All posts tagged: california

Rabbit Peak 2017

A few years ago, when I ran Rabbit Peak for the first time, I called it the most challenging run or hike I’ve ever done. At 22 miles, it’s not big compared to most ultramarathons, yet it’s incredibly challenging with roughly 8,000 feet of elevation ascent (and an equal amount of descent), technical terrain, jumping cholla cactus, and a route that is determined more by sheer cliffs than by an navigable trail. Joe and Nicole Decker of Gut Check Fitness have held Rabbit Peak almost every year since 2012, but because the race isn’t hard enough on its own, they decided to up the ante for the 2017 edition. This year, rather than start the race at 6 a.m., Nicole yelled “go” just before sundown at 6 p.m. The race would take place overnight.  Running at night can be beneficial: there’s less heat, to start…and that’s about it. Temperatures that day hovered near 90°F, but by 5:30 p.m. they had cooled down just enough that I figured I should bring a sweater. Who knew what …

Holcomb Valley Trail Run: My 33-Mile Race Report

In preparation for Cascade Crest 100 at the end of August, I’ve started incorporating higher volumes in my weekly training. While I was looking forward to a long solo run this weekend in San Diego, the appeal of running with others in Big Bear was too strong. So, like any sane person, I signed up for the race five days before and with a whole lot of mileage on my legs. After several weekends of travel, Nick and I opted to sleep at home the night before the race and set our alarms early to knock out the drive. By 3:45 a.m. we were stumbling around our apartment, pouring hot tea and scooping our still-sleeping dog, Cashew, out of the bed and into the Subaru. Nick drove, as usual. I’m lucky in that we’re both good drivers, and luckier still that Nick offered to drive so I could doze off as we wound our way up to Big Bear. By 7 a.m. we had arrived; I went to pick up my bib as Nick chatted …

How To Run a Very Long Way (& Have Fun the Whole Time)

*Please note, I originally wrote this post as an assignment for my MFA in Creative Writing. See the original blog post here: http://osucascadesmfa.com This past fall, I ran my first 50-mile race. I may or may not have been influenced by the promise of “You’ll love it!” and “You’ll feel great,” both of which were a draw and an improbable, unimaginable scenario. Can you truly enjoy running 50-miles? Can you learn to enjoy squeezing plastic pockets of gels that constitute one’s food during the race? Can you look forward to tromping into a tree-lined field to relieve yourselves on the dirt and, hopefully, finding a rock, twig, or other creative, organic substance that can serve as toilet paper? This is a step-by-step process to success, so, let’s start with the most important step: acceptance. So, here’s how to run a very long way & have fun the whole time: Acceptance Accept that, during your run, you will go through the emotions of anger, frustration, disappointment, and resentment. It doesn’t matter whether you are in first place …