Tuesday, March 25, 2014

OLD GOAT 50km Trail Run.

Climbing up towards Blue Jay another 8 miles to go!
So I signed up for Old Goat 50 miler, I had had quite a good March, LA Marathon, then a 200 mile double bike ride at Joshua Tree and thought a nice trail run would compliment the activity of March...
However I also knew that Old Goat 50miler was a challenging course. So you can imagine my horror when I opened my e mail on the Monday to see the course had been changed to plan B, and before we panicked there was 48miles of technical single track and two miles of asphalt! My heart sunk into my stomach the blow was softened by the final paragraph you can do a 50km option....with out hesitation I had changed my 50miler into a sweet 50km run albeit still 30 miles of stuff I would not rather run or hike on with a mile of asphalt...(do happy dance
All smiles at 6:15am
I arrived at the race Blue Jay camp ground at 5.15am with my friends Jill and Andy. There was a lot of runners already there and we had quite a walk from the car to the check in. It was not that cold and I was hoping to have an awesome time out on the trails out of my comfort zone for sure!
the trail was magical

Started out on asphalt and with in  a few minutes a right turn put us on a steady 3 mile down hill of single track not even two miles and I was dead last!! I laughed out loud I refused to be sad instead I embraced the hesitancy I have with downhill trails full of rocks! mmm were do I put my foot? will I trip. The first loop was 11 miles and the saying what goes down must go up is very true. at around mile 4 the loop swerved to the right and was marked Cocktail..mmm an appetizer of what is to come may be? That first loop was fun down hill of sand stone and single track strewn with rocks and roots. Unfortunately in this loop one of the women called Pam had some how injured herself on the technicality of the down hill as I approached the group she was having a piggy back of a fellow ultra runner while her ultra running buddies supported her by talking and camaraderie her ankle had been splinted with two sticks and her spirits were high Oh how I admired the runners taking turns to piggy back her to safety were the EMS could take over....
well marked no excuse to miss the trail..

Cocktail loop did not disappoint it was everything that Steve said it would be ......
Pam with her ankle splint out out sticks!And this is were Pam made a lot of really great friends, I truly hope her ankle heals quickly these runners carried her down some serious single track...

Loop One ended back at Blue Jay I had to climb up 3 miles to get to the start/finish line, after goofing around and enjoying the aid station I headed out for my 20 mile loop.
 I went down the same 3 miles instead of turning at Cocktail I ate one of my hammerbars and actually felt quite happy! I went straight it continued down hill to the Pirates aid station! Do not ask what Pirates were doing at Mile 15 but I was grateful to see them! I stocked up on my water and Hammer Fizz and endurolytes then they said only 4.8 miles to the next aid station which would be Candy land!!

With hopes of a chocolate fountain and promises of Candyland ahead I set off to what would be probably the most challenging single track I personally have ever tackled...quitting was not an option and the fast runners were already on their way back up this stretch of rocks sand and boulders! I thought I would never get to mile 20! The look of agony on the runners returning up this hill made me wonder why I should keep going down!Yet it was really pretty and eventually I found myself on a loop were there were no runners, was I on the right trail? had I gone wrong...then I saw the tell tale sign the orange and green ribbon...and soon I was at Candy land which did not disappoint they shared their stash of chocolate covered pretzels and I was on my way back to Blue Jay 10 miles of mostly up hill....
Candyland Volunteers..

The last 10 miles were fun, as I saw returning runners doing 50 miles; it was mostly uphill and I do not mind running up hill, I saw my friends Ray, Andy , Jose and Jill on their way out for another 20 mile loop I was Happy it was a beautiful day and I had conquered my fear of rocky downhill technical trails familiarity of the return was gratifying...Back at the pirates Aid station I saw another volunteer I knew Kristen The amazing thing about those volunteers is that they hiked all the water and supplies so that us the runners could keep hydrated and well fuelled. I smiled I gave out high fives I would soon be back at Blue Jay.
As I left the Pirates aid station not but a mile Fabrice past me in first place 50 miler! Yikes he was like 15 miles ahead of me!!!
Expresso Hammer gel yum!

Kristen at Pirates Aid station!

 I enjoyed the scenery of the Cleveland Mountains, I admired the wild flowers I gave out encouragement to the other runners doing the 50 miles and then I was crossing the finish line woot woot I had survived the 50km run! I felt awesome and Steve Harvey the Original Old Goat was there to give me my finisher medal. I had placed 2nd female and there was a LOT of runners who had decided not to make that second 20 mile loop!

Running Happy

finisher medal and 2nd Place in 50km

 It seems appropriate to share this snippet from The Twenty16 Pro Cycling team training log by Mari Holden....
When the team met for dinner later, Barry would tell us all "Work on your weaknesses. When you work on your strengths, all you are doing is satisfying ego." This sounds like a modernization of Shoshin. Shoshin means coming to a situation with a beginner's mind. It means leaving judgment and pride behind. It means allowing yourself to see something with fresh eyes. When you focus on training your strengths you are closing a door on what you are capable of. You do not have a beginner's mind. When you work on your weaknesses, you are not afraid to challenge yourself, you are not afraid to fail, you are not stroking your ego, and you are pedaling with a beginner's mind.
~ Mary
Colleen and Lorraine at the finish line.

