Sunday, May 26, 2013

Welcome back to the Mt. Wilson Trail Race!

It's odd how my memory can be so defective...  I just went back through Athlinks to find my prior race years and times... I was POSITIVE I had raced this course at least two other times, possibly three.  It seems, I've only actually raced it ONCE... in 2009.  I joined the community in April 2006, in May 2007, I wasn't quite running that distance yet, in 2008 I was registered to race and broke my foot in April, then in 2009 I finally did race it in 1:51:14... (close, but not exactly the 1:50 I recalled.)  I guess it must just be that I've trained on that mountain with Eric since the beginning and have run a bunch of time trials through the years.  But, only one official race. Wow, aging is humbling.

On a photo hunt to verify my memory, look what I found... 2009... I do believe it was also the last year Beth or Michael (aww, MK with hair!) ran it too... Not sure if Shannon made it back in 2010 or not...  Cool photo.

Check out the race photos from 2009 to 2013...

I may be a bit older and slower, but I'm definitely better dressed!

OMG, I think that's even the same water bottle.  Too funny.

Enough lollygagging down memory lane, about yesterday...

To begin with, it was ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC to run this race with my friends.  We had the perfect weather for this course, in fact, the best that I can recall since I've been involved.  The sun only came out a few times and it never got hot.  Perfect race conditions.

I know I've talked ad nauseam about my big toes, but I was really worried about how they would impact this race.  I had wrapped them in bandaids, then duct taped them just to make sure the nails didn't keep lifting.  It worked perfectly.  When I finally got the shoes and socks off, the nails were still intact, but a hell of a lot sorer, darker and more swollen.  22 hours later, swelling is down along with the majority of pain.  All good.  Thanks to Summer's recent AB post on non-critical injuries, I know that running with bruised nails hurts, but doesn't hurt anything.  So, as long as I can tolerate a little discomfort, I can keep running.  Good thing too, because I have two more 10k races next weekend!  (Can you say Camp Pendleton bound?)

So, I started the race next to Rose, Amy, Rich Tipping and Marleigh.  We all danced back and forth on the Baldwin climb, then we started spreading out, with Amy taking a lead she held the entire race.  I hit First Water in 38:56, not a record but my fastest time this year.  By the time I hit the Helipad I was starting to seriously bonk (and get passed by way too many people, including an old friend in some seriously bright pink shorts!) and forced myself to eat a Hammer Gel.  It helped a bit and I finally regrouped right about when Eric came by the other way.  (To this day, just seeing him on the course can get my head back in the game.  Strange the relationship between athletes and coaches.)  I reached Orchard Camp in 1:12, breathed a sign of relief with a hint of fear for my toes, and started the real race, back downhill... 

I LOVE running downhill, and thankfully the endorphin's kicked in and I didn't feel my toes until the final descent down Baldwin, so I was able to open it up a bit at least on the non-technical parts of the trail.  It was so much fun!  Within minutes, I was passing people who had passed my on the climb and had picked up a tail.  The gal drafted off me the entire way down the mountain, using me to cut a path through the slower runners.  It was too cool.  My whole goal for the first 2-3 miles down was to just not let her catch me.  Then I saw Rose's white tank, and I had a whole new goal... CATCH ROSE!   I chased that tank for a good mile before I finally caught her at Razorback.  Admittedly, it was a shallow win because I should have never caught her.  Rose is normally way too fast on descents, but her knee has been seriously bothering her and was giving her a lot of trouble at that point of the race.  (Thank you Donna for running down the final leg with her.)  

One last note, as I started down Baldwin the gal behind me started to "make her move" and I had to really dig deep to pick up the pace yet again.  I caught up to a guy in a bright orange shirt, who started talking friendly smack, goading me on to race him to the finish, so I did... and barely beat him, both of us dusting my stalker.  (It's the little victories, lol!)  

On a side note, this year Eric and I had an agreement... it was his turn to handle everything business/race related from the shirts to the booth experience and it was my turn to just run the race. I took that agreement a little too literally and left sooner than I should have.  Granted, if you had been walking in my shoes once the endorphin rush wore off, you'd have wanted to get them off as fast as possible too, but still...

