Monday, March 4, 2013

Way Too Cool 50K Training Week Three: When Did 3000' Become "Altitude"???

The South Yuba River at Purdon Crossing
Week three would have been a good fifty mile week, if it weren't for that damn job getting in the way, but I gots to pay the bills, and a 90 minute tempo on Thursday fell by the wayside in the name of science. That said, the week was productive, and I returned to Nevada City for the weekend long runs. A hilly run on Saturday kicked my ass, and Sunday was spent walk/running with Twirly out and back along Pasquale Road, which will always be my favorite training run. Here's the week:

Tuesday: 5x1 mile cruise intervals at 5K pace (ass kicker workout - thanks coach)

Wednesday: 45 minutes with San Francisco Running Company group along the Mill Valley Bike Trail (ended up being a tempo run - gotta pick my partners better!)

Saturday: ~4.5 hours along the South Yuba River Trail

Sunday: 90 minute walk/run with Twirly

Totals: 42.91 miles, avg HR 142

The mid-week run with San Francisco Running Company was a treat. Brett Rivers and Jorge Maravilla have established a running store in the trail running mecca of Mill Valley. Their shop is mere miles from the Tennessee Valley Trail Head in the heart of the Golden Gate Recreation Area. Before they opened, I had to drive to Palo Alto to get to a decent running store (Zombie Runner), and now I have one just across the San Rafael Bridge. I am blessed to have two go-to running stores within minutes of my split households (Trkac in Grass Valley).

Plus, I have had a runner-crush on Jorge for a long time. His positivity is effusive, and ever since I saw him come into Michigan Bluff at the 2012 Western States 100, I have tried to channel his persona in my darkest times during a race.

Another epic weekend in the Sierra Nevada Foothills produced another dose of humility for yours truly. David took me on his back-pocket long run, as I told him I needed some hilly terrain to satisfy the 4000'+ on my schedule. We left his house and followed rolling dirt road up and over the "Governor's Trail" (passing a former residence of the one and only Jerry Brown) before picking up Torrey and descending to the South Yuba River via Purdon Road.

The South Yuba river Trail
When we got to the river trail head, we grabbed some water from a friend's truck bed, and headed out on the South Yuba River Trail from Purdon to Edward's Crossing. I had imagined a river trail following the bends of the river, but P to E gains a ton of elevation between trail heads, and the beautiful single track shortcuts the ridges between tributarys, tripling the elevation on the 4.5 mile stretch along the river. I had 5 hours on the docket, but after 4:45 I was spent. It felt like an "off" day. I chalked it up to the elevation and hills, but in retrospect, I'll call it  bonk in beautiful country. If any of you have the opportunity, The South Yuba River Canyon has some epic ground to cover.
Edward's Crossing

Headed down river
There are some LARGE Incense Cedars in this canyon
I'm even fantasizing about organizing a 50K down there.

With only a taper to go before Way Too Cool, my legs are already twitching. I have a top 50% in me, for sure, but this will be the most crowded single-track ultra I have started, and the first 8 miles are looking to be a jostling mud-fest. With rain forecasted mid-week and 850 runners on the Secret Trail Loop, it sounds like I'm in store for a Single track Woodstock! 

Bring it, I say.

Here are the details from the Yuba River run:

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