Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Santa Monica 50K Trail run

Sunday Nov22, 2009

This was familiar ground for me having run the Xterra Pt.Mugu trail run this year. The PCT group uses almost the same trail as Xterra although the Xterra runs are smaller and have more aid stations with less separation. I would say that they are more suited for the average or casual runner. On the other hand, the PCT group hosts more ultras and they are quite abit more layed back, a great group.
There were many TrailHeadz running today, I didnt realize how many until I later reviewed our website and spoke with a few of them- note to self - recognize recognize recognize.......

It was a beautiful day to run...even after just returning from Nashville TN; jet lag sucks but I managed........ Treadmills at the hotel suck even more but I ran 20+ while working which was a good prep for this run.

This run consists of a few good hill grades mainly in the beginning with a good one in the middle to reach the halfway point which tend to create the initial seperation of runners, its a great run though creek beds, hill sides, and wheat grass culminating at a single track 2.5 mile climb and downhill to the finish. All in all it is definitely a race to put on next years calendar. 30+miles and feeling great with no cramps or major issues, jet lag only.... dang work trips :)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Eco-Catalina Marathon

I havent been to Catalina in .. I dont know how long; A high school trip many many years ago. So I though..why not, why not run a marathon on Catalina Island. I mean, its a beautiful place right? an old sailer port, small and unique stores and bars; it should be a great place to bring my wife....I'll run and she can enjoy the town. Perfect.

We left on Friday after securing a hotel room and Catalina Express tickets (very expensive) and arrived on the island around 6:00pm which gave us plenty of time to check the night life out after picking up my race number and packets. Catalina, the town of golf carts and cars that look like they come from the land of little people. The smaller the better! We walked from the hotel and enjoyed the ocean breeze and the quiet, it almost feels like your back in time, its very relaxing and almost welcoming. After a big spaghetti dinner we headed back to the hotel where I prepared for the marathon the next day.

Eco-Catalina; its the third running of this marathon and one of a few races held here. The marathon like the town is pretty relaxed; I found the start line and waited for everyone to show up for the race.....I only got there 15 minutes prior to start - no one was there. HA HA.

Some runners where still going to show up by boat that morning and the race had coordinated this with the captains of the shuttles to make sure that they can make race start. Once the boat came in and the runners had a chance to get their numbers...we were ready to go!

Buffalos, eagles, ocean, terrain, beauty.......all these words are used to describe this run....this long long run; but for some reason all I saw were hills, many, many hills. Its a very tough marathon, I found out that catalina is pretty much all hill. It was a great run, an amazing place to push yourself but definitelly not the place to get a personal best in running. I did see a buffalo and many pieces of evidence that buffalo do live here!

After running though the finish line I knew I had run a tough race, but I was satisfied with the way I felt and ran....great marathon!, I showered quickly and we got some lunch and had plenty of time to walk through the town and enjoy the rest of the day before the boat headed out to bring us back to Dana Point.

I had prepared well but there still is much room for improvement so Im challenging myself to run it again, its a great run, a great place and to bring my wife made it even better!

26 miles 4:57.........remember this is not your standard marathon! 8th place in age group 38 overall. Stairs, Stairs, Stairs (training for next time) :)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

To the Top of Santiago Peak....

This morning was my final warm-up run for my upcoming Eco-Catalina run in two weeks; so I pulled myself out of bed and met some TrailHead Friends at the BlueJay campgrounds right off Ortega highway.

The Main divide trail is really only a fireroad fairly exposed and rocky, there had been water dropped about 5 miles into the run. If time is available and given the opportunity we hide arrowhead bottles off the trail and marked with ribbons, I'm carrying a 100oz. Hydration pack along with a hand held 22oz. bottle so I'll be ok; I barely drink water water anyway........its something I'm working on.
Today was perfect, clear skys with a slight breeze....you can see Catalina and beyond! As we began to run it was cool but within minutes we were shedding extra clothing. I continued on to run to Santiago peak which is a 12mile run from Bluejay (One Way). All total 24 miles and as I ran back to the car I was feeling pretty good. From here its
a taper until Catalina... bring it on.