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..

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