Tuesday, April 2, 2013

American River 50 Mile Training Week Three: Redwoods and Jalama Beach

Lime Kiln State Park
Week three of my month-long ramp up to American River 50 Mile Endurance Run included camping along the Central Coast of California. It was refreshing to get out of my usual running environments and explore some new places as I began my taper. Twirly and I packed up the car on Thursday and began a leisurely drive down Highway 1 towards Big Sur. We lucked out and got the LAST campsite in Big Sur at Lime Kiln State Park. Friday we continued south to Jalama Beach in Santa Barbara County for two nights before crashing with friends in Santa Barbara and then hauling back up Highway 101 to get back to the grindstone.
Here's the week:
Monday: 60 minutes on the treadmill
Tuesday: 90 minutes, 8 x 3:00 hill repeats in the East Bay hills
Friday: 50 minutes in the redwoods
Saturday: 90 minutes from Jalama Beach to Point Conception
Totals: 23.19 miles, avg HR 128
My lightest week since recovering from the American Canyon 50K in February has me itching to go running. I have never been a big fan of the taper, but I feel like the reduced mileage will help me get to the starting line in racing shape. I have been feeling a little lethargic, and my legs have not been flushing the lactic acid very efficiently, so this time around I am embracing the taper. The last five months of training have gone by in a blur. Time flies when you run long distances, I guess!

The lime kilns
Lime Kiln Creek falls
After another treadmill workout on Monday, I managed to return to dirt (or sand) for the rest of the week. Hill repeats on Footfeather's favorite hill were satisfyingly exhausting, and marked the end of my "quality" workouts. Friday's run in the redwoods was beautiful, with the towering trees reaching up into the coastal fog. A short spur trail leading up a side canyon revealed the twin falls on Lime Kiln creek. We saw quite a bit of wildlife on the trip, including Humpback whales, porpoises, Elephant seals, California Condors, and numerous sea-birds.

Lime Kiln beach
Lime kilns

Lime Kiln Creek trail
Lime Kiln Creek trail

Hare Creek trail
The beach run on Saturday was my first time to run on sand. I followed the tide line for the footing it provided, occasionally scampering up the beach to escape the rising tide. I knew running on the sand would be difficult, but I was still surprised at the pace I got for my effort. I ran out of beach at Point Conception, about 4 miles south of the campground.
Posing Cormorants

Fishing GBH

Point Conception in the distance

Headed north towards Jalama Beach
The trip was rejuvenating, and week four will be a short work week, as Monday was Cesar Chavez Day, and I am headed home on Thursday night to prepare for the race this Saturday. I'm ready, my legs are ready, and I'm beginning to feel like a kid at Christmas, hoping the next few days go by as quickly as this training cycle flew by.

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