A huge thank you to Steve Harvey and his race committee and volunteers. The course was as challenging as it was beautiful, the aid stations were well stocked, the weather was perfect, the camaraderie of the runners and volunteers amazing. The finish line was amazing, veggie burgers,vegan chili, great medals, hula hoop etc etc
Big Shout out to Hammer Nutrition, Brooks Running, Kool n Fit, Rudy Project USA, Ocean Potion, Polar USA, To Andy and Jill for the carpool. to Ray for getting me home, Just an awesome day thank you.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Joshua Tree Double Century.......The fun times...

Packet pick up, Lorraine and RD Anny Beck
So after LA Marathon on the Sunday I wondered about doing Joshua Tree Double Century despite my lack of distance cycling this past year with only one long ride at Palm Springs I signed up on the Wednesday evening...after all it was flat and would be easy way of getting back into double century riding.....

My fuel plan....

I was lucky and went with my friends Rory, Lisa and Lorraine we arrived the evening before so we could check in and prepare for the 5am start at 29 Palms. Due to repaving the event would not go through Joshua Tree National Park and had to be re routed... Little did I know just what an adventure waited ahead...

So here are some pearls of Wisdom when signing up for a double century:

It really helps to look on the web site and check out elevation etc......this was not a flat course it had over 9,500 feet of climbing.... 

It really helps to have some long rides in check and be riding consistently to truly appreciate the beauty of a double century than just the beast....lets not kid our selves here there is nothing easy about doing double centuries but you sure can make them a little more easier on the body!
Feet: I rode a portion of the climbs with my feet on top of my cycling shoes, they were cramping so badly just from being on the bike for SO long!!
Cycling into Desert Center ...while not beauty it was like stepping back into the 1950s!! Desert Cafe with its old gas pumps, weathered train carriage and totem pole ...a ghost town of sorts...I wondered if all the riders on this double realized this was were CARS was filmed!! and General George Patton trained 100,000 troops near by would often visit the cafe to eat! It was a booming town but when route 66 was built the tourists to the Colorado river bypassed it! Still a lot of fun at the aid station!Were Anny had the volunteers making fruit smoothies!!
Hitching a ride in the abandoned ghost train cab!

Lorraine and I outside Desert Center

General Patton monument and his dog.

4 flat tires on the interstate 10..... from long metal objects which went through my tire and tube thankfully not harming my Williams wheels! But I was super glad I never fell off my bike...there was horrendous side winds my bike was leaning into the wind at almost 45% angle...I truly hate side wind.. it was made worse by semi trucks they would fly past at warp speed suddenly no side wind but the semi would suck you into their vortex, the next minute they had past and the wind was there again!!! I nearly quit... But when I had made it to more than the half way mark in such awful conditions I just had to finish!!!

Making new friends and seeing old friends every one is helpful in a double century.
Sharona at Gen. Patton museum.
Grand Tour  Kermit..and face book friend Wesley
Having fun at mile 70..

The aid stations were WELL stocked with my favorite Hammer Nutrition products I lived on the Caffe Latte Perpetuem and the Hammer gels. I also had a Hammer bar. 
Once we had left the side wind and been treated to the oasis stop in the Desert we were treated to 26  miles of direct headwind which I did 22 miles by myself...I wanted to quit but after the Interstate and side winds no way!
Once onto the hwy 29 which would lead to the finish line some 60 miles away I refueled and Lorraine pointed to a nice long climb in the distance....the last 60 miles were hard!! I just seemed to climb and climb wondering when I would see the crest. The sun set, I put on my rear lights and finally rolled into an aid station. Here there was soup I ate some noodles took my Hammer endurolytes, Anti fatigue caps and back into the saddle.....
I knew to keep moving forward, the road was long narrow and eerily lonely. I could see flashing red lights and head lights in the distance it took all my metal strength to move forward. The last station was at mile 185ish....I did not stay for long I sprayed my feet with Kool n Fit, it was getting a little cold, it seemed I had been on the bike all day I had started this adventure at 5am....the last 10 miles were spooky my head light illuminated the road in the distance I could see 29 palms....then pitch black! My headlight had done its job...I stopped and wondered what I would do know alone in the darkness I started walking and soon 2 cyclists came by and let me use their lights I was so darn grateful and finished around 10.30pm at night!!!
 I had finished, the longest ever double in my last 14 in total... A huge thanks to my friends Rory for the drive down there and Lorraine for the hotel room and company on the bike. Thanks to Hammer Nutrition for fantastic race fuel, To Rudy Project for the Fluro helmet and glasses, To Ocean Potion for the sun-care, to Kool n Fit for the sport spray, to Williams Wheels an excellent ride! Also Polar USA, Profile-Design and Serfas tires. The 2014 Synapse was the perfect ride I just never in my wildest dreams thought I would be out there for 17 plus hours!!! As soon as I was off the bike I took my Hammer Recoverite and reflected on my long day!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

LA Marathon 29th edition

So it is 2.45am on a Sunday morning as I head out to Santa Monica with my friends Ray Mena and Alicia, then it was on to a bus to shuttle some 20,000 plus runners to Dodger Stadium...why? for the 29th LA Marathon from the Stadium to the Sea all 26.2 miles of it!

