Team Challenge – 2011 Napa to Sonoma #10

Team Challenge - Six Tunnels

Group Practice #10
8 miles on the schedule
Start time: 7:00 AM

This week we did a “special event” training, our Six Tunnels Spectacular!  We met near Lake Mead to run the Historic Railroad Tunnel Trail.  We didn’t run the whole trail to Hoover Dam (which would have been fun) because we didn’t have easy access to put out the water jugs for that distance.  So we had the team run 2 miles one direction, then return to the water & bathrooms.  Then they ran 2 miles in the opposite direction and returned.  It worked out really well that way.

I’ll be honest, I was a little irritated to wake up to drive to this location at first.  It’s about an hour away from my house!  I’ve been playing with a Sleep Cycle app on my iPhone lately for my alarm, it’s supposed to wake me at the “ideal” time in my sleep cycles based on what timeframe I want to wake up.  So far it always wakes me up roughly 20 minutes earlier than the time I put in the alarm.  So instead of rousing at 4:45 this morning, the alarm went off at 4:20 AM.  I dragged myself out of bed and got dressed.  I covered myself in sunblock (still loving the SCAPE line!) and went downstairs to eat some rice krispies & banana.  It was so early, even Jade The Boxer was still asleep and highly irritated that I woke her up!  I made a bottle of Lemon Tea nuun to sip on the drive for hydration, electrolytes and some caffeine! I was super tired on the drive there, but the moment I pulled into the parking lot, I was happy we were training at the Lake.

We declared this an alumni run too, so Team Challenge alums from previous seasons joined our team to run or walk.  It was nice to see some of our past participants. We really have some awesome people in this program!

A lot of our Team members took our lessons last week about hydration and fueling pretty serious and came prepared with sports drink, gels, candies, etc.  I’m glad about this, I’ve never had a group pay that much attention to fueling information before and it really made a difference.  People who looked absolutely shredded at the end of our 7 miler a couple weeks ago actually looked fairly fresh and had some energy at the end.

And the course… well, it was beautiful.  Some of the participants were thrown a little by the trail portion (the second half was entirely on dirt, it wasn’t a technical trail though) but mentioned they thought it felt easier on their knees!  I love when they find the positive side in things, I encourage that a lot with them.  I really enjoyed the course too, I can’t wait to take Jade out there for a run!

We’ve got a couple of hard runs/walks coming in the next two weeks… but I think the way they performed on this one today will help solidify in their minds that they can do this!  When we do our 10-miler in 2 weekends, the course is much harder than the actual race course, so it counts as MORE than the 13 miles on race day! 🙂

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I am coaching a group of runners for the organization Team Challenge. They are fundraising for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America while training to run the 2011 Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon in July.

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