Saturday, October 21, 2006

Firetrails 50 Race Report

Firetrails 50 is a 50 mile race in Castro Valley, Ca.

Race morning started at 5:30 am at the Starbucks. I got my usual coffee and headed out to the starting line. I knew I would have to go to the bathroom before the race; but I didn't have the urge to go yet, so I just had to wait until the time came.

It is 6:00 am and I am here at the starting line, but the "urge" to go just still wasn't there. I headed out for a 10 min jog to see if I can get the bowels going. Sure enough, after the jog I am ready to "go". But, man the line was so long for the restroom. Taking some drastic measures, I headed out to the woods to do my business. But, I didn't keep track of the time and the starting gun sounded (6:30 am sharp).

I can hear the gun in the distance; I was panicking and ran back to the car to put things away. I got to the start line about 3 minutes late; then I realized that I had forgotten my hydration bottle. Quickly, I ran back to the car to get my bottle. When I got back to the starting line, I was 5 minutes behind.


I was sure I was the last one to start. I just kept telling myself, "it is a long race and I have plenty of time to catch up." I quickly settled into a nice comfortable pace, but still fast enough to catch people. By the first aid station, I had caught up to about 40 people. I was counting the people I had passed. Since I knew I was last and how many had signed up for the race, I knew my progress within the race. The second aid station (at about 5 miles) came, and I had passed 95 people. I felt much better. But doubts started to enter my mind, as I thought I might be going too fast and catching too many people too quickly. But I was feeling really good and ran all the flats and rollers and run/walked the steep climbs.

Now it is about 16 miles into the race; I passed about 15 more people. I still felt good, but I had no idea about my pacing since this was my first ultra. I didn't know if I was going to die at the end or not. I knew I was in the front third of the race because I had been counting how many people I passed. I didn't want to blow up and DNF, so I started to be more conservative. From this point on, I kept my focus on not being passed. If I passed a few more, it would be great. But If I just hold my place, I would have been satisfied.

On my approach to the turn around aid station, I started seeing the front runners on their way back (it is an almost out and back course). The first place guy was about 5 miles in front. Wow, he was fast. When I saw him, I was 2.5 miles from the turn around point (26 miles). I had passed a few more people, but i was loosing my count. But, now I can really know how many were in front of me. I just had to keep counting the people coming back. At the turn-around point, I looked at my watch and it said 4:05. Not bad, I thought. But may be too fast??? I just didn't know if I could have held the same pace. I counted about 20 people in front of me, which means I was 21st place.

If everything went well, meaning that I didn't blow up, I knew I would end up about top 10% of the overall race field. I knew that because that is where all of my good races before have been. If that were true, it would have meant passing about 5 more people. But, I didn't let that get to me, if I passed them, great; if I don't, that's fine too. I was just intent on holding my place.

From the turn-around point, I became more conservative and was walking the climbs more. I just didn't want to DNF. Not knowing what pace I could have held was really draining to me mentally. I still felt great physically, no blisters, no cramps, no aches and pains. But I knew things could change so fast. I slowed and walked some of the rolling hills. Whenever someone caught up to me, I reeled them back in and left them for good. I was playing defense.

At about 36 miles, I had not seen anyone for about an hour (6 miles of running). No one in front of me, and no one in back of me. I was getting lonely, feeling the pits mentally. My legs were starting to tire. I have spent 6 hours in the woods, "what am I doing here?" "Why am I doing this?" Just when I was fighting this mental thing, I saw a shadow of a runner just up ahead. He was way up there on the next switch back.

I instantly got motivated and picked up the pace; I caught up to him and passed him very quickly. After I passed him, I saw a few more immediately ahead. It wasn't just one runner I caught, it was a pack. I had passed a pack of runners. Wow, that was awesome.

I was at mile 42. During the last 6 miles, one of the runners from the pack I had passed stayed with me. He would never be far behind, I just couldn't shake him. Well, at least I don't feel lonly anymore. I was not going to let him pass me back.

At 6 miles to go, I was going into the next to last aid station and passed another runner who had been reduced to walking. He was a casualty of cramping; he had been spent with nothing left to give. I could of ended up like him.

At the aid station, I didn't want another GU. I had taken about 20 of them (really, I lost count). Please, mr. aid station volunteer, i said, "just give me something different!" Grapes were good.

The next aid was 3 more miles. Wow, that was a long 3 miles. Now my legs felt heavy. I even walked some flats.
Finally, I reached the last aid station, with 3 more miles to go to the finish.

As I left the station, the guy that was shadowing me had just arrived. l though I had at least a one minute cushion on him. So I just kept going at my pace, but each step was getting heavier. I started counting them to keep my focus on the moment and tried to not think about how much more I had to go. I looked back often, but I didn't see the guy that was shadowing me. So I let up on the gas a little. At about one mile to go, I heard the sound of steps behind me. I turned around; it was him about 20 feet back. He had put together a finish line charge. I had to respond, and I instantly picked up the pace. I said to myself, "he's not going to pass me." My legs were burning, but I just couldn't let up. By the finish line, I had put about a minute back on him. I was fortunate to have enough energy left to fight him off.


