Monday, June 21, 2010

I Went to a Race and a Hill Broke Out

Here’s my video recap. Got rid of my Heeby-Jeebies (thanks Little Richard!)

Since my little escapade called the Laguna Hills Half Marathon, I’ve been itching to get a longer race under my belt that I could finish on my terms. So, on Saturday, I was looking forward to my next little adventure – The Billy Goat Half Marathon Hill Climb.

I left the house at 6:45. Forty five minutes later, I arrived at my destination under bright sunny skies. I checked in, grabbed my Ink n’ Burn race shirt and bib, and joined the rest of the throngs of people milling around the start line.


I grabbed half a muffin and checked the official race clock. Damn! 35 minutes to wait until start time. Eat your heart out Rock n’ Roll.

P6190047I downed 3 Endurolyte caps about 30 minutes prior to the start. Unlike Laguna Hills, I *did* have a race plan this time. There were two aid stations on the course – one at around mile 3 (going up)/ mile 10 (coming down) and one at the turnaround point. I had a gel and 3 Endurolyte capsules for each stop. My pacing plan was to average a pace of 15:00 on the way up, and around 10:00 on the way down.

Finally, 5 minutes before start time, the Race Director climbed onto his podium and delivered his stirring pre-race briefing.

P6190051Then we were off. The climb started pretty quickly. After all, we *were* climbing 2400 feet in 6 and a half miles – right around 360 feet per mile. If you ran the Orange County Marathon, that’s like climbing the hill that comes out of the Back Bay – constantly for 6 and a half miles. Or if you’ve run the AFC in San Diego, it’s the equivalent of the final hill. For 6.5 miles. The climb was just that – steep and consistent. It wasn’t long before the pack (all 100 or so of us) started stringing out along the course. I took my place toward the back of the pack and slowed down as my heart rate raced. While I wanted to finish in 2:45 or so, I also was not interested in blowing up in the early stages of the race. I pushed forward in a slow jog/walk and pulled into the first aid station at 49:08.

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The aid station was like a desert oasis. Gatorade and water. In cups. With ice. Cold. Soothing. Endurolytes. Hammer gel. Pretzels. Candy. I could have stopped and spent the rest of the morning there. But, I had a hill to climb, so after three minutes to bring my heart rate down to a manageable level, I took off and headed up the hill.

The climb was never ending. How some of these people do it is beyond me. I passed through four miles and ran into the first vestiges of trees. Finally shade! That also meant that we had pretty much climbed around 1700 feet. Yikes! Then I saw them. Absolutely sick. The leaders were on their way down. It was absolutely amazing. Here I am huffing and puffing my way past four miles, and they were at mile 9. How do they do it? How do they make it look so effortless?

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Of course, what’s really sick is when you see the old people coming down. Like Doug Malewicki, who just celebrated his 71st birthday. That’s right – that’s not a typo.

P6190067I continued plodding up the hill. By now the dry scrub and brush had turned into  pine forest. It was pretty hard to believe that this was less than an hour from the beach.

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I pulled into the aid station at the top at 1:48. Nine minutes behind plan. Not bad at all. The setup here was the same as the previous aid station. I quaffed copious amounts of ice cold Gatorade, and downed probably four to five cups of cold water while washing down my Endurolytes and Gu. Eight minutes later, it was time to head back down the hill. It was such a shame to leave such a beautiful spot on the mountain.

The way down was pretty uneventful. Or maybe just like any other race, I was ready for it to be done. A small uphill (translation – walk) at mile 8, and then a steady pace downhill. I never reached my 10:00 plan, because somehow I ended up with blisters on my way up. One on each foot made it painful as I headed on down. I pulled into the aid station at mile 10 at 2:34, grabbed some cold water, downed my last three Endurolytes, inhaled some salty snacks, and looked forward to dropping the last 1400 feet to the finish. Except for maybe the beehives. You could hear them buzzing. No pee stop here!

P6190081I headed past the finish line in 3:14 (Garmin time) for an average of 14:09 per mile. That was about 1:30 per mile off my planned pace, but frankly, my 4 minutes at aid station 1, 7 minutes at aid station 2, and 3 more minutes at aid station 3 did that goal in. If I wouldn’t have stopped, I would have been :30 off my planned pace. But then, I wouldn’t have enjoyed the company of my fellow Trailheadz at each of the stations. If you ask me, it was well worth the extra minute.

