Monday, September 28, 2009

Grand Canyon Introduction 20 days to go..

There are 20 days left before I plan on leaving to the Grand Canyon for a R2R2R run with our Trail Headz group. There are about 30+ people going; all running in a variety of distances so I think It'll be pretty exciting and challenging.
This run will be 45 miles give or take and it will begin on the South rim..its gonna be a gut check and I'm up for it.

So....I will ramp up my training, my hills and my........will power..... and take you for a ride with me! Hang-On! :) we start in the morning! early!

Point Mugu - XTERRA 18k -

Sunday, 27th 2009

No Ipods or MP3 Players! What!! dont they know thats an extention of my head while running. How is a person able to get up those hills and maintain without the sounds of head slamming rock bouncing between your ears!

Fine....Its left in the car....

I arrived at 5:30am to find that I was the first to get there!, my choice of prime PCH parking hurray! That was good because by 7:00 there was a line as far as you could see down PCH and even with a shuttle; it would suck to be them!

I was pumped today, I felt good, it was early and cool and I had drank plenty of water to prepare for this run.... I was ready! Down a protein bar early and take in some liquids... I had the time so I tried to prepare; wait! this is only an 18k run 11miles...cha! no problem.

The race started on time 8:30am and off we go racing down the drive toward the first of the single tracks...then bottleneck! I need to start faster just to avoid the pain of shuffling up the first hill at break neck speeds of mach nothing!! it took some time but we finally managed to dance around many of the slower runners and began a much stronger pace.
The hills are not that bad here, from overhearing others I had anticipated much worse, so I continued to run fairly strong; always holding back alittle in preparation for a tough hill that never came!!!!! The final couple miles are all downhill and the trail lends itelf to a very fast pace...not much bouldering at all; in fact very smooth.
Over all a very fun run although I wish that I had reached the first uphills without interference; oh well, next time.. Stronger, faster.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Ok now Im caught up...Oh...Im racing Tomorrow so Goodnight!

Really quick!....Malibu...Point Mugu 18k run tomorrow....gotta get up way to early so goodnight.
And when we talk again; I'll tell you about it... and I might also tell you about my preparations for a Grand Canyon run.... South rim to North rim and back to South rim again.... 40 miles!!!

Good Night!

Back to Los Pinos to find a friend in need.

I've been missing for a few days, a few runs, a few blogs but remember....this is gonna take time. I'm not a diary person and its not easy to express myself sometimes, things just take time.

Wednesday was a troubling day for me.....Im tired now and look forward to hitting the bed and doing some recovery..mentally and physically. I need to explain, so we'll go back a day... hang-on.


Its Tuesday now and I've just come back from Peters canyon, a 7 mile quickie up along the ridge along with tackling the monster hill ( which I didnt stop running up ). The Sunday prior I had just joined a new group of Trail runners called Trail Headz, I'm excited about this group because they seem to be just as crazy as I am when it comes to running...... anyway back to the story..

I went online to the TZ site and was shocked to find that one of the member Ultra Runners was missing after running the same Los Pinos run that I had just completed!, after some contact we had a conference call to see what we could do as a group. We determined that because dogs were going to be involved that we didnt want to get in the way, the search was set for early morning Wed.

The next day I packed my running gear up and was ready for anything, it was good because the dogs didnt show! and we were all motivated to help find her! I left work immediatelly!... so then we collectively forced ourselves on the search and rescue force, our experience and capability are impossible to ignore right!.. well to keep this short we hiked/ran those trails in groups looking for her, calling for her.

Thankfully we found her, actually the helicopter found her on a ledge and she was alive! thank god! Shes in the hospital right now and recovering, I couldnt be happier and I'd do it in a second for any other runner out there now; because after experiencing that...I know theyd do it for me.Then I went to bed! :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

San Juan / Los Pinos Enlightenment

Enlightenment, in the dictionary is defined as: a spiritual or intellectual understanding.
Suffer, in the dictionary is .....................well, I think we know where this is going.

As a group we had decided..through some deliberation to plan this run.... all total about 23 miles of undulating hills exposed and unexposed to the California sun; but a challenge none the less. The San Juan Trail to BlueJay Campground a scenic trail switchbacking and weaving through the mountains off of Ortega HWY, backed up by a ridgeline trail cutting through the main divide and Los Pinos peak then coursing along the ridges and returning to finish a complete loop.

After meeting everyone at 5:30am at local shopping center I realized that this might have been a good idea, there were quite a few runners both from OCTR and from the Trail Headz; in addition we had pulled along Bill Ramsey and a few new additions to the group.

Once we all arrived at the San Juan Trail head and were preparing in the dark for our run we were met by Michelle Barton and a friend who were also preparing to run to BlueJay campground, the more the.......well you know. So off we go, water pack in place 60oz.of gatorade orange with some agent orange mixed in, gators on and some gu for the road; in addition to salt tabs - never know. I've come to the conclusion that you need a chemistry degree to run distance - Ultra distance at least..I'm still figuring it all out.

