Mt. Madonna, TransRockies, Top of Utah…Oh My!!!

So much going on!  It’s exhausting!  But in a great way.  I have been so busy these past few weeks that my husband and in-laws allowed me the gift of staying home today to do, well, nothing. THANK YOU!  They are off enjoying a day at the pool with our three boys.  I am hanging out in my very quiet home, catching up on laundry and letting my legs and feet rest.

So let’s get started…

Beautiful Mt. Madonna Trail
Beautiful Mt. Madonna Trail

Mt. Madonna Challenge

Big news of the weekend is that we had a very successful Mt. Madonna Challenge run yesterday.  With 216 finishers, it was the largest turn out ever recorded. In addition, it was the inaugural year for the 18K.

The field looked like this:

6K finishers – 111
12K finishers – 68
18K finishers – 37

I was reminded when marking the course just how steep it is!  I was reminded again when Kathy, Raina and I decided to run the 6K after we finished cleaning up.

I think the addition of the 18K distance was a great idea by our race director, Allan Abrams.  It seemed to attract a number of trail runners from the PCTR crowd.  I was supporting the finish line aid station and feedback was overwhelmingly positive.

My favorite comment was by a man brand new to trails.  “I don’t even know how to describe this to my friends.  We only run roads.  I can’t even begin to tell them.  It was so beautiful. And so hard. So, so, so hard. But so beautiful.”  That was the best summary of trail running that I have heard in a long time.

I realized, yet again, that runners simply rock!  I met more than one person who had planned to run, got injured, and decided to come volunteer.  How cool is that?!  And, as always, everyone said thank you.  We added a few little touches this year, including PB&J, potatoes, watermelon, and pretzels.  I can’t tell you how many people personally thanked me.  And our shirts were a crowd pleaser!  We were worried.  They were a light, frosted, lime green.  We thought they were killer, but as race committee member Jimmy said, “I bet we look back in a few years and say, ‘Why did we do lime green shirts!?  We thought we were so cool in 2009.'”  Ha!

Of course, not everything went as planned.  Seems we didn’t mark one of the hair-pin turns as well as we could.  A few people went off course.  We needed more water. Awesome volunteer Jennifer ran to Safeway just 10 minutes before start time.  We needed more electrolyte fluid at the finish.  We were pretty much out when the final runners crossed.  We also need to figure a better way for the 18K runners to join the 12K course (the 18K is the 6K + 12K).  We had too much congestion.  We will try to think about how to do that better for next year.

All in all, a great day!  I was very proud to be a part of the team organizing this run.  I am totally stoked to take over as Race Director for 2010.  Thank you to all the runners, volunteers, Allan the RD, and the rest of the SVRC race committee.

TransRockies Stage Race

The 113-mile TransRockies run started this morning. The first stage is 20 miles, with over 2000′ feet of ascent, starting at 7900′ of elevation.  Tons of big names are there: Kami Semick, Hal Koerner, Nikki Kimball, Dean Karnazes, Caitlin Smith, Anita Ortiz, Prudence L’Heureaux and Devon Crosby-Helms.

But even better, my two pals and fellow SVRC runners are there! I have never personally known anyone who has been in a major event. Lynn and Kevin are the talk of the town. Like two kids in a candy store, I don’t know that I have seen two people more excited about anything.  Their enthusiasm is contagious.  We all know it is going to be very hard, but we also know they can do it.  They are both amazing.

I am following the race and will be updating my Twitter feed with the daily report.  You can follow the official report on the TRR site. You can follow Lynn and Kevin on Lynn’s blog.

Top of Utah Training

On the more tradition side of life, I am four weeks from Top of Utah.  My training is going very well. No injuries, knock on wood.  No interruptions to my schedule, knock on wood.  I am at the challenging point of the plan.

You know that point where you max out mileage and speed, and your body is just tired?  I am there.  I need a lot of sleep right now. My kids and husband laugh at me as I climb into bed at 8:45.  Then again, they know the drill.

My training plan is pretty aggressive.  I am wondering if I bit off more than I can chew. My long runs are 18, 31, 20, 22, 20, 16, 23.  I did the second 20-miler today.  It was nice going for 16 miles, when I had Craig and Charles with me.  The last four were alone and, well, boring.  Thank goodness next weekend I have a half-marathon in the trails. I think I am going to race it in place of the 16 miler.  Then one more long run and I taper. I better qualify.  Ultra training is so much more fun than marathon training!  I am itching to start preparing for the North Face Endurance 50-miler in December.

So that’s it for now.  Better get back to doing nothing/laundry/dishes/nothing.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Cynthia says:

    Sounds like you had a great event! I wimped out on the idea of a race and had a long slow hilly ~19 mile run instead- probably more what I need at this stage. But also I just don’t like being reminded how slow I really am.

    I made it up to 65 miles per week two weeks ago, then backed off a little, but have been trying to keep the mileage up. It IS exhausting, and with nagging aches and pains (foot still hurts), I’m trying to be cautious. Plus I can’t seem to maintain my weight (not that I’m complaining!). I’ve cut back on carbs after running (usually get some in later) and I think that helps alot with losing weight (muscles stay very insulin sensitive for longer which keeps blood sugar and insulin low). It’s a good thing for me now, but it’s harder to recover with a calorie deficit. Restricting carbs makes it harder to do anaerobic work like tempo or interval running or hills (though I’m finding only 100g a day seems to be enough to keep me going most of the time). On the other hand, it really helps your body focus on aerobic energy production, which is where I really need help- it’s like going for a long run after you did an interval workout and are depleted of glycogen.

    What about you? Do you have trouble eating enough calories when your mileage is this high? I saw a great video recipe on Marks’s Daily Apple (blog) about homemade nutella you might like.

  2. runrunrunrun says:

    Hi Cynthia!

    We had a great event last weekend. You really should come next year. Our numbers jumped like crazy! We went from 93 runners last year to over 200. We can’t figure out why. Our theory is cost, we are only $25-$35 depending on when you register and for what distance. And we ended up getting tech shirts for everyone. I also think trail running is exploding and that added to our numbers.

    65 miles is a lot!! I am not there. I will reach 58 this week and it’s tough. I was pretty worn out last week and then I realized I never took a break after my ultra. But I am sleeping a LOT and that is helping. I feel better this week than I did last week. I did my final mile-interval workout today, which is a relief. I have one serious speedwork out left before Utah, my 10 Yasso 800s.

    As for food, I don’t do well at this weekly distance either. I lose my appetite, which isn’t a good thing!! I can’t eat a lot at once, so I nibble throughout the day and rely heavily on sushi. Its small and light and healthy. I eat tons of fruit, raw veggies and bread. At this point in my training, I also tend to use cookies to supplement my calories. I realize this is very bad. But I bake a lot and they are around and yummy. I also snack on Power Bars and Gatorade. Easy to digest and keeps the calories up. I am a vegetarian and I don’t really like pasta, so it’s tough to eat right once I get over about 30 miles a week.


  3. Cynthia says:

    Sushi is good even as trail food I think! One of my favorite meals is a big salad with avocado, cheese, nuts, eggs or meat added (or all of them!). It adds more fat and protein and tastes great. Also, apparently runners destroy a lot of their red blood cells (pressure on footstrike or something) and need more iron.

    I think you’re right that trail running is gaining in popularity. As a sport, it is more affordable than most and easy to do alone or with a group. I hope there continue to be more affordable races too.

    Seems like a hot day for mile intervals! But then you are probably one of those smart early risers who run in the AM before it gets hot!

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