Wednesday, April 19, 2006

45 mile solo run

45 mile solo run

I had planned a much earlier start but getting my 4 year old daughter
dressed and ready to go to her mothers at 4am proved to be more difficult
than I had imagined.  I wasn’t sure what sort of pace I would keep up on
such a long training run so I wanted to allow for 13+ hours before I had to
head back up the mountain to pick up Ella.  I was pleasantly surprised to
finish must faster.

I parked my truck at the Auburn Damn Overlook at 6:30am and quickly bounded
off down the trail to No-Hands Bridge.  I was feeling good on the climb to
Cool but had to remind myself that I was going a long ways and needed to
walk the up hills.  I reached the Hwy49 crossing (Upper Quarry) in about an
hour and a half, not bad for trying to go slow.  I flew down the Quarry
trail to the river, giving my quads a good pounding was the goal on this
run.  All my runs for that matter.

Before I knew it I was boogying up the Browns Bar Trail then setting the
cruise control on the Robie Trail.  This is trail running at its finest
along this stretch.  Mostly flat, sweet singletrack, winding in and out of
the canyon creeks along the rim of the Middle Fork American River canyon.  
The weather was perfect; overcast skies, cool temps, a light drizzle (better
than snow!) I was in heaven.  I stopped for a second to pay my respects at
the Barbara Schoner memorial, the anniversary of her death is this coming

I tried not to stop at all, this was my key to keeping a good pace.  I ate
while I walked,  I went pee while I walked, I only stopped briefly here and
there to get difficult items out of my pack and to filter water into my hand
bottles.  My camelback was stuffed with food so I left out the bladder.  I
carried 24 Gu’s but only ate 11, 4 cliff bars but only ate 2, a bag of dried
apricots, and my new favorite – Salmon steaks in pouches.  I just tore off
the top and squeezed it into my mouth like a Gu.  MMMMM!!!! Delish!!!!

The next thing ya know I was already at Green Gate.  I beat feet down
Slinger Mine Rd. and got to the river crossing at 11:30am. The river was
pumping!  I paused shortly to gaze at the water; cold, deep and scary
looking.  I wouldn’t want to try and cross it now!
I munched a Cliff bar as I began the march back up Slinger Mine Rd.

Now I was on cruise control again along the Robie Trail.  I noticed some
Leona Divide prints that were not on the trail on the way out.  They turned
out to be a friend, Derek, and I had just missed him.  The clouds began to
drizzle on me around Auburn Lake Trails so I donned a light jacket.  I ran
into a guy named Dennis Fox along the lower quarry road who was also
training for States.  He was jealous of the mileage I was getting in and
said he wasn’t sure if he was getting enough.  He just did AR50 so I think
he’ll be fine.  The trip back went by so quickly with almost no pain and
absolutely no fatigue.  I must be doing something right in my training!

I popped another salmon steak (MMMMM!) crossing Hwy 49 by Cool.  I was on
the home stretch and was just blown away by how smooth the run had gone and
how great I felt.  My first couple 50 mile races hurt so bad and the first
time I did a 40mile solo I had to stay in bed the next day.  But here I was
screaming down to No-Hands full speed.

Just as I reached the bridge I came up behind a horseback rider training for
Tevis.  His name was Jim and he and his horse, Little Big Man, were all
decked out in replica cowboy gear.  I ran along side and we chatted all the
way back to the Overlook. (Yes, I was actually running up the hill!)  He
told me Tevis stories and really got me confused on the route and the
mileage.  I guess it’s not the same course?  He kept trying to tell me the
River Crossing was at Poverty Bar instead of Oregon Bar and that he had
never been on the Robie Trail.  I’m not sure he had his facts straight.

All in All it was a fantastic day in the woods.  10 ½ hours for 45 to 50
miles.  I felt great the next day and got a big boost of confidence for my
first 100 at Western States.  A few days rest to avoid any overtraining
injuries and now I’m good to go!

Thanks for reading,

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