My congratulations and apologies to our medalists for not staying to cheer you on at the medal stand, you all rocked and I am very proud of you!  My thanks and apologies also to my partner for handling everything solo.  I should have at least checked in before leaving.  My gratitude, thanks and apologies to the MWTR Committee.  I thoroughly enjoyed being on the committee and already know new ways of contributing next year. I now know up close just how challenging this event is to organize and you all did a fantastic job.  Thank you for making this race so spectacular and my apologies for not knowing about the final photo op.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Grand Canyon - Up Close and Personal

Three months ago the idea of hiking the Grand Canyon was still in my bucket list of things to accomplish before I kick the bucket.  Then I turned my world on its ear, as I'm prone to do periodically, and thanks to a fantastic teaser by our Arrogant Bastards, I found myself planning a Rim to Rim trip with whoever wanted to join me.  The planing mutated dramatically over the last two months, with 3 people dropping out, trip duration changes and finally not more than a few days before we were due to leave, a final major change in sleeping arrangements.

Then we launched... Nicknamed, Thelma & Louise, Trish and I took off for the Grand Canyon...

We started immediately with a Facebook controversy when Trish (who was designated our professional trip photographer) unbeknownst to me, posted a photo of our travel crack.  Now I don't know what you're like on a road trip, but for the last 30+ years, every road trip I've ever taken has included tons of processed crack to fuel me and my buddies for the long drive ahead.  So, when we stopped to pee a few hours in to the trip, it never even dawned on me to not buy some some.  Trish was apparently raised the same way because she rolled over at my suggestion without batting an eyelash.  I'm telling you we bought it all...  Red Vines, Junior Mints, Hershey's Mini's, Reese's Pieces... and of course, the salties... Salt & Vinegar chips, and something I thought were potato chips but turned out to be tortilla chips.  The reality of our experience was that while we wanted to totally indulge, and were totally able to polish off all the S&V chips, quite a bit of the rest ended up just getting nibbled and pitched.  It seems regular clean eating ruins the taste buds for any serious over indulging.  (Oh, and Trish saved the Hershey Mini's for the trail, so glad since I had left out any Gu's or bars.)

The rest of the drive was uneventful and we arrived at our hotel in Tuseyan, AZ, around 2:30.  Plenty early enough to check in and go scout out the park and shuttle routes.  Good thing we did too, because the park is this convoluted slew of looping roads with all the parking lots and roads looking alike. I'd like to say our navigating got better after the first day, but we got turned around over and over again for the entire weekend!  BTW... the park is full of elk and squirrels...  You can look on Trish's Instagram account for a full set of trip photos.

Suffice to say that we found the South Kaibab Trailhead, found the correct parking lot and shuttle to get us back there in the morning and found ourselves on the first shuttle out... 4:30am.  It was in the low 30's on the South Rim Saturday morning and there was a stiff breeze that increased dramatically as we descended the trail.

While I tell you stories of the actual hike, let's start with a clear picture of just what we were committed to accomplishing:

Hike from the South Kaibab Trailhead to North Kaibab Trailhead...

This map only gives you an overview of the scale of the journey.  So, here are the highlights by water stop  including elevation and approximate times we arrived at the location.  The mile markers are also guesstimates, since every map and website I checked gives back different mileage... as do all of the individuals we asked on the North Rim.

5:15am South Kaibab Trailhead 7260' - It was not quite light yet, giving us about 1.5 miles to reach a good view spot for the sunrise:

As the sun was rising so were the winds and we found ourselves moving down the trail having to be super careful for uneven terrain (yes, it was every bit as treacherous as Jane B warned us it would be), flying dirt, buffeting winds, passing hikers (because tons of people were passing us, and even the oldsters were cooking along) and the slowly revealing view - which was so dramatic and distracting that we had to stop to look as much for pictures as for not getting so distracted that one of us would trip and fall.

7:45am Tip Off 4000' - 4.4 mile marker - Just over half was down, the sun was up, wind was gone and it was already starting to warm up.  Tip Off didn't have water (there are no water stops on the South Kaibab) but it did have a very nice restroom with chemical toilets.  The perfect rest spot before the final descent to the river.  (Enjoy one of the very few pictures I was able to capture of Trish.  Why is it that those behind the camera always hate being in front of it???)

Tip Off marked the edge of the last long stretch to the Colorado River.  At one point we crossed the perfect lookout point for Trish to capture the Bright Angel bridge way down at the bottom.  (All those little green "bushes" to the right are actually trees and the campground.)  I LOVED that the Colorado wasn't at all brown, murky or churned up at all during our trip - thank you for missing monsoon season!