As we begin our ascent we are led by a few runners that I'm unfamiliar with, their pace is consistant but slow....its a nice hiking pace but I can feel that my muscles want to pump a little more so I wait to see what happens. I dont wait long as I hear someone start coming up from behind; politely excusing herself as she passes up the switchbacks. Michelle Barton and partner are chatting away and pass us to continue up the hill. I take the opportunity to increase my pace and begin running behind them, following them up San Juan and leaving the pack behind in the distance.

A sip from my water, not bad almost tastes carbonated which is kinda refreshing....although I dont think its carbonated...hmm. I continue following Michelle up the beautiful trail, stopping to take photographs as I go...its amazingly beautiful on this trail, cascading rocks and tree formations, the scenery changes dramatically as you run and the clouds coming through the canyons are below us now like a cotton blanket; peaceful. I find michelle taking a small break at the top of a ridge and introduce myself to both her and her partner and after a few moments we begin again, but now together. Her partner jokes that if you learn to run with michelle you'll find yourself placing in your upcoming races, I dont doubt it, Ive heard of michelle Barton and its impressive; although I believe she can kick into gear and leave us both panting and alone;, I'm happy to just be running with her.

We have been running for some time, at times I look back across the hills to locate anyone coming up behind but its silent......and once we reach Blue Jay campground we have come to the mid point of michelles run, here they will turn back and return down San Juan as I continue forward towards Los Pinos....but I'm gonna wait awhile for a partner to run with first.

I begin to backtrack along the campsites, Oh! remember to drink, I've been drinking as much as I can remember but its not easy, Bill Ramsey - as experience as he is, has an alarm on his watch to constantly remind him to drink at 10 minute intervals, to slowly hydrate over the course of time. I'm going to work on it. After a period of time I find some of our runners at a water station in Blue Jay, at this point we will split, sending some back down and others will continue along Los Pinos.

At this point there are 4 of us, Bill Ramsey, Dan and Maura from OCTR and myself of course, Unexpectedly we run into Anne and Steve Harvey, Old Goats RD's and continue to Los Pinos Peak as a group. Great group of people!

Los Pinos is one of those trails that looks enticing, its an unbelievably beautiful trail that allows you a veiw of all of Orange, Carona, Riverside ..... just amazing, but its a trail runner eater. The trail is exposed and rocky, both uphill and downhill affords you no rest. The hills continue on like a nightmare, but its so beautiful, its like a hurts you and pleases you at the same time!

After 23 miles I reach the lazy W campground then the cars beyond that, what a sight to see!! I have a coke screaming my name in a cold cooler and its making me crazy as I stumble to the car.....air conditioning, being able to just stop and know that there are no more hidden peaks to run up......priceless! But a great run with great people, I will return again. Conditioning yourself with a run like this will prepare you for just about anything........just about. At the end ive still got 16oz left and orange gatorade doesnt taste good anymore... maybe Ill bring both on my next long run..I dunno. I need to drink more water, felt dizzy at one point, so I'll work on bringing candy to suck on also.

Great run, but prepare yourself, its not gonna treat you nice!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

40 and Counting..tick...tick...tick

I've been reading alot lately, dont know why exactly....I've always been pretty stuborn when it comes to advice about running but lately I've been reading......

At 40+ years they .... (they being whoever might have been writing the article at the time.....yes "they" might be over 40; not sure...) They.. suggest that you begin to taper your workouts to allow for ample time in recovery a 1 to 1 ratio of workouts to days off (recovery), then a 1 to 2, then a 1 to 3 until your pretty much just sitting on the couch wiggling your toes in fear of hurting yourself.... or so it seems..

now remember.... on top of all this we also must consider suppliments and shoes, shoes... should all of these elements change as we age graciously; yes, why not. At least...according to whomever you might be reading at the time. Crazy this running thing... and I though all I had to do was put on some shoes, face a direction and move!

As I progress in blogging I've decided to add some educational information and links to allow me to go beyond just gabbing to myself.....who knows....... someone might accidentally stumble on to it.. :)

I'm going running today, small run warm up to Saturday 23mile San Jan/Los Pinos loop with OCTR, Bill Ramsey and gang, should be interesting.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

a few friends, a trail and a view

Trip: Maple Springs/Main Divide/ Silverado Motorway Loop

Distance: 16.3 Miles

Let me start by saying, " I dont like getting up earlier than 5am on a weekend" I just dont...Yes even to run. Call it getting old, a late nighter .. I just cant seem to wake up as earlier and bright eyed as I used to. The single motivator for Saturday morning was a long run on a beautiful dirt trail, so I rolled out of bed threw on my clothes before I could look back and was out the door!
I find it much easier if I throw my gear in my car the night before, no thinking involved....If I can just get to the car with my clothes on I'm good.

