Monday, May 28, 2012

Western States Training Camp

Dear Mom and Dad,

Hello from the Western States Training Camp. Even though I was still recovering from my 63 miles at Zion and surgery, I am so happy to be here!

Martin picked me up at the Sacramento Airport Friday night. I didn't run the first day of camp because it was sold out, but mainly because it's the most difficult section of the course and I'm not ready for that so soon after Zion.

Saturday morning, I drove Martin to the start of the training. As we were walking up to the start, he said, "I bet you run into a ton of people you know." He's always kidding me because I have lots of friends. Not more than 2 minutes later, I see a familiar face with a grin from ear to ear...It's Jorge Maravilla! The nicest, most amazing ultra runner.

All the campers waiting for the first day of camp to start!

I met Jorge back in February and had the chance to run a few miles with him on his home turf in Vallejo. He took me up his hill repeats. And for this Texas girl, I called it mountain repeats.

Jorge got a spot at WS100 because of his fantastic performance last month at Leona Divide 50. He came in 18 seconds behind Tim Olson, but since Tim already had a spot, one went to Jorge. He'll do so well at WS next month. I can't wait to follow his progress.

Martin did great on those 32 miles. Fresh snow was on the trail. He said he was pretty cold for the first hour, but warmed up. The canyons are what everyone talks about--how they can get hot and the difficulty of the climbs in and out. This weekend was nice and cool, so they didn't have that heat to worry about.

I spent a little bit of time running the Forest Hill Loop Divide. I ran about 8.5 miles. I felt pretty good, but toward the end, the downhills made my knee wonky. It wasn't anything too steep, but a 2-mile downhill is just not what I'm used to.
I got to play here while the other kids were at camp. 

The views were so great!
I went back to get Martin in the afternoon. He ran the 32 miles so strong. He finished in 6:42. So proud of him!

We headed over to the Auburn Ale House for some good beer and dinner. We went to bed really early so we were well rested for the next day of camp.

Sunday's run was 19.4 miles and much easier than the previous day's run. We started at Forest Hill School and ran the WS trail down to Rucky Chucky. Instead of crossing the river, the camp counselors had us climb about 3 miles up to get out of the canyon. My knee was already bothering me and I just didn't know how long I could run on it.

The weather again was gorgeous 50 degrees at the start. We asked the camp counselors if we could start early. I was a little concerned about being dead last knowing my knee was barking. They said to go ahead.

Martin on the WS Trail!
The first few miles are a lot of downhill running. The trail is so nice, nothing like Zion. Very smooth and not technical at all! I really enjoyed it.

At mile 8.7 we hit the first aid station, which was amazing. The first thing I thought was, I paid $35 for a training run that had better support and organization than the 100 mile race at Zion a few weeks ago. No more first year races for me!

The downhills really started to bother my knee here. And I still had more downhill to run! I tried to turn over my feet more and tried a few different techniques to learn how to run that stuff better. I also felt the outside of my heel rubbing on my shoe. And noticed that despite lacing my shoes right and pretty tight, my heels were moving around a lot, especially on the downhills. I figured some blisters were starting.

Making the way down to Rucky Chucky 
We got to the 16 mile aid station, which was at the river. The WS100 makes you cross the river. But the camp counselors said we didn't have to today.

But before we did our hike out, we decided to take a little ice bath in the American River. BUUURRRRRRRR! This snow melt stuff is cold.
Martin taking an ice bath in the freezing American River. 

He made me put my knee in the ice bath. I was not happy. 

I took my shoes off an noticed the same blisters that I had at Zion are back! Blisters on both heels, inside and outside and also the big toe. Argh! Now, I'm convinced these Peal Izumi's need to go by way of the do do bird. After a good soak in the river, we made the start back up to the busses. 

I did really well on the uphills. It's those downs that aggravated my knee. 

Martin decided to run the last mile-ish in. As I neared the top, I see my honey walking back to me with a cup of Coke and some chips! He's so awesome! 

Sunday night they had a special session with veteran WS100 runners who shared their advice and experiences. I was in awe being in the same room these amazing athletes. 10, 12, 21, 25 WS finishes! I can't imagine! Truly awesomeness. 

I learned some great tips of blister taping and pre-taping--some things I'm going to try when I get home. 

My weekend at camp ends today as I fly home. Martin is going to run another 22 miles on the last section of the course. 

This week I need to do some cross training and rest the knee up. It's really hard because Martin got me a new pair of trail shoes, which we hope will solve the blister issue! I think maybe he's tired of popping blisters. 

It was nice seeing Andee and meeting Derek at camp. Andee and I met at Zion. They both were running strong and looking good.

Martin and I are heading to Leadville for my birthday next month! I'm looking forward to hiking Mt. Massive and going up Hope Pass. Gotta rest this knee up first! 



1 comment:

  1. Love the pictures! Take good care of that knee!