Sunday, September 22, 2013

Keeping steady...

Week Summary 9/22/2013

Ash Canyon Loop: 6.8 mi (+969 ft); 11:04 pace
Carson River Flats: 7.3 mi (+44 ft); 10:24 pace
South Washoe to VC: 15.1 mi (+3,185 ft); 11:53 pace
Combination Short: 2.9 mi (+222 ft); 10:12 pace

Weekly Totals: 32.1 mi (+4,421 ft); 6:00:13 on trail

Given the pending relocation of the domestic trailhead of Trail Option, my primary goal of late has been to maintain my fitness level and keep my head clear through the ups-and-downs of buying, selling, escrow, planning, etc...  I hope to have some good news soon.

My general maintenance strategy has been to keep the mid-week runs at a Base level and run as time allows. This is followed by a weekend Long effort that has averaged 15 miles over about three hours each Saturday. Those runs have been nicely varied and very fun. A couple weeks ago Darren and I joined the Tahoe Mountain Milers at Kingsbury South to run an out-and-back on the TRT. The haze of the devastating Rim Fire had yet to clear, but our group managed to get above it, mostly. Last week, I accompanied Darren as he ran the Headlands 50 north of San Francisco. We stayed in Novato and on Saturday morning Darren toed the line with over 100 runners for the 50 Mile, as he sought a Western States qualifier. He ran a smart and steady effort to finish 22nd in 9:27:17 (he's now qualified). The 50-mile course has at least 10,000 feet gain. While he ran, I explored the course, occasionally mingling with contestants as we shared sections of trail.

This week I picked up the mileage a bit and enjoyed a great run from the south side of Washoe Lake. An early season storm rolled in and I had some great rain squalls (and even some snow-pellets on McClellan Peak) as I worked my way back to Virginia City. This week I poached trail from the VC100 equine endurance race, and though I was eventually passed by two riders (including our friend Lou) I kept a good distance between groups of competitors. It was funny to run into one of their aid stations and be offered a carrot or two (that's better than some of the Leadville stations!). It rained for about half of the 15-mile run. Always an enjoyable oddity of high-desert running; I hadn't been rained (or snowed) on since the Buffalo 100 last march.

The Trail Option team has also been busy on the Senior circuit. Dennis and Mary kept pace in their 50/70 year at the Little Grand Canyon Marathon in the Buckhorn Wash of the San Rafael Swell in Utah. The heat and mosquitoes required some adaptations but they worked hard and came close to beating six hours - a good feat given the conditions. Although they couldn't really compete in their hard-core age-group (50-99), as the most senior competitors in the event, they finish 37th and 38th out of 45 competitors. It was their fourth marathon or better race this year! Next up, St. George. Nice.

Looking forward to some Fall events once the dust settles and I know my new address; until then, we'll keep steady...

Previous Weeks...

Week Summary 9/15/2013


Carson River Flats: 4.6 mi (+19 ft); 9:49 pace
Goni East: 3.9 mi (+515 ft); 11:06 pace
Marin Headlands Loop: 15.8 mi (+3,077 ft); 12:48 pace

Weekly Totals: 24.3 mi (+3,611 ft); 4:50:11 on trail

Week Summary 9/8/2013


EF Treadmill: 4.0 mi (+0 ft); 10:10 pace
Goni East: 4.8 mi (+581 ft); 11:43 pace
TRT - Monument Pass OB: 15.3 mi (+2,393 ft); 12:27 pace

Weekly Totals: 24.3 mi (+2,973 ft); 4:46:49 on trail

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Back into the Haze

Week Summary 9/1/2013

Combination Short: 3.0 mi (+178 ft); 10:35 pace
Deadmans Scripps Loop: 6.4 mi (+1,186 ft); 11:35 pace
Weekly Totals: 9.3 mi (+1,364 ft); 1:45:06 on trail
August Totals: 132.9 mi (+17,019 ft); 33:24:13 on trail

The echoes of Leadville have all but faded and I'm feeling very ready to get back on the trail. It is only the search for the variables (fuel, elevation, training flaws??) that brings the occasional reflection on my DNF. I want to learn from the experience, but I'm also ready to move forward.

The smoke plume from the Rim Fire near Yosemite has become semi-permanent along the eastern front, bring Unhealthy air-quality readings to Carson, Reno, and beyond. There's no way I'm going out in that. But I begin to ache from the inactivity, should I hit the treadmill? 

Saturday morning, however, dawned unexpectedly clear and it was time to begin again. I bopped easily out to the Combination Mine and came back home, jonesing to tack on some miles but knowing I should ease back into things. It was nice to have a relatively haze-free day, but the plume hung ominously to the south so that even a minor return of southerly wind would bring its return. On Sunday, that's what happened. Darren and I managed to beat it with an early-morning jog around Nine Mile Hill via Scripps and Deadmans. We rustled up my first rattlesnake of the year in the first half-mile, but, other than a odd helicpoter buzzing the canyons, it was a nice cruise before the smoke settled in. 

Great to be on the trail again...  I've no big plans right now. Will probably accompany Darren to the Headlands 50 in a couple weeks; while Darren races I can get in some trails at Rodeo Beach. A 50K at Graegle, California, looks interesting at the end of the month. Then my thoughts turn to finishing the Tahoe Rim Trail on the Desolation and Barker Pass segments. It's time to complete that loop, though in segmented fashion. The smoke needs to clear up so I can get into a bit of a routine again; let's hope that Tuolumne gets some rain soon.