I’m walking in a room and it’s filled with mud. There are walls everywhere but I know that somewhere there is a door. I just have to keep moving and walking until I find it. No, it’s not a bad dream. That was my Sean O’Brien Marathon race on Saturday, February 4th at Malibu Creek. …
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.
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’m preparing for the Ojai Half Marathon on April 27 and it’s a hilly course so I’m setting up target mile splits for race day. When I ran my first half marathon this past December it was a very flat course and my main goal was just to finish while keeping an eye on my heart rate.
But once you set up your goal mile splits, you’re going to want to figure out your total time and that’s where I ran into a problem. I’m fairly proficient with Excel but I fumbled around for a good 20 minutes before I started Googling easier ways to accomplish the task without doing it manually.
The solution was Google Drive spreadsheets. To add up mile splits in a spreadsheet: