Thursday, December 04, 2014

Reflecting on 2014

It's already Dec and I have failed in most of my resolutions, except for one, i.e spend more time with A, I got to do lot of fun activities this year with her and see her grow to a cheerful, adventurous girl. I still plan to take her to Zoo and Discovery museum again before the end of the year.

Dec '13, I was busy making plans for '14 races and after tons of racing this year, I havn't been able to capture any of them on my blog, mainly coz I am always in look ahead mode. With 3 days left for CIM '14, this being my 6th CIM and probably 3'rd BQ attempt, I decided to jot down few of the races I did past year and reflect a bit.

Racing season started off pretty early, with this flat 50k, I was trying to go close to 4:10hr finish, I was on pace for a good 24 miles of the race, then ended up slowing with a bloated tummy and finally finished around 4:30, still a good race effort. I won't be doing this any time soon, too early in season for me.

Quicksilver running club was known to put great races (25k/50k/50m) and fantastic post race food.  It had been standard races for all preparing for summer/fall 100m runs. But that changed when Western States board decided to move the entry criteria for the race to 100k and 100m races, Quicksilver decided to re-reroute the 50m course and design a new course. 

Race started from Hacienda park heading towards Sierra Azul, climbing all the way to bald mountain, mount sombrero getting down to lexington dam and getting back to finish at Mockingbird entrabce (which at that point was mi 42), from that point it runs mostly on the previous 50k course. Course was advertised to be epic with 13K ft of climb over 62 miles, did seem like a v hilly run. I was able to get moderate training nothing monumental but good enough to give me confidence to finish.  One of the memorable moment was heading to Bald mountain aid station just at sun rise, it was epic. Rajeev Patel and QRC did put up a excellent race. and I am looking fwd to doing it again in 2015.

This was a accidental race, we were exploring travel options and Bryce/Zion seemed like a good idea and when in that area this race seemed like a great option. Ultra-Adventures are known to organize scenic trail races around national parks, currently they have few races around Utah and Arizona canyons. This was run along with 50k and 100m races. 50M is a point to point and 100m course is out and back.

Race starts on the outskirts of the bryce national park, but that doesn't change the topography, we ran through hoodos up and down, ran the ridges with deep canyons , into the canyons and back up. It was a hard race, most of the race race is over 8000ft high so breathing does take a toll. Our long drive from bay area didn't help either. I was more than glad to be done at 50M point. I was lucky to find a wife of one of runners who dropped me all the way back to our campgrounds. (Thanks friend)

Great experience, but much harder for Rush , A and Zo in the campground, need to plan better next time. I may not do this race again, but will surely do other races by Ultra Adventures. I highly recommend this race.

Marathons and Pacing:
I did a bunch of pacing this year @ SF marathon and MHM, it went mostly as planned. Also I was planning to race at Mountains to beach marathon but my training didn't go as planned due to all fun times with my cousin and brother in feb/mar/apr, that didn't help. But it was memorable coz my friend Dharmendra had a awesome race running 3:03 to secure a Boston Qualifier 2015

Sep: Headlands 100M:
Most of 2014 I wanted to get a hardrock qualifier so was planning to run Pine to Palm 100m in Oregon, but things didn't workout, it was turning out to be hard to do this race so decided to do a local one at Headlands 100 . I hd done 50M in 2013 so knew what to expect, logistically it was much easier. As a bonus my brother Ajith decided to pace 26miles of the race, which was fabulous he kept me awake for most parts and restrict my sleep to just 1 hr :)!! I did manage to finish in 29hrs. Its a good local 100 option, RD and volunteers do a great job.

As I write this I am 3 days away from CIM, after Headlands I focussed my training towards CIM, in attempt to run under 3:!4 and secure a BQ for 2016. This will be probably my 3rd attempt at CIM. Previously 2 ended in 3:14:47(PR, 2011) and 3:25:0(2012, rough weather), this time I have got good training cycle, felt very strong most of the time. I plan to stick with 3:15 pacer until mile 16 and slowly pick some pace to get under 3:14 by finish. Lets see how that goes.

Overall great running year. Met another milestone of running 20K miles between 2003-2014. my gratitude to Rush for all her support and all the friends with whom I have shared these miles.

Update on Dec 29th:
CIM turned out to be a disappointing finish, 2 days prior felt sick with sore throat and had hard time recovering from it before the start, I think it did take a small toll on me, I couldn't make 3:15 but ran 3:21, hard effort but not pleased.

Updates from friends

Dharmendra D: He qualified for Boston 2015 at Mountains to Beach Marathon, v proud of him. Awesome dedication and focus to goals that mattered to him.

Rajeev Patel: Took up RD'ing 3 races in 2014, I had a blast helping out at RdV 100 as well. Going great guns coaching Team Vibha as well.

Rajeev Char:  he did several Tri's and stayed away from Ironman distance, but plans to be back in 2015 Ironman Tahoe. His legacy is encouraging 1000+ asha runners to marathon finish and several 100's to Tri's. He completed 10 seasons coaching Team Asha as well. What a year, Respect!

Vinod Vishwanath: Did a double 100 in Aug(RdV 100) and Sep(Headlands 100) with minimal training, a  beast.

Bipul Talukdar: Did his 1st 100m at RDL, congrats Bipul, looking fwd many more accomplishments.

Kiran Karadi: ran marathon at MHM on his 40th birthday

Satpal Dalal: did many many races, apart from 125M run at Razorback race. He is running v strong

more updates after CIM 2014.

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