Wednesday, February 13, 2008

"Overgrown FatAss"

On Sunday, Febuary 10th I joined more than 20 South Bay runners for Adam Blum's inaugraul Overgrown Fat Ass Marathon. A Fat Ass run has no aid stations, no course markings, and no entrance fee. This was a great opportunity to run with some new people and get some serious mileage and climbing and descending. Among the runners were; Haiming Yu (who I often see running Quicksilver), Jim Neville (quite impressed with his downhill running!), Quicksilver Running Club legend Jim Magill, and Kyle Dando who edged me at the Quicksilver 1/2 marathon.
The run started at Novitiate Park in Los Gatos, and consists of Fireroads to Hicks Road (13mi.) and back along the same trails. I ran this course last years starting from Hicks Road and running to Alma bridge, and it was probably the toughest training run I had done. The run took me 6 hrs., I ran out of water, and was reduced to walking the last 5 miles. This run had to be better this year!
And it was! The weather was a perfect 65 degrees, sunny and warm. Running in Febuary in shorts and t-shirt makes me grateful to be living in California. I reached Hicks road in about 2 hours, and Adam's friends Brian and Paveen met us with Gatorade and water. Many thanks to Brian and Paveen for helping out!
Going back was definetly tougher, and the climb up Mt. Sombreso was brutal! The steep climbs forced me to take walking breaks, and I enjoyed the clear views of the South Bay. Returning to Novitiate Park, I finished in 4:22 much better than the year before!
I felt really good about this run, I was able to coast for much of the run, and unlike last year I didn't hit the wall! I can't wait for next year when the course will be extended to a 50K distance, and renamed "The Overgrown Bald Fatass."
For more information on the run, and many great pictures check out Adam Blum's blog!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Woodside: First race of '08

This weekend my wife Heidi, sister in law Katie, and I ran the PCTR Woodside trail races. Kati and Heidi were running the 17K as training for the Big Sur Marathon, and I was running the 35K distance as a yardstick to see where my endurance and speed is at.

The first 9.7 Kilometers was the toughest section of the race. After a tough Judo practice the night before, I didn't "warm up" until the first aid station at King's Road. Running up a fire road, and then single track, the first section climbs about a 1000 feet! Entering the first aid I took a quick breather, as the helpful aid station volunteers guided me across King's Road. At this point I was in 4th place, and I was looking forward to the rolling hills to Aid Station # 2 (I ran to the front with about 5 other runners, and we charged up the fire roads and single track to the King's Road Aid station.

Leaving the King's Road Aid Station I soon caught up to John Burg, and we ran together until the Bear Gulch Aid Station (18.9K). I skipped the Bear Gulch Aid Station, and tried to pick up the speed to the finish. At this point I was feeling light and free! all of the previous soreness had left my body and I floated through the single track back to King's Road. At King's Road I refilled my bottle, had a Cliff Shot, and descended to the finish. The last section of trail zig zags downhill through a canopy of redwood and fir. Soon the sound of rain falling on the leaves and the rushing streams created a symphony through the forest. On the downhills I maintained close to a 6:00 minute per mile pace that carried me to the finish line; finishing time 2:55, 3rd place.

After the race I was kept warm by some hot chili and coffee. Many thanks to Wendell and Sarah Domain for putting on a great race. 2008 is going to be a great year!