The last few weeks have been a whirlwind of activity… Getting settled into my new apartment, work, training, and being consumed with all of the other great things in life. On top of that, today is my birthday. I have one more year in my 20′s and then I am officially old? nah… #Almost30IsTheNew20
High Sierra Route Re-cap – The weekend of 8/24 I went on an adventure in the High Sierra’s (Preview http://iruntorun.com/2013/08/23/explore-high-sierra-trail-bannerritter/). Jeremy, Toshi, Sachin took pictures. I took a lot of video. I need to find a way to piece all of my shots together, which I have had little time to work on. But, Jeremy wrote a great write up of our trip with a ton of pics so I will let that speak to all of the details (http://jrjohnsonyarb.blogspot.com/2013/08/high-sierra-fastpacking-toulomne.html). Here are my brief highlights/comments.
- I love being in the mountains.
- Navigating over mountains with a map and compass without a trail takes time. A lot of time. And, you need to be prepared to make mistakes and adjust. I am sure we will get better at this with practice, but we were about 5 hours behind schedule by the end of Saturday. We did find an amazing camp spot that night at the base of the Ritter Range and I slept like a rock.
- Climbing without any safety equipment can be terrifying.
- If there is a lake on a map, there is a high likelihood that it actually exists and is not dried up (see Jeremy’s blog)
- Running back from Thousand Island Lake to Tuolomne on the JMT was a fun chance to get my legs moving a little faster, making it back under 5 hours after a long day and a half of off trail scrambling, climbing, navigating, etc…
After the High Sierra trip, I went back to my normal training schedule fitting in my runs everywhere I could. I went on a few runs from my new apartment, exploring an area of SF that I have not seen much of. I spent time checking out Twin Peaks and running through Golden Gate park. Its not trail running, but not bad running considering it is in the middle of the city. It will be a perfect location to knock out shorter runs when time is running short.
This past week on Wednesday I learned that the Headlands races (26.2, 50, and 100) opened up some spots for the 26.2 race, which fit perfectly with my training schedule. I signed up and was excited to be racing my first of two long runs for the week. There is nothing like being in a race to push the pace and keep you honest. For a marathon, it is a very tough course with roughly 5,000 feet of vertical gain. It is all runnable, but has very little flat sections. I had two major goals. First, I wanted to push the pace hard throughout the whole race and not let myself get too comfortable. Secondly, I wanted to monitor how my body reacted to me tweaking my hydration and nutrition. Given it was a shorter race, I knew that I could tough it through the last few miles if I were to completely bonk. I had some cramping coming up the last climb, the worst cramping I have had all year, but was able to grind it out and finish in 3 hours and 12 minutes. This was good enough for the win and bettered the course record by 37 minutes. PCTR put on a great race with excellent volunteers, who stayed through the night to support the runners completing their 100 mile journey.
Here is the course elevation profile to give some perspective to how hilly of a marathon it was!