I ran the Leona Divide 50k race yesterday with about 500 other trail running fanatics. Unfortunately my race ended around mile 21 when I chose to drop. It was a tough race and thoughts and emotions are still swirling but wanted to put things down in writing although I’m sure my thoughts and judgments will change over the next few days and weeks.
Last year I signed up for the Bandit Ultra Trail Race 30k and the days leading up to the race I got sicker and sicker. The day before the race I thought I could pull it off even though I had massive body aches and felt like death warmed over. I picked up my bib …
I got a little crazy in December and decided to sign up for my first ultra race. After some training I figured it made more sense to do a trail marathon so with that I changed my registration for the Sean O’Brien 50K to the Marathon race on February 7, 2015.
If you’re not familiar with the Sean O’Brien races, this is the second year for the races, held at Malibu Creek State Park in Agoura Hills. Last year runners could sign up for the Marathon, 50K or the 50 miler. The 50 miler turned into a playground for elite runners seeking to qualify for a coveted Western States 100 spot. This year, a 100K race was added and it is part of the Montrail Ultra Cup Series. Top two men and women would get the golden ticket to Western States.
The Marathon race wasn’t a qualifier of any kind but it was a ticket to 5,000+ feet of elevation gain going up and down segments of the beautiful Backbone Trail. I chose to do the Sean O’Brien race because I had already competed in two races on part of the course in 2014 – the XTERRA Malibu Creek Challenge and the Bulldog 25K race.
Over the past year I’ve run over 800 miles and raced three half marathons, three challenging trail races over 11 miles long and in several 5ks. I also dedicated a lot of training time to increasing my climbing and logged over 24,000 feet in elevation gain. I trained on several mountain ranges in Southern California and feel like I can knock out a half marathon run at any time, so I did.
It’s been a couple of weeks since running the Santa To The Sea Half Marathon in Oxnard on Dec. 18. I was excited to tackle the course and try to set a PR for the half. The flat as a pancake course would be the perfect opportunity to run fast.
After tackling the XTERRA Point Mugu 18K Trail Race in October, I decided to do the Santa to the Sea Half Marathon in December next. But that left me with two months without races and I got impatient. I was looking through my timeline on the Strava site when I saw that tri-athlete Anthony Grey was in his last weeks of training for the Surfer’s Point Full Marathon. After that I signed up for the half marathon or the race to be held on Nov. 16, 2014.
I completed the Bulldog 25K trail race this past weekend, August 23 2014. This was my longest and only second trail race.
After doing the XTERRA Malibu Creek race in May, I had started eyeing the Bulldog race and immediately started training for it. I took a bit of circuitous route though, doing a series of 5K races including the Father’s Day race and three of the “Boogie Nights” races that were held on Wednesday afternoons near Surfer’s Point in Ventura.
I ran the XTERRA Malibu Creek Challenge 22K Trail Run on Saturday and it was hot. The good news was that it wasn’t as hot as it had been all week (high 90’s and low 100’s) but it was still plenty hot in the high 80’s.
This past Sunday I went out for a run/hike at Malibu Creek State Park, next to Calabasas. No I didn’t see Justin Bieber but I did have a fancy Porche tailgaiting me as I tried to find the park entrance.
The Ojai Half Marathon was my second half marathon, the first being the Santa To The Sea race in December. The Santa To The Sea was on a very flat course with an elevation loss but the Ojai race features a bounty of rolling hills.