run 4 life

run 4 ultra (run 4 life) deux

The single track led us down to our first river crossing and my feet were suddenly cool and wet, but my socks and shoes vented the water perfectly, turns out I would have no trouble with the half dozen river crossings throughout the course. I looked forward to the cool waters. Next we rose up and traveled along a hillside which afforded beautiful views of the forest and the river now far below. There would be a lot of mud in the first 8 mile loop, before coming around to the starting gate and our little ultra village and family. I ran with a nice lady for a while who told me all about her horses on a ranch in Livermore where she lives. There was a man behind me who took a heavy tumble, and we stopped to see if he was okay and he gave a spirited yell, ‘it’s not a race unless i fall!’

K before 50k

I was in great spirits by the time I saw Tosh (mile 8) who ran a quarter mile alongside me to the first aid station, where I stopped for a tasty chocolate peanut butter bar, and said goodbye to my brother who wished me well. He even put my nieces on the phone for me to say hello before we parted ways; he had to go back home to the Bay Area. I was so happy he showed up for me today.

I got back on the trail feeling good. We made our way down and around and down a few miles to the fire road, crossed and headed down the long quarry road in the canyon which ran alongside the roaring green river for another 5 miles or more. I did well on the downhills, running 9 minute miles. I thought I was in good shape with my belt full of roctane and water bottle full of gatorade, and my potassium salt S-caps. But I realized on Quarry Road that my legs were starting to feel heavy, and I began to worry about my failure to train on hills all winter long. I could be in big trouble! The only elevation I trained on was a 5 mile run up and down the Blue Ridge Trail, overlooking Lake Berryessa in Winters. The problem was I got poison oak on that trail and so I never went back to the hills.

K finishes 50k

No amount of energy I consumed was gonna help me up the side of that canyon, which switched back and forth from about mile 15 to mile 20… it became a truly brutal and endless hike for me. My head got light, legs heavy, and my asthma kicked up, and my hopes of having a strong and level journey like I had running the CIM just 3 months earlier, were dashed. I had to slow and step off the trail to let dozens of runners hike up past me, and several were kind enough to ask me was I okay and offer help. I finally agreed I needed help around mile 19, when one of the ‘Safety Sweeps’ named Davin saw I was in trouble. He began refilling my empty bottle with electrolyte water, while telling me about his quest to run the coveted Western States 100 mile race before he’s 50 years old. He has 3 years experience running ultras, and he’s 47 now. Parts of this particular race, the Way Too Cool, overlap with the Western States Trail. Listening to Davin’s story helped me take my mind off of the wall…

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ultra.runner

#ULTRA!

finished my first norcal ultra! #wtc50k

8 hours. turtle frog
thanks 2 all the volunteers and safety sweeps
who made this event possible and
great fun in Cool, CA!
k – wtc50k – finish

journal entry

Journal # 09.02.2016

Tomorrow I will be driving with a friend 2 hours north past Lake Tahoe to Reno so we can hike Mount Rose. This mountain has the highest base in the Tahoe range, somewhere around 8,000 feet. The peak is 10,000. No big deal, just a fun trip and a way for me to cross train. Honestly my body feels like hell still from last week’s 41 total miles running so I am happy to take another day off this week. I have felt progressively worse since the 13:7mile B2B. That was my first ever half marathon, so maybe it was an overexertion? It’s all a big experiment. My nutrition and sleep needs are also part of the equation. I have been drinking a lot of water and V8 juices and eating PB&J on whole wheat and oatmeal, and salmon. But I lapsed for a few days into sourdough bread with cheese and tomato, and even had a 5-egg cheese omelet yesterday for lunch with sausage. I convinced myself that I oughta clear out the remnants of my old diet from the fridge – by eating! Bad idea. I am expecting to lose 15-20 pounds by december for the CIM, so I can be at ideal race weight (I have lost about 5 this past month). I can tell my legs are much stronger, and my lungs are doing more with the oxygen because I am rarely out of breath anymore. I’ve been keeping up with yoga and running in sun and heat lately, because I cannot get off work until 830am (would prefer to hit the road around 700am). The good news is that I have been feeling fantastic when I am on the road or river trail and running. I think if I continue to stretch well, tweak the nutrition and cross train when my body tells me I should, pushing the limits on the long runs, I should be just fine and ahead of the Hal Higden schedule I am following. I kinda wish I had chosen a trail run like the AR25 instead of the road marathon for my rookie race, cause I’m finding that the trail is so much softer on the body. Wait! I did sign up for the AR Parkway inaugural 20 miler in November. Though it’s registered as a road race, I can only hope it will be hybrid, if they leave room for running on the margins of the bike trail, where there is indeed earth.

life fully hydrated -iv-

The future will come into view, and tend the artificial light. Someone’s gotta do it. Maybe the ones who like to make points. Or the ones smoking freely of their legal painful swollen  joints. So what if we face reality. What’s the big deal about turning from it? Why not more embracing of the broke upon the broken? It doesn’t mean you like it. It may not mean you’re next. You’re eyes might change , for sure, might lose a little color. But the pale truth of compassion may be best in black and white. Those are the eyes you wanna stare into….all damn night. The closed become open minded, to air out their shuddering great depths of chilling pain. Those who ascend in great haste, from personally selected lands of sordid waste. Some to broadcast and podcast their pain, others lobbying  for just a taste.

Comedy is a wonderful treatment plan. And walking or hiking. Watch out for the men, girls. Their kinda hiking is hiking skirts. Parting the fabric seas for the young sprouts, the future of the human race… the wannabe materialists and the gonna feel deprived. The wannabe famous and the gonnabe famous… the future chicken tenders of the couch (to replace the current tenders of the couch). Turkeys. Cornish Hens. Nightwatchmen and women of the virtual screens (television junkies). Eyes fixed with such discipline. Clucking in all the right places. Pecking when necessary. Necking during commercial breaks. Braking to a perfect stop, when the feature doubles the creature… the wanna get paid for their efforts, the gonnabe disappointed again and again (myself included).