On with the run recap!
Total Distance: 20 miles
Elevation Gain: 3627 feet
Average Pace: 14:23
Starting Temperature: 41° F
Ending Temperature: 52° F
Quote of the Day: “It hurts so good!”
· Fruity Cheerios with almond milk
· Starbucks Caramel Macchiato, grande
· Mayesa, Cacao Original
· 64 oz water
· 10 Metasalt Capsules
· Quaker Chewy Bar, Oatmeal Raisin
· Quaker Chewy Bar, Dark Chocolate Cherry
· Mayesa, Cacao Mint
Immediate Post-run Consumption
· 8 oz water
· ½ of a Honey Stinger Waffle, Vanilla
· Dos Equis
The morning started off less than ideal. My daughter was not interested in dream feeding so I had to pump. Of course none of my boobie pump parts were clean so I had to clean those suckers up. There’s 5 minutes gone. Then my letdown was being more than stubborn so my usual 5 minute pump took close to 15 minutes. Drag! There was no way I was gonna hook up with my running group at SDRI before they left. Still in PJs I grabbed my gear (smartly tossing it all in a bag the night before) and started the over one hour drive to Anza-Borrego State Park. A Starbucks stop was in order…another 10 minutes wasted. By the time I got to the Sunset Trailhead the rest of the Dirt Devils were chomping at the bit to go. I ducked behind my truck and changed out of my PJs into my running gear (sans technical socks – drat!) in the crisp 40-degree air. I was hurriedly cramming my trail goodies into my backpack as most of the Dirt Devils took off. Two guys stayed behind to help me catch up to the pack. I had never run this trail so I am incredibly thankful for them.
At about 2 miles one of the girls took a stumble that ended her run that day. The timing was unfortunately fortunate as there was only a half mile or so shortcut back to the cars. Alternating shoulder carrying and piggybacking four of us helped her along the single track back. Hobbling back on her own could have caused further injury so we were more than happily obliged to assist her. I believe she is okay although I don’t know the extent of her injury.
Back on track now and ready to get grooving we entered the overgrown brush. Lesson: Get a good trail description before heading out. I wore my Moeben technical dress with compression shorts and my bare legs got scratched up over the next few miles. It took a good mental block to ignore the increasing intensity of the scratches. I blissfully ignored the fact that I would have to run through the same brush on the way back.
A much needed jeep trail section was next. One other Dirt Devil was keeping the same pace as me and was game for hitting 20 miles that day even though the others were doing 17 miles. The miles down toward the desert floor went by rapidly thanks to great conversation. It was refreshing talking to someone who shared the same attachment parenting values that I held. On the way down we passed the leader group heading back up and quickly were forewarned about the “death march”. Wonderful. We kept running only stopping for a photo op when the view was too beautiful to pass. We passed the 8.5 mile turn-a-round and kept going to 10. The desert floor was so close and incredibly tempting to run down and touch but I wanted to finish this run in good form. I don’t want to exhaust myself on training runs. My goal for each training run is to be able to feel like I can run another 10% of the miles I just did. Turns out that my new running buddy’s longest run before today was 16 miles so we agreed it would be best that the desert would have to wait for another day.
My left toenail was now bothering me a tad from the beating it took coming down. Lesson: Trim toenails before hitting the trails. Pain aside we turned around to start the death march. More parental talk and me spewing about my depressing Peace Corps experience had made the death march somewhat more bearable.
Conquering the death march was a great feeling but knowing that I had to pass through the brush again…not so much. We opted for a little stretch out first. My hamstrings were pretty stiff and took a couple minutes to relax. At the start of my run I could touch the ground with my full palms.
I pushed through the thorns and no lie, it hurt. Between my thorn aversion, walking the ups, my partner’s calf cramps, and a few stumbles over roots with now heavy feet the last 5 miles took one and a half hours to finish. Could we have pressed it? Sure but neither of us wanted to feel crummy the rest of the day. There came a point though where we entered a sharp switchback and we stopped and stood there wondering how could the trail just end like this. Turned around and (derp!) there it was heading clear the other way. Lacid had finally made her appearance and apparently she is related to Elmer Fudd – I vewy much wuv wunning! Huh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uh!
Now, as far as any breastfeeding concerns I have, I pushed the limit on this run and will have to pump for any distance longer. I really should have pumped before driving home but I didn’t think to bring my electric pump. Instead I opted for a nursing vacation the rest of the day. I felt noticeably less “full” but my daughter reversed cycled that day with no problem and the day after I feel "full" again. Although I don’t like using it I bought a manual pump that fits in my backpack so I can pump at the turn-around during the race. Maybe I can find a way to have someone bring my electric pump to the race aid station.
Overall it was a great run and I want to run it one more time in mid-February and touch the desert floor. As I said before, after running directly on the Oriflamme course my confidence has spiked. I know what the worst section is and I can handle it. The portion I didn’t cover is a little bit more death march and flat desert and totally doable. This will be great!