Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fremont Fat Ass 50K

Quarry Lakes Regional Park, Fremont CA.

Yesterday (Saturday 24) Janet, Kim and I went to Fremont to run the Fat Ass 50K. This is very small run put together by Catra Colbert and Mike Palmer put together. It was a self-sufficient run; we had to carry everything we needed to make it until the end. There was a single aid station with water, a few cokes and chips. I had my camel back, but instead of water I carried food. I was the mule although Janet did not need any of the stuff I had and Kim relieved my weight by one cliff bar.. The run took place at the Quarry Lakes East Bay Regional Park. Apparently this place was at one time a sea salt harvesting facility. It has lots of paved trails frequented by cyclists and runners… It also has dirt trails which we use, it is a really cool place to run..

Catra Colbert and Jerry RDs and bad ass ultra runners.

Kim and Janet drove from San Francisco to pick me up bright and early. We drove to the East Bay through the San Mateo Bridge. Neither Kim nor Janet were familiar with the bridge and they were surprised of its length. It is one of the longest in the world (25th). The first time I crossed it, it reminded me of the King Fahad Causeway that goes from Saudi Arabia to Bahrain.

So anyway, we drove to the East Bay and got a little getting lost for a few minutes, but eventually we found the place. There were abut 25 people running the 50K and the weather looked promising. We parked and started getting ready to start our little running adventure of the day.

Fat Asses pre-run picture.

Janet, Kim and myself a few miles from the start..

What none of us knew was that most of the course was pretty flat. It wasn’t that hilly, but it was hard. The reason? we ran a lot on paved trails (bike trails) and my knees and IT bands are not used to run that long on pavement anymore. The longest I have run in pavement is 10 miles and at a fast pace, so not really a big deal. But being on paved trails for more than 3 hours and your knees will feel it. My left IT band started to flare up, luckily, I usually carry an IT strap with me and this time I was glad I did. I braced my left knee and I could run again… until.. my right IT band started to flare. So I switched from left to right and from right to left as needed. I had a moment where I simply could not run anymore.. I was in pain and hungry, I asked Kim and Janet to take a small walk break and I believe they were relieved to do so. Prior to that we were cruising and none of us wanted to stop the momentum. We walked for about 5 minutes and then picked up the pace again. The truth is that we did not want to lose track of Catra who was just ahead of us. The course was a little complicated and having someone that knew the course ahead of us was a good thing. Being in pain I was not going to miss a turn and do extra miles…. And as Janet put it, "I am in pain right now so I want to make sure I am doing the whole 50K"…

A paved hill.. Oh crap!! my poor IT bands. Janet had some calf issues too.

Kim did not show any signs of pain whatsoever, and not having had a long run in a long time, she did great she is a tough cookie.. Janet and I on the other hand had our issues. Janet had some calf problems and I had IT band issues. Nevertheless, we trucked through and finished.

My best Running Buddy!!!

The day was overcast with sporadic very light drizzle. It was a little cold in the morning that I had to wear arm warmers and gloves, as the day started and I warmed up, I removed the globes and the arm warmers. It was a great day for running. Loved it… yes I hated that my IT bands were not liking it. I think this is something I need to deal with since I intend to do the IM in Arizona this year. Last year I did IMcDA, IT bands were OK since I practically walked a lot of the marathon because plantar fasciatis issues. But in any event, this was a great run and looking forward to this new year full of ultras and personal accomplishments.

Once again thank you to Catra and Mike for putting this race together and Kim and Janet for being such a great running buddies.

We are done... OH MY.. fun fun fun...

As I was running yesterday, I kept thinking about stuff. For the first time in a long time, I was not involved in every conversation we had going on during the run. And I thought about thinking… I thought about what was thinking at the moment. I have been reading this book called the Power of Now and one of the thing the author talks is about being in the moment. Most of us think about the future and the past, start creating “what ifs” and we really become prisoners of our own thoughts missing the present moment. Being in the present is what is important and what keeps us alive. I am not thinking of the future anymore.. It is not here and will never be here. All we have is today and nothing else…

What is next.. There is another 50K next weekend that I just learned about… I might do it and if I can rope Kim, Janet or both into doing it with me.. It would be amazing.. Until then..

Monday, January 19, 2009

IronMan inspiration

The best video I have seen in a while... Man talk about motivation... I cannot wait for IM training to start for me.. I am going to rock my IM this year..

When I saw this video I had chills in my stomach.. I had an amazing time in IM last year, and I am sure I will do better this year. My fitness is better and I am motivated... Very motivated to do well.

I rode my bike today... while driving to start my ride I listened to some music and I randomly picked a song. I picked Eminem's Lose yourself... Wow.. what a powerful message that is.. I am a not a rap fan, but this song hit home..

Look, if you had one shot, or one opportunity
To seize everything you ever wanted-One moment
Would you capture it or just let it slip?

The chorus goes like this

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment
You own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime yo

Interestingly a friend of mine shoot this video when I did Ironman this year.. It is only a few seconds long.. I was not aware of this video, but it is pretty cool. check it out

Saturday, January 17, 2009

DipSea trail Again and some other thoughts!!

Janet and I went to run the DipSea trail today.. The day was so freaking beautiful.. I loved it… It was amazing.. and the thing is we rocked the course.. AGAIN!! When we did the Quad DipSea last December, we finished the double in 3:06, that was including the aid stations and the start which was very crowded. Today we finished in 2:59:08, it was a great day.

