I ran 13.1 miles today, on the trails, with an elevation gain of 2190 fts. I had not run a single time past 6 weeks or more. Suffering from a calf muscle injury, I was only on bike, swimming, and cross-fitting (avoiding the run workouts). I spent time working on my glutes, core, squats and used to row more. Workouts dealing in squats are the best overall workout for your body. Continue reading
My first ultra marathon.
I picked my first ultra distance, as the ‘SMALLEST ULTRA’. A distance of 50Kms, or 31.25 miles. Really not much, if you have completed a marathon, but when most of the minds shut down after 20 miles of running, and you only need to push for another 6.2 miles, the 50K calls for another 11.25 miles of running. Added to it, the obstacles of hills, elevation, and rugged terrain.
I signed up with CoastalTrailRuns, who organize trail races, across the bay area, by the California coast.
Coming to the course description, this is what the 50K looked like:
Elevation gain – 6320 ft
Single Track – 42%
Dirt Road – 44%
Asphalt – 14%
I would say this was my first event, where I wasn’t feeling any butterflies in my stomach. I infact slept well for two nights. I was not at all thinking or looking at the course. Rather, for the entire week I was actually logging 40 miles per day on my bike, and 5-6 miles on the run on alternate days. Remained calm and composed, I would say.
A night before, I had set up my bag with all the things I would need, like- extra clothing, running clothes, body glide, and some gels, and water bottle.
The start time was 8 am in the morning, so I left home around 5:45, enough time to reach Marine headlands. Whether I enjoy the workout in SF or not, but driving their early morning is always fun :).
Reaching Rodeo beach, the parking was around a mile away from the start point, so we got a shuttle drop to the location. The weather was cloudy, and quite cold, that I had to wear layers. I was expecting the weather to warm up, and so I wore a make shift arm warmer, made out of cutting the closed end of used woollen socks :). They serve the best, and just incase you want to get rid of them you can trash them.
Reaching the registration tent, around 50 mins prior to the start of the race, gave me enough time to move around, sink with the weather, use the bathroom, and call my parents as I had nothing else to do during that time.
The race start was right on time. The course starts with an elevation gain of 800 ft. Without letting my running emotions get over me, I kept my nerves, and started slow, even walking the steep sections. Being my first ultra, I thought I will pace myself on my own, and as I feel good.
After the steep section, I started to pick up a little pace. My running form was – smaller steps, quick rotation. This always helps me get into a rhythm and I eventually start passing people on the way.
The first food-aid station was at mile 4, just ate a 1/4 PBJ, some M&Ms, and nuts to keep me going. Beyond this, at every aid station, I consumed a salt capsule, and PBJ with some table salt. And consumed 20 oz of electrolytes every 4 miles. And I never cramped throughout the run.
The course was amazingly beautiful, incredible views
It was awesomely windy, and cold.
As much as I loved going uphill, the downhills were quite demanding. The rugged terrain, had lot of gravel and stones, which need focus and patience while coming down. By the end of 30K, the downhills had almost taken a toll on my quads.
This is me at the 30K aid stop, stretching before starting on a half marathon :).
I piggybacked on a runner for the second part for a good 2 miles, she was doing her marathon. And this helped me with some company and pace.
After the 36th km aid stop, I almost walked the 2 mile climb, which had a grade of +10%.
Once the 2 mile climb was over, I picked up the running pace, and enjoyed the muddy trail –
You can see from the picture above, how foggy it was in the woods. Looks like it had a good rainfall.
The last stretch was either downhill, or flat. And let me say, after running a big distance, your quads will not like you running downhill.
As the finish was getting closer, the happy emotions were setting in. If you would have asked me how was I feeling, the honest reply I had was ‘I AM JUST FEELING HAPPY’.
This is me crossing the finish line. Finish time was over 6 hrs, but now when I look back at the whole course and my run, I definitely can get the same course done in under 6 hrs. Even, 5hrs 30 mins won’t be an overstatement.
Strava link- http://app.strava.com/activities/67162287
Feels good to own this –
For all the runners out there, this is a hilarious video. Well, I have not heard any of this, except once in a while from my mom, but sympathies to the runners with families 🙂 …. Sorry Brothers and sisters, this is damn funny !!!
“I AM A MARATHON RUNNER” …
comment if you have been into this situation ever…. will be funny to gather those moments !! 🙂
First of all HANDS down to the warrior.. with utmost respect I salute his marathon completion at the age of 100 years with a timing of 8:25:17. At around 30Km mark, he was in bad pain, and it felt that he may drop off the event, may not complete it.. but he shocked the world, when his utter determination and mental stamina.. brought him to the finish line… If you check the video out, you can see him crossing the finish line.. event organizers were almost packing up, when the awesome dude completed his run…
His half marathon timing may shock you, at age 96, he has a sub 2:30 timing. He had set up a world record for age 90+ at the Toronto Waterfront Half Marathon 2004: 2:29:59. Damn lot of novice runners in 20’s target this time. I am spellbound ….
check his wikipedia.
This post is just too small to talk about the personality, who has stood alongside David Beckham and Muhammed Ali as the Adidas brand ambassador. Adidas signed him up for their advertising campaign ‘Nothing is Impossible’ .. And the dude, just proved it.. @100 yrs, 26.2 miles, under 8:30 is unbelievable.
Fauja had blood tests and a bone density test when the runner was 99. Doctors, kept blind to the identity of their subjects, felt they were dealing with a 40-year-old in the blood tests. On bone density, Singh’s left leg was found to be comparable to that of a 35-year-old; his right leg had that of a 25-year-old.
“His response was, ‘I knew my left leg was weaker,’” said Alan Brookes, race director for Toronto Waterfront Marathon 2011.
even the Adidas billboard warns the Marathon runners from Kenya: “The Kenyans had better watch out for him when he hits 100”. lolz!!!
To read more on the great man, his humbleness, and sarcasm, read it at SikhiWiki
Hats Off to you … DUDE !! 🙂
Hola!! my readers..
So with a good feeling on my foot, heels responding great to the 3 mile run two days back. I did a 12.44 miles of long and easy run. Well, honestly it was being nuts to do this long run after being away from the trail and pavement for a month. I was instead planning to gradually bring it up to a 13 -15 mile distance.
But only a runner can get to know the excitement and anxiety to hit the trail. Adrianne and me signed up to do the distance on Friday morning. Started off well, with me focussing a lot on my stride, because I was very particular on hitting the road with either the foot or the mid-foot. So I kept the strides small.
Honestly, and after experimenting I found that, if you keep your strides small, your turnover is quick. Your foot leaves and hits the ground faster. This definitely helps you improve your pace. If you want to catch the guy ahead of you, try running with longer strides, you may or may not catch him, but you would have exhausted hell lot of fuel. The next time, catch the guy ahead of you with shorter and quick strides, you will definitely spend less energy and catch him.
So that was my footwork, but at around 9 miles, I was feeling soreness in my heels. Nevertheless, at an easy pace, completed the distance. It was so much rejuvenating. Awesomeness was at its prime 🙂 …..
To avoid any inflammation of the Plantar fasciitis, I took my icing bottle to the office, and kept icing the entire day while sitting at my cube. Took ibuprofen. And gave ample rest to the foot.
The run was possible, because I was biking and swimming, while giving my heels the much needed rest.