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Friday, May 11, 2012

2012 Quests

Unlike previous years, I did not decide on my races or any other running goals at the beginning of 2012.  It has taken me until May to mark out my quests for the year.  Some of them I have already conquered – of course Calico, my favorite race of the year, Horsethief Repeats, Meadows Repeats, Big Baz’s 21k and his SJT 50k as well.  But more than half of 2012 remains.  And thus, I decided to get my “list” down.

These are my quests for the remainder of 2012:

1) Tides to Towers Run (A run from my house down to the beach to the Towers on Santiago Peak) 29+ miles

2) A Tides to Towers and back to Tides Run, 58 miles

3) Nanny Goat’s 24 Hour Trail Race, end of May, to benefit the Wounded Warriors (see right top Current Project for my pledge page)

4)  Camp Pendleton Mud Run; I had sworn off mud runs a while back, but with two friends running it, I decided to go ahead and get muddy in 2012.  Plus, Camp Pendleton has great runs.

5) Twin Peaks Ultra, 50 miles in the Saddleback mountains with 15,000’+ of elevation gain (yikes).  I’ve got some time – October 13.

6)  Not sure yet, but if I can afford it, I have an “F” (as in DNF),  that I’d like to make up by running the Bulldog 50k in August. (This will take some heat training).

7) And though I’m not yet registered, I definitely plan on running the Saddleback Marathon again this year in November. (This is my 2nd favorite race of the year).

8) And finally . . . run 2,000 annual miles.

As far as number of races, 2012 does not have a great number, especially compared to previous years.  But the overall difficulty of my quests is much greater than all my trail running years combined.  I need to get into the best shape of my life for Twin Peaks, which calls for some life adjustments, which I can gladly make, but lack the discipline thus far.  Yes, I’m 47.  But I can get into the best shape of my life because you see, my prior “best shape of my life,” I was in my late twenties and a non-runner.  I would do anything NOT to run.  And though I was a swimmer back then (5 days a week, 5:30 in the morning before work) and did aerobic dance in the evenings, I was also immature (very) and I was a SMOKER.  Therefore, I think I can smoke my prior “best shape in my life.”   I am not questing the impossible.

The week after Nanny Goat, I will begin a rigid training plan to get myself ready.  I hope to drop 20 pounds by the end of summer as well, and get myself on a diet richer in fruits and vegetables. 

Twin Peaks is why I’m running runs like I ran this morning (and this afternoon – I got a late morning start, and didn’t finish until about 2:30 pm).  My plan for today’s run:  up and down, up and down, up and down, up and down.  I ran up steep inclines, ran down technical downhills, then back up again.  I pretty much zig-zagged Aliso / Wood Canyons (though the satellite doesn’t look much like a zig-zag).  I enjoyed myself immensely.  More importantly, I planned my fluids perfectly.  And even more importantly than that, I finished with “gas still in the tank.”  That means I CAN WORK HARDER.  I just need the discipline to push myself more. 

Scenes from my 18 mile zig-zag run through Aliso/Wood Canyons:

Running up Mentally Sensitive (the first incline on the elevation profile below):

Enjoying the ridiculously steep run up:

Top of the World after clothing adjustments and a snack:

Chased this gopher snake down on Park Avenue Nature Trail (sorry little buddy, I just wanted a picture):

Running down Car Wreck Trail:

Running up Mathis:

A Brand New Bridge on Coyote Run Trail:

Running up the steps on Wood Creek:

Just in time to snap a photo of this rattler on the final stretch of this 18 mile run (last mile, on Aliso Creek Trail):

Satellite:My Activities Aliso Wood Zig-Zag Loop 5-11-2012

+3,027’ (922.63m) elevation gain / 18.03 miles (29k):My Activities Aliso Wood Zig-Zag Loop 5-11-2012, Elevation - Distance


  1. I might have just wet my pants looking at that last snake pic. I dont know how you do it!

    You are looking so energized lately.

    1. Thanks Khourt. I really don't mind snakes. It's those pesky cougars and tiny ticks that scare me to death : )