Thursday, August 30, 2012

Another week in Paradise: TRT Tour

I have been scheming a run of the full 165 miles of the Tahoe Rim Trail for a while now.  In many ways Tahoe is home for me.  Although I have never lived here for more than 3 months, it feels like home.  Next summer will likely be when I have a go at the entire rim trail.  I'd like to preview the whole TRT before undertaking it.  I know most of the north and east side.  I have also run 20 miles on the west side.

This week James and I are guiding a tour of the north and east rim, 90 miles of it.  We also guided the tour last year.  It entails getting to Tahoe, shopping for 6 peoples food for 5 days, taking care of transportation, aid stations for the runners whenever possible, one of us running with them, making them breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, and basically being on call 24 hours a day.  No piece of cake that's for sure, but a great opportunity to see my favorite trails again!
Our group, day 1: Tahoe City to Brockway 19.5 miles.  James ran with the group to our lunch spot at Watson Lake and I ran from Watson to Brockway with them.  This is one very talented group of runners, all of them being marathoners who can run on the trails.   
James makes eggplant and toasted almond with chicken enchiladas day 1.  He is quite the cook.  It was amazing.  Day 2: I made Teriyaki Chicken, jasmine rice, and vegetables.  For dessert I made carrot cake. 
Day 2: Running at 10,700 feet
Day 3: I ran with the group from Tahoe Meadows to Spooner Lake, a 24.5 mile run with 3,500 feet of gain.  We took our time and enjoyed all the viewpoints, including a 1.5 mile lollipop with incredible panoramic views Lake Tahoe from above Sand Harbor. 
Using my new pack, the Salomon S-Lab 12.  I have been trying out packs for the past month trying to find the *perfect* one for the Plain 100.  This one is as close to perfection as I could find.  I need water bottle holders in the front so that I can quickly and easily fill water in streams.  A bladder will not do.  I will use the bladder for the long sections that do not have water for more than a few hours, but it is too cumbersome and slow for most of the the race. 
The best viewpoint, looking down at Sand Harbor
Steve runs down from Snow Valley Peak
Hilary levitates on mile 19 coming down from Snow Valley Peak.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Training Journal 8/20-8/26

Monday, August 20-Sunday, August 26: The taper for Plain 100 begins.  I cut back on mileage, intensity and elevation gain.  Most striking cut back was probably in elevation gain.The week ended with my arrival at Lake Tahoe to guide the TRT trail running tour for the next 5 days with James.
Trying out my new running pack on the TRT.  It's decided, I'm running Plain 100 with the Salomon S-Lab 12.  Why? Water bottles in the front pockets and comfortable fit.
Monday: 11 miles, 600 feet of gain.  Sehome/Interurban B'ham
Tuesday: 10 miles with James on Blanchard Mountain, 2,000 feet of climbing.  Myrtl Routine, 45 minutes of core/strength (low intensity)
Wednesday: 12 miles with 1,900 feet of climbing.  Interurband and Chuckanut Mountain.  20 mile bike ride with 1,237 feet of climbing.
Thursday: 38 mile Bike ride B'ham area.  2,000 feet of gain.
Friday: 11 mile run from house.  1,000 feet of climbing.
Saturday: 21 miles with 2,500 feet of climbing in Crater National Park.
Sunday: 8 miles of running by Tahoe City, CA.  1,000 feet of climbing.

Running miles: 73 miles
Running elevation gain: 9,500 feet
Biking miles: 58 miles
Biking elevation gain: 3,237 feet

Sunday, August 26, 2012

The worst detour run ever

The name says it all.  If you are going to take a detour during a long-ish car trip, you want it to be pretty spectacular.  Based on an online recommendation that the route was "great" we chose a 14 mile loop near crater lake in the national park.  It took 3.5 miles of running to get to the 14 mile loop as it turned out, making it a 21 mile run.  The only good thing I can say about the run is "sun and fast".  Sandy hell never changing trail (I think that's what it was called, but you'll have to ask James) was in fact, sandy, hellish, and boring.  The terrain only changed from gradual down in the first 9 miles to gradual up in the next 12 miles.  It was a loop of ugly forest with slow-you-down sand.  Despite the sand, we finished the 21 miles pretty quick.  The route only gained 2,500 feet.  To add to the shittyness of it all, just a couple miles down the road from the Boring Trail from Hell was the incredible Crater lake.  Yep, shoulda run on those trails above the lake.  So pretty.  Take note...

