despite getting in the miles the sad truth is i'm not spending enough time on trails. plain and simple fact is to prepare for a trail marathon you need to train on trails. all of my long runs have mostly taken place on the road. i'm slow on the road and even slower on the trails. still, there's a notable difference between road miles vs trail miles.
i didn't choose an easy 1st marathon. 26.2 trail miles is going to be tough and if i come in under 6 hours i'd be thrilled....i'd also be dreaming...under 8 hours is more likely...i wonder if there is a cut-off?... lucky for me the dick collins 50 miler is going on at the same time!
sunday i returned Tilden with a plan to head over to Sibley. i decided to give Galloway's run 7 minutes walk 1 minute approach a try. it felt awkward for quite awhile and it took me some time to settle into any kind of pace. sometimes depending on how far i got i would be walking flats and running hills. i wondered if the approach would work on such erratic terrain. i kept this up until Steam Train. (the 1st AS @ 3.6 mi)
upon entering sibley, walk breaks became more frequent and longer, so much that i abandon the whole notion of even trying to run. the hills are tough. the descents are too. this is a pretty technical section. i am not fast on these descents at all. and am reduced to carefully climbing down "steps" of heavy roots spreadout over a bed of sharp rocks jutting out of the ground.
following the tricky decent there's a good stretch of flat single track before you come to a bridge. this is the start of a good long steep hill with a last little climb right at the end before you arrive to the Sibley Volcanic Traihead(the 2nd AS @ 7.7 mi) i arrive in exactly 2 hours. about 30 mins. slower that when i ran more and walked hills only...but i felt considerably fresher. i rested for a good bit before heading back. more walking than running. it took me 2 hours to get back. last time it took 2.5 hrs to get back and i felt awful.
when i got to Lone Oak the first thing i noticed although i was tired i wasn't whooped. walking early and often seems to make a difference. same with fluids. lastime i did this run i was also on the brink of getting really sick. so i felt great this time in comparison.
i plan to do this again on wednesday starting from Lone Oak and ending at Big Bear Station. T will follow me to BBS to drop my car off and then take me to Lone Oak. i should be on the trail by 10 am and get to Big Bear in time to p/u M from camp (i've got till 6pm!)that gives me 7 hours to cover 17 miles.