Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Folsom Prison (weekly) Trail Run Series: Race 1 & 2

Hello there.  I'm still super happy about having achieved my running goal for the year by qualifying for the Western States 100 Mile with a 14:56 Miwok 100k.  After having run four 50k's, one 50 Mile, and one 100k race between February 7 and May 2 of 2015, I decided to make a change of pace for myself and instead of focusing on some fairly long distance running, I'm going to focus on some relatively short stuff for the next couple of months (well that's the plan anyway).

Good news!  My friend Diane is putting on an 8 event, weekly 5k race series... I'm in!
Bad news!  The first race was 5 days after the Miwok 100k... I'm in!

Folsom Prison Trail Run Series:  A relentlessly rolling, twisty 5k trail course with ~300 ft. of climbing, consisting of rocky single-track trail and bumpy dirt service roads, winding through the scenic hills on Folsom Prison property.  Runs each Thursday night.  Here's how it's going so far.

Race #1: I had done some hiking, but no running since the Miwok 100k.  My legs were feeling well enough, but I could definitely feel a heavy fatigue in them when climbing stairs or flexing (rawr).  I didn't expect this 5k run to feel very comfortable.  It didn't.  Race 1 was loaded with a bunch of speedsters from the Buffalo Chips running club.  I "charged" out in the front ~3rd of the pack, behind a handful of invincible 10-17 year old runners and other familiar faces.  After about a half mile, I was officially in ready-to-be-done-running mode.  The course is a real challenge and doesn't opportunities to relax.  Short, steep climbs, tight turns, low hanging branches, technical, rocky terrain, dry creek bed crossings, all work together to keep your heart rate in action throughout the race.  I gave a pretty strong effort throughout the course and didn't pay much attention to passing other runners, or being passed.  I whimpered into the finish chute and was glad to be done.

     Finish Time:  28:29
     Overall:          33/125
     Age Group:    6/35

Gorgeous venue

Pretending I didn't run a 100k 5 days ago.

Race #2:  Race 2 was cancelled and rescheduled due to a surprise thunder/hail storm.  I was happy to take the day off.  With Miwok close to three weeks behind me and one race and a couple of speed/track workouts under my belt, I was feeling more primed to run.  We ran the same loop course in the reverse direction this week.  From the start I was feeling much stronger and appreciated the extra strength I could feel in my legs.  Regardless, the course didn't get any easier, and running hard feels hard no matter how fast or slow you're going.  I passed a few runners along the way and held my position over the last third of the race.  Fun way to spend an evening, staying fit outside with friends!

     Finish Time:  25:52
     Overall:          11/63
     Age Group:    3/13
Superstar Randy and I getting ready for the pain.

Trotting up a hill in the first mile.

Feeling an appropriate amount of discomfort, with < .5 miles to go.

Series overall standings
Series age group standings

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