Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Looking ahead: Races in 2014

 For the good part of this year I have been thinking of races in 2014, well mainly because I can get out of self imposed exile from 100s. I have been thinking of various mountain 100s with following  constraints
- Minimal training
- Late registration
- Hardrock qualifier

These set of factors helped me narrow down to either Cascades 100M or Pine to Palm 100M. Cascades is my favourite but I think a generous 34 hrs at P2P makes it more practical and registrations are open until late. So as things stand P2P 100 in September will be my main adventure for 2014. I am hoping few of Ultra people (Darshan, Todd, Vinod, Naresh and Rajeev) can join at P2P as well, makes it much more fun to train and soak in race ambience.

Apart from that I am chasing a lot of other goals. Arun and Dharmendra are joining me at M2B marathon in Spring.

2/1 Jed Smith 50K (sub 4:08, Ultra #46)
3/1 Razorback 100k (sub 10:30 Spartathlon qualifier, Ultra #47)
5/10 Quicksilver 100k (Ultra #48)
5/25 Mountains to Beach Marathon (BQ#3 sub 3:10)
6/21  Crissy Field 24hr  (Ultra #49 maybe)
7/27 SF Marathon (4hr Pacer)
8/2   Evolution Loop Adventure Run (w naresh maybe)
8/23 Headlands 50K (Ultra 50)
 9/15 Pine to Palm 100M
10/10 Firetrails 50M
12/04 CIM (BQ #4 sub 3:15 maybe)

For the year I have plans to volunteer at following races 

4/19 Ruth Anderson Races:           co-RD (registration is open)
5/10 Quicksilver 50k & 100k:       Volunteer
8/19 Run Des Vous 100m:             Volunteer and Chef
Spring Trail maintenance.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

A recap of 2013


This year relatively has been a quite year from ultra running perspective, though I have got few ultra's in past 4 months, earlier in the year had been quite tough with lil Ahana falling ill and we barely keeping fit. This is evident from 4 set of DNS(Did not Start) this year
- San Bruno HM (Feb)
- Razorback 6hr (Mar)
- Oakland HM (Mar)
- Quicksilver 50m (May)

Finally after our India trip in Jun there was some sense of stability and my running got back into groove. I was able to have great races at the following:

Skyline 50k (5:54hr):
A perfect day except for getting lost for 2 miles(makes for a fun detour). I was hoping for a sub 5:30 but didn't happen this year, may be next. I will most likely go back in 2014.

Headlands 50M(13:40):
This is a set of two 25m loops in Marin county. I was planning on a good race, but when I heard my good friend Vinod doing his 100m, I was encouraged to run the 2nd 25m with him. I see this has a set of 3 races for myself.
- i) I ran 25M loop in 4:42.- ii) after a brief rest I headed back home south bay spent time with family and got done few chores.
- iii) headed back at 9pm to join Naresh and wait for Vinod at Start point, he arrived at around 10:40pm, after a quick break we headed out into fun night loop of 25m. He finished strong within 33hrs, awesome effort on a tough course.

Morgan Hill Marathon (4hr pacer):
A good pacing opportunity with RunningAddicts group. Good rolling hill course and evenly paced race.

SV Turkey Trot 10k(42:14):
I wanted to take good advantage of a fast course and big crowd to get a PR 10k so was training hard to get a sub 41 or get close to 40, but training didn't go as planned, I need to loose some weight to get under 41. Overall I think it was avaerage training from a 10k perspective but got training for Quad Dipsea. Come race day I was looking to run a evenly paced race around 6:45. overall achieved my intentions and finished in 42:14. This is going to be a regular feature in my calendar and a great speed test as well. (Arun Simha was supposed to join as well but he was down with cold, next time hopefully it will be a family affair)

Quad Dipsea (6:15):
I have been wanting to do this race for a while now, but since it falls during Thanks giving WE its tough to take break from family, moreover it's a week before CIM another fast course in Sacramento. This year things aligned well, I didn't have plans of doing CIM so opened up WE for Quad Dipsea. This is a very hilly and historic race started as a training run by prolific ultrarunner and previous publisher of Ultrarunning magazine John Medinger in 1983, after 30years of running the race he passed the baton to John Cats who executed the race beautifully.

Got to see Dipsea trail 4 times. I had wonderful race until mile 19 when I started cramping pretty bad(mainly due to less water and salts), last few miles were just a exercise in cramp management. Glad I finished and happy with the time for now. As a bonus I got a ride from fellow Strider Lina who was a great company chatting about race plans for 2014 and beyond.

I think that's all the racing for the year, December is going to be a good base maintaining month with the goal of running easy 160miles to make it to 18000 life time miles.

This year has been very productive in terms of Volunteering as well. I was part of following races.

Ruth Anderson 2013: 
I was Co-RD along with Rajeev, he along with Steve Jaber, Stan Jensen and Dave Combs have set a very well organized race. Promises to be a fast course for PR seekers in 50k, 50M and 100k distances. Thanks to all the volunteers involved in the race. This continues to be a great spring race a tradition started by Ruth Anderson.

Run Des Vous 2013:
This is another fun race Organized by Rajeev Patel. This is run in Harvey county park, San Martin. Its run on a 2 mile loop with 1 main aid station. I was excited be part of race in various times, it was a blast. I have some ideas to do much better job next year. Rajeev has encouraged great community of runners here and has help spawn few more races on the same course (Run Des Amore(Nov), Razorback Ultras).

As usual I am thankful to Rashmi my ever supportive wife through out the year, It would be very hard to execute on this self centered sport without her support.

Some notable adventures of friends.
Bhart Dudhela: She completed her first 100 mile run at Run Des Vous in 29:15hrs. It was a very proud moment, one which brought tears of joy in many. Great to see her accomplish this much sought after goal amidst various life events.

Rajeev Patel: He completed few shorter ultra's and GUCR 145 mile run for 4th consecutive time apart from that he also did Razorback 100M in about 30hrs. This might have been relatively a low race year for Rajeev but his accomplishments nonetheless are superlative. Apart from racing he RD'ed Ruth Anderson, Ohlone 50k, Run Des Vous, Run Des Amore.

Rajeev Char: He was taking off from Tri's this year, but that opened up for more interesting travel oppurtunities. He travelled with his lovely wife Renuka to Italy and Spain.

Vinod Vishwanath: He did a double 100 with minimal training possible, RdV 100m followed by a tough Headlands 100M, pure grit is what  I say!