We had encountered two mule trains before we were even half way down, the first one was literally right on our heels at dawn, but it wasn't until we had almost reached the river that we encountered our first passenger train...

9:15am Bright Angel Campground 2480' - 7 mile marker - It took us FOUR hours to get to the bottom, a good hour over my worst case timeline, which I instinctively knew meant the entire hike would be longer than the 10-12 hours originally projected.  So, we regrouped, killed a brief detour we had wanted to take along the Colorado and immediately crossed the bridge to bright Angel.

Bright Angel Campground was our first water stop and none too soon.  We had each packed a 2-liter badder for plain water and two 1-liter bottles filled with Endurolyte Fizz... I knew my bottles were down to about 1/4 each, but so was my bladder... Trish too.  Even though it wasn't even close to warm yet, we had gone through 100oz of water each, in just 7 miles.  Wow... Serious note to self in gratitude for packing a water pump just in case piped water wasn't available if we needed it.

I had expected to see loads of campers in Bright Angel, but the place was much smaller and quieter than I could have hoped for.  It's quite nice and had we more time to linger we would have, but I wanted to find us a good place to rest for a long period before stopping, so we moved on after refilling.

Phantom Ranch was less than a mile up the Bright Angel/North Kaibab trail and I was again expecting lots of tourists and campers.  Again not the case.  I suspect this was because the season was just opening.  We didn't immediately see a place to rest, so we walked a short way up the North Kaibab trail, along the Bright Angel Creek (We followed this same creek all the way up to Roaring Springs, a good nine miles up trail) until we found this perfect shady spot under a bridge with a nice sandy spot to pull off shoes and soak our feet in the stream (Trish opted out, but I took full advantage of the cooling to ease the discomfort of 7 miles of serious descent.)

Beth J had given me a tip to pack a lunch of salami and cheese wrapped in cheesecloth.  OMG, mana from heaven!  I had brought a really nice block of Kerrygold Cheddar and Applegate Organics Dry Salami and the cheesecloth kept it all from getting slimy in the heat.  PERFECT!

After about 20 minutes, we started again and it was getting hot.  Trish's knee was starting to get sore, although she was only noticing it at first on downgrades.   By 11:00, it was up to about 85 degrees in the "Hot Box" - that five mile stretch from Phantom to Ribbon Falls.  Ribbon Falls was our second targeted detour because it was touted as being a sight worth not missing.  I suspect that most people approach it from the North, but we were approaching it from the South, which meant that we encountered the back route first... 800m of trail followed by an unassisted stream crossing, on a very aggressive stream.  So we bit... and hiked the half mile to the stream, no bridge, just a given that people would hike it.  One look at the required crossing and I knew that it was not an option for us... it would have been to risky with packs and a bum knee and taken too much time, plus we were already a good hour behind schedule and we were barely half way.  So, we bailed on Ribbon Falls.  Good thing too in hindsight, but that story is still ahead...

The "Hot Box" walk was just that... hot and tiring, somewhere along that stretch, Trish's knee started to really hurt on all of the downgrades, of which there were many.   She never once complained, she just took the descents or stairs gingerly.

Thankfully, we kept crossing bridges that would move us to either ride of the stream, sometimes in to the much desired shade!

2:00pm Cottonwood Campground 4080' - 14 mile marker - FINALLY... after what felt like an endless walk along a desert stream.  Strange concept, but that's what it was.  One side note, throughout the entire hike we were crossing paths with lots of other hikers, some passing us but most coming south along the trail... including a good hundred individual runners.  It was very unexpected to see so many minimalist runners either solo or in small clusters, racing their way from Rim to Rim (with many of them planing to return the same was for a full Rim to Rim to Rim.)

Everyone we encountered was friendly, and if they weren't racing, quite talkative.  We kept leapfrogging this one young couple who were hiking our direction, with the intention of camping on the North Rim (our original plan too.)  They both had large backpacks yet were moving at a goof clip and we would only pass them when they took shade breaks.  As we'd pass each other, the gal would invariably ask us how much farther to Ribbon Falls and Cottonwood... Trish and I slowly learned to NOT ask that question.  The answers were always wrong because they were based off someone else's pace.  As the afternoon was settling in, scattered clouds started to appear and a breeze came up and while we were resting in Cottonwood Campground we actually felt a few brief raindrops.

