Saturday, July 7, 2012

bulldog 25K training run

bulldog 25K training run officially in the books as of 9:57am. here's the final tally:

14.1 miles
2:47:12 total time
11'53" average pace
1,607 calories burned

i woke up at 5:15am to put down some food for the long slog ahead. made a smoothie of celery, raspberries, blueberries, a banana and carrot juice, packed my trusty salomon rucksack (50oz water in the bladder, 3 gels, a clif bar, a pro bar, a trail map, a digital camera, an extra 16.9oz water bottle & a ziploc for garbage) and hit the road at 6am. today's run was a non-sanctioned training run organized by the race director, so everybody pretty much arrived at the same time, formed small sub-groups and took off at their leisure.

i arrived at 6:40am, only to find all of the small lots already full. fortunately i found a spot off road 1/4 mile W on mulholland, so the walk to the inside of the park wasn't too bad. i bumped into a couple of coyotes to run with, so we shoved off at 7:10am to cloudy skies - perfect for running.

and... not for long, as about a 1/2 mile in the clouds dissipated and the sun reared its ugly head, so it was going to be a challenge to stay properly hydrated over the course of 14+ miles. at the xterra in april, my calf threatened to cramp up starting mile 11, so i wanted to play this one smart.

strategy-wise, i wanted to switch it up to try a different tactic. instead of blowing my wad trying to run all the way up bulldog (i made it 80% of the way up last time), fellow coyote louis and i decided to power walk most of it and run on the lesser inclines, in order to pace ourselves and save some juice for later.

the view headed up
no joke that bulldog

i'm not sure which method is better, but for me and on this day, that ended up being the right move. we crested bulldog - around mile 6 - in 81 minutes and fought our way thru rolling hills for the next 4 miles. my stomach started making hunger pangs, so i took down my blueberry pro bar around mile 8 to stem the tide.

mesa peak fire road
continuing down mesa peak

i felt pretty good hitting the single track at mile 11.5 - the start of my demise at the xterra - and joined up with an asian couple in order to not get lost thru the tricky and not-so-well-marked paths. also, i fueled up with one last gel at mile 12 to get me thru the last part of the run.

my pacers for the last 4M
hairpin turn at mile 11

the one final peak at mile 13 is a doozy - i had to walk part of this - but the remaining bit was relatively flat paved cement back to the starting line, where i promptly collapsed at the picnic benches in a joyous delirium of relief.

more horses!
finish line

i finished the 14.1M loop in 2:47:12, which was about 16 minutes slower than my race time at xterra, but the combination of the increased heat, walking up most of bulldog, as well as slowing down to draft behind the asian couple factored into the time. nevertheless, i set out to go under 3 hours and accomplished the goal in relatively good form, so i'm right in line with where i want to be...

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