Of course during our run we talked about everything and nothing, it is amazing how time flies when you are having fun. No, neither of us was miserable today which sometimes happen in a long run. Not today, today we both felt great. I did not bring my camera, so I did not take any pictures., but the day was amazing. Not to many trail runners today, but a ton of hikers. In one occasion we were running down a steep hill, very technical with roots and rocks and stuff like that. Two hikers were looking at us in disbelief.. it was funny to see their faces.

This is one of my favorite picture of us running the DipSea Trail..

Next weekend we are running a 50K ( , we are looking forward to that one run. My ankle was bothering me a little today, I think I need new shoes (always an excuse to get new shoes). The ones I got have been working for me so I think I am going to go and get another couple of pairs before they go out of production which usually happens all the time.

Hey.. by the way… not to get too philosophical here, but I was just wondering.. Do you know your purpose in life? When do you know when you have accomplished your purpose? Oh Crap.. my head hurts…

But in any event… Life is great and I just want to say… Wow… What a ride. I have been working really hard on living a healthy lifestyle… With the intention of living a happy long life.. Talking to a friend today she asked me.. How do you define happiness? How do you know you are happy? I did not know what to answer really, but she said. Well in my view happiness is when you are satisfied with what you are and what you have in the present moment. I was like.. hummm.. then I guess I will never be happy because I want more… I really believe that we are never satisfied with what we have, we always want more. I do, don’t you?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Crystal Springs Water Shed Run.

Yesterday Janet and I went to run at the Crystal Springs Watershed. It is a protected area and not available to the public. The only way you can get in there is with a docent. The docent has to open the gates he/she must remain with you for the duration of the run/walk. Suki Martin and George Miller, our docents were the “supervisors” making sure we were not got lost and or abuse the trails.. The views were amazing and as always it is good to get out there and run.

This time it was for a cause as well, the Coast Side Running club is sponsoring an scholarship fund for one or two deserving cross country high school runners. This run was part of their efforts.. We were privileged to run in this beautiful pristine area in exchange for a donation that would go directly to their scholarship fund. I think it is an amazing cause.

A pic of the runners previous to the run..

Of course the source of this run was Janet’s email. She forwarded me the invitation and I gladly accepted. I have run this trail before, a year ago with my running club So I knew how beautiful this trail is, so without hesitation I wrote Geroge (the organizer) and put my name down. It is alwasy fun to run with Janet, she is such a talker and a good listener too... Or maybe she pretends to be.. :)

So this is officially my first long trail run of the year, although I ran 10 miles on the first of January in Woodside with Nicole. However a long run to me is anything longer than 15 miles… I guess I am moving up a notch.

The run is of course was self supported, so we did not have any aid stations or anything of the sort. I usually get hungry really fast, so I made sure to eat plenty before going there and took a couple of bars with me. There was something wrong with my tummy, I just could not get in the grove until mile 16 or so. I had to go to the bathroom two times and I was not very happy. As I said, I was hungry; thank God they had some fig-newtons. I had some of those, they gave me a new wind, therefore I miss the assorted items of the aid stations put together by Sarah and Wendell (PCTR). I was not feeling all there, thank God this run was not a 50 K, otherwise I would have been in so much trouble.

But back about the trail, as I mentioned, this is a beautiful place. The trail (fire road) is well maintained and not technical at all. There were some climbs, nothing major and Janet and I like always talked a little (not). We always have something to talk about, this time we talked about.. hummm.. … Well if you really want to know you have to join us in the trails.. It is fun, really fun.

Happy kids...

Suki Martin (our docent and ultra runner phenomenom) and me..

Another set of good news, a few weeks ago I signed up for the lottery to get a slot at the Miwok 100K. Yesterday they announced the people that got slots to run this great race, Janet and I both got in. I am really excited it will be 100K or pure fun.. I haven’t gotten sick since Mount Diablot 50Milers, and my IT band has not flared since a few months ago. I believe that the new found fitness and lack of injury has been because I started to do CrossFit. Saul, my trainer has explained how doing some major strengthening will help my running, I can see it and I am happy.

All right, for this month I hope to do another race 50K perhaps, that will help with the Moab 100Miler training. I am so excited about this.. but then again I get excited really easy over really little.

Wanna see more pictures?.. click here and click here

Sunday, January 04, 2009

It is a new year!!

So 2009 is here and I wonder where 2008 went.. I am in awe how time passes by so fast. I think that 2008 was a great year for me when it comes to running and my career. I finishe several ultras including 4 in 4 weekends... that was the highlight of my year. I finished Ironman Cour dAlene, I also completed my MBA. That was great.. In matters of the heart that is a different story.. It sucked, but I am sure that 2009 is going to be a great year.

A fellow blogger mentioned something about following your heart. It is amazing if you could do that all the time. The thing is that many times the things that your heart wants and needs are beyond your reach. You simply cannot have them so it becomes painful and the only thing you can do is move on. It might be painful to let go but at the end it is the best thing for your mental health. You should not have people in your life that don't add value to it.

To finish the year well.. I decided to go skydiving.. So on the 28 of december I went to take the jump.. It was sooo much fun.. I really enjoyed that and I hope to do that again sometime... It really was an amazing experience. I love it..

I started the new year well.. Hopefully it will continue to be as good as the last.. I have a few goals that I want to accomplish... I want to do 4 marathong/ultras in 2 weekends.. I will do Ironman Arizona and Moab 100 miler.. Those are my three ambitious goals among other things. I also hope to finish a book manuscript at the end of the year.. I hope to meet new people and most importantly to keep myself healthy... Wohooo!!!