Saturday, September 1, 2012

Sneak Peek: Rio del Lago Course

It's been a busy few weeks. I haven't been blogging about running because, well, I have actually been running. And swimming. And biking. And eating...lots. But I want to talk about the running. (Shocking, I know.)

With the Rio del Lago 100k approaching all too fast, a group of us took a trip to Folsom Lake last weekend for a fortysomething-mile course preview. Since it's an out-and-back course, it was simple to cover the course without actually running the full length of the race distance. A good thing, since some of our group are prepping for the 100mile race. (I'm still very content with my 100k ticket.) 

Right away, I was 'pleased' to discover that the course elevation profile I had scrutinized and analyzed so carefully, was in fact, not for the course I will be running. Bingo.

Nevertheless, I am now even more excited about this race. The course is beautiful and I am happy to report that there is a relatively good chance I will not be eaten by a mountain lion. 

-Photos courtesy of the amazing Donny Hall-

The course passes through all kinds of scenery, terrain and plant life. It is truly difficult to get bored and the single tracks aren't technically challenging - even for someone as uncoordinated as I am.

(note: I did manage to mess up my ankle a little, with less than 0.5mi to go on day 2...but that really takes some unique talent)

Jumping into the lake / river with shoes and clothes is obviously highly recommended if you're looking for a truly spiritual experience. 

Not scaring me. Nope. Definitely not. Ok, maybe a little.
I had a rough start to the first day of running. Settling into a good pace and getting hydration / nutrition right was proving difficult. I was achy, constantly dehydrated and unhappy. Solution? Do what you would never do (especially with hydration challenges): take ibuprofen (Motrin) at mile 13. I knew my kidneys would hate me, but I got very lucky. Soon enough, I felt like I had super powers. 

Random lesson: do not mix Hammer Perpetuem in warm water and proceed to chug it. I can hardly explain just how bad of an idea this was at mile 20. 

This weekend was also my first time trying Hammer Perpetuem Solids. What they say is true - it sticks in your teeth, it's hard to chew and all the flavors taste the same. It is functional food. It is easier to carry around than the powder (which you need an extra water bottle for) and keeps better in warm weather, but chewing a single tablet takes a way too much effort for 33.3 Calories. 

The second day of running was far better than the first - my legs and whole body felt a lot better. Given I spent most of the prior afternoon eating, my glycogen stores were smiling. I was eating far less during the run than normal and felt really great. 

Tip: back to back long run days can be tricky to manage. Eat and drink more than you normally would both during and after your training on day 1 to prepare for the demands of day 2. Done right, day 2 is more fun than day 1, even if you felt exhausted at the end of that first run.

This is another back-to-back weekend, though with less mileage. 18 miles done today, 20-22 planned for Sunday morning. 

And then, of course, there is labor day...happy running!

1 comment:

  1. Hello Aletta,
    Just a quick message to ask if you would be interested in a ‘mutual’ following on twitter. I am currently following you now and am awaiting for your follow-back. (#FYI I do RT’s ‘anytime’ for all #Triathletes #Cyclists #UltraRunners & #Marathoners #FitnessProfessionals who follow me on Twitter and have something important they want mentioned…)

    All the very best for the rest of 2012 and beyond Aletta. Look forward to hearing from you…