Cottonwood was our second water stop, and we had again gone through three of our four liters of fluids.  Oh, and as soon as the sun had started to warm up we had also started to eat Endurolyte caps every hour, just to stave off any possibility of hyponatremia.

3:00 Pumphouse Residence 4600' 15.4 Mile Marker - Our leapfrogging young couple had left Cottonwood before us, but we caught up with them at the Pumphouse.  They were sitting on a bench under shady tree while she massaged his shoulders and neck.  I don't envy them those heavy packs, they much have been quite the burden.  By this time, the weather had cooled a bit, so we weren't as depleted as we had been earlier, but by now Trish's knee was starting to hurt all of the time, and while she was still moving at a steady clip, she was starting to tire easily. We were falling farther and farther behind schedule and I was now trying to just keep us on task enough to get to the top in time to make our dinner reservations at 7:45.  Slow but steady was our goal, and it worked until it stopped working.

4:00 Roaring Springs Heliport 5220' - 17 Mile Marker - Something in the altitude, dust and/or backpacks was starting to make it more and more uncomfortable to take a deep breath and we both started to feel the fatigue that comes with inadequate breathing.  I know a number of good meditation methods to counter them and was eventually able to rein in the problem, but even with my suggestions, she continued to have difficulty with regular breathing, no doubt her knees (yep the other one was now acting up too) were adding a factor that I didn't have.  At any rate, it was already 4pm and and we still had another 4 miles to the top.  We had already been on the trail for 11 hours and I now adjusted our timeline to 13 hours and mentally let go of dinner plans while being enormously grateful for our last minute decision to bail on camping and take a room at the North Rim Lodge that has unexpectedly become available.  That was by far our BEST decision!

Roaring Springs was a very cool break place for us because it was so bizarre.  You can't see it well in this photo, but at the top of that water fall is some kind of structure built in the rock face.  We asked all of the locals what it was, but only a few even ventured a guess that it was part of the pumping station.  Looked to us more like a bandit's hideout.

Those last four miles were by far the most beautiful miles of the day, which was the only salve and distraction Trish could get to counter the steadily increasing pain in her knees.  I had given her a couple of Aleve's earlier and we were both hesitant to give her any more, but she finally ate one more about 6pm.

I've already said that everyone we encountered was wonderful and on the climb out, that was ten-fold.  First, the couple we had been leap frogging up to the Pumphouse never caught us again, and I do hope they made it out alright.  Then there were the two young gals Amanda and Adrian, I think.  We chatted with them for a few breaks, but ended up leaving them behind and also hope they made it out okay - although they did have friends waiting at the top for them, so at least they had a ready made search party if needed.

But the best were the group of six we only passed when they stopped to take extended breaks in the shade while their group regathered.  Every time we encountered them, they were full of laughter, camaraderie, high spirits and good jokes... When I asked them at one stop if they knew how much farther (no, it took the last two miles to completely beat that question out of my brain), they said it's only two miles... up and over that giant mountain way ahread of us...

At 6pm, we were finally crossing the last footbridge and only had a little over two miles to go... but they were going to the the hardest two of all.  Still we were super optimistic, had plenty of daylight left, and were feeling pretty darn good all things considered.

That optimism lasted until the first round of wicked switchbacks that left us both reeling.  We stopped to snap a picture at the top, and laughed for a moment when we saw yet another ultra runner jogging up the same trail on his way out of a full R2R2R.  Look closely at the center of this next picture and you'll see the same bridge from the top of the switchbacks, as well as the long meandering trail leading up to it.

