Sunday, 8 May 2011

A road to the sky and Miwok Indians

OK, so the ride of the Camino Cielo went great. The climb up from the town is about 3500ft in 6 to 7 miles along the Gibraltar Road. For the most part it was well graded and an “in saddle” job rather than standing on the pedals. I didn’t take a time for just the climb but that might be a good thing because I have since discovered that Lance Armstrong and the Discovery team used to train on this climb and also that its part of a century ride in which the leading riders complete the ascent in around 40 minutes. I think I was a little more pedestrian than that!!

The reward – a ride along the rolling ridge for several miles was sweet and the descent of “Painted Cave” road was steep and, in parts, a bit rough but nothing worse than I am used to on Staffordshire lanes so I was surprised to read that the
Painted Cave descent is a bit notorious for being dangerous. Maybe that’s true if you have confidence – I just took it all at snail’s pace.

That was at the beginning of the week since when my explorations of the local area have continued a little, my collection of poison oak itches
and scratches has grown a little and my cough has slowly improved. I’ll admit to a great degree of frustration – training this spring has gone really well and I was looking forward to really pushing for a good time at Fellsman next Saturday. Of course I will be there but I really feel that the chest infection of the past 2 weeks has scuppered my chances of doing the kind of time I was looking for. Still, it is what it is and I just need to keep the focus and make the most of the fitness I hope I have developed.

5:40am beach start for the 400+ Miwok 100km runners

This weekend was fun – pacing Krissy Moehl at the 100km Miwok race in the Marin Headlands just north of San Francisco. I did this race in 2009 and it was truly, awfully wet and cold. Wasn’t supposed to be, in fact I had been warned it might be really hot but, on the day, mild hypothermia was the result and a finish in just under 10 hours. Almost identical, in fact, to the time Krissy posted yesterday. She had high hopes of a win and maybe a course record but nausea decided to have a say in the matter and it seemed that the course changes had made things harder as neither the men or the women approached record times.

Race leaders still packed together at mile 41
Still, super fun to see the racing, great to spend some time with Krissy and watch the single minded determination that has seen her win UTMB and many other races and good to catch up with Topher, Kim and other running friends over here.

Ian Sharman - fastest 100 miler on US soil (12hrs 44mins!) scores a top 10 spot as Elvis

So, next Saturday is the Fellsman. I was going to suggest some odds for leading men and women but since the start list is not available I will just state the blindingly obvious which is that Jez has to be favourite in the men – part of his build up for Western States in about 6 weeks and Nicky Spinks is looking pretty invincible for the ladies. I believe that Duncan Harris is unfortunately side-lined with injury and yours truly is certainly making excuses about the recent illness but will probably still push for a time that starts with 10 somthing to improve on last year’s 11.30 Let’s see – as I understand it the conditions are pretty dry underfoot so if it’s not too hot, it could be a fast one.


Alex Gillespie said...

Great post. Saw you tagged in a facebook photo and realised you were blogging again. Am relatively new to longer distance running after running the London marathon this year for the 1st time. Will keep reading, and build up towards my first ultra later this year!

All the best.

ann said...

I'm in awe of anybody even tackling this sort of distance.
I aspire to do the London Marathon one day (although I had better hurry up and do something about it!) but this makes it seem like a stroll to the corner shop.