Then the best part of these small friendly races. The grill was going and the burgers were smelling mighty good! I inhaled a cheeseburger (Hey! I was allowed!) and some super delish green tea ginger ale. Finally, I fought the non-existent crowds, waited in the non-existent line for the post race shuttles, and put the top down for a beautiful drive home on a Southern California Saturday afternoon!

P6190083 Oh yeah – it *was* “Just One Hill”!

Running Indian Truck Trail 6-19-2010, Elevation - Distance

ETP Day 5 (Friday): Scheduled rest day. Did my scheduled rest. Calorie budget of 1979 was over shot by 321 calories. Dang that extra (but tasty) lamb burger!

ETP Day 6 (Saturday): Ran 13.76 miles, .25 short of plan. Calorie budget of 1979 plus 2106 for running allowance for a total of 4085 allowed. Total eaten was 3580 for a deficit of 505.

  • Training budget variance week to date: –0.25 miles
  • Calorie budget variance week to date: –1284 calories


  1. Very nice recap! I ran a half in Arizona in March that was just like this - 6 1/2 up and 61/2 down. I had no idea Arizona had hills...

  2. Oh my lordy, that's one big hill climb! I LIKE it :)!! I always think these races aren't about time but about the personal growth you gain from doing them! I guess if you're some sort of part mountain goat, then you can, but it's so much fun to enjoy, which you certainly did! Glad you had a great time, Glenn, sound heavenly! And btw, those amazing trails in the mountain with the beach 45 minutes away is why you pay a heafty price tag to live there. Which I'm totally envious, of course!! Have a great week!! :)

  3. WOW! That race sounds awesome! Great job, you must feel great. You totally deserved that cheeseburger! Love the photos. Smaller races are so nice!

  4. Way to go! What a massive hill to tackle, in the blazing sun no less! Great job Glenn. Awesome recap!

  5. Yeah, only one hill, what is the big deal - right? Amazing.

  6. Great recap, loved the video and great job out there!!!

  7. The video is incredible! I loved the soundtrack and the recap. Thanks!

  8. I LOVE trail races! Love them!!! Road races are just becoming so...hmmm.

    I would have attempted this race if I didnt have that stupid photo shoot! But it looked like it was kinda sunny and warm! Yeah, my FAVORITE conditions!!

  9. What a great run! I can't believe that hill, one hill?! Crazy. I recognize the girl in your picture with #5, she's at all of the trail races, super nice lady!
    Glad you had so much fun, it looked tough and challenging but fun!
    Way to break up your running, Glenn!

  10. OMG! I can't believe you ran that! I got all hot and sweaty just looking at the video. Looks to me like you did a great job and the video and race report are excellent! Cheers!

  11. Glen you have got to be the most coordinated runner I KNOW!

  12. Have you noticed that small nuisances like bees and uneven terrain don't elicit the kind of complaints that even less significant obstacles do in road races. That's why I love a good trail run, and this one sounds like an ideal one.

  13. 1) Thanks for teaching me something new. I've never heard of this Heebie Jeebie song before.

    2) Amazing job done by you! Reading you describe this as similar to that little hill out of Back Bay or the hill at AFC does not make me want to run this anytime soon...haha.

    3) Those are some great descriptive photos. Thanks for taking them as I can imagine how hard it is to run and snap photos at the same time. Hope those blisters heal up soon.

  14. Great video recap! Wow- I could've used that race as a workout for sure! Nice job out there!

  15. Now that's a hill Glenn! Nice one to test out the legs. Just think, slap another 3100' onto where you topped out and you could be at our doorstep :-) Of course we can't run back down that hill and jump in the ocean - advantage Glenn on that one! Have a great week.

  16. wow this is so beyond impressive. that you could even estimate a goal time is insane. my goal would be to survive and not have my dying carcass picked apart by vultures. :p great job!!

  17. Hi Glenn,
    Way to be a super star! That race looks like it was alot of fun! thanks so much for sharing all of the pictures and I love the video!

  18. Wow, that's a hill! Sometimes it's better to enjoy the ride than it is to speed through it. It looked like a great place to run!

  19. yowzers. for someone who's been feeling slumpy lately... you sure tackled it head-on!! i know i'm still a delusional runner when i'm actually jealous of you running this race...

  20. awesome music for an awesome run !
    way to go glenn !!


  21. Awesome job, those hills look very...hilly!

    Gotta love the trail stress!