6:00 Supai Tunnel 6800' 6pm - 19 Mile Marker
What you may not notice, is that the sun is starting to fade and it's starting to get cold when we stop (high 20's expected on the North Rim at night.)  We are now only little over two miles out, but they are the steepest yet encountered and Trish is in so much pain that she is slowing to a heartbreaking pace.  About 6:30, and over 13 hours since the beginning, I started getting seriously scared about us getting out even this short distance. Night was coming and it was going to get cold, and the more time that passed, the faster Trish's pain would compound.   About then I finally insisted that she give me her backpack, hoping that it would relieve enough burden off her knees that she would be able to move easier and faster.  I didn't yet care that giving up my own treking poles and replacing them with an extra 15+ pound odd object would completely throw off my energy, I just knew she needed relief.  It didn't take me long to realize that I was going to have to dig extremely deep to maintain this and still keep it together.  About half a mile up trail we were passed by Gordo the Trail Angel and his hiking partner.  Gordo easily assessed our predicament and volunteered to sling Trish's pack over his "empty" one and leave it up at the top for us.  I knew it was necessary, even as I knew it wasn't a good idea, but I asked Trish and she agreed, so off they went with Trish's pack... it slowly dawned on me... her headlamp, wimp wear and all fluids were quickly making their way of the trail without her, and she wasn't moving any faster than she had been with the pack.

It was all I could do to not panic and drop my pack to go reclaim hers.  Instead, I calmed down (thank you Eric for a thousand lessons in calming my head) and took a mental inventory of my own bag... a headlamp, long sleeve tech shirt, beanie, gloves and plenty of fluids.  All of which i could give her if necessary.

Just when I didn't think we were ever going to get out we started to hear sporadic screams, which Trish correctly identified as cheers at the top.  We were at least within ear's distance from home!  Then, a couple of unexpected hikers came around the corner towards us, and Trish couldn't resist asking... how much farther to the top?  To which the man said, about a mile.  I thought Trish was going to punch him. Instead, she simply yelled, it can't be another mile, that's what everyone has been saying!  It was too funny... Okay, maybe you had to be there to appreciate the humor...  At any rate, I told her to just keep walking, and we hadn't gone more than another 300-400 meters when we come around the corner to wild cheering.  We were finally home... 14.5 hours after we had started.

8:15pm North Rim, Kaibab Trailhead - 8241' - 21 Mile Marker - It seems all these people were screaming because they thought we were the two young gals we had passed so many hours earlier.  Sadly, we had to decline but were very grateful for the cheering anyway.  Then I saw Gordo and Trish's backpack.  He asked how she was doing and where we were staying.  I told him what I hadn't reminded Trish of for hours... the Lodge was still another 1.7 miles away from the trailhead.

Thank God for Gordo, seriously.  He loaded us up in his truck and drove us to the Lodge while his friends waited for their lagging parties.  He wouldn't take any money but Trish made sure to get his last name and I know she's on a mission to reward him.  He was a serious hero in our world.

When I checked us in, of course they wanted my ID, and of course I started turning my pack upside down to find it.  Seeing what they were dealing with they kindly just accepted a different ID verification method. While I was handling that part, Trish was asking the restaurant if they could get us in, even though we were late and still had all our gear.  Ready?  They welcomed us and immediately sat us, in front of many people waiting for tables, gear and all.  It was enough to almost make us cry... instead we ate to bursting and tottled our way off to bed.

The rest of the weekend was wonderful in an achy sort of way, including a very cool tourist style shuttle ride back to the South Rim.  Trish's knees are still wonky but getting better daily and my only complaint are a couple of slowly darkening big toe nails that I can already tell are destined to leave this body.  Oh well, they are a very small price for this enormous adventure and growth experience. I may have been the strong one on this journey, but that was merely the luck of the draw.  Next time the tables will likely turn as they always do and Roadkill could very easily be again pulling up the rear and holding back the group.  It doesn't matter. It only matters that we are a team and stay together.

I will leave you with this last message.  My amazing friend Trish insisted on recording her arrival.  I'm so very glad.  Please excuse our cussing, it had been a very long day.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Hi there, miss me?

I didn't post last week because I didn't get in any AB training. Tuesday I had the Mt. Wilson Trail Race committee meeting and Thursday was rained out... although if it weren't for the lightening, it would have made for quite a wet and wild session!  I did get in a number of CrossFit sessions, but this is Roadkill's blog, so if I'm not running, it seems wrong to post.   

Being that this was my first run in a week, I was feeling super rusty. No doubt, last weekend's mountain conference didn't help with its late nights, marginal food and only a few short hikes for exercise.  However, the way I see it is the AB and all of my races are intended to enhance my life, just as are many other things I do... sadly they aren't all always compatible.  The conference being a big one that I wouldn't change any part of even if it did contribute to tonight's extra pain.

