Monday, September 13, 2010


1. strong or violent change or disturbance, as in a society: the upheaval of war.
Like when your entire life is about to change...
I got a package from FedEx last week containing a 2" thick 3-ring binder containing my training materials for the State Park Ranger/Lifeguard academy as well as a list of uniform items I needed to buy and a report date and time. Unless something completely unexpected happens, I'm taking the State job. After talking it over with Holly and doing all the math regarding malpractice insurance, student loans, yadda, yadda; I decided that I'd take the Parks job if it was offered to me, but wouldn't re-apply since the retirement is about to change for the new hiring list. Decision made; time to get on with life.
Labor Day weekend Holly and I headed out to the Laguna mountains to pre-run the middle section of the Noble Canyon 50K course. Since 5 miles of it is the Pacific Crest Trail and closed to bicycles, I wanted to see it before race day. Did I leave out the part about how I'm racing this year? My bad.
Way less people than I expected and always friggin' gorgeous out there. Looking East towards the desert below.
The course gets STEEP in parts. Glad we took the time to pre-run.

Big Laguna Trail turn off. The descending technically starts here (mile 15 or so), but BLT rolls quite a lot and it's impossible to get into any kind of rhythm. That section is going to be the most physically and mentally challenging, I think .

On BLT headed back to Penny Pines. Lots of cows.

This past weekend, Holly and I headed up to Bonelli Regional Park for the last stop on the US Cup Series for 2010 and the CA State Championships. Athlete Kerry Waldman came back from a back strain 6 weeks ago to take the State Title, the Hard Charger Award and the US Cup Series win. Way to go Kerry! His team, Rodder Racing, had a stellar weekend with Scott and Matt taking 3rd in their respective classed (Scott wound up 12th overall!) at the Racers and Chasers 50 miler. Team mate James finished his first 50-miler in 6 hours. Way to go team!

We got there way too early and wound up sitting around for hours. It was nice seeing Kerry win and visiting with friends, but the extra sleep would have been nice. With a 1:45 Pro/Cat 1 start, it got HOT out in San Dimas: 87deg, by race start and 20 deg, warmer than the past week at home. Oof.

Looking at the sign, figuring out my leg marking: lucky number 7. 

Justin at the start. All of 8 weeks back on the bike after a crash that left him with a fractured neck and patella. Really happy to see him on two wheels again and proud to have him "gimp" me in the race. Solid work, man. 

Allison on the start line fresh off her first race at world Championships and a night of Sake shots. That explains the yawn. Ha!

Justin coming through on lap one, I think. He and I were in a group of 4-5 about 60 secs off the leaders, but I lost them when I dropped my chain. He'd go on to finish 4th. STUD.

Me coming through early in the race. Still "in it" from the looks of the picture, but I had no idea on placing the entire race. Hammer down and "doin' work" the whole time. It hurt. 

These photos are out of order. Allison started in front of us and I never caught her. I managed to catch Joy and Heather, but Allison beat my overall time by almost 15 minutes. Girl is on fire and picked up the Pro State Championship. Wow!

Somewhere around lap 3or 4 judging by how spread out the field is and by how beat tired I look. Not even the Donut socks could help me.

Steph catching Pro Joy Duerksen (sorry Joy!) late in the race. Pros did 5 laps, Steph's cat did 4. Steph picked up a State Champ jersey as did her husband, Dan. I'm beginning to think it was the Sake shots the night before. Hmmm...

Late in the race and just trying to keep the pedals turning. I was starting to cramp and alternating using my quads and hamstrings so neither muscle group would cramp. I sucked my chain into my rear wheel on the final short, steep climb about 1/2 mile from the finish. I thought about running, but the wheel wouldn't roll with the chain jammed the way it was. No choice but to pry it out. Don't think I lost any places in my class since the guy in front was 8 mins up on me.

Finishing up. Totally shelled. Actual time was 1:53.24 since I started 4 mins after the pros and the clock start. I feel more fit than last year's Incycle XC Challenge. but I'm not sure a comparison is valid since the courses were run in opposite directions. All I know is that I hung in with the front group for about 50 minutes this year compared to 5 minutes last year. I'm calling it an improvement.

Time to put the finishing touches on my run fitness: 12 days left before my first Ultra Marathon. YIKES!