Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Ray Miller 50/50

After spending most of my day up right on the trails it was rewarding to be relaxing next to the ocean at Malibu!
Words rarely fail me but the Ray Miller trail run was certainly not for the faint of heart and if you thought for one moment there would be an easy mile you were WRONG!

Suzy with good friends Ray and Diana at the beginning of the run.
 They named the race Ray Miller as he spent years taking care of the trail system through out Point Mugu State Park, after he passed the park system named the main trail head from the La Jolla Canyon parking lot ofter him. The race started and finished at this parking lot!

A rare fireroad! of course uphill
There was a lot of uphills rarely on fire roads I would say 99% of this trail race was run on single track which I rarely if ever train on, so was quite an adventure from the starting mile. As the order to begin echoed over the runners, we all set off into early morning darkness, single track all the way UP for the first 1.5 mile or so, we were strung out like a string of pearls a few of us with headlamps, you could not over take as the trail was just flooded with trail runners it was a cool sight indeed. I was nursing a calf injury so did not mind the relaxed pace up hill at all!

The course was well marked with ribbons and chalk. The views were spectacular.
The names of the trails were matched by the beauty,La Jolla Canyon to Mugu Peak, Guadalasca Trail, Wood Canyon, Hell Hill, Overlook, Backbone, Sycamore Canyon, Two Foxes, Coyote, Hidden pond, Sin Nombre, Blue Canyon, Chamberlain, Old Boney Trail, Serrano Canyon, Fireline, Overlook and finally Ray Miller trail!

Sage bushes were every where.
 We were told about the Coastal Sage Scrub Community, and you could definitely smell the aroma from the oils in the leaves which retain the moisture due to little rainfall, There were shaded canyons, small stream crossings minus some of the water due to lack of snow and rain this winter here in Southern California!

The single tracks were very well maintained
There was 6 aid stations and plenty of water, I was well fueled with Hammer gels, Hammer bar and endurolytes, anti fatigue caps and race caps supremes. If I do this race again I will take perpetuem too.
Views were spectacular

Some trails were very dry.

Caught up with some cool peeps, John was doing his first 50 miler and what a first 50 miler to do he was in great company with his friend Susy.

My friend Amy was out there volunteering at the Orange station was great to see her out there too.
My Green Cascadias looked after my feet as we negotiated the single track
The Ray Miller 50/50 was an amazing experience and the race director Keira Henninger knows how to plan a mentally challenging trail run, with great support cool views and did I say pain!!!I would recommend any of her races to any trail runner looking for affordable and well thought out trails.
Keep taking a peek at the vista
Suddenly out in to Green lands
The whole run was in low 60 degree weather, and the diversity of the trails amazing.
Then up again on dry single tracks
Oh my gosh, with 2 miles to go the Ocean came in sight was just amazing to smell the Ocean Breeze and be able to see the finish line..
does not look a long way!
                  A big smile for the OCEAN! Yup that is Malibu coast line below!!
I lost count after 20 runners passed me on the down hill, I was just so grateful to see the finish line and not have taken a tumble, my calf had held up with all the babying I had given it but wow I was nearly finished one of the most beautiful and demanding trail races I have ever done and I was finishing with a HUGE smile on my face but I did envy the other runners who looked like gazelles as they passed me I felt like a fairy elephant!
Keira Henninger with over all male winner 50 miler and ME!

At the finish of the Ray Miller 50km, with my ceramic medal!
I ran in compression socks and totally soaked my legs and feet with Kool n Fit spray!

Cool ultra runners at the finish.

Of course I found myself at the beach and found a heart shaped stone to add to my joy of finishing!! Thanks to my friends Ray and Diana for a great day out on the trails but also to Keira who knows how to put on a great trail race.
Performing a basic plank seemed easy after that wee run!!!

 Thanks to Hammer Nutrition, Rudy Project, Brooks USA, Polar Monitors, and my understanding husband AL! Check out the run on my Polar link below.
Running 25.02.2012 5:59 AM 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pasadena Rock n Roll half marathon

The Rock n Roll half marathon at Pasadena was my first race after injury and sickness had side lined me for 3 weeks, I was eager to race but also apprehensive, would my foot hold up, would my calf muscle take the stress of asphalt! would my fitness be there despite no speed work or specific training! Ready or not race day was around the corner and Friday I began to think about preparation.
AL Suzy and Hammer before the event with cookie not paying attention!

