06/29/10

My buddy, Davina took this picture the other day of a few of us ahead on the run. I  this shot! We look like hunched over little ants. ha ha – I’m the last little ant in that picture. 

06/27/10

Want to hear about the world’s slowest mile? I did it yesterday during my mountain trail run with my friends.  At mile 9, the elevation started at about 4578, then increased to 5429 by the end of the mile – nearly 1,000 feet! What kind of pace? 44 minutes! I do leave my Garmin on and never pause or shut it off for breaks (for picture, bathroom, gel breaks or stops.) We waited for all the pals to reach that spot before the group went on, so we did stand for a few minutes — but I was just grinning at how funny that pace might sound to those who rarely run on such steep grades or at higher elevation.

And would you believe that I’d describe that mile as the hardest mile I’ve ever run in my life? I can bust out a pretty fast single mile on the flat – but ask me to run nearly straight UP the side of a mountain and I’ll be going so slow that you’ll swear I’m barely moving. Ha ha. And, my heart was pumping so fiercely, I was gasping for breath and it was hard to keep my footing on the sandy/dirt/rock path. Coming down this stretch, 2 of our pals wiped out and got bloody. 

Near my home, the elevation is always around 2500. This was a pretty challenging run and it was soooo much fun — even if it means I just went the world’s slowest mile. ha ha.

06/27/10

I saw the first blooms in my front flowerbed walkway today! We planted the seeds weeks ago and I’ve been eager to see the pretty purple and yellow petunias show up! Yay!

I woke up feeling pretty great. The stairs were not a problem at all. I do have a little bit of soreness in my hips and quads, but not too bad.

I went for a recovery run on some nearby dirt canals and enjoyed hearing the birds singing, seeing the people out walking with their dogs and enjoying the sunshine, too. It was 72 degrees and there was a little breeze and both felt perfect for today’s gentle, easy run just to stretch the legs out.

Stats:
3.3 miles/ Recovery Run. 11:45 ave pace. 38:46 – total time. Felt – very good. 
Weight this morning: 124

06/26/10

Pictures from today’s 18+ mile mountain training run. This was taken at 6 am!


Me – doing what I love to do.


That little blue dot is me. 


Most of the gang. I  these ultra pals!


Nearing the top – finally some trees and shade! What a treat! Still one more tough climb to go.


View from the top! Elevation – about 5,700 or so.

06/26/10

I think I have the world’s most awesome trail buddies! I had a really great time today running with some old friends and some new ones – 10 of us in all! I was so inspired to hear the stories as we ran of some of the more experienced ultra runners in the group. They were so willing to give advice to a newbie like me and I was grateful to hear their thoughts and have them share their stories with me. 
The scenery was spectacular! The climbs were the hardest I’ve ever experienced! We had a 4,967 elevation gain overall with so many ups and downs. It was HOT too! It reached about 80 by the end of the run and that would prove a big “uh oh” for many of us — we all ran out of water at some point on the run today. I realized I was out right at the 10.5 mile point — miles from anywhere to get another drink! I really had to pull it back on the way back to keep my body in check since I had no more water to give it. One pal was very kind to offer me the last sip of his gatorade. These runners really look after each other! What a great community I’m becoming part of!
When we finally were in sight of our cars, we could see several of our buddies waiting and watching for us. They were worried and they waited to make sure we’d be safe.  AND – our pal, Dennis even brought us a nice, cold Gatorade — perfectly frosty to ease our horrible thirst! What a gift! I felt better after getting something cold and wet in me again.
It was a wonderful run with some new terrific friends!  I can’t wait to do it again (and will make certain to plan better with the hydration next time!)

Total miles: 18.47. Time: 5:35:34. Pace: 18:10. Elevation gain overall: 4967. HOT!!!

06/25/10

Cool, it’s pouring out! Should make for some slippery slopes. Weeee! I hope I don’t wipe out too many times.

06/25/10

Now it’s up to 5 of our ultra buddies who are joining us, plus one half marathoner pal. I’m so excited, I probably won’t get much sleep tonight!!!! The inclines are so steep on this mountain trail that you have to hunch over your knees for many parts and just hike up, the flats and tops are perfect for running and feel like such a reward after the climbs. There’s about 2,000 ft. of elevation gain in the first 6 miles. The downhills are crazy steep, rocky, singletrack, technical trail – you feel like you’ll wipe out any minute and you’re going so fast tears are streaming down your face so it’s hard to see — but you can’t stop even if you want to due to the grade – you’re just out of control and flying down a mountain! It’s so challenging that you consider it a miracle if at the end of the run, you averaged less than 16 minute miles. Seriously! Your heart is thumping so hard on the inclines, you’re sure you’ve never pushed so much and then you check out your Garmin and see you’re doing like a 23 min mile uphill! ha ha ha! Total torture! Your quads and hammies will remind you of it for days. It’s AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!! You feel like an adventurer! You feel hardcore! You want MORE!

06/24/10

Ohhhhh, I am so excited! Bertha and I and a couple of ultra buddies are heading to the mountains this Saturday to run 20 miles!  We did 16 in the same route 4 weeks ago and it was the hardest, most beautiful run I’d ever done! I cant’ WAIT to get up there and blast through some trails!!! Woo hoo!

P.S. One of my friends has been posting pictures of the snakes she’s been bumping into up there. I’ll try to leap if I see any of those!

06/24/10

I made up my workout today. Since I have a 2 mile race in 9 days I wanted to gauge my pace in similar conditions (time of day, heat/ humidity) that the race will be in — but I didn’t want to go all out on two back-to-back miles since I know that increases the chance I’d injure myself right before the event and I’m planning a 20 mile run in the mountains this weekend, so I didn’t want to be hurting during that too bad. So – intervals – with an easy, gentle walk the first 1/4 mile, slow, easy pace until first mile, then boom – interval, then stop, stretch, walk a bit (didn’t shut off Garmin at any point), then gently jog to recover for the next mile, then boom – interval -this time, intentionally not pushing as hard as the first one, just trying to keep it fairly hard but not all-out, then .10 mile walk, and gentle jog for the last .20. Stopped watch, got some water, walked a bit more without the Garmin on and then stretched. Whew! Good start to a day!

06/24/10

I was hoping by getting up much earlier for my run would help with the outside temperatures and humidity. No such luck. 66 degrees and 56% humidity was still more than I was hoping for. Oh well.

Splits:
Mile 1 (warm up): 12:09
Mile 2 (interval 1): 7:43
Mile 3 (recovery): 11:05
Mile 4 (interval 2): 7:54
Final .30 – (cooldown): 12:28 pace

Total: 4.3 miles. Ave pace overall: 9:54. Total time: 42:37

My 2 mile race is coming up July 3rd. I’m betting on similar hot/humid conditions for the race morning. Just like this morning, despite pushing my best on that first interval mile, I could not seem to break through to the pace I was hoping for. I really thought I’d done about a 7:17 and was really disappointed to see it was only a 7:43. I eased up in the second interval just a bit from the start, but still got a 7:54. For that mile, I would have been happy with an 8 min/ mile – so it’s better than expected. On the bright side, the total for the two miles is pretty close to what the McMillan calculator predicts I could do in a 2 mile race – so, I guess I’ll see if I can do them back-to-back in a week and a half. 

P.S. Every time I run fast – I feel like puking a little at the end. Glamorous! ha ha