Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Golden Gate Bridge 15.63 Miles

Just ran my favorite run in almost the entire world from the Omni Hotel across the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin County and back, 15.63 miles.  My pace was terrible, 9.5.   Can't qualify for Boston with that.  But half the run was in the complete dark.

See here for the flyover video.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Upcoming Santa Barbara Marathon

My recovery week after the Twin Peaks 50 has been slow because of injury.  My injury?  Swollen tendons in my hand!  Who would have thought?

On my pace run in the Bear 100 two weeks before Twin Peaks, I had a major face plant and really did a number on my hands, with deep road rash on both hands.   I didn't think there was anything really wrong with the hands otherwise until two days after the Twin Peak 50 when my left hand became swollen in the palm.   OK, that's just weird.  Two weeks of nothing and then they swell up?  X-rays reveal nothing.  I guess the constant trashing of the wrist while running might lead to something like carpal tunnel.

So, I've signed up for the November 10, 2012 Santa Barbara Marathon, which I've done once before.  I desperately need to re-qualify for Boston, but for some reason my times with this marathon are not the speediest.  It has some annoyingly tight 90 degree turns, crowded conditions at aid stations with the public obstructing runners who don't want to stop, and then several miles on narrow sidewalks through a city park.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Twin Peaks 50: 14:07

Considered one of the toughest 50-milers in California, the Twin Peaks 50 ultra ascends 15,000 feet in the first 45 miles. It combines fire roads with very technical descent single tracks (boulders and water courses through the middle of the trail). The race is actually somewhat longer than 52 miles.  The race director warned us that finishing times were more in line with 100Ks, but I felt I was ready.
The Twin Peaks Ultra climbs Santiago Peak and Trabuco Peak in Orange County, each twice. The single tracks are on Holy Jim Trail (Santiago) and Horsethief Trail (Trabuco).

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Twin Peaks 50

Well, it looks like I have a client conflict with my 100 next week.   I've signed up therefore for the Twin Peaks 50 mile this week on October 13.    It is a very tough course with lots of altitude gain.   http://trailrunning.dirtyfeet.us/twinpeakscourse.html.    It is in Orange County and climbs Trabuco and Santiago Peaks twice.    It can be crowded with hikers.  

I've done the 50K before which is the same as the 50 mile but which leaves out a peak, and I came in 11th overall.   Most of the course is easy fire trail but the aid stations can be iffy.  When I ran the 50K I got there before two stations were fully set up.   I usually like to run my first ten mile leg without water and I was surprised at the first aid station.  But that was a few years ago and it looks like it has grown up.

This time I weigh ten pounds less with two solid long running weekends in front so I'm hoping for no trouble.   The great thing about an ultra run is the taper down the week before.  I get to sleep in.

I'm bringing multiple shoe changes in case the Hokas don't work.  I still am a little doubtful of them.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Triple Ascent of "The Beast"

I made a triple ascent of Newhall's The Beast today.   I drew a lot of comments from runners and walkers going up and down.  It was slightly over 30 miles because I ran the very top leg a fourth time to make sure I went over 30 miles.

The reason the elevation chart above doesn't look like three trips is that I ran triples of individual legs rather than a triple of the whole thing, but it added up to a full triple.   As you can see from the first "hump" above, I tripled the top leg, ran to the bottom and then ran to the top again.

But, my normal up and down of 1:50 for a single trip suffered in the later trips.   The last trip was hot and I was chafed and dragged myself up and down. I had lots of energy until the temps went over 80 degrees and then that is all she wrote.

I'd made two doubles in the past, with one of them being kind of a cheater as I went down Los Pinetos trail and came up the second time on the "Viper," a shorter route.  One of the doubles was in the winter -- pretty easy.   The true double was many years ago and I recall it was difficult.

Too fun.  My feet held up in my Brooks.  That made it six ascents of the Beast in one week.

Friday, October 5, 2012

T minus 14 to Pony Express

Another pre-dawn The Beast ascent this morning.  That's 30 miles on The Beast this week alone.  I'm contemplating another 30 miles tomorrow.  We'll see if I can get my mind around a triple ascent.  The flesh is willing, the mind is weak.

To my utter surprise, I saw a pair of runners coming down in the dark as I was headed up.  That is a first after a decade of running The Beast.

Ran in my Brooks shoes.  A little cooler than the Hokas (because the Brooks are actually heavy road shoes) but too much moving around in the shoe; too much potential for blister.

Cold today. Fifty degrees to start.

Still distressed over the meeting conflict I have with the Pony Express.   Clients first!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mitt Romney

Just say'n.   Second cousin.

T Minus 15 days

Another pre-dawn ascent of "The Beast," this time in a close to personal record time, 1:02.   Today I got up there long before dawn.

My new Hoka shoes are comfortable except that I feel a lack of lateral support that I usually have for my medial post shoes.   When I'm running on a slope that slants to the right or the left, the up-slope shoe feels like it is slipping off its tread into the lower slope. I don't quite have the same stability as my other shoes.  I'll probably lay off running in these shoes until race day.

I have a work conflict for the start of the Pony Express 100.  Wonder if it will clear. Something always comes up.   Last year it was bronchitis.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pony Express 100: T minus 17 days

OK, you're thinking.  Another picture and post about Bob.  Can't he quit talking about himself and his running?  Well, it really is the only way I can self-motivate myself to run this upcoming 100 race on the Pony Express Trail.   If I tell everybody I'm doing it then it will be harder for me to back out.  A 100 mile race, and climbing Denali, are the last two things I need to do before hanging out more often at the cemetery.

This morning was another 10 mile trip to the top of Newhall's "The Beast."   I arrived at the trail head  forgetting my flashlight, and had to do most of the ascent in the moonlight.  But, having run the route so many times before it wasn't too difficult.  I arrived at the peak somewhat before sunrise.  A hazy day.  The above shot is looking north towards Santa Clarita.

Today's run was three days after my 60 mile experience in Idaho in the Bear 100.   My heel hurt terribly from the blister surgery I had to do then.  It felt just like a bruised heel.  In fact, the needle surgery probably bruised the heel.

Today was my first day running in my new Hoka One One ("Onay Onay") shoes.  A complete different experience, these.  Somewhat more cushioned, about a half-inch higher, and very light.  They are not expected to last many miles, and I couldn't get them with a medial post (for overpronation).  And expensive -- $200.   The reason I got them was that I have been told they help fight foot fatigue.  Today's run was fine but I think I know where the hot spots are going to be.  The shoe runs hotter than a normal trail runner.

I blasted to the top today in fine order.  It was hot -- over 70 degrees starting at 5:00 a.m.  Hazy, too.  

There are funny things I think about whilst running.  The next run, where will it be?  The weekend run, how long will it be and where?  The stuff I need to do at work today.  The people trying to beat me down.  (Litigation is a zero-sum game.  Winners and losers.  Half of all persons I deal with every day plots to do me professional disaster.)