(the 50k report is still coming, probably this weekend! I have to move tomorrow to a new building due to a mess up by the housing people so I've been busy packing and such, and of course doing school work since finals are already upon me! But I will write up a *hopefully* steller report eventually. bear with me :D)
This week I've been trying my best to really be a social runner and find some good people to run with, which, in Santa Cruz, seems to mean going to track workouts!
Monday night I joined some TNT alumni, invited by my new running friend Mimi, which was lots of fun. We did a 'grab bag' workout, meaning lots of drills were written on pieces of paper, and we drew one at a time to find out what we were doing. I finally learned track speak, and can now, with some confidence, tell you what an 800 is (or can I? Is that one lap around the track, or two? I'm going with two?!?). Anyways, we did some sprinting, which was ridiculous for me, as I've apparently forgotten how to do that. I thought I was going to fall backwards as I couldn't seem to make my upper body move along at the same speed as my feet. We did just fast running around the track, step ups on the bleachers, crunches balancing on the bleachers (I kept falling for this), and 10 minutes of hills. Plus some other fun stuff. Doubt I ran more than 3 miles total, but it was a good workout! It's so fun to be with people again, and it's really good that I'm finally doing hill repeats, since I've been meaning to do those and just hadn't gotten around to them.
After the track workout I did my usual (well, what I did after the last time I went to track) and ran around the campus track while watching the sun set over Monteray Bay. It was absolutely gorgeous up there again, and there were six deer hanging out on the grass having a late dinner. A baby deer was less than 5 feet from me when I walked past, but spooked and bounded a few more feet away. How nice! Even better, my legs just felt great up there! I was amazed at how well I was feeling just 2 days after my fast 50k :)
However, it started getting pretty dark up there, and when the frisbee guys turned in, I thought it might be time to go as well. Didn't feel all that safe with just me and the deer hanging out in the dark. Did 2 miles on the track, so ended up with about 5 for the night. What was cool was that when I went back to my car, there was a deer about 7 or 8 ft from the stairs heading up to the parking lot. I stopped there to stretch, and watch the deer. It would periodically look over at me, looking a little scared, but then would start foraging for food again. It seemed somewhat wary but accepting of my presence :) Eventually I left it to its meal and got into my car to go home. Pretty cool :D
Tonight I tried to meet up with the Santa Cruz Track Club and, again sort of failed, through my own fault. Traffic was unbelievably bad getting to the track, and a 14 minute drive ended up taking a good 45 minutes! By the time I got there, I was already 20 minutes late, and didn't want to barge into a practice in progress. However, I had made the drive and certainly didn't want to head home just yet. Carol, a woman I had been emailing who is a fabulous ultrarunner (just did Headlands 100!!) said she'd be doing hills on a hill above the track, so I ran/walked around looking for this hill. Finally, I found what I thought might be it, and decided to just do hill repeats myself and hope that she'd show up. I did one, running about 1/2 and walking the rest, then running down and around a field at the bottom to rest. When I got back to the hill, I saw a woman with short grey hair in front of me. "Carol?" I called. It was her. We finally met, and set of up the hill together. It was great talking to her and hearing about some of her recent ultra experiences. She's on the slower side (from what she's said) so it sounds like we might be a good fit for long run buddies! I'm excited :) We did the hill 3 more times, and she called it a day, since she was still recovering from a few weeks ago. Hopefully we'll run together soon!
After that I was still itching to get in some more running, so I headed down to west cliff to do a nice flat 6 miles or so. It was nice without headphones or my garmin, and I just sort of tranced, listening to the crashing waves. My calves were doing a weird pain thing about halfway (I think I need new road shoes- these have 500 or so miles on them) so I turned back. I thought it was 6 miles since I turned at the 10k turnaround for the SC race, but I realized I cut off about a half mile becuase of where I started, so I think I ended up with less than that. Oh well, probably about 6 1/2 miles total, and a great evening :)
Tomorrow I might try to hit the Poginip trails solo, since Andy provided me with a nice map, and can hopefully get in 8.5 or so.
Carol told me the details for a Sunday run with SCTC, so hopefully I can finally get in my first official group run up here :)