Had the "Official" training run for the TRT Ultra today. They had called this a 25 miler, but really, it was up to you what you decided to run. Some people did the 25, some turned back a little early, and some added on the infamous Red House loop, making 32 miles and pretty much the same course as the 50k race. I was one of those people - for some reason, I thought I should see what that part of the course was like, since I'd never been on it. It was BRUTAL. But, let me start at the beginning...
You can tell they got a pretty good turnout - this parking are and the one across the street were full, and people were parking on the edge of the road.
We started out and headed down to Spooner Lake - here's a blurry running shot of a bunch of us:
After Spooner we did a 4-mile climb up to Marlette Lake, and I ran with a couple of people - girl named Casey (sp?) from Cool, and an, um, talkative guy from Reno named Eric. Very nice people - in fact, everyone I talked to all day was very nice, helpful, and encouraging. Here's Casey and Eric heading the last stretch into Marlette:
A couple miles uphill to an aid station, then some more up to this view:
(Normally, this would have a shining blue Lake Tahoe in the right background. Not today. Couldn't even see the lake in the morning, although it cleared a bit later.)
It was here that my camera battery died, too, so no more pictures. Sorry. I wasn't really up for taking many more anyway, as it turned out...
I somehow lost the people I was running with around here, and made it to the next aid station alone. It was here that some (most?) people turned back to make a 25 mile day, but I convinced myself I wanted to take a look at the 6-mile Red House loop. Hooked up with a very nice guy, Jim from San Rafael, who seemed to know the way pretty well. Here' what the Red House loop consists of: STRAIGHT downhill for a mile or so, on loose sand. Nice loop of maybe 3-4 miles, passing said Red House. STRAIGHT up the loose sandy hill you came down. That hill killed me - I walked, slowly up it, pausing for a few seconds to rest every time there was a shade tree. Back to the aid station, where I tried to pull it together for the - jeez, losing track here - 15 miles back in? Picked up running with a couple of guys that were going to do the 100 miler, Greg and Travis (I think - I'm bad with names.) They were going a good pace for me at this point. Made it with them to the last aid station, 9 miles from the finish, where we learned they were out of water. Hot, dry 9 miles in. I walked A LOT of it. Ran out of water about 4 miles out. But made it.
Couldn't eat anything at the barbecue afterwards, barely got down some water and a Sprite. Had a HUGE calf cramp while taking of my shoes; clenched for like 30 painful seconds until it released. Stopped in Incline for an energy drink on the way home; I think caffeine and taurine were pretty much responsible for me getting home. Cold bath, pizza and Aleve tonight. Not looking forward to tomorrow morning...
Really glad that one of the aid stations had sample packs of electrolyte tablets - I think that saved me a bit. Going to have to find some more of those for the race.
Oh, and here's a link to the Garmin Connect page for this run. 7:42. Wow, that's a long time. Average pace of 14:30. Lots of stopping at aid stations and walking up hills.