Friday, April 01, 2011

No Lake Sonoma 50-Mile but Lots of Sun

Heading back towards San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge.

I should be getting ready for the Lake Sonoma 50-mile. Nope, no dice. The race was called off this past Monday. The recent heavy rains raised the level of the lake 14 feet. The creek crossings were inundated with water. Instead of ankle and waist deep crossings we were looking at swims with current. Um yeah,... I got out of triathlon because of the swim. So no Lake Sonoma 50-Mile this year. The good news is that we have automatic entry for next year. Slots from folks not opting to return will be placed in a lottery for those wanting to run the race in 2012 who didn't get in for 2011. Well it is what it is. John Medinger, Suzanna Bon and the rest of the LS50 staff would part the waters if they could but they can't. They have also taken a very gracious step of refunding most of the entry fee despite having already spent money on provisions and other race related expenses.

Shortly after the announcement I got texts, emails and even a phone call on the matter. Options abound, this is Northern California, we have races like no other place. I opted for returning to the American River 50-mile slated for next weekend. Not one of my favorite races because of the nearly 30 miles of bike path before hitting real trails but I want the distance. I want a 50 mile race. American River RD Julie Fingar opened up an extra 75 slots to the sold out race specifically for displaced Lake Sonoma runners. I freakin love this community, with a passion. Runners look out for each other, race directors reach out to do the same for each other. If I didn't get in AR I would have joined buddies and PCTR running team members, Marla and Larissa, for PCTR's Skyline to the Sea 50k. They are planning to do what I did last year which was to run a 20 mile training run on Saturday and then race the 50k on Sunday. Basically a 50 mile run broken over two days. There was also the new Mokelumne River 50-Mile/50k/Marathon/8-Mile but it's the weekend after AR and Skyline to the Sea which put it closer to the Quicksilver 50-Mile which I am also entered to run. I'm not like Mark Tanaka or Ian Sharman, I need time between my races, uh besides being a lot slower too:)

Somewhere around here are my road gears. I'm not very good on road but I should be okay. If I go over 8 hours for AR I will be very disappointed.

Well at least it's sunny again. We are back in the sun! I don't even care that I'm acclimated for wet and sloppy weather just when the warm weather is returning. It's bound to get hot soon, could even be a killer at AR. I don't care. Dear Yellow Ball in the sky, give me a few weeks to acclimate but don't go anywhere.

I've decided to back down this week on the running. Rest from all the runs the previous weeks and a short taper for AR. The allergies are on with a vengeance but I'm beating it back with the generic version of Zyrtec. I hate taking pills but allergy pills get a pass.

The picture at the start of the post and the ones following are from the Ninja group's recent Thursday morning run. So called because we are sneaking into the Headlands in the dark although a few more weeks and it will be light enough at 5:30AM not to need headlamps.

Our starting point. A parking lot overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. In this picture the bridge is the faint light on the right hand side of the picture. That's the bridge roadway in the foreground and San Francisco and the Oakland Bay Bridge in the distance.

It was 60 degrees at the start, no wind and no fog.

The two who started these runs a couple of years ago, Brett Rivers and his girlfriend Larissa Polischuk.

Last lookout point before the long downhill home. You can see a part of the Golden Gate Bridge. Last week we were not even able to make it to this point because of the sideways rain and strong wind.


  1. Too bad about Lake Sonoma but glad I'll be seeing you at AR50 this year (my 1st time running it). This will be more or less a training run for Comrades so no real time expectations. I am bummed about missing Skyline to the Sea that race.

    Anyway - see ya next weekend Rick!

  2. Nice Billy. See you soon, it will be here before we know it. Looks like it will be good weather and good training for Comrades.

  3. Oh, man ...sorry to hear about the cancellation. What a total bummer. I was wait listed and really wanted to race there too, but I guess it wasn't meant to be for anyone this year. Maybe I'll get a lottery slot for next year and join you there.

    Good luck at AR - and the only way you'll go over 8 hours there is if you run it twice.

  4. As much as I was loving the warm weather this week, 80 degree running down in Reno had me absolutely melting. Still, I'll take this over more snow!

    Sorry to hear about Lake Sonoma. Total bummer, but yeah, swimming across a river in a race doesn't really sound like a great plan. However, I'm psyched I'll be seeing you at AR! Whoo hoo! I actually really like that race, although I know a lot of people agree with you about the pavement. Ran on the last ten miles of the course this morning and there was a bit of mud, but nothing too crazy. Fingers crossed for good weather.

    Beautiful pictures, Rick. Such an amazing place to run. Guess you're pretty safe from the mountain lion with so many companions. :)

  5. Nice pics, Rick. Love the warm glow of the sun on everyone. Sorry about Lake Sonoma.
    I'd love to do S2S someday if my joints would let me. Have some other friends doing AR50.
    Will wish great weather for you all. After the weather of my Diablo race and the next weekend, I guess you'll take anything :)). Am away now, have to run. Happy weekend! Ann

  6. Gretchen I am worried about that too, wilting in temps not that hot but hot enough since we just came out of our Winter, yours colder than ours. Yeah no thanks on the swimming. I stopped doing triathlons because while I loved open water swimming I hated the pool. While LS would have technically fallen into the open water swimming category I usually don't swim with trail shoes on:) John and staff made the right call and I just feel badly for them since it must have been a gut wrenching decision, they being more disappointed than anyone entered in the race.

    You know I think about that darn mountain lion whenever we are out there and too glad to have company on those Thursday morning runs. I'm not scared of chickens but if 20+ came at me with headlamps on I would get out of the way too. Gee, I hope the mountain lion of Rodeo Valley feels the same way!:)

    Trailturtle, yeah quite a bummer but I'm totally focused on AR50 now. I've been lagging on catching up on blog posts (the usual these days), but looking forward to reading about your Diablo race. I've only had hard races in Mt. Diablo, four of them in the "brutal" category - I have a special place in my heart for that mountain. I'm so glad the movement to rename it "Mt. Reagan" isn't going anywhere. That mountain IS the devil and it haunts my ultra-running dreams!

  7. What up Big D? Flashbacks of WS 08, cancellation of a race, no new entries being accepted, the few slots opening up put in the lottery. I hope you do put your name in for next year's Lake Sonoma. If you get in we could run our first LS50 together.

    Thanks for the vote of confidence! I do hope to get under 8 hours. Judging from my recent times I should be able to do that but you never know. I may fall asleep on the bike path or wilt in the heat being acclimated for colder, windy and wet weather.