Tuesday, March 15, 2011

2011 Way too Cool 50K

It’s been a LONG time since I posted anything. Sadly it’s not for a lack of running related things to post. I’ve just been really busy with work and home life.

To summarize a few things, this years Training Group has been killing it in training. The Wednesday night hill repeats have been epic. Lily has been doing great training for her first ultra. She has also been working with Julie Fingar as a volunteer coordinator for her events.

Last Saturday was the Way too Cool 50K, my first race of the year. It was also the first Ultra for most of the runner in my training group. Since last August I’ve been focusing on changing my training. I was dissatisfied with my results, my fitness and my health, (read weight), I was in a rut.

So I listened to what a few elites do and went back to what I know from my old running days. Basically you got to run hard some times and sometimes you just got to run how you want. A long run doesn’t always have to be slow and easy. Tempos runs are the Holy Grail in my opinion.

My winter build up after CIM went well. I had planned to be at a higher average weekly mileage before WTC, but I only have so much time to run. That and my big races are later in the year so I’m not in too much of a rush.

Kirk and I had some great training runs on and off the course. A recent hilly 26 miler with Tom Flahaven, Dave Goodin, and others showed me the body was coming along.

Based on my training and fitness I felt a 4:30 4:40 on the new course was possible. I figured the new course to be approximately 10 minutes faster. (Some running mathematicians who obsess on this stuff now believe it to be 15ish minutes faster).

As always the two week taper before the race found me unable to run much due to job and life. It’s stressful, but better at this time then during a heavy training week. I hate to “over taper” before a race. I end up with dead legs on race morning, but what are you going to do.

The day before the race Lily and I worked packet pick-up. It was great to meet new friends and better get to know people I only knew in passing. John Blue, Rory Bosio, Amy Schmich, all good people.

Way too Cool 50K

So race morning came, Lily, Izabella (Cheetah), Melisa and I made the trek up to the race. The Cheetah was on a long leash while we raced. A friend working the event watched her as she and a large group of other kids roamed the start/finish area. Exciting for her, scary for dad.  The training group peeps were ready to go:

The Group ready to ROCK!!
So the guns goes off, mile one is sub 7 for a bit, OK, that’s out of the way. I settled in after that content to follow/hang with Jenny Capel and Tim Twietmyer. At mile 8 as we go thru the start/finish I was ready to hit the long downhill and find a rhythm on Quarry Road. I knew the race would truly be made closer to mile 20 at the Auburn Lakes Trails aid station.

Everything went well, until the downhill. Even after going potty before the race I had to go again, Damn you Colon!!!! When it hit me I thought I could wait until the porta potty at Quarry Road, uh nope downhill’s make things speed up a bit.

As I emerged from the bushes I saw Kirk, who knew what was up after running with me so much, (thanks for kind words later buddy).

A little bit of jockeying occurred on Quarry Road with other runners. I let whoever wanted to go by pass me. My bro Jesse Barragan went by looking fresh. Jesse has great speed, so looking fresh I knew I would not see him again.

Otherwise most of the other runners who passed me came back to me later after ALT. The hills were going better than planned. I only did a few short walks on the really steep stuff by Dead Truck Trail.

As I past the Barbara Schoener memorial at the top of the long climb we do from the creek, I knew it was time to get the race going. My race plan was to rock this section to Goat Hill as fast as possible since it is great running terrain. I also know a lot of runners start to crater in this section.

Things went well, but I was stiff and lacking some top end. I was moving well, but the legs were a bit tight. I was happy with the effort I was putting out and just kept it going. I picked off more than few guys which is a nice morale boost late in a race. Especially when the guy is bare chested with black Sharpie writing on his chest. Just before Browns Bar the legs felt better so I picked it up a bit ran to the base of Goat Hill.

Goat Hill was a new experience it still hurt, but I ran about half of it. After you start the climb you make a hard right turn. I ran from here to right before the aid station. It helped that there was a runner moving well just ahead of me. Some Coke at Goat Hill and I hit the next section feeling better than before.

I soon saw a familiar runner up a head, Jesse! As we started up one of the ever present rollers I tried to bridge to him. Sadly the legs twitched, which means “slow down dumbass”. So the remainder of the race I watched Jesse dance in front of me until the finish, Nice Run Jesse!

Just before the finish I was treated to a finish with my best girl:
4:22 for a finish, feeling good.

As I planned the post race fun was as good as or better than the race. We had beer, chips, Jell-O shots (Thank you Michelle). New friends were made and I caught up with old friends, it was a great time.

The training group impressed me, everyone finished looking GREAT!! Lily overcame some issues to finish her 1st Ultra looking great:

(My moment of Zen)

I look forward to upping the training a bit for the Bishop 100K in May. But before that I plan to be the crew de jour for the entire training group at AR50. I also have to plan out how to top the post race festivities.

Some great photos I found online, thank you to Chuck, G, Jean Pommier, Kathy Fairbanks and Rachelle Borris for the photos:

Jean's Photo's

Check my Face Book for more great photo link's.

Jake, Kirk, Scott, Scott #2, Jesse, Ken, Terry, and my whole training group.  It was a great day, congrats!! see you all at the next one.


  1. congrats man! you did awesome and brought home a nice pr. and btw, the bare-chested sharpie man was actually leading the race from the get-go. he went out ridiculously fast (like 5:30?) and it seems he hit the wall pretty hard. great report, really enjoyed it AB.

  2. Congrats and GREAT race report and it was you I saw online the minute I turned on the live feed! Love that photo of you and the Cheetah crossing that finish line!

    Yeah for Lily too. She rocks! Family of Ultr Runners.

    I added Lily's logo to my blog. :-)

  3. Excellent report. I liked reading it very much. Congrats on your day. I didn't realize you had done as well as you did. That's awesome. Thank you for the obsessive mathematician mention. I'm almost (not really) inspired to do more.

  4. Great report AB. Love the photos of you crossing the line and Lily. What a day for you and your family.

  5. Jake: I figured something was up with him.

    Kathy: I was wondering is you would get that, the emails you sent were epic, but good stuff.

    TM and TP, thanks much.


  6. Congrats on a great time! I love those pictures of your girl escorting you guys across the line. That is the best!

  7. Thank you Gretchen, she's my light. Love your blog BTW, have to meet you at the next race.