Wednesday, March 24, 2010

What's Going On: 50k in CA next week, and other tidbits

Not much to add recently. Had a great run Saturday with Alex, Nick, and Pete, as we made a nice marathon route through the Fort. Great to run and chat with all 3 about upcoming plans for the year. I'm not as big of a streak guy as much as some, but if I run 26.2 this coming Sunday, then I'll end up with 4 weeks in a row (on the following Sunday), which would be kinda neat.

Otherwise, stayed close to home last weekend and been getting ready for the next race and some travel: Sycamore Canyon 50k in So Cal
Basically, going out for a wedding on 10 April in The OC, and found this great trail ultra in the area. We have a camp site reserved the night before, so looking forward to chilling out in Point Mugu State Park.

Not sure what to expect on this one. Been happy with my mileage this year -- for March, that is -- but it's been mostly bike paths and roads for me. The last 3 years, I've had a goal marathon in April or early May (Oklahoma City, Fort Collins, and Boston), and I feel better trained than those years...for the flat stuff, though.

4 things I'm thinking about.

1. Hills
Gawd, I wish I had been running more hills (5k feet of climbing, according to the profile). There will be plenty of time for that this summer, when the high country melts out.
I feel like I've been doing the appropriate specificity for a flat marathon, and not as much in the mountains. Whoops.

2. Heat
I neither love nor hate the heat -- I just like being prepared for it. In fact, I enjoy the advantages of heat training in the summer, then racing in the cool morning. But I do know that the first few hot runs of the year are noticeably tougher than in August. Here's hoping relatively cool day and nice sea breeze

3. Who Shows Up
Well, the goal of the day is to run around the mountains/coast and have some fun. Can't really predict where I'll end up, but also wondering who's going to be there. The top 2 guys from last year are clearly better runners than I am, and then comes a tighter groups of folks around my target time on a good day...but word is, the course record holder, Evan Hone, is not going to be there. I hope to find some other runners with a good pace that I can hang next to -- so I don't go out too fast.

EDIT: The current entrant list is up. I've only had a chance to glance at it, but Dean Dobberteen is the champ from 2 years ago and looks like a good favorite this year. Also looks like he's been running trail races all winter. Ah, to live in Southern California!

Just glancing through the list -- of course, I don't recognize So Cal names as much as I do Colorado, but I've looked up a few runners. Basically, the algorithm is, look for folks from out of state to find out if they're ringers (it's me, albeit in town for a wedding, and a 65-yr-old Texan)...then look at folks mostly in their 30s, late 20s, early 40s.
Another name: Guillermo Medina. First google result: "North Face Athletes"
Very impressive resume. It'll be interesting to see how he does up front.

4. Getting lost
There are 3 other, shorter distance races held across different loops, which are marked by multi-colored ribbons. The 50k does all of these loops. I need to study this and memorize my colors so I don't do anything stupid.

There you have it, that's what I've been thinking about in terms of running. Looking forward to the race in CA, recover quickly with cheap and greasy Mexican food that I've been missing, and then visiting some old haunts in San Diego county.

OK, now I'm pretty much only thinking about Mexican food...

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