James shows how much sand he got out of his NB110s.  They let in sand like crazy. 
This is what I'm taking about!
Sandy Trail From Hell
Trying out my new pack S-Lab 12 that I might use for Plain100.  LOVE the front water bottle holders, but I am still going to try out the S-Lab 5 and see if I can get all my gear in it.  Smaller=better, if possible
James you are lucky you are so cute or I'd kill you for picking this route!
Tree art, the Frog

This picture overlooking Crater lake
There was smoke in the air everywhere.  Made for an interesting sunset.

And lastly, little Stella back at home, the kids have been playing with legos everyday.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Training Journal 8/13-8/19

Monday August 13-Sunday August 19:  I spent 27 hours running or biking (3.3 hrs of biking, and 23.7 hours running).  Whoa.  Part of that is doing a slow 40 miler on Tuesday. Slow because we did 18 miles on Monday and during the 40 miler, my shin pain (tendonitis) got too painful to really run in the last 10 miles.  I kept stopping to massage it and stretch. It took an agonizing 12 hours.  The pain is gone as I sit here typing, all it took was massage, foam rolling, massage, ice. I thank James' elbow much for the help.  Let's say that this week I thought about my taper: the when, the what, the frustration of cutting back on what I love so much.  Tapering sucks, but it is a very important part of a racing cycle.  I didn't taper this week.  I am still 3 weeks out from Plain100.  News on the Garmin front. I upgraded as my 310xt crashed after just 9 months of use.  Now I have a more accurate 910.  Love it.
Running the Enchantments on Monday
Monday: 18 mile point to point run at the Enchantments.  5,000 feet of climbing (approx, as my Garmin died) Wow.  Bucket list, ok?
Tuesday: 40 mile run on the second half of the Plain 100 course. Approx 9,000 feet of climbing. Very long (33 mile) gradual climb.  Shin Tendonitis got very painful.  12 hrs (yea, slooow)
Wednesday: 20 mile easy bike ride coming off a 40 miler the day before. 1,000 feet climbing
Thursday: 9 mile run, most of the Fragrance Lake 20k course.  2,500 feet climbing. 
Friday: 10 miles at Padden.  5 miles of which were tempo.  1,600 climbing.  1:54
Saturday: 15.5 mile tempo, most of Chuckanut 30k course.  4,000 feet of climbing.  3 hrs. Note: bring more than 1 water bottle.  Got very thirsty.  And hungry.
Sunday: 34 mile bike ride, Chuckanut Drive, Lake Samish loop. 2 hr.  2,000 climbing

Run miles: 92.5 miles
Run Elevation gain: 22,100 feet
Bike miles: 54 miles
Bike Elevation Gain: 3,000 feet
James running on the Plain 100 course with me Tuesday.  34 miles for him, 40 for me. 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Plain 100 Test Run: Second Half

Passing through several boulder fields as we reached the top, or what we thought was the top
The goal: memorize the best I could the Plain 100 race course, since there won't be any course markings on race day.  An additional benefit was getting in yet another long run in 8 days, giving me five 16mile+ days (53 mile, 32 mile, 16 mile, 18 mile, and 40 mile) in that 8 day span.

The key to survival?  Lower intensity running, lots of sleep (could have done better here), icing and massage.

This was my second scouting run for the Plain 100 mile race, and spanned most of the second half of the race, about  40 miles and included the entire second lollipop of the course, without doing the last 7 miles, which you do first anyway (an out-and-back).  James joined me 7 miles in as he wanted a slightly shorter run.  This left our car at the top of the stem of the lollipop so that I didn't need to run the tedious 7 mile out and back again. 

