Mt Soledad Training Run Recap (Operation RAM)

This post is all about my morning run today. As y’all know by now, I’m running the San Francisco marathon on July 27th. A few weeks ago, I posted an update about my trifecta of training. This morning I had my last really long run for training, since the race is three weeks away (AH!!). I was excited to get it in for the experience, but I didn’t know where to run or what goals I should have for this last race. Luckily, my amazing nutritionist has run the SF before, and is from the bay area, so she suggested I tackle Mt. Soledad. I got up at 5am to try and beat the July heat (more on that later) and drove down to La Jolla Cove. The park was trashed from the 4th yesterday, but it was also empty (yay!). I buckled on my hydration belt and took off about 5:45am.

mt soledad map


The first seven miles were straight down the coast and in the shade! I was cruising and happy, the streets were empty and I kept about a 9:18/mile pace. As I turned the corner towards Sea World, I snacked on the first three of my Shot Blocks and was feeling good. I slowed a little in the sunshine and increasing heat, but I smiled as I cruised past Fiesta Island, happy that I’d picked a course that avoided it (there is ZERO shade).  Mile 10 brought me to the halfway mark and I was feeling good, but could also feel that my energy was waning… and I had to pee. After a quick pit stop, I tried to wrap my head around the fact that I was only halfway done. And I literally had a mountain to climb. Miles 10-14 were filled with impending doom, and the other half of my Shot Blocks to prepare for THE MOUNTAIN. Now, let’s be serious, it wasn’t a mountain by Colorado standards, or by rock climbing standards. But I did ascend roughly 600 feet in 3 miles. In 80 degree heat (I know, I know, it’s not THAT hot). After already running a half marathon. Woot!

mt soledad elevation


Why did I think this was a good idea? I didn’t really. But I knew I needed to practice running massive hills in the second half of my race. This mountain was fairly consistent, except that it kept turning. So there were several false-summits, which plays with your mind. I was able to recognize this though, so on I kept plugging. Unfortunately, my pace slowed SIGNIFICANTLY during this accent, with miles 15-16 averaging a sluggish 12:51/mile pace. But I was running (read: jogging) and I was moving forward like we always told our Girls on the Run to do. I knew there was a big downhill on the other side and I knew my car wasn’t much further than that. When I did begin to cruise downhill, there was a breeze (praise God!) and I didn’t even mind the sun too much. The downhill was also a strategic part of this run because it will help my hamstrings get stronger and hold up for the last few miles in SF that are downhill. It’s easy for tired legs to get wobbly on a decent, but mine were holding their own…

mt soledad pace


… Until I turned the last corner and headed back to LJ Cove. My mind was tired, my feet were dragging, and I missed seeing an uneven section of the sidewalk. Down I went. In the sun, of course. I went straight forward and caught myself on all fours, which wasn’t awesome but wasn’t terrible. I didn’t skid at all, so my palms are slightly bruised but not scraped at all. My knees are bruised and skinned, like a small child… specifically my niece Rachel who showed me her skinned knees later today. After checking that I was okay other than a little blood, I got up and pushed through the last mile to my car. Upon arrival, I sat on the curb and immediately took off my shoes. Then I laid in a dirty, trash-filled section of grass with sludge running down the drain in front of me. I. Did. Not. Care. I was dirty and I was tired, but I was happy 🙂 After chugging a lot of fluids, I hopped back in my car and cruised north towards my shower.

mt soledad crowdrise

Here’s a pic of me with my (clean) skinned knees. I’m also wearing a Crowdrise t’shirt that I earned for meeting my first fundraising goal. Everyone has been amazing with their donations and we crushed my original goal of $681 ($26 from 26 people). Now my goal is set at $1,001 and I’m already halfway up to that with over $800 raised right now. With my race just three short weeks away, I’d love to meet that goal. Oh, and once I got home I searched for the elevation map for my marathon… and it’s not THAT bad! Check it out for yourselves below and happy July!



2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Operation RAM: Judgement Day is Almost Here | Rays of Funshine
  2. Trackback: Operation RAM: Mission Accomplished | Rays of Funshine

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