Lap Times for the 12 hours of Big Bear. I’m very pleased to see an improvement over the last 3 years. The previous two years, I stopped at 6 loops, even though I still had time to head out and get more mileage in. This year, I was focused on “running” and got my seventh lap in. And, I’m even more pleased, at looking at last year’s splits, that I improved on every lap except lap six.
I had a solid performance at Big Bear Lake12 Hour Trail Race this year. I ran 7 loops of the course, for a total of 45.5 miles. (The Garmin died around the 50K mark). I just posted the map to show it is a very runnable course, although now looking at the elevation, it doesn’t look that way. And ignore that drop to 2200 feet, that’s an anomaly.
So how did my race experiments go:
Perpeteum-it worked well. I used it for laps two and three. But it seemed like I was drinking the Perp to get the calories in, and so not sipping on my tube from my water supply. So I stopped using the Perp and went to gels. There were Hammer gels-plenty of them-at the two AS, so I was able to just use those. I did supplement with a few Pringles out of my vehicle from time to time.
New Trail Shoes-the size 9 shoes are just too small. My big toes had pressure on them into the second lap. I switched to my size 10, old trail shoes for the rest of the race. I had no blisters issues for this race either!
The S! Caps worked just fine. I tolerated them with no problems. The weather conditions were in the 80’s. I was sweating heavily and covered in salt. But I did not have any swelling issues. So perhaps that was why I didn’t have any blister issues?
Okay, onto race musings:
This is a 6.5 mile trail loop. There is a water drop/gel at mile 2, and a manned AS at mile 4. So you really don’t need to run with water if you were running one loop at a time as a relay runner. But since this was a training run, and I am planning on wearing my hydration vest during all runs, I donned it after the first loop through.
I wore the Garmin to keep an eye on my pace, and a regular watch on the other wrist with the chronometer set with each loop.
My first two loops were good. 1.28 and 1.34. The third loop was a bit slower. It was getting warmer. And warmer! I glanced at my time as neared the Race HQ. I t was something like 1.45. My first thought is “well, that’s not bad.” And I immediately get angry at myself. It’s not “not bad”. It’s very good dammnit! It’s a hot day out there, and I am doing very well! I was proud of myself for turning this almost negative thought into a very positive one.
Heather (the Race Director) asked me on one trip through how many loops I was doing-I told her 8! Although as the afternoon melted away, I glanced at my watch and saw that 8 wasn’t going to happen. I was still doing each loop under 2 hours, but I would need to speed up-and that wasn’t happening. Still, I was moving well. Nothing hurt, I was eating and drinking, and listening to music. Kind of an uneventful race.
I am out on lap five. I know now that 8 loops will not happen for me. I am kind of not looking forward to lap six-it’s just a placeholder lap, on my way to lap seven. So I immediately banish that thought too; lap six is just important as the others! I resolve to make lap six a good one. I do have the low thought during lap six; of just stopping. I eat another gel and glance at my watch. Heck I got plenty of time! Low point resolved!
Lap seven. For the last two years, I have stopped at lap six-for no real good reason, both years still had time to go 6.5 miles more. This year, after the low point, there was no way I was stopping. No reason to!
Started out on Lap 7. Had fun saying ‘good bye’ to all the little nature spots I’d seen all day. It was fun counting down. At the unmanned water stop, it was just four (ish) miles to go. Then, two miles to go!
As I glanced at my watch, almost to the end of the race, I was pleased to see I was bringing this lap to a close two minutes faster than Lap 6-yep, time to get it done!!!
As I carefully ran up the mountain bike ramp over the road and down the other side (not the time to take a trail spill, in front of everyone!!) I was so pleased with my performance this day!!
Okay, we all know that’s the golden rule on race day, right? Do nothing new that you haven’t tried in training. The exception to this would be a race you are using as a training run. I have the Big Bear Lake 12 Hour Trail Race this Saturday. Since I’ve been at low mileage since the Laurel Highlands Race in June, this is going to be a good day just to get some good miles in on a trail.
This is a 6.5 mile loop. The loop makes it very nice for drop bag status. Just one stop to plan for-and it probably will be my vehicle/tent/cooler. We camp out right at the race HQ, so you walk about 100 feet to the race start. Being able to access your own ‘stuff’ every 6.5 miles is convenient.
Perpetuem-I am going to use Perpeteum as my fuel during this run. I ‘ve measured scoops into plastic baggies. These will be ready to go, at my cooler, just dump one into a water bottle, add water, and go. I have used Perpeteum before (hence the big jar of it.) I want to go back to using it in future races, since it will take up less space in drop bags or in my hydration pack. But since it’s been over 2 years since I used it last, I think it’s prudent to ‘experiment’ with it during the race to make sure I can still tolerate it.
New trail shoes. My blister problem resurfaced at LH. I do believe too big of a shoe helped lead to my foot sliding in the shoe. I bought size 9s, which do fit, but it seemed like my toe was hitting the toe box on a downhill. I had ordered a 9.5, which probably won’t be here before leaving for the race. Nevertheless, I believe I will start out the race in the size 9s and see how it goes. I will bring the older shoes as back up.
Taping the feet-I am undecided on whether to tape or not. I won’t arrive at the race site until around dark, and then will have to get my tent set up. And socialize. And remember that the race starts at 7am!
French press coffee-I just got a french press coffee set up. Since I’m going to be at least three camping/running scenes this summer, I would like to have coffee one step between that Coffee Singles. So today at least, I will rehearse how to use this French Press, so perhaps I can get a cup of coffee made on Saturday morning!
