Thursday, January 15, 2009

2009 Races

Well, my spring racing season is filling up fast. I just found out that I got into one of my goal races for the year - the Miwok 100k Trail Race - held in the Marin Headlands in early May. I'm very excited about getting into this race, as I have run part of the course and it is beautiful, as well as challenging. This was the first year they went to a lottery to select the field, as opposed to first-come first-serve online registration. So getting into this sets the tone for the rest of my year, in a way.

Other races I have (or probably will have) coming up are these:

Way Too Cool 50k - March 14. I'm 2nd or 3rd on the wait list, and the RD says I'm pretty much in.

American River 50-Mile Endurance Run - April 4. My wife registered for this last fall, but is now dealing with ITBS and can't rehab and build up in time, so she contacted the RD (who happens to be the same one as WTC) to see if I could take her place. She said yes, so now I have a 50 miler on my spring schedule. This is a pretty flat course, and who knows, maybe I can knock a little time off my 50 mile PR here. With this being in early April, that should give me plenty of time to recover for the next one on my list.

Miwok 100k - May 2. Already mentioned this above.

Ohlone Wilderness Run 50k - May 31. Both my wife and I are registered for this one. She ran it last year, and I skipped it as I had just run my first 50 miler at Quicksilver a few weeks before and didn't want to push it. Well, this year I'm pushing it. I don't think I'll be setting any 50k PR at this one, though if the weather is anything like it was in 2008, I don't know that anyone will be setting any PR's - it was HOT!

So, that is what I have on the schedule so far, though those are not the only races I'm looking at. It's highly likely that the Angel Island 50k will be on my schedule, as Lori and I have gone up there a few times and it's a great place to run - this summer it is being held on July 4th. Unfortunately, all the camping sites have been reserved. I also want to run my first 100 miler this year, and I'm leaning heavily towards the Headlands Hundred 100 Mile Endurance Run, put on by Pacific Coast Trail Runs, being held August 8 - 9. And last, but certainly not least, I'd like to do the Quad Dipsea again - that is a fun run and I think I can do better than I did this past November.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Virtual Run Across America

The Virtual Run Across America is a blog and running concept that I recently found as the result of one of the followers of my blog (Nikemom), who is the organizer. It's a pretty cool idea.

Basically, you "sign up" to run across America, but you do it "virtually." A route will be posted every so often on the site, with mileage and even a link to maps if you want to see the "route" you are running. You do your own running, at your own pace, wherever you are and post comments to inform the group of how many miles you have run. For every one mile you actually run, you will have run 10 "virtual" miles. So a real 6 mile run will get you 60 "virtual" miles along the designated route.

"Goals may be personal obstacles, increasing pace, adding another marathon to your endeavors, etc. This is your run. You make it what you need to so you become who and what you are meant to be." Whatever your interest in participating is fine, according to Nikemom. All are welcome. Here is another snippet from the site:
Our goal is to have fun, explore and enjoy the journey.

* Anybody from Anywhere can participate.
* All kinds of running apparatus and gear is encouraged and welcome.
* You can run as many or as few miles as you would like and still be considered a participant.
* Routes will be posted for all to see via MapQuest.
* Routes will be plotted and shared by participants.
* Each one mile = ten miles. i.e. 100 miles would be 10 actual miles run by you.
* Pictures, comments and race reports are encouraged and welcome.
* Any VRAA participant who plots a piece of the journey can be an author to the VRAA Blog.
* We will journey one state at a time.
* The shortest or the longest or the crookedest route is welcome - who knows what we may encounter.
* Recruiting runners is encouraged.
* Purchasing new running gear to complete the journey is at your discretion.
* The option of a participant T-Shirt still exists.
* SAG is your responsibility.
* All participants participate at their own risk.
* Any injuries resulting from the VRAA is the runner's responsibility.
* Take good care of yourself. Eat healthy and drink plenty of H20.
* All participants will have a link on the sidebar with their picture and their blog addy.

Need a little extra motivation to get out the door. Or do you have a running route you want to share or boast about? Join the group and submit it for the run. Before you know it you'll have a bunch of other people "running" it with you! How cool is that?!? I'm thinking of a few out my way that may be good for the end of the journey - which is just down the road from me in Carmel, California.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

2009 Fat Ass 50 (Steatopygous Quinquamillia) Run Report

January 3, 2009 was the 25th running of the Fat Ass 50 (Steatopygous Quinquamillia), and my first running of it, or any other Fat Ass run for that matter. It was a fun run on a fabulous course. A 50 mile and a 50k option were offered, and I chose to run the 50k version. Glad I did, cause it got pretty damn cold out there the last couple hours. has a little history of the Fat Ass, and it turns out this particular one evolved from the granddaddy of em all, which was originally run on Hwy. 1 from Santa Cruz to Half Moon Bay.

Chatting in the parking lot at Saratoga Gap before the start.

About 10 or so people showed up for the 8am start at Saratoga Gap. I had a chance to meet and run with a number of people including Brian Robinson, Adam Blum and Sean Lang. We headed north from the parking lot at Saratoga Gap, eventually crossing Hwy. 35 going west. We crossed through Portola State Park, Pescadero County Park, and Big Basin State Park eventually ending up back at Saratoga Gap.

I did my best to stay with Brian and a friend of his, Adam Blum, and Sean Lang on a long uphill section in Portola State Park, but ended up redlining my heart rate and dropping back. Actually, I hit a new maximum heart rate on that climb (gotta remember to reset my HR monitor)! I caught up with Sean a little later, which I couldn't believe, as he is really speedy. As we ran together for a while, he mentioned that he had taken December off, and had been nursing an injury, so my catching up to him made a lot more sense at that point. :-) We hit the lone aid station at China Grade and stopped for a few minutes to munch on some chips before hitting the trail again.

A little later we hit the Skyline to the Sea trail. I was feeling pretty good at that point, and picked up my pace. By Waterman Gap, though, I tired somewhat as the weather turned overcast and cold. With 7 miles to go, I pushed as hard as I could but still had to walk some of the uphill sections. With about 3 miles to go, I caught up to Adam Blum and we stayed together for a little while. He was struggling a bit, and stopped to rest at the overlook pullout on Hwy. 9 a couple miles from Saratoga Gap. I continued on, again, pushing it when I could but still walking some of the uphills.

At this point, I just wanted to get back so I could get my sweat soaked clothes off as I was pretty cold. The temperature had dropped noticeably as some cloud cover moved in and the wind picked up. I made it back to Saratoga Gap with a time of 5:44 to find Adam there. Turns out he got a few crackers from someone at the pull out and rebounded. He started out back on the trail, but ended up running part of the Saratoga Toll Rd. missing a turn off for the SttS trail, which is how he passed me.

In talking to Adam as we logged our runs on the sign-out sheet, he figured he was getting a bit hyponatremic, and the salt helped restore balance to his electrolytes. I had thought of it, but when I asked him if there was anything he needed, he said no he had water and food, and I just figured he had electrolytes too. Next time I come across a situation like that, I'll make certain to go through the laundry list to make certain. Lesson learned!

I had a great time, and felt pretty good throughout the run (except for getting really cold the last hour or so). The course is beautiful, and challenging, and I think it's one I'll have to get back out on in the future for general training, not to mention running the "official" Fat Ass run next year.