They had a great BBQ at the finish line. All racers and their friends and family were invited for free. That was great. The goodie bag included a dri-fit type shirt and a wine glass - very cool. I sat there on the grass next to the finish line and just wished that all my friends were there with me. People were all having a good time.

Looking back, I probably could have extended myself a little bit more. My goal next year would be to break 8 hours. Now I have more ideas about the kind of pace I can keep without blowing up. The 5 minutes I lost at the starting line would have moved me up just 1 place overall. It was pretty insignificant. I ended up fourth in my age group (Masters Men 40-49). Had they broken the age group into 5 year chunks (like almost all other races, i.e. M45-49), I would have been 1st place. The award was a medal and a nice bottle of wine.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi, i read your blog occasionally and i own a similar one
and i was just curious if you get a lot of spam
comments? If so how do you prevent it, any
plugin or anything you can recommend? I get so much lately it's driving me crazy so any assistance is very much appreciated.


Review my site bmr calculator

Anonymous said...

coach outlet store, louis vuitton outlet online, louboutin, nike air max, prada handbags, ray ban, ralph lauren, nike air max, burberry, kate spade outlet, oakley sunglasses, true religion outlet, louboutin, true religion, tiffany and co, nike free, oakley sunglasses, burberry outlet online, tory burch outlet, toms shoes, louis vuitton, nike shoes, coach outlet, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton handbags, oakley sunglasses, nike free, longchamp outlet, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, chanel handbags, ray ban sunglasses, coach purses, oakley sunglasses, burberry outlet online, gucci outlet, coach factory, polo ralph lauren, longchamp, louboutin, air max, air jordan, true religion jeans, ray ban sunglasses, michael kors, air max, prada outlet, coach factory outlet, jordan shoes

Anonymous said...

ferragamo shoes, louis vuitton, timberland, hogan, vans, oakley pas cher, beats by dre, lululemon, ray ban pas cher, reebok outlet, insanity, mont blanc, birkin bag, hollister, hermes, juicy couture outlet, soccer shoes, chi flat iron, louis vuitton, ugg boots, karen millen, yoga pants, new balance shoes, ugg boots, mcm handbags, bottega, converse shoes, celine handbags, nike air max, abercrombie and fitch, supra shoes, ralph lauren, nike free, rolex watches, air max, ugg, wedding dresses, lancel, valentino, asics gel, marc jacobs, ghd, soccer jerseys, montre pas cher, mulberry, herve leger, north face outlet, p90x3, nfl jerseys, jimmy choo

Jordans Nike said...

there is one impressed me the most: cheap christian louboutin a not christian louboutin tall male guests took the stage, the host Meng Fei require the presence of eller 24 female guests to vote. One of ugg the female guests can not ugg soldes wait to first off the lights. Asked uggs on sale why, the female guests no secret:. "Stature too short," while another did not put out the ugg boots lights female ugg pas cher guest says, christian louboutin remise 50% want to see the back of Discount Louis Vuitton the data say. After reading the first paragraph christian louboutin shoes of the video, the female guests male guests quickly progress, filial piety touched discount christian louboutin more impressed by his talent, which has been insisting Christian Louboutin Bois Dore to the ugg australia last lights, hand success. Bags Louis Vuitton And who did not wait out the Christian Louboutin Daffodile lights of uggs outlet the female guests Discount LV Handbags will look to show Cheap LV Handbags remorse. Cheap Louis Vuitton Handbags

Qing Cai said...

louis vuitton handbags
gucci outlet
jordan 11
tory burch outlet
hollister clothing
coach outlet
discount oakley sunglasses
tods shoes
air jordan 11
giuseppe zanotti
michael kors outlet online
herve leger
tory burch outlet online
oakley sunglasses
michael kors uk
christian louboutin outlet
tory burch handbags
adidas wings
michael kors outlet
air jordan gamma blue
instyler
beats solo
converse shoes
true religion outlet store
oakley sunglasses
monster beats by dr dre
michael kors outlet
true religion jeans
adidas outlet
coach outlet store
cai2015409

Jianxiang Huang said...

0707
jx1007
coach outlet
toms outlet
toms shoes
toms shoes outlet online
christian louboutin outlet
christian louboutin sale
christian louboutin shoes
tory burch outlet
tory burch shoes
tory burch outlet online
supra shoes
supra footwear
supra sneakers

mao qiuyun said...

cleveland cavaliers jersey
nike roshe
links of london uk
oakley sunglasses
karen millen uk
louboutin shoes
oakley sunglasses
lululemon outlet
indianapolis colts jerseys
oakley sunglasses
seattle seahawks jerseys
abercrombie and fitch
adidas wings
adidas shoes
coach outlet online
minnesota vikings jerseys
michael kors canada, http://www.michaelkorsoutletcanada.in.net
abercrombie
louis vuitton outlet
lacoste shirts
nike air max uk
pandora jewelry
tory burch outlet
chelsea jersey
hollister shirts
cheap oakley sunglasses, http://www.oakleysunglasses-outlet.us.com
basketball shoes,basketball sneakers,lebron james shoes,sports shoes,kobe bryant shoes,kobe sneakers,nike basketball shoes,running shoes,mens sport shoes,nike shoes
ugg boots, http://www.uggbootsclearance.in.net
north face outlet
coach outlet store
nfl jerseys
louis vuitton outlet
ed hardy t-shirts
ugg uk
nike running shoes
kate spade handbags
michael kors outlet
0828maoqiuyun

