Sunday, September 26, 2010

Javelina 12 hour Night Run

My first night run! Woohoo!
Total time: 10:57
Total distance: 46.2 miles (my Garmin said 47.23)

My second longest distance ever! Old Pueblo 50 miler was my longest (54 miles, got off course!)

My highest mileage week ever! 67 miles. I ran 64 miles the week of OP50.
So...3 milestones. I was thrilled! The plan was to do 3 loops of the Pemberton trail, which was about 15.4 miles each.

Dallas and I went up to Fountain Hills on Saturday for the Javelina 12 Hour Night Run. This is now a more formalized training run (you have to pay) for the Javelina Jundred, coming up in less than 4 weeks. For your registration, you get a technical shirt, which was very nice, aid, and a finisher’s glass! About 200 people were registered. It was hot – probably around 95 – 100 degrees at the start.

The run goes from 6pm Saturday night until 6am Sunday morning and is held on the Pemberton trail, the same trail for the Pemberton 50k and JJ100. The goal is to do as many loops as one wants to (or can!) in 12 hours. Our goal was 3 loops, or ~ 46.2 miles. There was one aid station at about the halfway point in the 15.4 mile loop, and then the start/finish line had TONS of food – pizza, fruit, pie, soup, you name it. The volunteers were phenomenal. Aravaipa Running did an awesome job.
We planned on running the whole thing together. After the first loop (2:59), we took a 30 minute break. I had a blister to attend to, and we took our time ‘regrouping’ and eating. Out we headed again, but running the loop in reverse (you switch directions, just like JJ100). It was fun to see people coming and going. I was starting to get used to my headlamp - the moon was almost full, but not enough so to run without light.
Jamil and Nick Coury giving the run-down on the course, etc.
This past weekend marked one year since Dallas ran his first TTR run – Mt. Hopkins. He has found his inner lunatic since joining TTR and really wants to do a 50, and eventually, a 100 mile race. Dallas’ longest run to date before this past weekend was ~ 36 miles. He picked Jon Roig's brain about running 100 milers on our first loop, just as the sun was setting. We met Jon back in January at the Cave Creek marathon.

It's all fun now - 15 minutes into it!
The light is about to leave for the night...

Back at the start after the first loop - about 9pm. We look a little 'overcaffeinated'!!!
 The second loop was hard, but we arrived back at the start at 6:55 (3:56 for the second loop, which included our 30 minute break). It was at this time that we met Micah True, aka the ‘Caballo Blanco’. He had come in right after we had finished our second loop (he only did 2 loops). It was awesome to meet him, because I'm currently reading 'Born to Run', which features him prominently.

I felt stupid, because I saw his name on the board as coming in right after us, and I said, "Hey, Micah True is here. Where is he?" And he said, "I'm right there." (He was right next to me!) So, we got our picture taken with him. Cool. He was nice.

Yeah, I'm not looking that great, but it is 1am!!!

We ate, but we were tired. It was almost 1:30am at this point. All I could think about, as we sat in the car getting a few things together on our second 30 minute break, was…let’s go home! Beware the chair!

However, we had our 3 loop goal, and so we got up and got moving. Dallas ate some pizza and we again switched directions for our 3rd loop. There were still people coming in the other direction from their 2nd loop – many looked like zombies, some throwing up.

On this loop, we started feeling pretty good! We ran quite a bit of it and passed about 12 people during the loop. After passing all of those people, I looked back and thought I saw piles of headlamps behind me! I told Dallas, “I don’t want anyone to pass us.” So, we picked up the pace and kept on running strong! Eventually, there were no headlamps behind us the last 3-4 miles. Mirage?

I had a few moments of hysterical laughter during the run (too much caffeine, no sleep?) which probably had Dallas a little worried at times (is she losing it?!?). Overall, we really had a great time.

We came in a little before 5am for a total time of 10:57. Our third loop was 4:02, which included our second 30 minute break after loop 2. We were so excited! Many people had gone home (a lot of people did 1-2 loops), but there were plenty still there to cheer us on.

We got our finisher’s glass, and plopped down on plastic chairs and ate soup! We watched a bunch of others (that we had passed) come in one by one. It was awesome. One guy came in and said to us, "You both passed me running Mach 4!"

I was happy with how we did. During the run, I ate mostly bananas (about 3) and Gu Chomps. I never eat fruit on long runs, but decided to experiment. Bananas it is. They worked well.

Driving home was exhausting – we kept having to stop for Monster drinks/coffee to keep ourselves awake and at one point, we succumbed to an apple fritter for the sugar rush. Yum. I had some seriously painful legs, which got a little better with some Tylenol. We finally made it back to Tucson 2.5 hours later and crashed for about 3 hours.
We are still going over the event and how cool it was to run all night long, under an almost full moon, with stars everywhere, surrounded by a bunch of other crazy runners.

Dallas did so awesome! He is such a strong runner. He admits he is now officially hooked on ultrarunning– the ‘ultra’ juices were flowing. I wasn't even done with the event and I was already thinking of my next adventure.

I felt pretty good the day after the run. I took Monday off, but ran Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday and rode the bike on Friday (about 19 miles running and 13 miles bicycling). I did skip my weight workouts this week; I've had a pretty sore shoulder and it seemed like a good week to give it a break.