This week included CrossFit yesterday and today, along with speed work tonight...
Bastards! Tonight's 6:30pm practice will be a little "Speed Session" and light on elevation and volume due to the upcoming race this Saturday. Please meet St. Rita's with your street shoes and plenty of fluids. It will be hot today...RSVP in comments.

The training consisted of 2-3 rounds of 2-mile repeats from St Rita's to SAR & back.  One of our new Bastards Jean came out to practice and wanted to pace off of me because she's been nursing issues with her calves and wanted to go easy.  It was quite a pleasure to have her for a running buddy, even though she will be much faster once she finishes acclimating to training.

Round One - I reached the turn around point in 8:12 and finished the second mile in 18:55.  Thanks Carrie for noticing on the return that I was running too upright and not taking advantage of any ankle lean.  I fixed it on the second round and while it helped, it wasn't enough to salvage the time.

Round Two - I reached the turn around point in 9:21 and finished the second mile in 20:46.  Based on how tired I was after the first round, I warned Jean that I would likely be slower and to not hang out if she felt strong.  She wasn't at all interested in running faster being far more focused on caring for her calves.  I guess it was with good reason because she felt something go awry with her left calf when we were not more than about 100 meters from the finish.  I had intended to keep running and she tried to keep running with me, but was just making her situation worse and finally had to walk, so I opted to walk with her. We were maybe 50 meters shy of the finish and I felt it more important to support our new member and my impromptu running buddy, then race the last few meters.  Feel free to call me a slacker.  

On a side note...  Right from the beginning of the second round I felt a side stitch (something I never get anymore) and it wouldn't let up even with all my known methods for solving them.  Then Jean gave me a really odd tip to stop it...  stretch my arm over my head while running.  Sounds bizarre, but it immediately released the spasm in my diaphragm and it never came back. Very cool and I highly recommend trying it if you get side stitches now and then.   

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Run The Verdugos

Here it is another Sunday night and I'm home late and wide awake so it's a good time to blog on the weekend.

First... THANK YOU ALL for the flood of birthday wishes yesterday, it was really quite overwhelming! The older I get the less I enjoy celebrating the day, preferring to let it quietly slip by, which is why I tend to lay low or go out of town on most birthdays.  Thanks to my roomie extraordinaire for not letting me get away with it completely this year. D'jango Unchained was an exceptionally good movie in my opinion and I'd have never taken the time to watch it if she hadn't insisted on us celebrating at least a little.  Love you sister, thank you for the company, dinner and gifts!

The other reason for laying low yesterday was to get ready for this morning's early rising...  so that Rose and I could go revisit a race from last year - Run the Verdugos.  

A "slightly" challenging 10k in Glendale, with a mere 1,745 in elevation gain.  Now, it doesn't look so tough on this map, but when you look at the profile, it gives you a pretty good picture of what we signed up for...

Crazy looking profile wouldn't you say?!

This is the third annual race, and the first year with a chip start.  It was Rose and I's second venture on this course and we were again joined by Craig Kinard, Dick Johnson and his daughter Heather.   This year we also had Rose's nephew Nick with us, and he was a great addition who I hope will be with us again next year (because of course we will keep racing this course!)  As we were leaving I saw a car that looked like my friend Carmen's, but I never saw her there so I figured I was wrong... that is until I saw her on the results list tonight.  She did good and I'm sorry I missed her!

Also there representing in force were Shannon Franklin and her Team Magnum from CrossFit Survival.  They have some very strong runners on that team and it earned them at least one medal.  I loved seeing them coming down as I was nearing the top, very inspirational!

This year we got lucky with the weather... PERFECT race conditions.  Cool, breezy and no sun.  We were even gifted with a slight drizzle on the climb, but it stopped long before anything got muddy.  Good thing too, because both Rose and I set personal records and I doubt seriously that I'd have been anywhere near as aggressive on the descent had it been even a little bit slippery.  As it was, Rose and I compared notes as we were walking back to the car looking for Nick... we had both been passed by quite a few people on the climb, but had in turn passed dozens of people on the way back down.  I was extra happy to say that only two people had passed me on the descent, both women, and I used them both as rabbits to chase... which worked perfectly with one of them in particular, because I was able to stay on her heels and actually passed her as we came to the finish line.  What fun!