I knew it was going to be a little tougher to run this section of Plain.   I was coming off a 114 mile training week and just the day before we ran an amazing 18 miles in the Enchantments.  The Enchantments run  was well worth feeling tired on this run.
Running the first 7 miles, like my hairdo?
The first 7 miles of the second half of the Plain course was rolling, but very runnable.  It took a little longer to navigate due to the numerous roads intersecting the trail.  By the time James joined me, the trail began to gradually climb.  It would gradually climb for 33 FREAKING miles! Most of these miles were in the trees and not particularly noteworthy.  It took a good 25 miles to get some views of the mountains and alpine meadows.  There were many false "tops" and the trail woudl contine yet again upward, albiet gradually.  I was so ready for the downhill by the time we reached the top.
James hung back a bit for this section as the dust on the trails was pretty bad and following another runner closely would ensure a cloud of that dust in your face the entire way down.  My shin began to really bug me, the pain getting sharper.  I stretched it and massaged it, which did the trick enought o pick up the pace again.  I made a note to myself that I need to get  on the Tx for the shin tendonitis: massage, ice, arnica.  But that would have to wait until tomorrow.
There are a bunch of toads around here.  Kissing the toad...
...until he peed or let some liquid go on my hand. 
One of the water sources on the way up
Dude, James brought the goods!!


This is a picture of the second time we got off course, despite having a map and race description.  First time was in the first 7 miles, I almost did a nice 2 mile loop.  Time to back track!
Thank god!  The top, only 33 miles in.  Know what that means?  Steep and technical descent!
Glacier Peak!

Beginning the descent

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Running in the Enchantments with Videos

Hard to believe I've never done this route by Leavenworth!  It was incredible from start to finish.  If you scroll down you will see some videos and lots of pictures of the trip.  Most hikes/runs have a long uphill section that is in the woods, not very scenic and at least a little tedious.  In other words, you usually have to work a bit to get your reward.  James and I began at the Stuart Lake Trail head, and if you start there, you too will be up at the magical blue lakes before you know it.  FYI- starting at the opposite end, from the Snow Lakes Trail head, would have taken several miles longer to get the views.   We ran the route point to point, leaving a car at both ends of the 17-18 mile route (about 5,000 feet of climbing? Not sure because my Garmin crashed the day before).
I will definitely be back to do this roue again!  We swam in alpine lakes, ran across long sections of boulder fields and rock trails, ran right next to mountain goats and their babies, ran/slid down snow slopes cannonballing into lakes, sunbathed on rocks, swam to deserted islands and everywhere admired the views.  We took our sweet time and 8.5 hours after we started we were back at our car in 90+ heat.  Leavenworth was HOT!  It had been warm but not hot up at 6,000 feet on the trails and the air hit us like a hairdrier when we dropped down to the trail head in the afternoon.  We got dinner at a Bavarian themed American food restaurant in Leavenworth.  Amazingly, I got a excellent salad with really nice greens.  I like to order salads when I'm on the road for extended periods of time, vegis just don't keep as well in a cooler, although I try...

Pictures and videos now, yes, videos!

Lots of jealousy producing pictures of the Enchantments Run:

The Mostly Hairless Mountain Goat Himself
More of the Mostly Hairless Mountain Goat (above)
A victory picture after climbing up a crazy super vertical boulder field.
James, "What's taking you so long?" Me: "I'm taking too many pictures"
Can you see the Mountain Goats?  There are two of them.  These have lots of hair, unlike the James version.

The SLIDE Series: from rock top, under the snow int the lake.  Bad ass.  See pics---

A rock within a rock

Apparently Mountain Goats can leap as well as climb
And they have claws...

The SHOWER series, scroll down for more...

we swam to that island and sunbathed on the rocks, so awesome

Almost done, waiting for the slowpoke :)