The temp was cool, not cold, just perfect and when I reached the trailhead almost everyone was there already.....all smiles......ARRRG! We carpooled to the end of Silverado just beyond the circle turn around, the gate was open so we drove up the the entry/exit of Motorway loop. I had packed my camelback with 64oz of gatorade this time with the hopes of drinking as much as I could. I have a habit of not drinking very much being that the average should be about 17-20oz. per hour... I drink about 8-10oz per hour.

We begin, we being fellow members of OCTR; all smiles still........we'll see about that.

The run begins with the first 7 miles mostly uphill, maintained on both asphalt and then Fireroad following the draw of Silverado canyon and winding its way up in long extended switchbacks, beautiful back country; green and peacefull. Once the road becomes dirt it then gets more inspiring and you can feel yourself drive a little harder, pushing to see whats around the next bend, to peer into the distance overlooking the valleys below; just amazing.

A drink here...a drink there, gotta remember to keep drinking this time! I reach the first summit and take in the views, tarantula hawks buzz around seeking out prey; I'd seen a big tarantula at morro a week before....they'd love him; although not a good day for a tarantula.

After a few moment I begin running along the Firetrail that follows the ridges of the mountains, around every turn I get a view of the valley, reminding me just how high I've come.

As I make my way along the ridge I'm now more than half way and can see my final downhill; the motorway. The motorway is a steep downhill consisting of many switchbacks; its about 3 miles of them! I continue my run through dusty dirt roads and along beautiful ridges and valleys.

after about 13 miles I'm at the intersection of Main divide and the motorway; I'm greeted by a lone mountain biker who's sitting in the shade eating; he wishes me well, I take it all in as I turn the bend and begin the single track that will take me to the Motorway downhill.

At an opening to motorway I wait for the others and take a break, preparing for the final descent; Oh yeah drink, drink, drink......... as some of us are discussing barefoot running the other members round the corner and we take a nice dirty picture......awwww!

The descent down Motorway is grinding, it abuses your legs and your mind as you are concentrating, focusing more than usual on the ground beneath you as well as the ground that WILL be beneath you.... Overconfidence along with fatigue have taken many quality runners to the ground near the end of this run... you just never underestimate running downhill for any period of time. After an eternity I reach the trailhead and see the car waiting for me....I've been dreaming about that DR.Pepper that I've got in my cooler; I can almost taste it now!

At the car I await the others and quickly inventory what I have left, a hammer gel, and tons of gatorade! what!..... 32oz. left of 64oz. thats only 8-10oz an hour still; but I feel good so that must mean something. I've taken my suppliments, I've taken a gel and eaten sharkies on my run so overall I feel really time I'll drink more, next time.

Overall the run was amazing, the views are spectactular and the company was perfect; a great day to be out in the wild.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

To run on solid ground

After work yesterday I had one of those urges; yeah, the kind that makes your feet bounce around at your desk - no, restrooms were not involved. Running was on my mind and I knew that I had my gear stored in my car today, ready for anything I thought.

I promptly left early 3:00 is early for me although for some reason I got in early today.... almost as if I know what I was going to do. My plan was to hit Peters Canyon this afternoon, temps were about 85 degrees and the smoke from the Los Angeles area fires really hadnt affected us due to wind direction.

Once I arrived I was pumped; at least 10 today, I'll decide about the degree of hills that will be tacked but I knew I wanted to get mileage. What!, I rumaged through my gear again...How!, Damn....... I left my essential clothes in the dryer this morning; go figure.

I was still determined to run but it looked like my dirt running was done for today so I blasted home; 15 minutes later I arrived and darted in to get dressed. I was dressed and out in about 5 minutes and hit the road from my house. I'm experimenting by listening to my Mp3 player....a digital book this time, interesting effect, if its an interesting book of course. the roads are hard, Im used to the soft impact of dirt, the roads are smooth and consistent, Im used to the bumps and changes of the trail. Ive almost forgotten how dramatically different they are. 8 miles in now, Ive been running the river trail, a local river trail that runs through a park called Hart Park and beyond; back onto sidewalks and through driveways along the City shopping mall. Running strong past females and cars waiting for lights, tying to impress everyone with my smooth strong stride ha ha ha.... back into society and impression first. The trail is unique, it is usually just you, no one to impress, everything to take in........ running through the city makes me miss it.

Back towards home 11 miles even and done. My feet feel pounded more that they have on trails, my old injuries remind me distantly with small aches.. probably from the consistant running surfaces; no changes to shift muscle focus while running I guess. The trails have really taken me, I run stronger now due to the trails and have a greater appreciation for the love of running when Im on them........... solid ground for soft trails; a trade I'd make anyday!