Finally…some distance!

24 08 2008

At long last – was finally able to do a “long” run for the first time since Burning River.  “Long” meaning 15 miles…laughable, I know, but I’ve been getting some “issues” straightened out.  Today I headed out with my friend Jill for a truly enjoyable 15 miler up at Daley Ranch in Escondido.  I’ve run here a bunch of times by myself, as it’s one of the only real “safe” places to go trail running alone.  Of course, even alone, I’ve nearly stepped on rattlesnakes, but we’re not going to go there today…

I met Jill at 6:30 am in the parking lot.  She had already completed 5 miles before I arrived (I’m jealous of those early morning miles in the dark!) and we headed out immediately onto the trail.  Great weather (overcast for most of the run) and great conversation predominated throughout.  I’ve only recently realized how fantastic it is to have company on long runs.  I trained alone for years through my first marathon and my first year of running ultras; I sort of just accepted the loneliness and convinced myself that I was stronger for training like the Lone Ranger.  Of course, this was probably just to cover up the fact that I was dying to meet some training buddies!  Denial’s always fun, isn’t it?

I’m very grateful now to have made some new training friends…Jill, you rock!  Thanks for today!

Ultra Jilly in front of the old tank, Daley Ranch

Ultra Jilly in front of the old tank, Daley Ranch

One inspiring moment today happened when we met a 73 (!) year old runner on the trail.  I think his legs were waaaay more buff than mine will ever be.  (What’s up with that?  Different genetic material?)  We traded some running stories and had a couple of laughs.  Jill and I left and I immediately said, “OK, that guy officially qualifies as a bad-ass.”  Seriously.  He was just running up a steep incline that I’d probably choose to powerhike.  Did I say 73 years old??!!  Let’s hope I’m still WALKING at 73.  Geez.

Sometimes I take the scenery here in San Diego County for granted, having lived in southern California now since 1994.  Even a little trail run like today’s at Daley Ranch has spectacular dramatic beauty – nothing like you’d see back in Ohio (that’s just a different kind of beauty, reserved for those who like rolling corn fields).  Check out the view from the top of Stanley Peak, looking out over the clouds.  Mount Woodson and Cuyamaca Peak were visible in the distance.  Too cool!

early morning from the top of Stanley Peak, over the clouds

early morning from the top of Stanley Peak, over the clouds

I felt great during most of the run today, despite some cramping at mile 14 (mild dehydration).  Looks like I’m getting my stomach issues squared away as there were no running into the woods moments this morning.  I have to say that Imodium is a beautiful thing – if any of you fellow ultrarunners have tummy issues, I highly recommend trying a dose of this before a long trail run.  Emailed my coach as soon as I got home, in hopes that he might up my training mileage for next week.  Gotta get over that 20 mile hump for a Saturday run ASAP or else I might go insane!  And I’m just dying to sign up for a new race…am thinking about doing the 12 hour option for the San Francisco One Day.  Let’s hope Coach gives me the green light!



2 responses

24 08 2008
Ultra Jilly

Great post Steph!! That fuel tank is huge! The mileage just few by with your company and great mentioning George the 73 year old Rock Star, what a role model! To Steph’s fans she ran really strong today and is only going up from here! I’m blessed to have her as my friend now ( – :

1 09 2008
Rob Powell

You are doing great! The 73 year old has great legs becuse it takes that long to get. Registration for the April 2009 Umstead 100 Miler opens Tue @ 12:00 PM. The race will fill in 1 -2 day. Grab your hubby and make it to NC.

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