Saturday, June 2, 2018

Dress rehearsal for SD100, heat at last!

Next Friday I will be running the SD100, and it looks like the weather pattern this year is repeating what we experienced in 2016.  As in 2016, this spring has been very cool and wet; but  as of today, race week, the weather has turned hot!

In 2016, I ran SD100, well trained, but owing to the cool weather, I was NOT heat-trained... and I  failed to adjust my race plan to the reality of the 100+F temperatures on race day... I took it out hard and was incinerated and cramping from mile 25 until I dropped at mile 55.

This year, my training is not as deep as it has been in past years when I've run 100  milers.  Partly this is because I needed to work through a chronic achilles injury in the fall and early winter, and so I kept the mileage conservatively bounded;  and partly it was due to a demanding work schedule culminating in an intense work  trip to Zurich  in the third week of May.

Still, I got in some good mileage, with a major milestone being the Leona Divide 50 in mid-April; and while in Zurich I got in  a flat fast 30 miler, in 4:50,  along the Zurichsee On May 19:

Last week I ramped the mileage and got in 80 miles;  the Memorial day weekend mileage was 20/10/29, all mountain running, but it was wet and cold! I felt pretty good about the 29 miler, which I did in about 5:20, with about 6000 ft of climb and descent.  

 This week I got in some fast 10-milers on the Mt Wilson Toll Road, but there was no prospect of heat training with the marine layer and rain:

But yesterday the weather has changed!  I took yesterday off as my quads were pretty wrecked from all the fast downhill running last week;  instead I took a hike with my son, and then  rolled my quads (excruciating) to get the knots out.   Today's run plan was to  take an afternoon heat run up Mt Brown and cut the run to 14 miles if the quads were still flakey; and go longer if they were solid.  No worries, the knots were gone;  I focussed on practicing "sustainable" running, pushing the fluids and keeping both uphill and downhill pace in bounds of what I plan to do at SD100.  The run was lovely and I ended up extending to mileage to 22 with a dog-leg out to Oakwilde on the Gabrielino Trail. I finished feeling strong despite having eaten nothing;  in the course of the run I drank 10 bottles ~ 12-13 pounds of water and came home 6 pounds down;  but I felt like I could continue when I was done.

I'm looking forward to this year's SD100, I'll be running it with my pal Greg Frye and I consider it an experiment in heat and race management.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Jan 31, 2018: Dawn patrol on Mt. Wilson, with a blood-red blue super moon

This morning I got up a little earlier than usual to hit the Mt. Wilson Toll Road trail before 6am, in order to see the total lunar eclipse away from Pasadena's street lights.  Given that this was the second full moon of the month (therefore a blue moon), occurring at lunar perigee (hence  a super moon) and that the moon would be in total eclipse between 5am and 6am here is California (thus a blood-red moon) the folks at NPR had called it a blood red blue super moon.

It was worth seeing.

 The family had gotten up with me, the kids had taken a look and pretty quickly headed back to bed.  It was a bit hard to see it well with the street lights.  I downed some espresso, laced up my shoes and drive up to Altadena.  I was on the trail by 5:45.  The view from the shoulder of Mt Wilson was much better that from my home in Pasadena  but I couldn't get my aging iPhone 4s camera to focus given the lack of light.  By 6:20   the moon was out of totality and I was able to get a semi-decent image:
Lunar eclipse, 6:20 am , past totality
I continued fast hiking up, passing a lot of other folks who had gotten up early to hike the Toll Road to see the eclipse.  By 6:40 the dawn had progressed enough that the sky was turning light - I took this picture as I approached Henninger Flat:
Moon coming out of totality, 6:40am
From Henninger I ran up to the turn off to Idlehour, stopped and stretched, and ran back down at a  brisk pace.  It was a great way to start the day.