Friday, March 12, 2010

Primed and Ready

And here we are, the day before my first event of the year. Exciting stuff. I'm glad that after so many races I still get excited about 50ks, wasn't always the case. When I started running 50-milers, 100ks and 100-milers, I turned my nose at 50ks. I was like "why would I pay money for the barely ultra distance?". Thankfully I grew out of that idiocy. Speed hurts at any distance.

Many trail running friends whose company I enjoy I only see at races so I am eagerly looking forward to the Way Too Cool 50k. At 500 or so runners it's considered a large race. It could easily be 1000+ runners if there wasn't a limit on entrants. I've never run the event, I only decided on it for this year when they went to the lottery system due to overwhelming popularity. I am not one of those people who will sit in front of my computer and try to register for an event right when the clock strikes 12, well there was my eBay phase but a whole other story.

It's raining again so that means muddy trails, may have to use gaiters. I hate them actually but I have such a short stride the I deposit a lot of dust and debris in my ankles, with mud and water more of that junk ends up in my socks and shoes. Leor Pantilat has been posting updates about the weather conditions on Facebook. Now he's saying that there might be pre-dawn snow flurries. Great. Evan Hone would be at home here... actually no, still not cold enough and not enough climbing at a mere 3,000+ for the entire race. That Alaskan mountain goat has been piling on the miles and hills. Anyway I think it's great that the 2-time defending champ is advising us on the weather.

I am bummed however to be missing our triathlon club's annual weekend training retreat at Lake San Antonio. A 3.5 hour drive south towards Paso Robles. Three days and two nights of hanging out and training. The workouts are coached, free ART sessions, catered bbq dinner on Saturday evening, free beer, shenanigans optional at night and you just know there will be a lot of desserts at all the different cabins. I'm a sugar hound. I wish I wasn't but there it is. I've gone the last three years, it's a good time but also a serious training weekend. I usually skip the swim but bike the 56-mile course and log multiple loops on the half-marathon run course about half of which is trail.

These are pictures from last Saturday's short and touristy taper run, all shot with my mobile phone. I stayed in the city this time, mingled with the tourists, ohh'ed and ahh'ed at the same things, enjoyed the weather and the city.

The other bridge, the one that goes to Oakland. Not as red but longer, no foot traffic allowed though, not that you'd want exhaust fumes and loud noise for 4 miles or so.

Street performers at the Ferry Building. That guy weighs almost twice as much as the woman he is balancing on top of.

A shot of the Ferry Building and the open market.

Coit tower, made to look like the front end of a fire house. It was built to honor the work of the firefighter in the 1906 earthquake. The city burned down but not without a fight.

Marin Headlands and Mt. Tam from the base of Coit Tower.

Mara's Italian pastry bakery on North Beach. It was tough, I didn't have any money on me.

The city from Aquatic Park where swimmers and triathletes do their open water swims. I am standing on a pier that protects the park from swells and current. You can see Coit Tower on the left, Trans America building to the right of it. I live up and over that hill of buildings on the right.

Where I usually run, down the Marina green to the bridge and back on the weekdays, across the Golden Gate to the Headlands and Mt. Tam on the weekends.

For the photoset click here.


  1. oh...good times...the racing season is afoot...and there is excitment in the air...spring temps....and fresh air...not to mention dirty trails...;-)

  2. Have fun tomorrow. Embrace the conditions.

    Also Roes will be out there and he is at least twice the runner that I am. Alaska will be more than represented with him.

    One cool thing about the 50k distance is that it is over pretty quick so you can still have all day to catch up with friends and really enjoy the community. I like running them. Plus the recovery is minimal.

  3. Muddy for sure. It's snowing hard up here, but I'm at least 4000' higher than Cool, so hopefully you won't get any of the white stuff.
    Have fun!!

  4. Good luck and best wishes to you, Rick! Enjoy your first race of the year, and I wish you much success this season!

    And I would kill to have a bakery like that in my area... ;-)

  5. I wonder if I'll ever reach a period where it's "just a 50K"..

    Anyway, have a great time out there Rick. Hope you kick the season off with a great start!

  6. I wonder what happened. Hope you had a blast! I will wait for updates.

    Next time bring some cash. Haha.

    Cheers, sensei!

  7. Hope you had a great race! Next month I'll be in SF for a conference...hope to get in a few of those touristy runs!

  8. Looking forward to the report...are you still washing the mud off!