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Archives for the day Wednesday, April 21st, 2010

I’m running the Wildcat Half Marathon trail race this Saturday, so my mind continues to wander towards the topic of trail running quite a bit throughout the day.  What’s going to happen on Saturday?  Have I prepared properly? Am I going to suffer more than I expect?

The training is done, so I’ll find out how well prepared I am when it comes down to race time on Saturday.  I’ve learned some tricky little lessons while running in the Coyote Hills and Marin Headlands during training runs leading up to the Oakland Half Marathon — and can’t wait to see how badly my legs explode on Saturday morning.

This recent blog posted on lists the basics of trail racing, why usual pacing speeds can be forgotten about, and how to properly refuel and hydrate during the event.

Certain races are completely unsupported; participants are expected to carry all of their own calories and water or at least arrange their own support crew. At the other end are the bigger ultras, where aid stations look like the Saturday night buffet at a Las Vegas casino… everything from soup to baked potatoes to lasagne.  Most races fall somewhere in between these two extremes, but racers need to be mindful that locating an aid station in a place without access roads or running water can be challenging and amenities may not be available at conventional intervals. Check your race’s website or email the race director for information on the locations of aid on the course.

I plan on carrying my Fuel Belt Sahara (22 oz.) Palm Holder during the race, so I have some water between aid stations.  This is my first trail race, but I’ve learned what it’s like to be thirsty and hungry on long runs — and I’ve also listened to race experiences from Ted and other trail runners.

Regardless of the pain I’ll be in on Saturday, I can’t wait for the experience.

Thanks to @iRunNation for originally posting the link on Twitter.  I highly recommend following @iRunNation and occasionally visiting the Web site, as it has a good amount of useful information.

This post is not just for the Alameda runners.  It is for everyone who gets out to do things.  If you enjoy using parks, trails and running areas, you should make your voice heard.  We are going to visit Frank Matarrese (who hopes to become mayor of Alameda) to ask for  his assistance in getting us access to our local community college track.  We understand that using this track is a privilege and not a right.  It would be a right if we paid for it but we did not.  If you want something that you think may be a privilege for the public, you will have to work for it.  Realize the political world moves very slowly and you have to be patient.

I am not asking anyone to vote for Frank.  I am asking everyone to get involved in the process.  So far, Frank has done his part and we are doing ours.  It may or may not end up with us being allowed to use the track but we are trying.

We are going to visit Frankformayor at one of his campaign events on Thursday, April 22, from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.   It will be located at the High Street Station Cafe 1303 High Street at Encinal Ave., in Alameda.  Come join us in our quest to open the track.  It will also give you a great insight into your election process by actually working with one of the candidates in a cause.

This weekend I’m running the Wildcat Half Marathon hosted by Brazen Racing, a tough race that will be my second half marathon.  It takes place in the Wildcat Canyon Regional Park, which will provide tough terrain but extremely scenic views.

I recently interviewed Sam (the boss man at Brazen), and the article can be found here.

Brazen will also host a 10K and 5K on Saturday morning, though I already decided to extend the punishment my legs will get by signing up for the half.  The half marathon course is mainly fire trails in the park, with 2,204′ of total elevation gain for everyone running 13.1 miles.

I’ve enjoyed all of the trail runs I’ve done in the past (even though I’m still new to running in general), and know that this will be a great challenge on Saturday.  I had a blast helping pace people during the Oakland Half Marathon — I hope I’m able to remember the lessons learned from that day.

For example, I know I have to run at my own pace, don’t speed up even if I’m feeling good, and stay hydrated.  I know what it feels like to crack, but I’ve learned to do a better job of controlling it.

I just confirmed with Sam that spots are still available in the race, with race day registration also open to interested procrastinators.