I had a massage on Tuesday, which helped tremendously with some of the ongoing problems I've had. I'm still dealing with the tweaky feeling IT band, which is better at some times, worse at other times.

"Your biggest challenge isn't someone else. It's the ache in your lungs and the burning in your legs, and the voice inside you that yells 'CAN'T', but you don't listen. You just push harder. And then you hear the voice whisper 'can'. And you discover that the person you thought you were is no match for the one you really are."
~ Unknown

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Mt. Humphreys summit

My favorite quote:
“You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing there will be no result.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi

I had tried to get to Mt. Humphreys last summer, but I had Cracker dog with me, and we only made it to 11,500 feet. She was being a little skiddish and so me and her turned around.

Dallas and I were going to do this in June, but there was still too much snow, which made route finding difficult, so we passed.

So, we looked at the calendar, set a date, and made it  happen! Life goes by before you know it.

Dallas and I drove up from Tucson Saturday and spent the night at Ft. Tuthill. I had been suffering from a cold since Friday, but was feeling marginally better (no more sore throat), although I was wiped out from the drive and my nose was running pretty good.
Getting ready for the run after driving the new Outback along a long washboard road!
Sunday morning, we met Honey from Phx (a long-time top ultrarunner) at the Shultz Tank trailhead (about 8,031 feet). We started running a little after 7am on the Kachina trail.

We actually did a lot of walking because of the elevation and steepness, but this trail is fairly runnable at times and beautiful. Dallas asked Honey lots of questions about running 100 mile races, and then Honey and I chatted about all sorts of things for several hours. She is such a positive, nice person!

It did crack me up, though, when Honey made a comment about Dallas' calves. She was saying how her calves are not typical 'trail runner' calves; they are more slender. Then she said to Dallas, "Do you have implants in those calves?" Hysterical! Dallas does have amazing muscles in his calves. Plus, he is sporting a new 'tat' on his right ankle.
We arrived at Humphreys trail and took that to the top. We said goodbye to Honey at the saddle (about 11 miles in at 11,800 feet); she had to go and meet family.

Bye Honey! Thanks for being an awesome mountain guide!

View of a valley below from the saddle
We then pushed on the last mile ourselves to the summit. Rocky, some bouldering, no oxygen, very breezy (I put a windbreaker on) false summits, slow, slogging pace. Dallas took a ton of pictures of me! We were having so much fun!
Getting loopy with less oxygen! That's me playing air guitar!

Climbing the talus heap that is Mt. Humphreys. Almost there!
Summit of Mt. Humphreys: 12,633 feet!!! I felt blessed to get to share this journey to the summit with Dallas - it was a first for both of us!

We hung out there for a little bit, but truth is, we really didn't enjoy enough of the view. There were a lot of people up there and I think our brains were a little oxygen deprived. We looked at each other and said, okay, guess we head down now?
It is a slow, rocky descent back to the saddle.

We then headed down Weatherford trail. It took forever to drop below 10,000 feet! The trail is long with lots of rocky stretches. We were feeling a little loopy from the elevation, so we just walked when we felt like it and ran when we could. This trail was lined with lots of fir/pine trees and was just gorgeous.

Dallas is such a phenomenal runner - it is awesome to run with him!
Getting warm as we head down, so I'm shedding clothes!
I kept having to remind myself of just how lucky I am to be able to see the things I do on my trail runs. I hit a sweet spot about 1 hour from the finish and just started running like the wind. Felt good to get that surge of energy and become sure-footed on the rocky trail at that point in the run.

Total miles: 24.62

Total time out: 8:43!!! Jeesh! Took us a little longer than we thought it would. We didn't get back to Tucson until 10pm.

Total elevation gain/(loss): 8,662/(8,537) feet

I took a lot more pictures - here is the link.

This was by far one of the more challenging runs I've ever done. These type of runs bring up all sorts of emotions and deep thoughts. If I could just ever really let go in life - let myself be really loved, let myself be fully open to the experience of life - what a life I could really experience.

♪ "I only want to be loved
But I feel safe behind the firewall..." ♫

~ Sanctus Real

Sunday, September 5, 2010

TTR Mt. Wrightson Ascent

Our first 'official' run of the new season.
Total time to ascend Mt. Wrightson: 1:52

Touchdown! Victory!

 My fastest yet, although my time is slower than many in the Tucson Trail Runners. They are a fast bunch. I was feeling pretty lousy about my ascent time (only the time to ascend is recorded for this TTR run) as I was one of the last ones up.

5.2 miles and ~ 4K of elevation gain.
I had a great time visiting with everyone at the top - they were just hanging out for a bit, since there was no race down to the bottom!

Laughing it up with Jane, who is ALWAYS laughing

Me and Mari, one of our newest members, at the top:

I took Supertrail down which is longer, for a total distance of about 14 miles.

Dallas leading the train

Dallas says I'm too hard on myself. I have to admit that he is right. I like what Dean Karnazes said in one of his recent blog posts:

"Nobody cares if you’re not a good dancer. Just get up and dance. The same holds true for racing. Whether first or last, we all cross that same finish line. Just get out there and run."

Well said, Dean.