Thursday, July 30, 2009

“Pops” & “Bumps”

What on earth am I alluding to you wonder? Do I mean soda and mosquito bites? Old men and message board terminology? Nope and nope.

The title of my thread is dedicated to one of the trail coaches of my Fleet Feet Summer 7 Trail Training program. Pops and bumps are how he refers to the massive hills we are hiking, (um running?) every Sunday morning in the northern California area.

Granted, the man has lived in the Auburn area for over 20 years compared to flat land that is East Sacramento and consequently my usual running location. The only “hill” in my neighborhood is also referred to as a “levee” although it can be quite daunting when you’re pushing a jogging stroller filled with a 23 pound toddler after a long run.

I digress . . . last night at our usual Wednesday workout Coach T tells us that he has seen the course for our upcoming 9/10 mile (yes they haven’t decided on the actual distance yet) trail race affectionately called Blood, Sweat and Beers that is being held in August and what we’re all consequently training for together each week.

He shares with us that it is “one tough race” with some “major climbs” in it. Hearing this statement coming from a man who has run 24 100 mile races, a man who can wake up and run a 50K without batting an eye (oh yeah, that 50K? Also happens to be in Lake Tahoe!), a man who runs our course every weekend minutes before we arrive pinning ribbons to trees and marking the ground with flour (and then runs it again with us after we’ve arrived groggy and tired from waking up) seems a bit um, terrifying to me?

Yes I am excited and yes I know I will be fine but hearing those words coming from Coach T’s mouth AND having him reschedule our workouts to include a training run along the course itself only implies that he is in fact, extremely worried about our group of newbie foothill trail runners.

This weekend’s scheduled run has been changed to take place again at the Quarry Road location but along a difference course that supposedly has a mile to two mile uphill climb at the start and finishes with a mile to two mile downhill at the end. Coach T said with a smile and sparkle in his eye that this weekend’s run has “an awesome downhill finish” which can “totally thrash your quads.”

Something tells me he is holding something back but I am looking forward to thrashing my quads this Sunday . . . even if it is only on a “pop” or a “bump” according to Auburn residents.

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