As a runner training for Badwater, I feel very lucky to live in the OC. Down in Orange County we are blessed with sunny weather for the majority of the year and Death Valley is only about a 5 hour drive from us. However, Palm Springs is even closer, only being about a 90 minute car ride away and makes for a great weekend getaway/Badwater training spot since the temperatures can get almost as high as Death Valley and there are long stretches of road to run on. Also, the Palm Springs Tram road makes for a great training run that mimicks Whitney Portal road, however about only 1/3 the length.
Mark and I made the drive out to Palm Springs on Friday afternoon. We hit a little traffic, which was to be expected because the 91 and the 60 almost always suck, but got to the Hilton in enough time to check in and head out for a run while it was still warm out. Running the tram road was first on my to do list and so that was what we did. Last year when Mark was training for Badwater, we came out to Palm Springs but since I had just ran the Mohican 100 3 days prior, I couldn’t run and crewed him instead. I was so jealous while I was crewing him from the car while he was running up the tram. It just looked like so much fun. If you have never been to Palm Springs or been up the tram, it is no joke of a hill. It is roughly 3.8 miles long and climbs a little over 2000ft. I was able to run about the first 1.5 miles before I had to walk and I would barely call it a run because it was so slow. After that I started playing games with myself. I would run 2 minutes and then walk a minute. This continued the rest of the way up and I ended up making it up in about 45 minutes I think. Then came the fun part… running back down. It was so effortless running down the hill that by the time I got to the bottom I felt refreshed. Mark was already at the bottom when I had finished and so I asked him if we could just hike a little bit longer partway back up the hill. We hiked up maybe 3/4 of a mile and then walked back down before heading back. Then it was out to dinner for some Mexican food and margaritas, our favorite post workout food!
Yesterday morning I woke up feeling ok. My goal was to try and get in about 13-14 miles, but the second we started to run I knew that wasn’t going to happen. My legs were completely trashed. We also had to be back at the hotel by 11:30 to shower and checkout by 12:30 and since we didn’t start running until almost 9:30, 13 miles just wasn’t going to happen and so we got in 10 instead. My legs felt like lead. I was running about a 9:30 pace and it was exhausting me. I just couldn’t move. We ran about 3 miles down the road and when we reached the tram road Mark asked if I wanted to go up it again and said that we could hike part way up. Thank god. I would do anything just to be able to walk, even if it meant going up hill. So we hiked maybe 1.5 up the road and then came to a dirt side road which we took back down. Running down and opening up my stride helped to loosen up my legs a bit and so the run back to the hotel wasn’t quite so pathetic and I was able to pull off some 8:30s. Still nothing to brag about but at least I felt like I could actually move!
Now the plan had been to only stay in Palm Springs for 1 night and drive home Saturday afternoon. I had been signed up to run a 5k on Sunday with some of my Anaerobic friends, but I ended up getting an email saying that the race had been postponed due to the bad weather that was suppose to come in on Sunday. The weather was so nice though out that it was hard to resist staying an extra day. Unfortunately the Hilton was completely booked, but we were able to get a room at the Marriott in Desert Springs and so we grabbed a bite to eat and then headed over. We had a nice relaxing day with some drinks by the pool and people watching the spring breakers and then sushi and martinis for dinner. Running and drinks with my love is my kind of day!
This morning we slept in and headed out for one last run. I actually woke up feeling more sore than yesterday, but surprisingly they were able to move much better. Funny how that happens sometimes. We ran another 10 miles, nothing too crazy, but it ended up being a good run. I always love runs that I get to do with Mark. Even though we live together, our schedules are too hectic to train together most of the time. When we finished our run we packed up and then headed back home away from the sunshine and into a rainy mess.
On a completely different topic…. this week was the last week of the Crossfit Games Open workouts. I ended up placing 281st out of 894 women in So Cal. Top 30% but nothing spectacular by any means. It was a fun competition and I am glad I took part though! I had a fun time doing the workouts with everyone who participated at Crossfit Anaerobic and it was a great way to get people more involved.
Hope everyone had as good as a weekend as I did!