Wow Catalina! When Amy announced the 20M and 50K Trail Run-Trek Event on Santa Catalina Island, I was on board from the start. It had been a desire of mine since I heard of AVC Elite Training’s previous experiences there. Amy guided us through the Tough Mudder experience successfully in February 2013 and I was ready for another challenge for 2014!
Amy, our coach and mentor, worked with diligence in creating a trail running and trekking program that would simulate the terrain of the Trans Catalina Trail. Her coaching provided us with an incremental program of increased miles, trail difficulty, in addition to support in all aspects of preparation for this event. Weekly emails informed us on fluid and food intake, trail direction and any outstanding questions. Amy provided throughout hydration and fuel information helping us learn how much and when we needed to consume both. She provided products that were invaluable for our time on the trail. BONK bars and FLUID drinks were easy to digest and gave me the energy I needed to accomplish increasing miles and time on the trail.
As the weeks advanced so did our miles (and our groans)! Ten, thirteen, fifteen, miles…oh my! I am a lifelong runner and the most I had ever run in one distance was 13.2 miles (a half-marathon) so one can only imagine how overwhelming a 50K distance would seem not ever completing even half that mileage let alone 31.7 miles!
As the miles increased, so did my two nagging injuries that I have been battling off and on for years. Amy was insistent that I care for them and offered alternatives and possible remedies. I utilized Rock tape, which I had learned about from my Tough Mudder experience with Amy, as well as Sore No More. These were beneficial in coping with my piriformis syndrome and lower back issues. Amy encouraged massage, vibration, foam rolling and checking with my podiatrist to cope with a nagging neuroma that has been plaguing me for quite some time.
The next “gentle nudge” from her proved beneficial as well. Though resistant at first, I acquiesced to Amy’s suggestion in using trekking poles for our long endurance training Saturday’s in preparation for the super steep climbs that we would be tackling in Catalina. I must admit, I had never used poles before and was skeptical. Amy instructed me on the proper use of the poles and encouraged me to practice carrying them on my runs. She explained how to implement them on super steep climbs for efficiency and economy. These proved to be a lifesaver, as they helped take the pressure off of my injuries and allowed me to complete the required miles on our long endurance trail runs.
Finally, the day had come for all of us to head to Catalina Island. Amy made the trip carefree and a success. She arranged for our ferry ride providing terrific accommodations at a lovely boutique hotel which also included breakfast each morning for all of us.
This was so much fun as we had the whole place to ourselves taking up the entire hotel! There was a celebration dinner along with optional dinner arrangements for other nights.
This certainly took the anxiety out of our anticipated Trail Run and Trek, which was challenging and definitely an experience to remember.
Ah, the feeling of elation when I completed the 31+ miles, and ran towards those who were camped at a restaurant waiting for us! I must admit, that I was a little tired, but felt great! As with Tough Mudder, I did not experience any debilitating soreness or discomfort, which I know is directly related to the training I received under Amy’s instruction. I can’t emphasize enough, how critical Amy’s method of training has assisted me in completing this challenging goal.
A most significant aspect of this experience is the friendships I have developed and treasure with the AVC Elite Training Family. My hat is off to you Amy, as you continue to provide not just a physically challenging experience, but one that encourages growth in both mind and body.
I am thrilled to be part of the AVC Elite Training Team!
Are you ready for a new challenge of mind, body and spirit? Stay tuned for another AVC Elite Special Event coming soon. We promise more adventures are on the way!