Sunday, May 20, 2007

Ohlone 50K - Fremont CA

Another great backyard race. My soleus and quads were still sore and tight from last week's race at Quicksilver so I considered not doing this one. But it sounded like a beautiful course and I had an open bet that I could hit summit Mission Peak before 55 minutes that it seemed like a good time to go cash in on. My training runs were right around my normal times so I didn't have a good excuse to cancel. The big question was if my calf could hold up for the whole race.

Rebecca dropped me off at the start at the very civilized hour of 8am. It was a beautiful warm morning so everyone got to start in t-shirts. I shook hands with Will Gotthardt before the run and the starter sent us off. Will, Graham Cooper, Jean Pommier, Mark Tanaka and others led a pack out in front (Lon Freeman apparently decided not to do the race as planned). I hung back as much as I could, feeling great but trying to be cautious. I love races that start with climbs. I fell in with Ryan Commons for most of the climb. We reached the top of Mission Peak (the wooden post) at 49:20. I was still feeling great. Here's me flashing five fingers for sub fifty minutes as I got to the peak.

We started down the other side and my new New Balance trail racing flats were a bit skittish on the downhill. I realized I probably should have gone with my midweight Adidas TR9s. The trail flattened out a bit and I fell in alongside Kevin Swisher. We were running a good pace together and crossed the road about half a mile away from the Sunol aid station when I twisted my ankle on the flat road. I knew better by now not to stop so I continued on and downed some Advil. I reached Sunol station at 1 hour and 30 minutes, about 15 minutes ahead of my planned splits to do it in 6 hours. I decided at this point to slow down a bit. I downed some chicken soup that Rebecca had brought, picked up a couple fresh Perpetuem bottles from her and took off. I probably should have switched shoes at this point.

Shortly after this aid station, while running slower, fellow blogger Chihping Fu caught up to me, snapping pictures along the way. We ran up the climb together looking out over the reservoir
and then turned off on some single track that wound down to the Backpack aid station.

Reaching peak of Diablo sub-50

At the Backpack aidstation Ann Trason was filling water bottles. I stopped to eat some potatoes and drink some coke and left a water bottle there. I was still 10 minutes ahead of my planned splits at around 2:20. I continued on up the hill to the Billy Goat aid station. I started to feel a bit tight at this point and slowed down. I hit Billy Goat at 3:05 and stopped again for potatoes and coke and electrolyte pills. Now I was no longer ahead of schedule but just running the splits for six hours, so it was going to be close. My soleus and Achilles tendons were tight but not cramping. But I had no spring in my step. I got to the uphill for Rose Peak, made the little loop with its beautiful views and hammered downhill to Maggie's at right around 4:05. So far so good. Once down that hill though, when I hit the next climb my calves rebelled and I started cramping, despite all of the salt and electrolytes. I had to start alternating between walking and stretching. Its distinctly possible that if it was easy to drop at that point that I would have. The next aid station wasn't until 26 miles or so. I hobbled along to get there, at 5:30. I called Rebecca to let her know that I was going to be quite late. The next five miles were mostly downhill but I was very slow on the 1/2 mile of uphill that was remaining. I finished in 6:50, just glad to finish at all. Its a beautiful race. I hope to tackle it next year without injuries and run well under 6 hours.


Blogger willgotthardt said...

Good stuff Adam...way to push through to the end.

Hey I thought the 'five fingers' was a signal for how many ultras you'll do next month?!?!


Will G.

3:50 PM  
Blogger Adam Blum said...

June is actually nine races but only two ultras. Good thing. These things are beating me to a pulp.

6:43 PM  
Blogger Adam Blum said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:43 PM  

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