Thursday, May 31, 2012

Capping off WS100 training

When I started out training, I counted on 9 keys runs and May was the last key month training for WS, but at the same time it would be quite a challenge to get sufficient training runs, due to various family commitments, I couldn't make it to Miwok 100k or Quicksilver 50M which usually is one of the key runs amongst folks training for WS. Instead I converted few shorter runs into a 50M training runs.

i) Ohlone 50k

          Ohlone 50k(Mission Peak to Del Valle, courtesy race website)

This is a classic point to point run starting at Mission peak, Fremont and ending at Del valle regional park, Livermore. This offers fantastic views of east bay hills, plenty of heat training opportunities and lots of climbing. Race climbs about 7800ft in 50k. Since this was my key run for WS, I decided to start at 4am and add a 16m additional miles (Mission peak to Sunol and back) This worked out v well, it gave me some night running and additional 4000ft of climbing.

Then I joined the 50k race at 8am, since it was a 30th yr, it was completed filled up months ahead of time. I added a additional black jacket to add some heat training. As day progressed temps went up to almost mid 80's closer to finish. It was a very productive run, I enjoyed the fabulous views and got some quality training done. Added few extra miles to make it to 49miles in 11:30hrs.

 A mile away from finish(courtesy Joe Swenson)

Dan Marinsik offered me ride to start point, it was great hearing about his Marathon Des Sables, which he finished in great shape. Teh pictures of sand dunes are very inviting, its added to my wishlist for future.

One down and I was looking fwd to another 50M classic run, 5 days later.

ii) WS training run day1(Robinson flat to Driver's flat)
Eevry year WSER board organizes 3 day training weekend on memorial day WE. It's a great opportunity to see 70 miles of WS trail from Robinson flat to Finish at Placer high school over a period of 3 days. Even if one if not part of the race its a fantastic run in the sierra's the views are one of the best in Sierra's(ofcourse JMT and TRT are my favorite).

I was planning to do just day 1 so wanted to get max out of the day. my friend Sandy Baker who has settled in Foresthill recommended adding additional 18miles to day 1 to make it 50miles. That sounded like a great training run and a chance to see Foresthill to Rucky Chucky in daylight, which I would be seeing only during night during the race.

 WS100 coursemap, courtesy

Robinson flat to Foresthill was a fun training run, we mainly had 2 big hills. climb up Devils thumb and Michigan Bluff, both were not very tough for the cool conditions, but I am sure it can get pretty tiring on a hot day. I got very good idea about what to expect on race day and kind of splits to shoot for in those sections. I loved running this section. I managed to do in about 6:30hrs.

Sandy was waiting for me at runner check-in at Foresthill(she had done additional 6miles from Michigan bluff earlier). After a brief break to refuel and get additional water for next 18miles, we took off from Foreesthill. Finally it was great to have a friend to run along, Sandy had done this section many times and she shared her tit bits for every section, from FH to Cal1 to Cal 2 to Cal 3 to Rucky Chucky. I got it all dialed in for the race day. Not sure how much I will remember that day but it was great to enjoy this section during daylight. I had  a blast running this 16miles downhill, finally we climbed 2 miles to Drivers flat where Sandy's husband Keith offered us ride back to Foresthill. Thanks Keith it was very productive and memorable run on WS trails. I wouldn't have done this without Sandy's help.

Finally when I look back at my WS training, I got in some really good quality training over the past 5 months, now I need to make sure I am heat trained, well rested and plan logistics for the race weekend. This wouldn't have been possible without R's generous support, It was  a extremely tough for her to stay back with lil A. I am very  contended with my training and I am glad
its over, also capped off May with 300mile month, highest ever since I began running 10yrs back. During this training I released I need to dial down a bit and stay with shorter ultra's for another 2yrs, which would offer better balance and more time with lil A.

WS another 23 days away!

Thursday, May 03, 2012

A month of WS 100 training ahead.

Past month was one of the key months in training, at the sametime it was one of the crucial months in Ahana's transition to daycare. That made things at home and training very challenging to say the least, more so for Rashmi.

I had taken 2 weeks paternity timeoff to help Ahana transition to daycare and that worked out very well. She being a tough cookie did very well by end of 2 weeks, she got to know teachers and settled into a predictable routine. That was one less thing to worry about, naturally those weeks were low mileage week, to make things interesting I started painting our garage and that took on forever. Finally by end of month I was done with garage painting, 3 weeks effort spending daily abt 1-2hrs, it was a interesting cross training but I suppose it was bad timing to take up that project.

Getting back to training it was meant to be following 2 long runs
i) Lake Sonoma 50M:
Since rajeev had to travel out of country and darshan decided to dropout of  this race, meant I was driving alone from Santa Clara to Race start at headlberg. It was one long day starting at 2:30am and ending at 11pm.

Race itself was gorgeous, beautiful day, ideal run conditions, trails were pretty muddy in parts due to previous week's rain. I enjoyed every moment of it. I crossed the finish in 10:46, I was happy with the effort. After some catching up with Greg, Julian, Nattu and Karen, I drove back home. I couldn't believe winner Dakota Jones ran a CR of 6:21!

On the home front my wife endured another kind of Ultra, Lil A was down with cold and was not taking any food, which made for a very stressful day for her. I was guilty of doing this race, next time I will stay local.

ii) Ruth Anderson 100k:
Due to previous week's events I decided to shorten the run to Ruh Anderson 50k and got few bonus miles before the race making it a good long run of 40miles and added 10miles the next day. It was fun running around circles, met tons of ultrarunning friends. I love this race.

As usual Rajeev Patel and team organized a fantastic race, I wish I could go longer but had to get back home to spend time with lil A, who had another rough day at home. I was glad to be with R.

With 2 runs under the belt, I felt much better w.r.t my prep for WS, incidentally Rajeev planned a  14hr+ night training run for his GUCR 145, and I squeezed in another bonus run(8hrs) to give him some company and get some night running in. It was fun night chatting about so many races and plans ahead. He did great getting about 55miles done.

Going forward I am counting on 2 more runs for May and a big training month, I am hoping to cross 275 miles for this month. Also time to start my heat training. my plans for this month
- Ohlone 50k(+ bonus 19miles)
- WS training run day 1 (Robinson flat to Ruck Chucky, 50mi run)

I hope May is less hectic than April.