Sunday, August 16, 2009

Desolation Wilderness=Royal Butt Kicking

The view of tahoe just 1.5 miles into the run...already had climbed 1800feet..

With Summer days turning towards Fall it is time to start getting some form of real running shape. So what better way to set a bench mark than to head up to Lake Tahoe,challange the lungs above 6000feet and try and run with a elite ultra runner.

That is what I set myself up for. I have been talking a lot recently with Prudence L'Heureux. She is one kick ass ultra runner. I get a kick out of watching how easy she makes the transition between climbing and downhill running. You can tell it is a true passion and she really has not been running very long. She lives up in Tahoe-how cool is that! So much training opportunity and stunning surroundings.

Enough of that lets talk about the run We where going to run from Bayview to Meeks Bay through the Desolation Wilderness area. Durning the week I had been suffering with very tight Achilles Tendons and had a theory I wanted to test on the run...It might have been the the new Montrail Mountain Masochist..I had not been able to run with my inserts with these shoes..just too tight so I pulled out the Mizzuno Wave Ascends (had not had them on since WS). We set off from bayview...UP we went...Prudence said take it easy today..and I sure was trying we passed some hikers on the first 100 yards and I was already blowing up with my breathing...but the trail was stunning!!! I always wonder about the effect that having asthma as a child has impacted me when I run at elevation..I always seem to be dying way too soon or early. I let Prudence go ahead..just hope she would wait up on any trail junctions. The air was crisp and views to die for..It took me over twenty minutes to go 1 mile! What was going on? I sure was not getting bonus points from Prudence by slowing her down. My ego was also suffering. BUT THE GOOD NEWS...NO ACHILLES ISSUES! The shoes, the shoes the shooooooes. Problem solved guess I will use the montrails as slippers or something.

The area is pretty popular with a lot of tourists but that was not too bad as we continued to climb. I was thankful when we completed the first ascent and now for some downhill...Prudence and trusting Sophie where off was fun to watch them take off and head out of sight on the way to a series of lakes. All of the sudden I caught up with Prudence..she had her knee buckle and it hurt! That sucks cause there are some races in the near future. She is tough and wanted to continue to Meeks..but we did the right thing and hike out without doing any more damage. We made it back to Bayview and headed back to her house..I am thinking her knee will be ok.

For me I hope to hang out again with her. She seems like a neat person. I do need to improve in my running if I want to hang with her though...a good test. Life sure does seem like a series of tests...till next week.


Sunday, August 2, 2009

Running at 6000ft..tough but fun

What is becoming a annual summer passage (well...its my 2nd) head to Squaw Valley the first weekend in August for the Mountain Run.

This a short run really...3.6 miles BUT with 2000 feet of elevation climb. I love the slower pace in Squaw Village and cooler temps then in the Saramento Valley so off I went early Friday...

I ran early friday morning in Rocklin..short only about 4 miles then a little work. I was to meet up with Prudence later in the afternoon for a run and catch a bite of dinner..Upon arrival I decided to run up from the start of WS towards High Camp..Gad at 6200 feet it was tough on my lungs. I sure was working hard on this short 2 mile climb..I made it back down feeling a bit leery to run about 6pm..but that changed when Prudence called. She had not run at all since her 2nd pace finish at White River so I felt it would be ok for my third short run of the day. She kicked my butt! We did manage to run on some nice trail and see some stunning views. That said it was time for dinner..being that the race did not start till 9am the next day I thought what the heck 2 gin and tonics with dinner. We had a good time but I was thinking..hmmm my legs where a bit tired.

Saturday morning was a blast even though I felt tired and stomach a bit woozy I caught up with Mark and Rena, Mark Murray was there as well..There where over 400 runners there and some very fast ones to boot..Caitlin Smith was there and Mark was worried about running well. I just wanted to get to the top!

Rena and I started off the race together but I quickly let her go We climbed right off the bat..It was quite. I was breathing hard but my legs where tired from Fridays three runs...It was gonna be a long time getting to the top. I just settled into a pace where I wanted to try and run harder at the 3mile mark. As I got to the 2mile mark..I looked at my watch and said..well the first runners should be done right now... I was right but I still had work to do..

Finally at the top we got our beer mugs hung out with everyone then off to Watson's Monument..I was tired but needed to see this stretch for the first time ever.. Rena took me up the escarpment...dang if that is not a heck of a steep climb..She says its worse on race day if it is icy..I was thinking..I have to run another 96miles I am no way ready!

The runners..Me, Rena, Mark Lantz, Caitlin Smith, Mark Murray

We all ran back from Watson's where it was time to enjoy the day.

Mark and Rena treated Mark Murray and I to dinner for us supporting them at was great..right on the Truckee river. I ran or should I say walked back up to high camp on Sunday morning with Rena..I was tired. All in all three days of fun, really a lot of running..I look forward to the challenge States will pose