Bulldog Trail Run Training


With my friend R. we attacked the Bulldog Trail in Malibu Creek Park in an attempt to do back to back long runs. The course itself has some serious elevation and we were hoping to prep for the Bulldog 50k in August. The trail itself has a few nice looking points. The first and most famous being the MASH site from the TV series about the Korean War (I thought it was Vietnam but was corrected) and then the actual top of bulldog there are a few interesting rock formations. One of the rocks is called elephant rock and it seriously looks like an elephant eyes and all. Day one we completed the 14 mile loop and day two (heat training day) we cut it down to 8 miles. I was in no condition to attack it. B was in good shape and he def held back for me, but I was hurting a lot. I had gone out and celebrated Saturday night…the Gold Cup Final…Western States 100…and subsequently a show in LA that ended with last call at a bar, ergo visa vi id est no bueno on the hydration front.

On the trail we did see a group of 3 guys who passed up on the uphill who were all minimalist (2 Merrell Trail Gloves 1 NB Minimus). The trail is very technical at some points and the downhill with its loose footing must have been tough with minimal shoes. One of them was running up the hill at an impressive gait the other two were valiantly pushing but I am not sure if they were aware of uphill distance or of the amount of effort they were expending. One of them dropped back and B and I caught up to him. He had almost run out o water and there would be none for a few more miles. Two of them had packs and one only a handheld and the pack guys were up the trail and probably waiting for their friend. I filled the struggling runner’s bottle and gave him a gel and B gave him some salt caps. He was really struggling and it just reminded me of how many times I have struggled. I actually saw them again later in the day. At the top of Bulldog we thought they were not going to come down because we simply did not see them for a while. But I saw them on the drive away from the trail…they were out there for a while.

Things learned…
Don’t skimp on water on new trails.
Don’t expect all trail users to be well prepared to better to over prepare.
Enjoy it.
If running form goes dodo and you notice it happening ease back into proper form (per R.).
Humility is a trail runners best friend, keeps you smart and alive.



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