Spent 75 real training miles in August, 52 base building miles in July and 27 'getting into some sort of routine' miles in June. A total of 154 miles later I was 'ready' for Pier to Peak in Santa Barbara. In June and up through mid-July, I was still doubting I'd sign up or that I'd be able to train. By mid-July, I said, what the heck and just signed up.
The race was good, ended up doing quite a bit of walking up there. Kudos to Jake Clinton, race organizer. Some miles were grueling...I'm thinking numbers #9 and #10. In mile 12 I posted my 5th fastest mile of this race...go figure!
Finished the 2 water bottles I carried w/half gatorade, half water, and got one refilled with water once for a total of a lot of water! (3 Liters)
The race itself was very well organized. I'd like to complain that I never understood the course map...but the truth is, I think I never wanted to understand how exactly it would all work out, I knew the basics; Sterns Wharf to La Cumbre Peak. 4000 feet elevation gain and 13.1 miles was enough knowledge, no need to know the hill grades or elevation gains per mile. To be honest, I didn't look at the temperature either. I was concerned when there was no marine layer to be found at the start, so I never checked the weather. There was plenty of food and drink at the end and I met some great folks along the way. I wouldn't recommend this as a first ever race, but I think it's challenging enough for the spirit. Some races are made for the legs, this one is far more for the heart; not the beating one, but the motivational one.
After having finished this race I'm left with one lesson: maybe you don't train perfectly for everything, some things you just have to do 'em and get them done. As a perfectionist control freak, this is a tough lesson, but almost liberating. What other mountain do I have to conquer without a memorized course map?
The more dangerous and almost impossible byproduct of this race is this question: If I can finish this race, what other race can I do that I've been afraid of?
(DailyMile Training Log: http://bit.ly/R0ehKg)