Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Race route recon!

This past weekend my plan called for a 50k. As there were no races on any calendar I could find I decided to run the Sean O’Brien 50k course in advance of the race in February. The course runs along an out and back section of the Backbone Trail in the Santa Monica Mountains. I have run much of it before but never strung together in this order.

Becca was planning for a 16 miles so we came up a plan for her to run with me for the first 8 miles and then turnaround and head back to the car, we had left my car around M14 and I would use that for SAG. As we started late we skipped the first couple of miles and headed to the next parking lot which would allow Becca more time on the main climb of the run and after our abandoned run due to the rain a couple of weeks ago it made more sense.


With the car parked and the obligatory selfies taken we were off! This section is the grittiest of the entire race with 1600’ of gain over the first four miles. For obvious reasons there is no going out fast for this! It’s very much a case of run anything runnable and walk the rest!

After the last couple of weeks rain we saw plenty of signs of erosion; sinkholes in the trail, this was about 8’ long and 3’ deep and rocks washed down the hillside, this was well pretty big;


At Corral Canyon Becca was due to turnaround however this was all new trail to her and she was very turned around. A quick replan and we agreed we would run on the next section together to my car and see how much was left for her to reach the 16 mark.


The section from Corral Canyon is mostly runnable but has a nasty climb around Mile 8 with nearly 500’ of climbing. These are just some random shots from along the trail.


We got to the car after just over 9 miles. Another replan for Becca and then we came up with a plan to run on another 3.5 miles and turnaround and use my car to get back to the start and meet up with me later…with that plan made we were off!

imageThis section is one I have only run once back in 2009 so it was all a good refresher. The trail has lots of twists and turns but was mostly runnable. I ran onto the actual race turnaround, cutting off the first couple of miles meant that I was going to be short overall but I would worry about that at the end of the day.


I hit the halfway point and then back at the parking lot Becca and I parted company. I was on the way back. My main goal was to keep a steady and maintainable pace and that was pretty much achieved with the exception of the really steep climbs. I let Becca know my locations as I was coming back to the start and as the light was fading I decided to head to the actual race start to add up my mileage. I had stupidly stopped my Garmin and forgotten to start it so I missed a mile and about 12 minutes of actually recording but trust me my legs were very aware of it!

I had to take a slight detour as what was usual a little steam was a 2-3’ deep fast moving river! I finished in the dark and by the illumination of the light on my iPhone I ran the last mile to the parking lot to be collected by Becca! I was half a mile short so I ran around in circles a bit to round it up. Knowing this I am estimating that the race distance will be closer to 33 miles.


So 31 not pretty miles in the bank. This is actually my first “ultra” since  2011 and was for sure a good eye opener. There’s plenty of work needed in the next 6 weeks to get me along this course faster than last weekend!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

November Summary

So it went like this!

Race on Sunday in Week 14..then less road more trail and teeny tiny bit of bike!


Addressing the trails again


More of the same in December and a push to round up mileage, within sensible proportions, for the end of the year!



Sunday, November 30, 2014

S0B50K Week 4

This was always going to be a big week. The way my schedule fits into the calendar means that there are some weeks where there are six runs and this was one them.

Monday. Off, a quick 30 minutes on the Bike…shut the front door!

Tuesday. Off, another 30 minutes on the Bike, this time riding along with Zwift which I am beta testing! So far so good!

We Ride a Latte. from Zwift on Vimeo.

Wednesday. 7 miles on the local roads and trails, another good kick in the pants! Hills. trails, Stuart!!!

Thursday. 5 miles. Treadmill. 2 mile warm up, 1 mile hill climb at 15%/3.2mph 2 mile cool down

Friday. 7 miles. Treadmill. Started at 1% increased 1% each mile over first 5, then back to 2% for remaining!

Saturday. Off. 

Sunday. 18 miles was the plan. Headed to local Trailhead with a view to running the first section of the Sean O’Brien course with Becca, best described as wet! We called it after 3.5 miles and 2000’ of climbing and turned around.


Up into the clouds and rain!


I ran another couple of miles after to get to 10 and then another 7 miles on the Treadmill to hit 17 for the day.

So 5 runs 6:44 and 37.08 miles and 2 rides 1:03 and 17:06 miles.

Next week is a step back as the week after I have a Fat Ass 50k so some time off my legs will be a good thing!