Saturday, May 10, 2014

Mt. Wilson Loop, 28 miles

This morning I awoke at 5am to tackle the Mt. Wilson Loop, 28 mile version, as the start of the next high mileage training cycle of my 2014 AC100 training season.  The plan for this week and the next two weeks is to run 75 miles, then 80-85 next week, and then take a step back to 70-ish, before starting the next (June) cycle.

Last week I was battling some kind of cold or flu bug and felt pretty run down.  Even small runs were leaving me sore and I felt pretty wiped out though to mid week.  So today the plan was to get up early, take it easy and run conservatively to bag the miles and not hurt myself in the process.

I started the run pre-dawn, power walking up the Sam Merrill trail through a marine layer  to Echo Mountain (2.5 miles) as a warm-up.  Starting to run as I transited from Echo Mountain to the Mt Lowe railway, I broke through the marine layer.  By this time the sun was up;  it was a spectacular view west to Mt Lukens:  I am so happy to be able to call this my back yard!

I made good time up to the Mueller tunnel and on up to Mt Wilson summit. There I took little water as it was quite chilly, and since I had brought my water filter and planned to pump water at the stream at Idlehour.  I was right on pace as I reached Idlehour and started pumping water.  As always, I put a drop of blue food coloring at the pump inlet to check the filter integrity:  Surprise, the filtered water came out slightly blue, the filter cartridge was broken!  Just last week I had met another ultrarunner on my Wilson walk up/run down workout, and he had relayed how a couple years ago he'd picked up giardia from drinking untreated water at Idlehour.   So I tossed the water and started the climb out of Idlehour canyon to complete the remaining 10 miles without having picked up any additional water.

In the next 3 miles I lost about 20-30 minutes off pace as I was running dry and climbing now in direct sun.  I'd eaten a Cliff bar and a Gu prior to pumping thinking I'd wash these down with new water-  no joy.  So this sweet mess went pretty well un-absorbed in my system.  I finished the run in 5:53, a good 20 minutes off pace.

Next time I will remember to check the water filter BEFORE starting a committing run that depends on stream water.

Here is a GPS track for the run:

GPS tracks for May 10, 2014 Mt Wilson Loop run

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