Good last weekend! On Saturday, I knocked out Cuyamaca Peak after doing trailwork that involved a climb up Stonewall Peak, which is a nice 2 mile climb up to a place where you can view the entire SD 100 course which really puts it in perspective. Trimmed a bunch of brush on the way up, then made it back by noon to do Cuyamaca Peak. Knocked it out in 1:12 and did the 2.7 mile 1700 foot climb in 49 minutes. That put my hopes up, but last week my long run was difficult.
However, today was a different story. I did 3 of the 9.3 mile loops. Temperatures were perfect, low 80's with a breeze. First, I figured out that what I eat the night before is apparently not influential on my results. Last night was a chargers game, so my preparatory meal consisted of about 7 pieces of spicy fried chicken, half a container each of dirty rice and mac and cheese, 3 biscuits, and 2 or 3 beers and a giant mountain dew. The only adverse effect that I could tell was I had burning farts during the run that were slightly uncomfortable, but not as much as for someone who would have been running behind me.
Lesson 2: No Gatorade. I'm a big supporter, especially as they every bottle sold means money in the pocket of Urban Meyer and the boys. However, it seems to make me feel a little off every time I drink it, so I think that's enough of that, at least for now. I think at GTR 100, I will skip out on the carb drinks and just go for water, salt tabs, and Rocktaines, which is an expensive proposition as those things cost 2.50 a pouch. Apparently made with liquid gold, it sits well with my system and always seems to stay down. I could care less about the freaky amino acids or whatever else they put in there that's supposed to be helpful. As long as it sits in the stomach, I'll keep shelling it out.
Anyways, the run went great. Did my 15k loop 3 times and a 5k loop after that. Total run was 50k with 5000 feet of gain in exactly 7 hours. My pace was 13.5 minute miles. I was aiming for 14 to 14.5 minute miles, so obviously I was successful. That puts me in the back of the mid-pack for some of the 50k's with similar elevation gain, and this was a training run, so I was encouraged by that. I wanted an 8 hour run, but that did not seem to make sense after getting through 31 miles. I figured better to underdo it then push it at this point only 3 weeks out. I kept thinking that it was great knowing that this was exactly 50k (actually I think it is actually a little bit over as the 15k loops I think are more like 9.6 miles than 9.3, but whatever), but who the hell would run a race where you loop the same trails 3 times and then do a 5 K that covers the exact same course. Pretty goofy. Good practice for me, but I can't see this race catching on. But if anyone wants to shoot for my time, well, there you go.
Philisophically, I'm not sure whether I should be this excited, because while I pushed it, I never felt lousy or had to push through anything extraordinary, so not sure if it toughened me up. However, it was really good for my confidence, which goes a long way for me. Did the last 5k with 200 feet of gain in 30 minutes, so finished strong and felt like I had some left. We'll see if it means anything come race day.
The other thing that was notable was on my 3rd time up South Fortuna, some guy passed me like he was standing on an escalator. I don't know who this guy was, but he was clearly a runner and clearly a hardass. Whoever he was, if he's not on top of trail races right now, he will be soon.
Now, the taper begins. Let the laziness erupt!