Sooooo, I guess the Arrogant Bastard training is paying off... in spite of my daily perspective on always being last place in the training, because I finished Top 10 in my age bracket with a 9:00 PR. I was only a few minutes faster coming down, but I made it to the top about 7:00 faster than last year.  That's a pretty decent jump in a year and very good news with the Mt. Wilson Trail Race right around the corner!  Here are the stats from the last two years...

2013:  1:16:23 finish - 8th of 29 in bracket, and 319 of 653 overall - top 49% of field
2012:  1:25:04 finish - 11th of 28 in bracket, and 373 of 616 overall - bottom 40% of field

What's on the horizon?  This week brings more CrossFit, then Friday I get to go to Mountain High for spiritual conference and get in a bit of pleasure running with a new friend.  I am so looking forward to next weekend.  It's amazing what a difference it can make just knowing I'll have a like minded friend there!

13 more days until we're going to hiking the Grand Canyon!  Yahoo!!!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

From Indians to the Foundation

Roadkill's tired and glad tomorrow's a rest day!  Here's a recap of the week:

7 mile hike up to Orchard Camp, with 38# pack
No CrossFit - duh

No CrossFit - right calf super tight from Monday's climb
Arrogant Bastard training:
BASTARDS! Tonight's 6:30pm "It Pays To Be A Winner" will commence at Foothills Middle School in Arcadia. This is located at the top of 2nd Ave. in Arcadia. RSVP in comments...
Indian Runs... Just hearing those words can send a chill down Roadkill's spine.... This one was rough but not as bad as it would have been had we been climbing trails.  The workout consisted of teams of 6 indian running 300m on the track, then sprinting the last 100m, in a free for all.  Top three winners rest, while the losers do 10 push-ups... for a total of 8 rounds, with ZERO rest in between rounds.   Our teams all depend on who show up to practice, and this time I was teamed with almost all rabbits... Dave O, Beth C, Marleigh, Forrest C and Amy P. Indian runs are extra hard since I'm the slowest on the line because the rest can jog just under my sprint pace, which made the last few rounds in particular quite challenging... my apologies to Forest and Amy for getting vocal and my thanks to Dave O for being his wonderfully supportive self, as always.   I didn't make top three in any of the rounds and didn't max sprint to the finish, so I could save a smidgen of energy for the push-ups.  Maybe it's a form of sandbagging, but it was the only way I could keep up. The game ended with the top three winners of each team having to do 80 sit-ups... A minor balancing of the scales.  :-)

CrossFit... screwed up my timing and was too late to make class.  Not necessarily a bad thing given how tired my legs were.

CrossFit:  Z1 Day:
50 Lunges
25 GHD Hip Extensions
1 min left plank
50 Sit-ups
25 GHD Back Extensions
1 min right plank
800m Run
Completed one perfect round and called it a day - Bastard training tonight

Bastards! Tonight's 6:30pm practice will commence at the top of Grove in Sierra Madre with a jaunt up, up, and away through Bailey Canyon. Being your trail shoes and RSVP in the comments please...

Teams 3 and 4 got off easy... all we had to do was climb Bailey Canyon up to the Foundation and race back down... two miles up, two miles down.    I wasn't able to MapMyRun it, so I don't know the elevation gain, but it sure felt long and steep.  My team broke up almost immediately, there were too many different skill levels.  As we started to climb, everyone pulled away except Amy & Kathy and Forrest.  Amy and Kathy were in front of me the entire climb, but slowly pulled away, so that they hit the foundation about 2-3 minutes ahead of me.  Forrest was sweep, and got there about 2-3 minutes behind me.  Climbing is a big weakness for me, so it was good to practice!  On the way back down, I passed Kathy pretty quickly, but wasn't able to catch Amy, Lynn or Maggie.  They were all just too darn fast.   Approximate times:  Start 6:40 pm,  Foundation: 7:20, finish 7:42

On a side note... this was only my second time climbing Bailey, and my first time to the Foundation.  What a great place!  I need to take my meet-up gals up there.  Perfect place to take a break before heading back down again.  Now if I could just teach them to run down...

This was the PERFECT last day of training to get me ready for Sunday's race...

RUN THE VERDUGO'S 10k - 5k straight up, 5k right back down again... Last year Rose and I raced it and had a great time... I came in at 1:25:04.  According to the website, there's about 1735 gain over 3.3 miles, all fire road, so it'll be steep but still easier than tonight.  Sweet... We have  race times to beat from last year.  Wish us luck!