Monday, May 19, 2014

Started Training for my Next Race

Hello everybody! Running post OC Half Marathon has had some ups and downs. I attempted a couple of easy recovery runs the week after the event. The problem was that I could not run slow. I would trot at what felt like a really slow pace but in reality was too fast. Each time I would do a lap I would check my watch and it would tell me 9:00 min mile pace. I then would run slower for the next lap and again the lap was at a 9:00 min mile pace. I ended a couple of recovery runs early just because I mentally could not go any slower. Than last week I caught a nasty cold. It started off innocently with only a little bit of a runny nose. Than out of nowhere I was down with body aches, fever, and everything else that is on those cold medicine commercials. It was awful.

Last Saturday though I had been feeling pretty good for a couple of days and decided that I wanted to check out the course of my next race. I have signed up for the 15 mile option of the Holcomb Valley Trail Run located in Big Bear California. My Brother and I met up at the trailhead and started our run at about 7:30 am. A couple miles into the run the course merges with the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) for a bit. We stopped for a water break and talked to a couple from Germany who were doing the 2650 mile thru-hike of the PCT. Doing the thru hike of the PCT is on my bucket list so it is always fun talking to these hikers and finding out where they are from and why they are hiking. After we chatted for a couple minutes we continued on our way.





 
 

This was the first time I ever pre ran a race course and it was very beneficial. Some of the things I learned:

1. Air is thin in the mountains and I feel like a fish out of water gasping for air.
2. Do not wear ankle socks because the sand and dust got in my shoes and socks.
3. Course has some technical rocky sections and I almost fell a couple times.
4. I hope the course is well marked because I took a couple of wrong turns.

Do you like to preview a race course before or would you rather have the course surprise you?
There is one hill that I think I would have rather of not known about on this course. lol.

9 comments:

  1. Great idea on previewing a course. I think it's really helpful especially when it's not a road race. There is such a difference when you run a trail the second time and that will really help on race day. I think I relax more on trail races when I know what is ahead of me (and I don't have to worry about getting lost). Looks like a beautiful race course!

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    1. I think I will have an advantage now that I know the course. I hope to be able to get out there at least one more time before the race.

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  2. I really don't like to know the course. It's part of why I rotate the local races and don't run the same one's every year. I need time to sort of forget every turn and hill along the way. I look at overall elevation gain/loss so I know if I need extra hill work or need to focus on my mental game for long, boring, flat stretches, and placement of aid stations but other than that I don't want to know anything about the course really. I like to be surprised.

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    1. That is what I have been doing and I believe that there is a mental advantage in not knowing the course. I will see how I do with this race to decide on if I like knowing or not knowing. lol

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  3. Those are some great photos, David!! I would love to run down there some time. Southern Oregon has a lot of that terrain, if you stay in the lower elevations. The altitude there has got to be a lung builder.
    Liked the comment on the short socks. I ran into some poison oak this weekend and remembered why I always wear long socks!
    www.smalltownrunner.com

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    1. It was a nice change of scenery for me. I am doing most of my runs in the deserts where I live so running through trees is a treat for me. I am jealous of the scenery you north westerners get to run in. :)

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  4. What a beautiful course! Looks awesome!
    Umm, yeah, I would preferred to be surprised, especially with hills, haha..
    Glad you're feeling better and pumped for your next race it seems.
    Re: the not being able to go slower - that's way ok! I think everyone has their own set pace and its hard to deviate too much from that.

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  5. I hate to be surprised by race courses. I like to know what's coming. Looks like this will be a beautiful race, anyway!

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  6. That trail looks awesome to run! Running at higher altitudes can be one giant pain, but definitely gets much easier with a few runs!

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