Thursday, October 21, 2010

Trails and mud- where to run?!

The past few weeks have been crazy during the week but I've kept with the mantra that some miles are better than no miles; I've been getting 3-4 5 milers in during the week and making each run hilly.  I'm running Garmin-less on most runs and loving the freedom of just enjoying running.  I planned on getting in long trail runs (making up miles) on the weekends and, for multiple reasons, things have not gone according to plan. 

A couple of weeks ago, Alan and I headed out for a 20 miler, his distance PR, in Laguna Coast Wilderness Park and El Moro Canyon.  I had 3 climbs planned for it, attempting to prepare us for the climbs we will do in less than a month.  However, Alan had not run much for two weeks and his legs tightened up after the second climb.  He decided to tough it out and finish the distance as long as I made it a little easier; we ended up walking much of the last 8 miles but finished in about 4 hours and 45 minutes, which was pretty good considering how much we walked and how little he ran the previous two weeks.  I figured that we would get in a good 22 miler last weekend to make up for it....

However, the misty ran began Friday night and made the trails increasing muddy Saturday morning.  While I found conditions good- slightly muddy but still runnable- Alan did not agree.  After 4 miles of a predominately downhill run into El Moro, he said he couldn't do the distance on trails because it was too slippery.  I thought through the options and, since I did not have road shoes in the car and running in Cascadias on pavement/concrete makes my calf and knee injury worse, went with the idea Alan liked we ran down PCH and walked up Newport Coast Drive and Ridge Park (a good 1000 foot climb) to the car.  Less than 10 miles total and definitely not what we needed to prepare for a 50K.  But a happy Alan makes for a happy Rachel and I hoped for better weather for this weekend.  Sometimes, I a little too optimistic. :)

This week of rain makes this weekend's run hard to plan.  I know that we need to get in 20+ miles on trails (not roads)- partially because the race is less than a month away and we are running out time and partially because I know that 20 miles on pavement is harder on the body and we haven't been running long distances on pavement.  The trails I know best will be muddy this weekend so I'm considering taking Alan up the Harding Truck Trail.  It would be my first time running it but I've heard it holds up well in rainy conditions and I'm hoping it's not too muddy.  Instead of climbing all the way up, a 9 mile uphill that I doubt I can handle, I would have us walk/jog up about 3.5 miles and then run down and repeat 2 times.  Fingers crossed this plan works. If all goes well, I'll post some pics. :) 
-Any ideas for trails that are not too muddy are VERY welcome!