Saturday, June 29, 2013

Mt. Wilson loop, 27 miles: Water, electrolytes, bears, and shoes

This morning I hit the trail at 6:00am sharp to do the 27 mile Mt Wilson loop, and did it in 5:24 run time (6:15 total time with water pumping and screwing around mixing stuff and taking pictures).  This is I think the fastest runtime I've put down on this course...which was a bit surprising.   I intentionally walked the first 2.7 miles on the steep lower Sam Merrill Trail  to warm up the prima donna calf;  and I decided in advance that I would walk out of Idlehour in the sun as there was no way I was going to be able to keep up a running pace going uphill in the direct sun today.  Plus, the calf is still a bit iffy...I felt it during the warm up walk and didn't want to over do it.   Looking at the Garmin track, the difference is that my uphill running speed has improved and the downhill on the Sam Merrill was blistering.  I credit the Merrill Ascend Gloves for that-  solid footplants, great traction and enough armor to deal with the sharp granite on that trail, my feet feel pretty good.

Getting up and running out there is such a blessing.  I saw a bear today heading into Idlehour but the encounter was too fast and too shocking for me to get the iPhone out to snap a picture.  Here is a pic of the trail heading down into Idlehour taken a few minutes after my bear encounter:

When I got into Idlehour I filtered stream water:  I love this place, as there is a beautiful sound of stream water, its cool and refreshing, in stark contrast to the hot sun exposed granite trails heading in and out the canyon.  Here is a photo of the lovely Idlehour stream crossing:
The stream at Idlehour...heaven on earth

The temperature reached 94F in Pasadena by noon;  I'd seen predictions that it would reach over 100F so I had carried a backpack with a water filter and extra bottles as usual, and had prepared myself for a long hot slog.  I ran with the legs on my Columbia pants removed for a bit more ventilation, as i was wearing CEP compression socks as the calf is still coming up to speed.  When I got home my better half found the fusion of the Willy Nelson upper half of me with the Charlie Brown knee socks lower half of me, to be  pretty amusing:
( the REAL reason I wear long pants running)

In the course of the run I consumed 14 bottles w/ 22 oz of fluids  each-  that equates to 19 pounds of fluids, or 13% of my body weight if you can believe that.  I came back from the run 5 lbs down (as usual), 3% of my body weight.  I drank  salted diluted cranberry juice with 3/4 tsp salt to the half gallon; some electrolyte mix, and some water.  Fortunately when I was at the Mt Wilson gate a car came in so I was able to sneak in and access the I needed it.  Inspired by my buddy who won RAW a couple weeks ago, I also experimented with carrying a can of soup, the poptop can variety,  and consumed that -  unheated-  at Mt Wilson.  It was great!  Just have to watch out for accidental inhalation of chicken.  Its a terrific way to consume nutrition and salt, while avoiding the cloying sweetness of running food supplements like goos and bars, these get really awful after a while, especially when its approaching 100F out.

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