Friday, December 16, 2011

Elevation Charts

What is it about elevation charts??
I have been studying a few over the past few days and I don't know what it is that makes me so excited. They represent hard work and what promises to be a painful experience, I know that, yet I just feel happy! Is it that even though I see the uphill, I look so forward to the downhill that I choose to ignore the uphill?? Or maybe that I know the uphill is so worth the pain because I get to go down?? Or maybe because it looks so crazy and out of reach to ever complete something that looks so massive on paper?? Do you remember the Mt Climber on the Price is Right? Remember the swiss alps style music that would play as he started to climb up the fake Mt? (he would move the number of dollars the guess was off by) I have to admit that when I look at an elevation chart I picture myself as a little black dot moving up the hill to the same music. Hopefully I don't fall off the mountain at the end due to miss calculation, Price is Right style.
The next 4 months will be some of our most exciting running adventures so far. While we started out as road runners, we have been vocal about our love of the trails. I have said here before how we wish we could spend more time on the trails. Wishes are just goals waiting to be set. We are looking forward to branching out in our distances, as we continue to push new limits, which really only exist in our heads. We have wanted to dip our toes into the 'ultra' world for a while now, and the time has come. Baby steps, mind you....but if we were going to do it, it of course, had to have an elevation chart that gave me goose bumps! You can see an updated race sched on left of this page. There will be an additional trail half marathon between Napa and Diablo, but it is yet to be determined. In the mean time, I leave you with a few of the elevation charts I have been 'little black dot moving to swiss alps music' ing to the past few days.

Coastal Trail Runs Steep Ravine 30k

Brazen Racing's Mount Diablo 50kI have been looking at Napa Valley Marathon's elevation chart, too. It is amazing in it's own way. Our first time running it we thought it looked sooo hilly! We were yet to run San Fran, and were very new to trail running. Now I realize it's a net loss, and has bumps, not hills : 0 )

And yes, I have studied it long enough to know there are more than a few jokes to be made about that first is nicely "lifted and separated....though a bit uneven"....ok, let me hear yours, but keep it clean!


  1. I don't know how people do these races without studying the elevation charts. I typically modify mine so that they look like that second one, the Brazen Diablo one - I want to know how the aid stations fit in with the hills. In a race, trail names escape me, but going uphill or down can't escape me, so I love to know whether an aid station awaits at the top of the hill or in the valley.

    And you might not believe me, but I never noticed that about Steep Ravine. What I noticed was how steep that second descent is. And know that that has to be done with stairs. LOTS of stairs.

  2. I was curious as to how the trail went straight down. If I wear a blanket as a cape I can use it at the end to scoot down the stairs on my bum?? Totally acceptable trail etiquette?? No??