The San Diego 100 Mile Endurance Run – Preparation

This Saturday I will be taking on my biggest endurance challenge thus far: The San Diego 100 Mile Endurance Run. As with the Pacific Crest Trail 50 last year I am doing this, in part, to support the Karen Elizabeth Huselid Foundation‘s Scholarship Program. Please help a couple of local school kids get to go to college. You can donate here: btn_donate_LG.


Back in January with  my knees still hurting from that damn concrete mountain I had to climb and then descend in the course of completing the McDowell Mountain 50 mile ultra-marathon – I was contemplating my next challenge. The patella tendon reconstructions I had when I was 15 and 16 has left both knees susceptible to certain knee pain and apparently descending down a very steep concrete paved mountain is something my knee cartilage does not like. But I did it and finished the remaining 26 miles in a great deal of pain, almost unable to run, almost. It took a couple of months for my left knee to totally heal. But I was determined to take the next step in ultra running.

So here I was three weeks after that 50 and waiting on the lottery results for the San Diego 100 mile ultra-marathon and boom: I won the Lottery! Except winning this lottery allows you pay $250 for the privilege of being allowed to run 100 miles on trails up and down mountains. How lucky!

The SD 100 takes place in the Cleveland National Forest and the Laguna Mountain and Cuymaca Recreation Areas. This is what the elevation chart looks like:


Isn’t it funny how all of these ultra-marathons not only go for insane distances, but also take place on tough trails in the mountains at elevation? FUN! (I think…)

My training for the 100 wasn’t all that different than prepping for a 50, just a lot more miles. I know, obvious right? The obstacle is that you shouldn’t really run more than 30 miles at one time or recovery time will get in the way of the rest of your training. So, the way around this to go back to back long runs. Then you peak with a couple of back to back to back weekends (e.g. 15-25-30). I peaked with four weeks in a row of over 80 miles with two of those weeks being just over 100 miles.

The Arizona Trail Association, Working to build, maintain and promote the Arizona National Scenic Trail.

One of the aspects of the training I enjoyed most was getting out into the mountains on the Arizona Trail, including some great trails in the Superstition Mountains and around 4 Peaks. Getting deep into the wilderness and away from everything is a nice reward for having to get up at 3:30 am on a Saturday in order to beat the Arizona heat.

The training went relatively well and I rarely missed a run or fell short of the aspired mileage. However, in an unfortunate fashion, I did develop some foot pain on my next to last 20+ mile run and felt it best to cancel my last run. I did 48 miles that day. As a result I carry a mild case of plantar fasciitis into race week.  A completely healthy training season until the last training run! And I have to admit that these last two weeks of drastic tappering combined with resting my foot has me feeling a bit off. Other than that, I feel I have prepared about as good as I reasonable could have.

Diet: I didn’t really change my diet during the training. I generally strive to eat healthier everyday and try to eat real foods with lots of veggies, fruits, and nuts, but certainly nothing like hard core paleo. I have been making an effort to rely less on carb bars or protein bars and going more natural, however my standard pre-run meal is still a banana and a carb bar, hey it works.

I’m very excite and a little bit nervous for Saturday. My goals for this race are simply to finish and appreciate the experience.

And of course to help raise some money for the KEH Foundation Scholarship Program:



About Zachary H

I'm an attorney, writer, entrepreneur, and adventure
This entry was posted in adventure, Commentary, running, sports and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to The San Diego 100 Mile Endurance Run – Preparation

  1. Danielle says:

    Great recap, Zach! Can’t wait to hear the race report. Pretty impressive 🙂

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