Monday, September 1, 2014

in which I hit some trails

Not with Keegan, although he is great out on the trails, but running some trail races.  Of course, in my world race isn't really the right word.  We'll call them trail adventures.  August 16th, I headed first to Chicago and then to California to share important milestones with great friends.  In Chicago, we celebrated Dan and Patrick's wedding taking place on their 25th anniversary together.  I also got to meet some of Dan's colleagues and students and hear more about his life after St. Louis. 
Then on to California for Hilda's birthday celebration.  It was great to meet Ken's family.  The drought was very evident at Folsom Lake.  It was a lovely celebratory weekend for both Hilda and her brother-in-law Bob (both big milestone birthdays one day apart). 
While I was in California.  I decided to do the Cinderella Trail run.  This was not a Disney themed event, rather it was in the Oakland Hills and steeper than expected.  I'm not sure why I thought it was a good idea 
but the views were great and the organization top notch.  It was pretty hot, but most of the run was in the shade so not too bad.  It seemed pretty straightforward at first despite a pretty steep descent and climb that weren't too long. At first, I thought this was the massive gap I saw on the map, but no. That chasm was really tough. Unless you're crazy and/or hate your calves, it takes time to go down it, so you're constantly looking down at this giant drop and then, I had to go back up. I wasn't the only one who never really picked up my pace during that climb. And there were a few points where I really had to work to keep moving. Usually these moments occurred when I reached the top, only to discover that it was "a" top. SO MANY FALSE SUMMITS! But after that it went pretty well and the food at the finish line was awesome.  The track was also really well marked so while worrying about getting up and down, at least there were no concerns about getting lost. 

This weekend, I went for the https://Pretzel City Labor Pain 12 hour ultra.  My plan was to go for about 10 hours not 12, as start time was scheduled 7:30 (and actually 7:45).  It went pretty well, but this was really hard. There was a mixture of surfaces, small bits of paved road, some dirt/gravel road, a fair amount of grass fields, and the majority single track trail with more than enough roots and rocks to keep it interesting.

There were steep downhills and steeper uphills.  This track was a 5 mile loop, which I completed 6 times and then did the small out and back for a 50k finish.  It was a very slow 50k finish.  The 5 mile loop was pretty good, long enough to not get boring, but nice to have a sense of what was coming.  As I was finishing the last loop, we got about 20 minutes of torrential downpour, which wasn't too bad as a hydrating cool-off.  The worst of it was the bugs.  Gnats, midges, biting flies, mosquitos and other than the mosquitos mostly impervious to the bug spray.  My bug bites are more bothersome than my sore muscles this morning, although I'm surprised that my abs are sore. I'm looking forward to the Bear Chase Trail 50, but hoping for a little less of a "true trail" adventure than these last two. 

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