The 3 loop Profile of Ball Bearing starting from 3rdgate:
The TRIBALL and QuadBall Group in the photo: John, Charlie,Karalee,Gus,Rena,Andrew and me..taking photo Kim
With the third Saturday in January it was pretty appropriate I guess to do something three times..Maybe it will bring me some luck! I sure hope so! But really luck is what you set your mind to doing and set out to make it happen...Saturdays run had all those elements.
No trip on the horizon on Saturday to SoCal so I had all the time in the world..granted I would have hopped a late night flight in a heart beat but I would have been tired...On with the running diary. John Nichols and Charlie Jones have put into their annual WS training multiple laps going up Ball Bearing hill (which is part of the Cool Course). I had never taken part in this. Lets review a little bit about the course:
1)From Third Gate about .8mile down to a drop point where we you can have a aid station of sorts. From here Each lap is about 6.7miles.
2)From Third Gate gentle running as one heads to Dead Truck and the technical downhill to a strong flowing creek.
3)From the creek a nice runnable stretch with various names..I call it the waterfall trail which leads to Ball Bearing.
4)Ball Bearing to Alt Junction then up the WS trail and great crusing section to our starting point....Repeat as many times as you want!
That in mind I have run this during WTC but never multiple times. I forgot how nice this is a perfect loop course for some serious workouts. As we set out I was leery with staying so close to Nichols,Drew Schooley, Kim and Karalee. I wanted to see how the legs felt on the first lap. With cool temps and overcast skies off we went.
My legs at the start did not feel so good even though the group was moving slow...As we did a slow steady climb to the base of Deadtruck I stopped, did a shot of asthma meds and seperated from the group for the time being. That said I scrambled down Dead Truck which has a few technical steep sections down to the river. Here I caught the group crossing let em go as they made their way to Ball Bearing Intersection. I was starting to feel better on this cruising section and kept the lead group in site but did not want to catch at the time. Ball Bearing 1 climb was steady but tight achilles but it did not feel overall hurtful yet.....The lead group was now cruising on the climb from ALT juntion to WS I saw them on climbing above on the switch backs and settled into a power walk..they where about 1 or 2minutes ahead at this point..As we crested and got on the cruise section for the final 2miles to our aid station..I gradually pulled em in and settled for the last 1 mile to the finish for lap 1--time was 1:22.
Rena was not feeling well and being my ride back to Cool I had to see get another ride..I wanted to run those 3 laps! Drew said he would while Kim and Karalee where on for 3 plus more miles...We took off for lap 2--I took the lead but let the group pass at Dead Truck during the descent...Nichols and Drew where screaming down the hill! So where Kim and Karalee, Me and Charlie..a bit slower but I let Charlie take the lead..Legs feeling good now as we get to Ball Bearing..Charlie and I talked it up a bit going up to Alt all the while we could here drew chatting it up somewhere in the distance. Again I walked up the hill from ALT and let charlie make some time in front of me..much like the past I reeled him in with a mile or so to go to end our second lap...
Lap 2 Time---1:23. Legs felt good lets get 3 underway!
Drew said he had to bail after 2 to go somewhere and if I wanted to go we better get a move on..Here I felt..I really need to finish what I started today no matter what..So I asked Kim for a ride even though they would finish after me I was willing to wait awhile...This was a good mindset for me...I could have bailed at 1 lap, 2laps but I did not want to break my own promise to myself..This was Western States Training not some goof around..Every Day counts! So with that we bid Drew farewell and off we went for Lap 3...
Lap 3 was slow for me from the start..I wanted alone time and let everyone go. I could tell I was getting tired with how bad my downhill section on Deadtruck was..but on any flats I was moving well and pushing the legs..Climbing Ball Bearing for the 3rd time was HARD...I took a few short breaks..this was training..and kept the head down and moving to ALT..I knew once I climbed alt I would be clear and running free..Which I did. I was running steady to finish lap three...seeing Nichols and Charlie getting ready for lap 4..I was happy finishing 3 when I had so many chances to bail! Lap 3 slower but that was fine. Legs feel tired this morning..a tough workout. There where other options that day to run long even a AR training run..but really this was perfect..tough with some runnable sections and mental toughness..perfect!
Lap 3-Time 1:27
That said things are going well...This is controlled training, not some haphazard plan it will get me to the line strong! I need to work on the socal plans and make those reality as well. A wet and wild week ahead..oh and I turn 49! Gad!