Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Moment of Reflection

A short quiet moment to think about three friends who I knew were running the Leadville 100-Mile Run this weekend who all ended up with a DNF (Did not finish). What happened? What went wrong? No webcast for the race but the results were available this morning before I headed off to church, mighty quick of them. Why I was late for church! I Wish them the best in their recovery. I know they trained very hard, even making the long trips for some high altitude training.

I on the other hand had just gotten my first DNS (Did not start). What a surprise it was to see my name on the DNS list. Well not really a DNS, I withdrew from the race back in May when my plans for altitude training fell through. Someone just forgot to take my name off the list. I knew it was going to happen since I kept receiving email and snail mail from the race organization. They did refund my money no questions asked however since it was early enough in the process.

Congratulations to all who started regardless of outcome. Meanwhile I will be stalking my friends Facebook pages to get clues. I'll get in touch with them when they have recovered.

[Update] Make that four runners.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


The weekend of Headlands Hundred, that Sunday, we celebrated a birthday by doing a double on the Dipsea trail. What a way to kick-off a birthday celebration! Brian August was turning 40 and his girlfriend Dana and friends came up with the idea of doing the double since he had never run the trail. Brian's no slouch, he's a very fast triathlete but his triathlon training has kept him off the trails. He's actually coached by the guy who won last year's Quad Dipsea.

The Dipsea is my all time favorite trail but it is far enough north of San Francisco that I don't get to run it as often as I want. With Pine to Palm 100 coming up it was time to start logging some miles on the trail and the other Mt. Tam trails. There are bigger climbs on Mt. Tam and while the ground is softer, slippery mud in some places, it's also more challenging with rocks, roots and steps. From the pictures I've seen of the new 100-mile course in Oregon, brought back by friends who have scouted the area, I think Mt. Tam's trails will be better for my training than the dry, exposed, less technical trails of the Marin Headlands.

So this past Saturday I was back out there, hauling my sorry butt across that trail four times for 28+ miles. I'd tell you the time but I don't want to embarrass myself. It felt good though challenging as it was and many people were hiking in the area so there was lots of company. This was followed by an 18-miler in San Francisco on Sunday that was a mixture of road and trail, a good respite from the hills of Mt. Tam. I'll see about doing the same workout this weekend. Body is feeling beat especially after last night's track workout. I'm crossing my fingers that they will be ready for more hills and distance by the weekend or it's going to be a long one. I may have to grease the mental wheels with promises of beer and sugar, hopefully it won't have to come to that.

The before picture at Mill Valley, before the sweat, dirt, mud and good times.

Heading up towards Cardiac Hill.

At Cardiac Hill.

Tina and Kara slipping past the redwoods.

Birthday boy ascending the steps on the Stinson side. Heading back to Mill Valley.

Almost home! Troy heading towards the Muir Woods parking lot.

Got my "double dip" button!

Then it was on to the birthday celebration at Brian and Dana's home.

Birthday boy and birthday cake.

And there was also good, microbrewed beer. I could use some of that right now.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Headlands Hundred

Saturday morning I was up at 4:30 AM, gaahh I hate getting up while it's still dark outside but no way I was going to miss the start of the Headlands Hundred. I had a wedding to attend so I wasn't able to sign on as a crew/pacer. The wedding wasn't until later in the day however so I planned on being at the start to see friends off, hang out until it was time to go, then run home to get some training in. I rode with pals Larissa and Marla. Marla was running in her first 100-mile race and Larissa was crewing and pacing for her.

It was cold and foggy, brrrr! Great conditions for a run but tough on crew, volunteers and spectators. Larissa and I drove around to the different aid stations in Marla's Mercedes convertible, yeah it was sweet but the top stayed on though. This is the San Francisco Bay Area in the summer - pack your gloves and jackets! Soon it was time to go and I tagged along with Bradley and Marla as they made their way back to the Golden Gate aid station. I said my goodbyes at the bridge and wished them both luck. Bradley, a good friend, had himself a spectacular day by coming in under 22 hours - his goal was to come under 24.

On the way home I ran into two friends who were wrapping up a day of canoe racing in the bay. Both had a connection to the Headlands Hundred and I updated them on the race. Jess crewed for me at last years event and Samantha was my pacer from miles 75-100, a role she was scheduled to reprise for Marla. My pacer for 50-75 last year? The groom of the wedding I was invited to. Neat right?

Enjoy the pictures, there's more, just click on the provided link.

Joe Palubeski and Larissa Polischuk pre-race. Joe would end up winning the race in 19:40.

Now you know where I got the inspiration when I designed the logo for the Headlands Hundred, 50-Mile and Marathon race. RD's Sarah Spelt and Michael Popov.

Marla leaving the Muir Beach aid station.

UltraRunning magazine's John Medinger and Lisa Henson at the Tennessee Valley aid station.

Marla and Bradley heading towards the Golden Gate bridge on the SCA trail.

Charles Lantz eagerly awaiting runners at the aid station that had the best views, aptly named "Golden Gate".

Golden Gate aid station captains Larry and Carol.

Heading back across the bridge, San Francisco in the distance.

The Marin Headlands as seen from the San Francisco side.

Ran into pals Jessica and Samantha at Crissy Field after their canoe races. Jessica was my crew chief last year for my two 100 milers including the Headlands Hundred. Samantha to the right is Marla's pacer for miles 75-100, a role she fulfilled for me last year.

For more pictures complete with captions, click here.