As the OC Marathon inches closer on my calendar, my goal becomes more daunting and real. Especially after tracking so many friends at the Boston Marathon on Monday, I’ve only gotten more anxious about my own race. Unlike many ultras where I run just to finish, road races are about hitting your splits every.single.mile. The pressure to run a certain pace and keep it up for all 26 miles with little room for error is scary.
Maybe I am over thinking, but this is the exact reason why I only run one of these a year.
In the end, it all comes down to your confidence level and how much you trust in the work you’ve put in.
This was a peak week for me, so I wanted to get in 65-70 miles which meant incorporating double days back into my weeks. Oh how I did not miss double days! I used to do these ALL the time when training for Zion in order to get my mileage up which led to a huge burn out once the race was over. Even though I still do double workouts most days, I’ve replaced that second run with Pilates.
Week recap from 4/7-4/13
Easy conversational pace at Los Liones trail with Pete C. I’m thinking of making Los Liones a Sunday staple to work on hill intervals and uphill hiking speed. Also it’s a nice way to flush out the legs from a long Saturday run.
Tempo run up and down Georgina in Santa Monica with Matt, took it easy on the way up and made up the time on the way down with a 1 mile pick up at Mile 6.
Rest day from running, instead carbo loaded with the Boston marathoners at Wildcraft Pizza in Culver City.
Easy morning run in Brentwood with Meg. Struggled to get up, but glad I made it out. You never regret a workout!
After work run with Matt, my legs are definitely not used to running in the afternoon. Struggled with the first 4 by myself before meeting up with Matt where he helped salvage what was left of my run.
I debated going on this run since I had a long run the next day, but figured since I took Wednesday off, I should get used to running on tired legs.
Not my best run since I didn’t start on fresh legs, I just wanted to get in the miles. Meg and I ran around PV, she showed me some new trails down by the cliffs I have never been on which was a nice change from the normal route. A good amount of hills and rollers which slowed down my pace a lot. Does this view ever get old?
One more peak week (this week) and I’ll be tapering off, can’t wait!
What happened yesterday in Boston hits really close to home. Even though I don’t personally know the thousands of people who ran the marathon, I feel the running community and all the spectators/volunteers/race personnel are one big family. I had a lot of close friends who ran the marathon, some were still on the course or at the finish line when the unthinkable happened. Running is our safe haven. We use it to escape the realities of the world without fear. What was supposed to be a joyous celebration for runners, whether it was their first time in Boston, or their 20th time, turned out to be the complete opposite. Running through the streets of Boston is a privilege that only a few are able to experience and the spectators make up a huge part of that experience. All we can do is move on, pray for those who were affected and keep on running. Go out and run today and dedicate a few miles to those that didn’t get the chance to cross that finish line yesterday.
Over the weekend in Portland, I saw these on the menu at the pub in the hotel we were staying at, McMenamins. What are dobladas? Dobladas means folded and that’s just what you do with the tortillas.
I immediately wanted to recreate these at home with what I had on hand. This recipe comes together in no time especially if you make the mashed potatoes ahead of time. I combine the potato and chorizo (or soyrizo) together and whenever I want a quick meal, I spread the mixture on some corn tortillas with some melted cheese inside. Top them with sour cream, salsa, guacamole, the possibilities are endless, as with the ingredients you can use inside. This makes a nice, light supper or lunch and are great little finger foods to serve at your next party!
Potato and Chorizo Dobladas
- 1 15-ounce package uncooked Mexican chorizo sausage or soyrizo
2 pounds small potatoes, baby Yukon gold or red skin potatoes
- 10 6-inch flour or corn tortillas
- Grated cheddar cheese
- 1/4 C buttermilk or milk
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped chives (optional)
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- Salt and Pepper
1. Bring a pot of salted water to boil.
2. Quarter your baby potatoes and drop them into the hot water. Let cook for 15-20 minutes until soft.
3. Drain potatoes and mash the potatoes with buttermilk/milk, 1 tbsp of butter, chives, garlic powder, salt and pepper until smooth. Set aside.
4. Heat a non-stick skillet with cooking spray and pan fry the chorizo, breaking them into crumbles.
5. Mix together chorizo and potato mixture.
6. Spread the mixture on a tortilla with a handful of cheese.
7. Lightly coat a non-stick skillet and heat until cheese is melted. Fold the tortilla over and serve.
After Gorges last Saturday, my legs were feeling pretty beat up the next day. Hence, the lack of any sort of movement on Sunday.
