Saturday, January 10, 2009

Blue Pants Racing Winter Trail Series Race #1


Place: Tortolita Mountains, just North of Tucson at the Wild Burro Trailhead on Dove Mountain Rd.

Trails: Wild Burro, Lower Javelina, Upper Javelina, Wild Mustang Trail, then back to Wild Burro to finish

Length: 9.9 miles, although everyone with their Garmin GPS watches came up with a different number (go figure). I came up with 9.8 miles.

Number of runners: About 20

Finish time: I had 2:06 on my watch, but my watch may have 'auto paused' when I stopped a few times to snap a picture or let someone pass, so my official time may be slightly higher.

Trailhead elevation: 2,672 feet
Highest elevation: 4,068 feet
Cumulative Elevation gain/(loss) for race distance: 2,182 feet/(2,137) feet



BPR did a great job marking the trail with large orange arrows at questionable spots. There were plenty of aid stations, including one without a human (it was so cute, just a bunch of bottled waters and bowls of mini candy bars!) Laszlo made a joke before the race that he hoped the javelina didn't eat them all since he put them out last night. :) And, on top of that, we got a long sleeve shirt with our race entry. BPR does a great job on races, that is for sure. Oh yeah, good food at the end, too. And, Laszlo is just a super nice guy. Mike was there helping out; he is one of the Blue Pants Racing coaches. He always flashes me a big smile whenever I see him, which is cool.

Here was one of the aid stations at 'Stone House':
The start of the run, at a fantastically lovely time of 8am, was super windy and cold, though, so I wore my knit cap. I didn't expect it to be so windy, because it wasn't at all in Tucson when I left the house this morning! The wind died down about halfway through the race and then the sun warmed it up nicely.
The Tortolita mountains are just beautiful! There are quite a few steep climbs and descents as you can tell from the elevation gain/(loss). Around the 5 mile mark, it opens up and you can see layers of mountains everywhere. Just gorgeous.
My friend Steve was there at the race, sporting a new and ever so handsome goatee. Too bad I don't run into him more often; he is so gentle and friendly and I love talking to him.
I did see my friend Andrea, too, but she was out on the course directing the race traffic, so I didn't get a chance to chat with her.

After the race, I ran a little over 8 more miles with David from Casa Grande. We took off on Dove Mountain trail to Tangerine/Dove Mountain Rd. intersection, and then took the trail back to the Wild Burro trailhead. This trail feels very challenging, in that it is uphill for about a mile or so, then downhill to the intersection, and uphill on the way back with the last mile or so being downhill. And, it is rolling hills quite a bit of the way. It looks more benign than that, because it is a groomed trail and appears more flat in spots than it actually is.

I had a great time running with David. If you ever want to not be bored on a run, run with David. This guy is so talkative and has great stories to tell. Very upbeat and fun guy. David and I after the long run:
Total run time for today, including the race: 3:30 (I know David, it doesn't include the auto pause - bad Renee!) :)

Total distance: 18.34 miles

Average pace: 11:28
Cumulative Elevation gain/(loss) for entire run: 3,038 feet/(2,943 feet)

Afterwards, I had a bit of a scare. I was chatting with David for about 30 minutes at the trailhead after the run, when I got really dizzy and lightheaded. My heart was racing and I was having shortness of breath (like one would get when going into shock). I felt nauseated and thought I was going to pass out. He walked me to my truck so I could sit down. I ate the rest of my raisins and drank a little water and felt a little better. We chatted for a few minutes more and then I said I was going to drive to the shopping center at the intersection and use the bathroom (I was thinking that would help). I drove down the road and my vision started becoming 'white'. I should have had David drive me to the shopping center; I think I was disoriented and confused and didn't know what I was thinking (actually, as stupid as it sounds, I was worried about what he might think if I asked - maybe that I wasn't tough or something?)
I barely made it to a coffee shop in the plaza, stumbled in, and used the bathroom. That didn't help, so I sat down to see if I would feel better. It came to me that maybe I needed salt. I asked the gal at the counter if I could have some salt packets and I bought a bottle of water. I downed both salt packets and half of the water. I felt better instantly (really, within 15 seconds). Weird; David and I were just talking about how much salt I eat.
When I got home, I Googled (yeah, I think it is officially a verb now in Webster's) a little on the computer and determined that I was probably dehydrated. At first, I suspected hyponatremia, which is too much water, not enough electrolytes. However, after reading the dehydration description, my symptoms matched more closely with dehydration. I thought I had drank plenty of water, but looking back, I could have drank more for such a long run.

My legs are already sore, but I'll put on my recovery socks and at least my lower legs will feel better! David was planning on running 15 more miles tomorrow; I don't think I'll be doing that. Heck, I'm just happy that today was my longest run in over 6 months.

Next week: Going to do a training run on the Pemberton trail in Fountain Hills for the upcoming Pemberton 50k. Each loop is 15.5 miles; we'll probably short cut the second loop for a total of around 24 miles (geesh - how am I going to do 6 more miles than I did today?) I'll most likely carpool up with David; anyone else interested? Either Saturday or Sunday, whichever works best. I'm leaning towards Sunday, since that is the football playoffs day. Anyone is invited, even if you aren't doing the race.
It is always a good day with friends and the trails.

1 comment:

Joyce said...

Hey there! Nice job on the run today...although that must have been scary afterward!

Thanks for your voicemail. Unfortunately, I'm going to have to pass on Pemberton next weekend. We're driving up to Phoenix tomorrow for a bike ride and to visit a friend, and so we decided to stick close to home next weekend.

You're going to love the trail though! It's extremely runnable - just very gentle rolling hills, for the most part. It's the views are really nice. I look forward to hearing how it goes and I hope to see you soon!