dinner.
During my shift that night, I went easy on the coffee(not an easy thing to do) and kept up with the water and electrolytes.  The amazing thing, that morning, at the end of my 10 hours I felt great!  Much more energetic and clear minded than I usually do after drinking coffee all night long.  I had another run on my calender for Thursday afternoon.  So another 4 hours of sleep and I was up and on the trails again.  This time I finished off almost a liter of smartwater before getting on the trails.  Took an endurolyte and headed out to try to get in 9-10 miles before dark.  What a difference!! While I'm still a wimp on the hills I could get thru most of them without stopping, and then continue on quickly at the top.  At the end of the 9 miles I was tired and could feel the effects of the heat but could have continued on for more miles if I'd had the time.
So, moral to this little story...while drinking and eating during running is important, taking care of yourself while off the trails factors in big time too. I'd been too consumed with making sure I'd pack all my pills and powders for my run, I'd neglect to eat and drink properly before leaving the house.
And the warm up is very important too...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010


After Way Too Cool I felt I needed to rethink my training, or rather my lack of training.  The 50K's were turning into my long runs, which in theory is ok.  But I wasn't putting in enough miles in between. Short 5-6 milers to look at tadpoles.  3 miles to just stretch out the legs.  Then bam! 31 miles on the weekend. 
I started feeling really crappy.  Always tired, run times were getting slow and little aches and pains were cropping up.  With Leona Divide coming up, it was time to have a good "think" about what I need to do to get ready...yes, I know, I should already be ready....
So, last week I added miles. Some decent distances of at least 10 miles with hills.  I threw in a hilly 5 mile sprint just for good measure.  On Saturday I ran with the Trailheadz, got in about 24-25 easy miles in El Moro.By "easy" I mean I hiked most of the uphills.  On Monday Rick and I put in at least 15(my legs say 18-20) miles that included Big Bend. Rick runs the uphills, and I do my best to just keep him in sight.  Probably a rest day today and then 10 on Wednesday.  My legs are happy and I feel pretty strong.  The consistency in training seems to be paying off.  I guess next week will be taper week!