艾丰 said...

jianbin1209
michael kors outlet store
ralph lauren
michael kors handbags,michael kors outlet,michael kors outlet online,michael kors,kors outlet,michael kors outlet online sale,michael kors handbags clearance,michael kors purses,michaelkors.com,michael kors bags,michael kors shoes,michaelkors,cheap michael kors
replica handbags
giuseppe zanotti sale
nfl jerseys wholesale
michael kors outlet online,michael kors,kors outlet,michael kors outlet,michael kors handbags,michael kors outlet online sale,michael kors handbags clearance,michael kors purses,michaelkors.com,michael kors bags,michael kors shoes,michaelkors,cheap michael kors
cheap jordans
michael kors handbags
coach outlet store
nobis outlet
gucci
air jordan 4 free shipping
miami heat
los angeles lakers
minnesota vikings
karen millen dresses
monster beats
mizuno shoes
michael kors outlet store
hermes outlet online
atlanta falcons
prada outlet store
tory burch shoes
louis vuitton outlet
nike free
ugg outlet store
lacoste polo
louis vuitton outlet
christian louboutin shoes
coach outlet online
moncler jackets
longchamp bags

Zheng junxai5 said...

zhengjx20160406
air jordan 4
michael kors outlet
rolex watches
coach factory outlet online
michael kors handbags
ghd hair straighteners
ray ban sunglasses
louis vuitton bags
christian louboutin sale
nike roshe run
coach outlet
louis vuitton outlet
kobe 10
coach outlet
tory burch boots
michael kors outlet online
michael kors bags
louis vuitton outlet
gucci outlet
louis vuitton handbags
adidas running shoes
louis vuitton purses
kobe 8
tods sale
ray ban sunglasses
louis vuitton outlet online
jordan shoes
louis vuitton outlet
michael kors outlet clearance
cheap jordans
nike air max uk
louis vuitton outlet
fitflops
ralph lauren outlet
air jordan shoes
oakley canada
nike air max 90
hollister clothing
nike uk
true religion outlet

柯云 said...

2016-06-25keyun
air jordan shoes
coach outlet online
copy watches
coach outlet clearance
coach factory outlet
michael kors outlet clearance
adidas wings
christian louboutin shoes
fitflop clearance
kobe 8
oakley sunglasses
louis vuitton outlet stores
toms wedges
discount jordans
true religion outlet
red bottom shoes
jordan concords
pandora charms
toms outlet
ralph lauren outlet
louis vuitton handbags
louis vuitton
polo ralph lauren outlet
rolex watches
marc jacobs outlet
michael kors outlet
coach outlet store online clearances
michael kors handbags
ghd flat iron
louis vuitton handbags
longchamp handbags
coach outlet online
giuseppe zanotti sneakers
hollister shirts
adidas outlet store
michael kors outlet
lebron james shoes 13
jordan retro 8
coach factory outlet

Hua Cai said...

thomas sabo uk
longchamp pas cher
coach outlet
mbt shoes outlet
calvin klein underwear
ray ban sunglasses
swarovski crystal
rolex orologi
fitflops clearance
coach outlet online
ray-ban sunglasses
lululemon uk
michael kors uk outlet
true religion jeans sale
adidas uk store
beats by dr dre
michael kors handbags
tiffany jewellery
rolex watches
michael kors outlet online
louboutin pas cher
mulberry bags
cartier watches for sale
mulberry handbags
true religion outlet
ralph lauren,polo ralph lauren,ralph lauren outlet,ralph lauren italia,ralph lauren sito ufficiale
oakley sunglasses
longchamp outlet
soccer jerseys
nike free 5.0
gucci sunglasses
adidas trainers
tory burch outlet
tiffany and co
true religion uk
20160630caihuali

xjd7410@gmail.com said...

canada goose outlet
longchamp handbags
nike outlet
coach factory outlet
christian louboutin sale
oakley outlet
kobe 10 shoes
gucci outlet
ugg italia
michael kors purses
christian louboutin shoes
coach factory outlet online
ray ban sunglasses
coach factory outlet
supra sneakers
coach factory outlet
true religion outlet
louis vuitton outlet
burberry outlet online
hermes bag
adidas running shoes
rolex watches
cheap jordans
canada goose outlet
ugg outlet
clarisonic
michael kors outlet
michael kors outlet
kevin durant shoes 7
chenyingying2016817

chenmeinv0 said...

the north face
canada goose sale
louis vuitton purses
louis vuitton handbags
christian louboutin sale
wizards jerseys
ralph lauren
gucci belts
ray ban sunglasses
louis vuitton bags
chenyingying20161017