Sunday in this order after flying home: brunch, nap for 3 hours, moved from bed to couch for a few hours, prep dinner, eat dinner, watch Game of Thrones premiere, sleep. Yes that is a typical rest day for me, I try my hardest to get away with as little movement as I possibly can.
8 miles/60 minutes/7:30 pace
Surprised by how easy this run and pace felt even though quads were still pretty beat up. Also felt so good to be moving again after being sick all of last week and not running a single mile before Gorges.
12 miles/1:28/7:19 pace with 1 mile pick-up at Mile 10 (usually when I start thinking about all the ways to kill Matt for making me do these pick ups)
7 miles/53 minutes/7:34 pace
10.5 miles at Westridge/1:24/8:00 pace
This is my usual run on Thursday mornings with a great group of friends. We meet at 6:30AM and spend the morning running up and down trails in the Santa Monica Mountains.
4 easy miles/30 minutes/7:30 pace
I don’t usually run on Fridays, so I ran this more out of boredom and having too much free time in the morning. Anyone else do that?
19 miles/2:30/7:53 pace
Slow and steady long road run in Santa Monica with a good mix of hills thrown in. It’s been a while since I’ve done a long run on the road and it’s pretty intimidating since I can’t use the trail as an excuse for going slow.
Followed by one too many drinks at a wedding…
Total miles for the week: 60.5
As with almost all of Rainshadow Running races, Gorge Waterfalls 50K was another bucket list race that I had wanted to do last year. What’s not to love about mossy trails, lush forest, running along the Columbia River, singletrack trails and most of all, waterfalls! I was blown away again by this race organization how they are able to piece together some of the most amazing trails that are sometimes hard/far to get to and create a spectacular course for the runners. I love the low key feel in these races where the R.D. just wants to give the runners a chance to see incredible sights most people wouldn’t be able to see, in most cases, resulting in more elevation gain. Not to mention, probably the best post race party ever. I’ve only done Orcas and this race, but both times they had live music, tons of good food, raffles, homemade pizza located in a great atmosphere to just kick back and relax after the race. I am starting to fill up more of my calendar with their races, so very much looking forward to Winthrop Marathon in June.
Anyways, back to the race. The race sells out FAST (75 minutes this year) and it will probably sell out faster next year so I was very happy to get a spot in the race along with a few friends. The course is an out and back with approximately 6,000 ft of gain, It has 1 major climb (2 miles long), but you hit it on the way back as well. That’s not to say this course is fast at all! I had been sick all week long before going into this race so I took it as a sign to just take it easy. Frankly, I wasn’t even sure I was going to make the trip with how congested I was feeling just a couple days before. I always knew going into this race it would be a fun run for me since Way Too Cool was only 2 weeks before.
We started at Benson State Park, picked up our bibs, met up with Suann, Aron and finally go to meet Jojo! Love it when twitter friends become real life friends. The first mile was on a grassy double track along the road before we hit the parking lot to Multnomah Falls where we started a series of switchbacks on a paved road. I was feeling decent for not having run in a week so I ran most of it and hiked the really steep parts.
When we finally topped out at the top at Mile 4, we were rewarded with a smooth padded dirt trail, heaven. I was looking forward to this smooth cruising for the remainder of the race, but I was so wrong! The smooth trail didn’t even last a mile before the rocks started jutting out of the trail making it hard to run and get even footing.
We had a steep descent twisting and turning into the lush forest, slippery rocks and moss covered the trail, not to mention it ran by some waterfalls making it even more wet. We were running along the edge of some big drop offs making it a little scary to go fast. I usually love cruising downhills, but I had a hard time trying to get good traction on the rocks without wiping out or falling off the edge of the cliff. We even hit a patch on the trail where we had to scramble over rocks, no trail! All the runners gasped when we ran right by one of the biggest waterfalls, Multnomah. It was one of those trail running moments where you can’t believe how incredible nature can be for all your senses and how lucky you are to be running in it.
Picture taken from here.It was really hard to get a picture of the fall in it’s entirety.
The first aid station came into view a little short of 7 miles and just as I was pulling out, Thomas caught up to me. It was nice to catch up and run a few miles with him before he pulled away. The next section was on a rolling trail, the most exciting part was being able to run underneath Ponytail falls! I had seen pictures from this portion of the trail before, but it was so much greater when you see it in person. You could hear the roaring of the water from a quarter mile away and as you approached it, the trail came in right underneath the fall.