I ran at Salt Fork State Park today, Saturday. What a nice day for a trail run. The big thunderstorm on Friday brought us less humidity and cooler temps.I started my run in the high 70’s.
Being that it’s summer time and Saturday, there were actually people and horses out on *my* trails! I first caught up to a horse and rider around mile 3. He ‘sped up’ but I caught him in a 1/4 mile. He then let me go by, remarking he couldn’t believe “how fast” I was moving. I didn’t try to change his belief of how fast I ran; he evidently didn’t realize his horse was ambling along about 1 MPH.
I ran over to the lake beach, and then started back. There was someone on the trail in front of me..and they go into a big clinch as I approach. ” Hi there folks” I sing out LOUD as I continue running toward them. They disengage, and have the sense of humor to laugh with me as I pass them and say “I’m going this way, and not coming back. Carry on”. I don’t tell them they should move off this well travelled trail…
Being as the husband was out of town for the day, I didn’t feel any pressure to get home at a certain time. I am getting very familiar with these trails closest to the lake. I would follow one trail for a few miles, then take an intersecting trail back to a water source (ie camp restroom) to refuel, and carry on. I can pretty much carve out a run where I am not double backing on myself with these trails.
You usually don’t get to choose your day off each week. Tuesday, today is my day off. I got up early to get to the trail before the weather got too hot. It was a nice 70 degrees when I started. It was also foggy here at Salt Fork Lake:
My Zunie had died so I had to run without music or podcasts. I need to do this more often. I was able to amuse myself quite well on my run. I wrote blog posts, made to do lists, pondered life as I ran. I reflected on my job change from one year ago. I chose to take a step back and make personal Kim more happy, since my career was starting to make personal Kim quite uptight and stressed. I’m not on any career advancement of any sort right now, and that pleases me. I chose to focus on me and make me a happier person. It’s been working.
Speaking of happy, and different worlds, I stopped to tie my shoe. And lo and behold, I nearly ended someone’s else world!
This little guy was right between my feet. One inch either way and his short snail life could have been over.
A warm, actually hot run. I took the perimeter of my horse trails. We are getting short on water here. All the streams I normally cross are dry. Even the big patches of mud are hardening. I’m glad my run was mostly in the shade. The few instances I was exposed to the sun was quite unpleasant.
And, in case you are wondering, I take both the “high” and “low” trail. Today was ‘up’ so I started up the trail, and returned by the low trail.
After Laurel Highlands, I ran about…3 miles until yesterday. The blisters helped make that less “guilt-free” but I had noticed way back before vacation that the mileage would take a serious dive. It took me a little bit of time to not feel guilty. I’m just one of those worriers who think they will blow all physical endurance. So I did okay with practically no running and not freaking out.
I did, however, step on the scale yesterday-ouch, up six pounds! (I had actually dropped another lb before I left on vacation, so I had a lb cushion there). I’m hoping some of that is still water retention from the air flight. This morning, though, I have logged all my food for the day into WW, back to work there! I actually don’t feel that bad about the weight gain (the guilt thing again). Having lost weight successfully the last few months, I have my confidence back about being able to carve this off. And tracking all the food into the body certain helps.
I’m happy to be back to running again. My quads have been pleasantly sore..a sure sign it’s time to get back to running on hills again!
Way back in snowy January, we decided to spend our 20th wedding anniversary in Napa Valley. This is the heart (well one of many now) wine country in California.
We had a blast. It was a very nice trip, we spent Monday through Friday in Napa. Just Napa. Didn’t stray over to Sonoma or anywhere else. We really wanted to visit one of the world’s top hot air balloon festivals, but we didn’t quite time our trip right for it.
If you have never been to Napa Valley, the choices are just overwhelming. Luckily, I first got the hotel reservation made. We stayed at a Best Western-The Best Western Elm House Inn. If you want an economical place to stay in Napa, this is it. This is not your usual chain motel. This is pretty much a bed and breakfast. Great breakfasts each morning with fresh fruit, fresh made waffles, just baked muffin bread. Eating there, we didn’t even feel the need to head out anywhere else.
My next recommendation is to procure someone to drive you around. The choices on these are also overwhelming. A favorite that kept popping up on Tripadvisor was Platypus Tours: wine tours for people who want to have fun! These are smaller buses, holding between 0-12 or 14 people comfortably. We used Platypus on both Tuesday and Wednesday, and I highly recommend them. We were picked up promptly on time, we toured 4 wineries each day (none repeated from the previous day) and lunch was provided. There was also cheese and crackers and cold water to have on the bus as we toured.
Looking over my map after the trip, Platypus took us to very small wineries. One was not even open to the public. We got some varied experiences. Ken, the owner of Elkhorn Peak Vineyards was a grower. He gave us some great education on the wines themselves. Being a gardener, I appreciated the knowledge. Other stops were more mellow, and as the day progressed, everyone loosened up quite a bit!
On Tripadvisor, someone had mentioned the pairing menus at Signorello Vineyards. It was wine pairings with food-think like tapas here. I think Dennis and I enjoyed this the most. Two other couples, five wines, and exquisite food pairings. I learned alot about pairings here.
View from Signorello Vineyards
I think I will discuss our food outings in a shorter post to follow. We really had a good time. Dennis even mentioned a return trip here! So when is the Napa Marathon?