My preparation was cycling to Pasadena on Friday to pick up my race number thanks to Brooks very much appreciated. I carefully read the instructions despite having done many races over 20 years every race has different rules and quickly found out;

1. Hammer my mini pin would not be allowed to run with me!

With all this in mind Saturday came and I cycled easy in the morning then came down with nausea and sickness!! I knew I just needed to rest and decided to keep well hydrated and eat my favorite pre race food pizza!!! Later that evening I found out Al would be able to stay and watch the event as his Archery tournament had been cancelled due a wee run in Pasadena!

Hammer and Suzy in Corral number one, he still thinks he is running...

with only 20 minutes left I peel off my warm hammer jacket for a final picture with Hammer

 My choice for 13.1 miles was regards race nutrition 3 expresso hammer gels in one of my fuel belt bottles and plain water in the other and 6 endurolytes. There was plenty of water on the course but no Hammer Gel!! The forecast said light showers that never happened!!! Thank Fully!!
Brooks night life gear always stands out!

I set my Polar RCX5 listen to the national anthem being sung already took a Hammer gel and water and then rock music began the the race was on!

I started way to fast taken up with the momentum of the other runners, I had to reel myself back and focus on my breathing, we went below suicide bridge and out onto the streets of Pasadena, it did not take long to get warmed up!!

Thanks to Craig I have an action shot taken at mile 9, by this time I just had to keep moving forward.
 Running 13.1 miles is very different from running 26.2 or an ultra run, and the pace was strong and my heart rate through the roof!!! I kept saying to myself only 5 miles to go, only 4 miles to go, and then I kept hoping my legs and heart would behave and get me safely across the finish line. I had specifically worn my Brooks Cascadias despite them being a trail running shoe they gave me great support and comfort on the asphalt!

Why can I not run Al?? Suzy is having all the fun! Please....

At Mile 3 it was pretty cool to see California Triathlon club volunteers man the whole water station and the format of the race allowed you to see the front and back end of the race. There was plenty of water and sport drinks available and medical tents along the way. I kept with my known and proven Hammer products.

The final 3 miles was around the Rosebowl and just after mile 10 I had a melt down and really needed to rearrange the furniture in my head to continue and keep on moving forward. But I did loose valuable minutes, I love to run and looked around at other runners and volunteers on the course plastered a smile across my face and carried on until I could finally see the finish chute.
I kept the smile but my speed was not there. I crossed the line in a reasonable time of 1 hour 41 minutes and yup 1 second! Running HAPPY!! The medal was hung around my neck time to cool down .....

After the event I was able to eat a tasty Hammer bar for my 10grams of Protien I was so happy not to have had any injuries!

Little frustrated with my self for loosing my focus but happy that I could keep the pace for as long as I did !!
A pose with Hammer and my medal
Hammer really wanted to run and really loves the Brooks Cascadias as when I wear them we go on great adventures!
All in all a great race, spent with family and lots of friends and runners!! I finished total time

Overall: 336 out of 5851
Division: 6 out of 379 in the Female 45-49 
Gender: 53 out of 3381

Thanks to Brooks USA for getting me to the race styling in Cascadias, and to Hammer Nutrition for my race day nutrition, Polar Monitors USA and to Rudy Project for my eye wear most importantly to my husband and my pets! What a great way to run an event! I am truly blessed!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

The Tea Kettle

To be a tea kettle in our home takes true bravery I feel that I should share this as a blog as I wonder quite frankly I cannot be alone in my mishaps with the tea kettle or even boiling the hard boiled eggs past edible and destroying a perfectly other wise indestructible pot!

I have been quite sick these past few weeks and I am already diagnosed with a hearing loss in both ears, so although I may look perfectly normal (which is open to interpretation) I have a disability which cannot be seen but the complications from this disability definitely can be seen by all! and even heard by most!

My little dog Hammer started barking and running in circles I told him to chill, an hour later I decide time to go out for a walk and that is were I met the kettle, which was now no longer red but a chilling maroon, the whistle had melted right off the kettle and it was ready to be a test rocket to the ceiling of the kitchen.

This is the second kettle which I have destroyed although it is still kinda usable and as I do not hear the whistle is okay it does not function! the first kettle buckled and did explode.

Please be careful when you boil the pot of water and remember it is boiling!! My hearing impediment is quite dangerous with a memory like a sieve!!

This is Hammer telling me there is something frightening happening in the kitchen!! Maybe one day if the steam out of the kettle hits a sensor the lights blink in my home so I can save the tea kettle before it becomes scrap metal!