Nisene marks marathon
Date: June 3rd, 2006
Nisene marks holds a special place for me as I did my first 5k on June 4th 2002 with my friend Kaveesh.
Bit of background on my first 5k:
After our 2nd Hike at Pinnacle national monument in may 2002, myself and Kaveesh decided we should increase our endurance to participate in multi-sport events like Mark Burnett's Eco Challenge which was our dream Event, with little bit of googling we found Nisene marks hosting a 5k run and we decided to train for this event referring to training schedule listed by Hal Higdon.
Vicky joined us on the race day, I still remember asking vicky "whats the chance of us coming in top 10", seeing other runners vicky instantly replied "none" :).
Not knowing the art of pacing we started out too fast and were able to run as our heartbeats permitted. finally we completed in 29:30.
Brief history of 4 yrs:
After our first race, we moved on to 10k's for the next one year.
This has been the turning point in my life as a runner, joined Asha Marathon training program and my Long beach blog summarizes my training experience.
From road races moved onto trail races, which seems more rewarding than running a marathon, I got to see lot of scenic places like Marin headlands, Skyline open space reserve, Wunderlich state park, Almaden state park and American river bike path in Auburn.
At present Ultra-marathoning has attracted me as opposed to adventure racing which was my initial goal, due to time constraints and other priorities in life I have given up on my eco challenge dream but would like to do a 100 mile adventure race some day..
Expedition Adventure racing like Primal Quest seems like a distant dream, but I am fortunate enough to have found running and wish to keep running for the rest of my life..
I wish to thank all my running buddies for this wonderful 4 yrs of life as a runner and wishing them many more. Most importantly I want to thank Rashmi who has been there for all my runs/races and supported me through my crazy passion for outdoor adventures. Coach Rajeev Patel has been a constant source of inspiration, coaching and mentoring. Padma/Kiran are the most dedicated running buddies, together with them I ventured into world of Ultra-running.
Nisene marks Race Report:
This is the 3rd time padma/kiran and myself were running this course and were familiar with every turn and hills. The entire run is on a trail in nisene marks forest and almost the entire course is covered by redwood trees, which makes run a very pleasant irrespective of the weather. My goal for this race was run most of the hills and if possible do within 5 hr, which I thought would be possible considering my previous times.
Race director Carol permitted me to start early due to my other commitments after run.
I started 30 mins early the first 4 miles are flat before entering the fire road trails which gives enough time to warm up before hitting the hills, then we gradually climb before hitting a small steep section. At mile 6 we had 2nd aid station, the volunteers were just setting up.
This is my favorite section as most of it is very gradual climb totally covered and occasionally you can see a stream flowing by 1000ft below, at sand point aid station volunteer Warren asked " you re
alone today? where's your buddy" I was pleasantly surprized he remembered myself and kiran running the same course last year, thanks to all volunteer's who make such organized races a pleasure. Sand point has the best view of aptos village from 1500ft.
After the aid station we get another steep section between 10-11, which I moslty walked followed by another runnable section, throughout I was listenting to my IPod, which makes solo runs enjoyable.
Since I was consious about time, I was happy to reach top at 2:36 in past I had taken around 2:45, I realized could do the next 13.1 in 2:10 since most of it is downhill.
These miles passed very quickly as the entire section was gradual downhill so I was running at a easy pace enjoying my music. weather was getting slightly humid. At mile 14 I met Kiran, who was crusing on the uphill and after his 50k at Carmel Valley, at mile 15 met Padma, who seemed be sore from her previous run and was chugging along the hill.. and said "The run is tough, but will keep doing it slowly"
At this point I had 6 miles to run in 60 mins to make the finish line in 4:45, Again since most of the course was downhill could do the next 4 miles in 40 mins, but last 2 miles couldnt run at 10min pace, I wanted one shot of coke, but the aid station were out of it, but some peppy music pulled me through and finished in 4:48. At the finish I had memories of most of my interesting runs over the past 4 yrs and was very happy to complete this journey without any injuries so far.