Friday, January 2, 2009

New Years Day Run Review---Fantastic! and how Rena Smoked me again :)


California Street to Drivers Flat
Start Elevation (ft): 3,214
Finish Elevation (ft): 1,694
Min. Elevation (ft): 732
Max. Elevation (ft): 3,214

New Years Day 2009: What a great day! 2009 started with a high...I did not ring in the new year at midnight...though I did wake up I think about then to hear a few firecrackers that the neighbors set off..I quickly went back to sleep. Better things on the agenda...The unofficial first Western States Training Run.
Leaving my home at 6am and driving through a series of cold low hanging clouds had me thinking the remainder of the day would filled with brilliant sunshine at higher elevations..I was not wrong.
This year like many that are good weather years..you see more and more first timers and that shows the growth in trail running..Drivers Flat was packed with cars and runners by 6:45...Many familiar faces for those that read this blog..Mark Lantz, Rena Schumann, Charlie Jones, Grant and Leslie Carboni, Jeff(sorry), Mark Murray, John Blue, Karyn Hoffman, Ken and Ellen Crouse...and cast of others...Snow at spots as we arrived to California Street but brilliant sun and temps in the high 30's it was gonna be good...I started off ahead of Rena with a mission..I had not told her..I just wanted to get to the top of Drivers Flat before her this year..and I figured a few minute head start would be good...

This was my third time I tried Vespa as a supplement and I was curious if its just a placebo or really works...On that note..I think it worked very well...I felt stronger and ran better, very focused the whole day and had a pack of blocs so a positive result...Back to the run...

Off I went and held a steady deliberate pace...I was by myself when the fast train lead by Mark Lantz came breezing by just before Cal1 three miles in...they made it look so easy. I passed a few groups of runners and was way over dressed. Running the trails which where perfect..not muddy, covered in leaves...had me runny with a big smile..it may not have showed but it was there...I was running comfortable as I descended impail trail and ran that tough downhill really well...I caught up at Cal2 with Grant, Karyn and Jeff they had a head start on me so I took off with them for the downhill and then climb to Fords Bar..Cal3. Karyn ran easy as we run down this stretch always a good time to chat it was nice. We started the climb up to Cal3 and I was listening and learning from Grant as he was talking to Karyn about better uphill techniques..I tried it out as well hmmm gotta keep practicing. I did not want to lag long at Cal3 and grabbed my last blocs and filled my bottle and took off. I actually had a good stretch of running from here to the picnic table...Oh and No Rena in sight...I wandered if she was hanging back with Charlie...Anyway there are good cruising streches here and the sun was shinning bright...Making it to the picnic table now only 5miles to the finish with 2.4 being the climb. I took it a bit easier on the this stretch and we passed a campground with a few new years day campers..they where most likely confused at all this energy so early in the new year.

Then it happend! Just as I begin the climb up Drivers Flat I heard some fast feet moving up on me...I thought it was Grant but then I heard Rena!....She said damn I had to really pick it up to catch you....It was really ok...I knew though that her strong climbing would make my unknown goal a none reality..we where talking at the start and I told her..she smiled as did I....oh well. Our run times where the same since she started a few behind me...

We got to the top (Lantz, Mark Murray and Rob Evens running 2:26) long finished had hot water for tea and hot chocolate ready to go...we came in about 3:20 not bad to start the year....This year no breakfast fixins at the top...oh well. I had kinda wanted those pancakes and eggs...We did bring a few items to share and some beer...We all hung out for about two hours after...all in all we saw about 60 runners.
Today I will focus on picky a few races to run prior to American River 50.

A note for my out of town friends....2010
One of these days a few of my friends from out of town just gotta join us for this run..so to those...pull out your running shoes and joins us for 2010..You know I got a lot of space in my house...Ring in my 2010 training for Western States..

A long post..but it was Fun! Tony

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