4 15am in the morning...
Its Dodger Stadium !

The Wait
 It was not a bad morning, super early at Dodger Stadium, there was plenty of pre race foods and Arrowhead water I personally would have loved a cup of coffee but alas there was none to be found!
Lucky for me I had packed a Hammer Gel flavor Expresso for such an emergency! Life was good!

There was the most awesome sunrise at around 6.30ish...

The Corral
Ray was in Corral A

My Corral was B

 There was 21,506 marathoners which finished thats a lot of runners!!If you knew a time you would finish in you were put into a corral with other runners of similar times....I thought about joining a pacers group I hovered between the 3 25 and the 3 35 but would be happy with a 3 45...

The Race
Then just like that the anthem had been sung, the wheel chair athletes had already departed, the elite women had been given a 17 minute advantage, the male pros had gone now it was for the main pack I crossed the start line my journey had begun..
the girls behind me are 13 years old Students Run LA

Running from Dodger stadium was awesome mainly down hill to China Town were at mile 2 we went through the famous Dragon gates...I debated whether to take a pic, but decided to keep running, Echo Park lake came and went and the miles kept ticking off. Every mile there was an aid station I made sure to drink plenty of water and carried my own Hammer Nutrition. by mile 6 I decided needed a porta potty break, yup when you gotta go you gotta go. Soon it was mile 10 and I had a mini melt down,,,,why was I doing this again ? for the bling? for the training ? for fun? I really had to dig deep and decided to take another potty break on returning to the course I realized I was running down HOLLY WOOD!! woot woot, took out my phone to take pics and there at Graumans Chinese Theatre was KTLA5 very own Gayle Anderson I ran off course and approached her I said something like "Oh is that really you! I just have to have your pic I love your reporting!"
Hee Hee Hee I got an awesome selfie shot with my phone well worth the effort to get the pic!
Then it was soon mile 11.5 and I had a horrible side stitch I drank more water and took a Hammer gel and endurolytes, I stretched it out and kept moving forward. then a funny thing happened the miles started adding up and it was mile 17 and I was running down past Rodeo drive, I took the energy from the AMAZING crowd which was out supporting all the marathoners, I gave out high fives, I cheered the cheer leaders I thanks the Girl Scout Brownies for the water, the sun was heating up the course and I love HOT! mile 22 I am looking for the down hill....another mile then we were running on a slight downhill, I was laughing I could smell the Ocean, I was going to finish strong the last couple of miles was amazing the energy of the crowd the view of the Ocean I could see the finish line I could see my time I had to pinch myself wow I was going to do a 3 35!! A female in front of me had nearly collapsed but her friend was pushing her to the finish, I saw my friend Randy in the announcement booth and then I crossed the LA MARATHON finish line...I could stop I could get a well deserved piece of bling I could laugh I had finished!
The well fueled athlete...Hammer Gels, Endurolytes and Endurance Aminos..
 Post Race
That finish chute and the line to the medals was LONG! I saw a few friends from the Ultra community and grabbed a bottle of water, I wanted to get my drop bag which had my Hammer Nutrition Chocolate Recoverite... it was really hot and suddenly I stopped waiting to get my bag felt light headed and dizzy, lucky for me Ray was able to get my bag while I sat in the cool first aid room and was reunited with my Recovery drink
The Bling my Recoverite and the Beach!

Uncle Fester!
 Then it was time to play with a rather large yellow snake as I thought it would be cool for my grand daughter Abigail to see!!

Yikes!!!! he is getting too friendly!

Sir Hiss and I wrestle

Kool n Fit

The Bling

 Here is my RC3 GPS info for the 26.2 miles shows route and my time.

Big Shout out to Ray and Alicia for being fun to share the weekend with, Thank you to Hammer Nutrition for the great Hammer Gels and post race recoverite, To Polar USA for letting me listen to my body, To Rudy Project for awesome Fluros, to Kool n Fit for keeping me Kool and Fit, To Ocean Potion for my sun care needs and Brooks Running for great shoes to run in! And to Fuel Belt for letting me run independently on my own nutrition !!

I finished in 3 hours 35 mins and 6 seconds, two potty breaks, one melt down and finished strong 9th in my 45-49 age group and I won a nutri bullet too!!

MS no force for this amazing runner

Brooks Running

Polar USA

Good Friends

Found my name on the board of names!

yup an hours sleep gone!