Sunday, February 19, 2012

TTR Tanque Verde Loop

Another fine TTR run in the Rincons.

Gene finally got a new green hat. The other one was in shreds.

Me playing peekaboo with Ross who is taking the picture....

Actually, I very much dislike the Rincons. There, I said it. There are so many steep, rocky 'step-ups' on this run. I'm just so slow on that kind of terrain.

Coming down is fun, though. Well, kind of. Until you get to the steep, rocky 'step-downs'. The kind that hurt your knee after a bit.

Well, I was happy when I finished, anyway.

Distance: 28.5 miles
Cumulative elevation gain: 5,241 feet
Total time: 6:54

Beat my time from 2 years ago, which was 7:32!

We had quite a few people at the start. Train of people going up the trail.

This run goes up into the Rincon mountains, East of Tucson. We go up to Cowhead Saddle and over on Tanque Verde trail. The high point is about 7,000 feet. Of course, we saw snow!

There is an aid station in Saguaro National Monument East at Javelina picnic area (about mile 20.5). We saw Ross when we got close and he snapped some pics of us.

Not sure why Dallas is frowning; I'm happy, though!

Then, it is 8 more miles through the sandy desert trails (Cactus Forest, Squeeze Pen, Carrillo, Garwood) back to the start. Luckily, there were some yummy chocolate brownie snacks at the aid station to get us through!

Saguaros for Kathleen!

This is my last long training run for Old Pueblo 50 mile. This run is a confident builder - between the 12 miles of uphill, the screaming 8 miles of downhill and the last 8 miles of totally mental running, it is a doozy of a run.

Good to be done!

I have some serious calf/shin issues on my left leg, which this run tended to aggravate. So, I'll do what I can to treat the problem for now, but I think in the future, I may have to look into some imbalance issues with my left leg and go to physical therapy. I've had an IT band problem, glute/hamstring pain, and the shin/calf issue - all in the left leg. Ugh.

So, no running until Old Pueblo as long as I have this shin pain. The hay is in the barn.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Pemberton 50k Race Report

My third time running the Pemberton 50k.

Time to kill before the race starts.

2009 - 5:15:30 (the only time I'll EVER beat Paulette Zilmer - not sure how that happened.)
2010 - 5:00:36 (I could have broken 5 hours if I wasn't taking PICTURES on the course!)

2012 - 5:08:28

I was shooting for 5 hours, but decided I would be content with anything between 5:00 and 5:15. I went into the race with a little hamstring/glute aggravation on my left leg, but it didn't really bother me too much. There are some hills at Pemberton, but they are fairly mild.

So, I went out a little too fast on the first loop, clocking a 2:26. I felt good though, except that I was having a hard time eating. I never have a hard time eating - I usually 'eat' my way through ultras.

Feeling really good  - for now.

I didn't realize that I spent a bit of time running behind Mindy (on the left in the picture above). She and her husband Nate used to run with TTR before they moved a little outside of Tucson.

After I started the 2nd loop, I made a few bathroom pitstops and it became clear that I was getting tired. The lack of food, the building desert heat, and going out too fast on the first loop caught up to me. I started drinking the sports drink (Heed) at the aid stations to get more calories in. However, between AS 21 and AS 26, I had to conserve fluid - I was thirsty. By the time I reached the last aid station at 26 miles, I was in bad shape.

Still smiling, though.

I just put the mental state in charge and finished the rest the best I could. They say that running long distances is pretty 'mental' and this was no different.

I was only passed by one person on my 2nd loop, and I passed quite a few people myself, which felt good.

I finished 46th out of 128 finishers - I was happy with that. One more long run next weekend and then Old Pueblo 50 mile on March 3rd.

"You hear about how runnin' ultras is all mental; well, I sure wish it'd hurry up and get mental, 'cause it's feelin' awfully physical right now."

~ Ken Loveless

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Fleet Feet AZ Trail Race

Dallas and I decided to skip the TTR run today and run the Fleet Feet AZ Trail Race. I have done it twice and he had never run it, so I signed us up! This is my first 'running' race in some time.

This race is only 8 miles, but allows me to taper and have a little burst of speed before Pemberton 50k next week.

The photographers on the course got some good pictures of me and some not so great.

Happy - beginning of the race

Climbing a hill on the way back

I'm pretty tired at this point!

I won't be posting the worst one. :)

I placed 3rd in my age group!

Time - 1:20:35

I finished 95th out of 234 finishers. This race brings out the fast people. I haven't been speed training at all, so I felt good about the time. I thought I'd never run again last Summer, so it is all good. :)

Dallas finished 4th in his age group, missing 3rd place by 20 seconds. There are a lot of fast guys in his age group.

Got to see some friends at the race. Shari - haven't seen in forever, which was awesome. Kathy - I'll be riding up with her next week to Fountain Hills for Pemberton 50k.