The trail was becoming more covered in moss and at times, it was almost impossible to see where the trail was going. I kept a steady pace and chugged along, sometimes getting my foot caught in between the rocks and falling (that’s how uneven the footing was). I was rarely running in a straight line, more like running left to right and constantly looking at the ground to avoid sharp rocks even though I wanted to look around at all the beautiful scenery.
I think all the uneven running really took a toll on my energy later on in the race. We hit the road for about a mile and a half before getting to the second aid station where we would do a short out and back before coming back to the same aid. I could have done without all the road running, but it was nice to be able to run straight and not have to worry about tripping for once. It also gave me a chance to make up some time during these flat road miles.
Upon leaving the second aid, we turned back on the trail and climbed to retrieve a poker chip to make sure you made it to the turnaround point. I saw Matt during the climb looking good and Thomas closer to the turnaround at Elowah Falls. This was the turnaround.
I picked up my chip and headed back down the same trail. I was hoping to fly on the way back down the road since we had a nice tailwind, but my legs were feeling beat up so I did my best to shuffle fast and make it back on the trail. Not even a quarter mile back on the trail, I heard someone whistling to me that I had taken a wrong turn. I yelled out to the guy who was ahead of me as we backtracked our way onto the right trail. This goes to show how hard it is to see the trails here! I was feeling a little light headed and my chest congestion was getting worse, nothing nutrition related. I had to pull off the side of the trail a couple times just to take a couple deep breaths and let the people behind me pass. I knew we had that major climb towards the end so I took my time at the last aid station making sure to eat something and get my water bottle capped off.
The trail was getting more and more crowded as we got near Mulnomah Falls and anywhere close to a trail head. As soon as we started the climb up Mulnomah Falls, I suddenly started feeling really good. Channeling the #WUPower, I made sure every stride up was with purpose and started passing people. Just like at Orcas, my best miles were towards the end going up! It actually felt way better to hike fast than to run. We climbed and climbed over steep rocky trails twisting and turning, occasionally popping out of the trees and getting a great view of the river and the mountains towering about it.
Finally the trail started to level off for a little bit before we started our final descent down to the finish. The descent wasn’t as fast as I would’ve liked because it was so steep and you really had to put on the brakes when making the sharp turns. We ran through the same parking lot from earlier in the day, except this time it was packed with cars and hikers. From there it was a straight shot back to the finish line where I came in 5:23.
Aside from the technical trail, the race was really fun and unlike any other. It’s definitely a course you want to go out and just enjoy with no finishing time in mind. Bring your camera because you can expect some really amazing shots along the way.
*Thanks Matt for taking most of these pictures
Unfortunately, not an April Fools joke.
Since this is the year for bucket list races and PR’s, I found myself without a road marathon for the year (cue frantic online search for local races). I knew I wanted something in the spring because I’m impatient like that and I wanted a course that screams PR, which for me is either completely flat or downhill. I dabbled between Eugene Marathon in April and the OC Marathon the week after in May. I LOVED Eugene from my race experience last year and with proper training, I knew I could do a lot better than my time last year, which was only a couple seconds off from my marathon PR the year before in Santa Barbara. One problem. My race piggy bank was starting to look a little sad (enter searching for a second job, tbd). It’s only the first day of April and I’ve already traveled to Seattle, Sacramento and Portland for races not to mention Sacramento again in May, San Francisco AND Seattle in June, ICELAND in July, Eugene in August and November. Who knows where I’ll be October and December, but it probably won’t be within a 100 mile radius of Los Angeles #firstworldproblems. I’ve been fortunate enough to get a lot of my races comped, but traveling is still a huge expense.
Then this happened
Boom. Done. OC Marathon here I come.
It’s flat, local and I haven’t run it before. Sure, I would much rather be here….
…but that would require all those thing mentioned above that I don’t have right now. Upon deciding on the O.C. marathon, I’ve been doing some online research on training plans which is really strange since I never follow any sort of ‘formal’ plan. Apparently there is no such thing as a 1 month training plan that isn’t labeled ‘suicide attempt’. Since I can’t dedicate 16 weeks to just train for a marathon and frankly right now it is too late for that anyways, I’m going to make it up as I go and pray for the best. So for the next four weeks, I’ll post on here my weekly workouts and runs and hopefully come May 5 I’ll see 3:1X next to my finishing time.