Sunday, November 22, 2009

Coyote Creek 10K: inaugural edition

A quick and short post after spending most of the weekend sorting things out before the move of our office from our current ILOG location in Sunnyvale to the IBM office on North First Street in San Jose, a move finally rescheduled for December 3 and 4. I did a similar exercise this summer in France. I came to the Valley in 1998 and we were supposed to stay here for 2 years, that was 11 years ago... Because it was temporary, I had left quite a few files and archives behind. This past July, I went through 11 years of archives, and ended up with one box out of 10! I keep a lot and it is not an easy exercise for me to throw souvenirs away. Besides, there were quite a few documents and articles pre-dating the Internet era, things which you will not find on the web or Google.

Anyway, after 11 years in the US, same exercise again as I am leaving a nice office for the exciting life in an open space, in a cubicle, a concept which I never experienced apart from a few weeks spent at some clients like the FAA for instance, decades ago, and a concept I am more familiar with from my occasional reading of Dilbert's comics.

Coyote Creek 10K

Enough about work and let us come back to the running. At lunch time this Wednesday, I had the pleasure to join a very small crowd for the inaugural Coyote Creek 10K time trial organized by ultraholic Chihping Fu. My main interest for this event besides testing my current speed was to discover a trail near my upcoming new office location. As a matter of fact, the start of this casual race was just a mile away from the IBM office.

Here is Chihping's report on FaceBook, straight from the Race Director:
It was a blast with 400 runners showing up. Oops a typo, 4 runners! Thank you for coming to run this nice trail with your fast times!
Some runners let me know beforehand that they could not make it due to schedule conflicts. Sincerely hope to see them next time.
The weather was awesome with gentle winter sunshine. The temperature should be around 50 - a perfect running weather. Even with the head wind blowing almost all the time as reported by our front runners, everyone was able to run their own PR pace. As expected, the dirt surface added only a minute or two to their paved road racing records. The following is the result,

Jean Pommier 34:50.27, a warmup for Quad, only 1 min shy from his sub-34 min 10K PR. Now Jean owns the CR :-) (Note from Jean: here is the picture Chihping took of my finish, with my camera: I think he missed me, I must have been a bit too fast while he was juggling with two cameras...)
Pierre-Yves Couteau 38:17.52, an easy test for his sub-3hr goal in the coming CIM
Kai-Ti Huang 47:41.83, faster than his easy 50min 10K road racing, knowing that sub-45min 10K is well within reach since today was part of his "double" from his company at the turnaround - 20K in all !! Good luck at Quad - now keep running the stairs in the building! :-)

Darshan Thaker, showed up first in the same glowing yellow shirt as me, giving me confidence, after running from his company with Muir Beach 50K a few days ago, and then back to his company instead of the finish to make the same 10K distance, so he will figure out his time - 53:20. Another great training run before TNF SF 50K/M.

There is no award, but every finisher was given my home grown persimmon, so called "the fruit of the gods" (Persimmon), freshly picked this morning from my backyard, completely organic with my care every day for years. It's one of my favorite fruits (along with durian, see Ultra List or Alan for details). Darshan, let me know how to deliver it to you. I probably can give it to you at TNF SF 50. Bon Appétit!!
After knowing Jean's sub-34min 10K PR, I could have stayed back into my car for a cozy nap :-) However, I strolled around thinking how to make this event better. One thing I can do is bring a trash bag to pick up trashes along the way before the timing/photo job starts when the front runners approach. I couldn't run due to the recent hip discomfort, but it was great fun and same accomplishment to do all the work in order to help others run their best. I'm happy to get this event up and going for my first time. I'll be looking forward to it next month. I hope my endurance in ultrarunning helps me keep this up every month.
A very special thank you to Chihping for setting this up and getting us this perfect sunny weather in November!

Quad Dispsea in sight

As Chihping mentioned in his report, I am preparing for Quad Dipsea. Topical John actually invited me based on last year's podium and I just received the bib #3 in the mail, how exciting! I am so excited that I even invited local elite Cliff Lentz to participate when I saw him at the CCS cross-country finals last week (he coaches a team in South San Francisco). Not only Cliff is super fast, but he also plays in my age group... Anyway, too late to change the odds in the ultra Grand Prix. Besides, Cliff will run the California International Marathon in Sacramento the following week, so we will see if he shows up.

In the meantime, I keep doing speed work as you can see above, as well as at the track with my running buddy Bob (whom I invited to speak at this FACCSF event last Tuesday evening on a topic I submitted last year and which turned to a facinating and informative debate with the 4 experts: Atoms and Photons: What energy alternatives can bring to California?).

I also completed the speed work with three other workouts:

a. some static work, which I call "sit backs" or "wall backs", where I "sit" with my back against the wall but without any support such as a chair or stool. Today, I managed to do my ultimate series of 4 times 4 minutes with 2-minute rest intervals. Needless to say, this is tough and I need a good book (CauseWired: Plugging In, Getting Involved, Changing the World today) and good music to pass the time and go through the pain (yes, it is a little painful and the quads do shake...).

b. This Saturday, I also tried something new. I ran to the Stevens Creek Park (saw a few fellow club members of the Stevens Creek Striders there) and ran the steep hill up to the dam 14 times. As you can see below on my GPS trace, the satellites must have wondered what I was trying to do, going back and forth. The scale is probably not very accurate, it gave about 100 feet of elevation for each repeat (~30 meters), and 0.2 miles for each round-trip (i.e. 30 meters of elevation gain for 160 meters). And why 14 then? Because it made 2.8 miles, or 1/10th of the overall Quad Dipsea distance.

c. Not satiated with these hill repeats, I did 14 other repeats on the stairs next to the Blackberry golf. 85 steps up, 85 down, times 14, equal 2,380 steps! Granted, not as large and high as the Quad Dipsea ones, but a good workout nonetheless.

With that, let us see how these workouts... work out on race day next Saturday. In the meantime, enjoy Thanksgiving, as much family time as possible and not too much turkey and gravy...


Chihping Fu 傅治平 (超馬阿爸) said...

Thanks for running your best at the Coyote Creek 10K. I was proud to have you in the run!

Your other trainings are also impressive. They are so well to be my life time goals :-)

Wish you have a nice Thanksgiving with your family. Look forward to your performance in Quad out of these solid training!!!


Anonymous said...

Bravo pour ce nouveau succès!
Impressionnée par l'entrainement "au mur".
Particulièrement interessé(e)s par le premier paragraphe.

Nancy Miller said...

Good job. Enjoyed your article. A very Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.
Hugs, Mike and Nancy