Rookie AC100 Training Run

Last weekend opting to skip the Sean O’Brien 26.2 race because I am not ready to race.  Jean was kind enough to connect me with a group that was going out to Angeles Crest; so why not?  Seems like a good idea…

Inspiration Point – Eagles Roost (elevation profile)

The run would cover 20 miles from Inspiration Point to Eagles Roost venturing to the highest point of the race.  Never having covered any part of the AC100 course the group run was a great way of seeing this technical section and gaining insight from experienced AC100 veterans.

I was already waiting when Jack, Kimberly and Ben arrived at inspiration point.  I got there early and the 20 degree with windchill temperatures were unpleasant to say the least.  My mind was dead set on AC100 = Heat.  Angeles Crest 100 is famous for is beautiful views and the brutal heat that only southern California can muster.  Waking up early to get out to inspiration my mind was in heat training mode.  Thus, I show up in shorts and a tech tee to take on Mount Baden Powell (link) in the winter, rookie.

Mount Baden Powell

Luckily Kimberly had an extra pair of gloves and Jack had an extra windbreaker.  Remember, I had never met this group of runners ever !!!  Rather than saying, oh well, you’re toast… they unselfishly provided anything they had to help a stranger out… ultra running culture.  Without the wool gloves and windbreaker I would have either frozen on the trail or just gotten back in the car.  Our group would would catch up to Tin later because he was hiking Vincent Gap to Eagles Roost.

Note to self, do not watch Angeles Crest 100 videos then head out to the mountains in the cold…although it was sort of cool having other hikers gasp and ask if I was crazy.

^^^Awesome video of Dominic Grossman taking the 2013 AC100 win. (his blog Link)

The run was a joy and delivered on the promise of spectacular views and technical trails.  My legs were not ready for the combination of rocky switchbacks and slick slabs of ice but enjoyed them regardless.  Also, I was shocked to find my water tube frozen solid when I attempted to drink.  Jack suggested I put the pack under the windbreaker and after a few miles I was able to get my Tailwind Nutrition (link).

Jack, Ben and Kimberly were awesome tutors and gave me pointers for this section of the course come race day.  I am definitely going to hit Mount Baden Powell and Mount Williamson again, but I will most certainly check the weather.

Lessons:
1. shorts are a bad idea in Angeles National Forest Dec – Feb.
2. Check the weather
3. Little Jimmy Springs is a life saver

4. Dont trust the course map and get out on the trails

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