Jump Start

As the year winds down to a close and the holidays are upon us I wanted to get a jump start on the big racing goal of the summer.  On my drive up to San Francisco last week with Megan to see "The Nutcracker" ballet I was debating on what 100 mile race I wanted to enter for the summer.  Usually in the summer time I have backpacking trips planned and running merely becomes an afterthought.  As mentioned in the post on why I trail run, it's a tool to stay in shape for backpacking season.  With that said these next six months are going to be full of turbulence as I have finished my 2.5 years of academic work for my Master's in Physical Therapy and all that stands left is a 4 month full-time internship, Comprehensive Exams, and my final PT Board Exams.  On top of all that we are planning to backpack the Pacific Crest Trail in its entirety (~2665 miles) starting April 2013.  With a trip of that magnitude money will need to be saved and debts paid off (i.e. student loans).  That means a lot of endeavors and re-kindling of relationships in the local mountains, and by local I mean the High Sierra's and the San Gabriels.  Why the San Gabriels too since it's not an area I normally spend a lot of time in?  On that pre-mentioned drive to SF I had a gut feeling that the Angeles Crest 100 was one of the right adventures for the summer.  It's a race in the local mountains that sees a hefty 21,615 feet of elevation gain and 26,700 ft of loss in the July heat.  This is a footrace that I have ultimate respect for,  involves terrain I want to explore, and challenges I feel I will be ready for.  My hiking background is a perfect fit for the amount of consistent climbing involved, especially during the latter stages of the race where inevitable fatigue takes over.  Now that I've completed two one-hundred mile races after my first year of real training (Dec 2010) I'm excited to see what a little experience and real challenging training can produce.  By real training I mean consistent 30-50 mile long runs on challenging, race-specific terrain, track work, hill repeats and other runs exclusively on trails with as much climbing as possible.  This previous year my "long" runs where basically 50K races once a month with one 50 miler three weeks before my first hundred.  Even before Javalina Jundred last month my longest run was 29 miles (two different runs that day).  Obviously nothing impressive or adequate for most people but for me that may have been the appropriate, probably conservative, plan to get me to the starting line injury free and prepared to complete the race.  Now it's about more than that.  It's about doing well and what that personal definition is, is something I'll keep inside to keep driving me.  About a week ago I strained my right calf (good start, huh) on a descent run causing a battle that lasted this entire past week.  I'm glad to say that with the right approach the issue is resolved.  What this lets me know is that with an increase in intensity of training that I'll have to look after my body with extra care; that includes self-care and appropriate days off.
Not to sidestep the backpacking whatsoever, I'll head back to the Sierra's on the JMT (3rd complete hike) sometime in late June/early July to not only get my hiking legs back but to re-connect to the mountains I truly love and cherish.  Other races and trips will be thrown in up until July that most likely will include the Ray Miller 50 (Feb 25) and R2R2R (March), Zion Traverse (April), Bishop 100K (May), JMT (June/July).  So that's the first half of the year all perfectly laid out, but we all know things can change.  Anyway these are the numbers for the week and photos from runs:

December 13-20, 2011: 79.25 miles
                                       19,000 elevation gain

Parker Mesa Overlook

Mt. Diablo State Park

Near the peak of Mt. Diablo

Mt. Diablo with The Onion

Descent down Diablo

Up Los Liones


Malibu Creek SP


Sunrise from Westridge



Popular posts from this blog

The Classic Walker's Haute Route: Chamonix to Zermatt

Iceland Traverse

Angeles Crest 100: 2015