Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Ruth Anderson 50 mile race report 2016 and Pinnacles Family Hike

I thought I would bounce back quickly from the 4 mph challenge.  As far as I knew I got out of there without any injuries or serious damage and thought I could hop right back onto the training wagon and ride it all the way through a spring of racing and culminating in my next 100 mile attempt at Bryce Canyon on June 18th.  A few days after the challenge I went out for a little test run and my whole left leg felt like it was going to fall off.  My ankle hurt, my knee hurt, and my hip hurt.  I was like, uh-oh.  I slowly worked my way out of the funk with various running strategies that seemed to hurt less, and even got myself to the point where I thought I might be able to hop into the Ruth Anderson 100k (one month post 108 miles at 4 mph challenge).  I sent out an annoying promotional email to the Quicksilver racing team trying to drum up some more runners so that we could put some teams together and make Ruth some fun.  With that impulsive move I pretty much locked myself into attempting to run 100 km on flat asphalt - basically exactly what my body was complaining about at the time.

In the lead-up to the race I was dealing with an ominous sense of foreboding.  This seemed like one of the dumbest decisions in my running.  But ultra marathoners don't have a good track record of dealing intelligently with FOMO (fear-of-missing-out).

I don't actually have a ton to write about how the race went for me except to say that thankfully I seem to have come out of the other side no more worse for the wear.  Thank goodness.  I ran conservative.  It got hot.  I got tired.  I decided to call it a day at 50 miles (a insidious option at this race).  Quicksilver didn't score one team in any distance.  But it was another great day to be alive and be able to put one foot in front of the other.  Share the pain with the other weirdos out there and hang out afterwards with the friends and awesome community of bay area ultra-runners.  I ran 8 hours and 5 minutes.  Considering I have run trail 50 milers way faster than this - it gives an idea of what kind of day it was.  Am I disappointed?  No way!  These last couple of weeks I feel like my legs, body, and soul have finally bounced back from the 100 miler.  Seems like it takes me about a month to rebound from the hole I put myself into during one of those big efforts.

Pinnacles Hiking Trip w/ the Fam

Here are some pics from our trip we just took to Pinnacles National Park:

Getting a preview of the awesome hills we are about to tackle.

Quite the variety of foliage. 

I swear I didn't know that shorcutting could result in a $5000 fine and or imprisonment.  I didn't see the sign for that until practically the top of the hill.  Seems kinda harsh.  But then again, I can imagine if everyone in California did all of the shortcuts, this place would be a mess, so it makes sense.  But rock scrambling makes the climb somewhat bearable for the little ones!

Blake says: This new Pinnacles is CRAZY!

The kids are practically pros at posing for mommy now.

On the north wilderness trail.  I split off from the fam for a little 7 mile jaunt while they scrambled through Balconies Cave.  I met them on the other side.  The trail was really fun.  A bit brushy in spots, and unnecessarily curvy with a bunch of creek hopping.  There was some sweet ridgetop running in the middle with full views of the rock formations.  

Views of the rocks from the North Wilderness Trail.

Sweet Valley descent at the west end of the North Wilderness Trail.

I got some footage of Seth bombing a rocky downhill.  I wanted to compare it with his run from three years ago at Memorial Park.  He is really impressive for a little guy.  5 years old now.  Now he is going so fast though that it is hard to get footage that isn't too bouncy.  See if you can watch it without throwing up!