Sunday, January 22, 2012

Fremont Fat Ass

Three weeks have passed since I resumed my training and this is already my fourth ultra run! After another busy week at work with a pair of 5 AM conf calls, I decided on Friday evening to participate in a second Fat Ass, albeit a much flatter one than the Saratoga Fat Ass, actually pretty much a flat one. Since the rain finally arrived in the Bay Area on Thursday and it poured all night this Friday, I was expecting a good rainy training run but it turned out to be mostly a sunny one, except for 10 minutes of rain. However, we had to run against a strong wind going toward the Bay and I must have enjoyed that so much that I missed the last bridge over the Alameda Channel and went 1.3 miles too far on the wrong side of the creek. I knew the Coyote Hills Regional Park was on the other side, but I had missed the fact that we had to cross the river a few miles before the entrance. At least, these 18 extra minutes gave me the opportunity to see Sean, Toshi and Larry who had started at 7 AM. Would I have not done the detour, I would have missed them before they exit the 8-shape loop in Coyote Hills Park (rather than 8-shape, it actually looks closer to the contour of North and Central Americas on the map ;-).

From the initial 8 min/mile average pace while I was running the first 4 miles with Dan and Mike, I managed to get the pace down to 7:25 by mile 15, running slightly under 7 min/mile. However, the strong wind slowed me down and my GPS gave a 7:41 pace after I stopped for a couple minutes at the super aid station that Chihping had setup and for us, giving away his whole morning for us during such a special New Lunar Year weekend.

Thanks to Mark Tanaka (and Toshi who posted the link earlier this week), I discovered (I know, it was time...) the cool replay feature of Garmin Connect and you can replay my run, from your chair ;-), and see this embarrassing mistake (click on the previous link, then the arrow button).
Between the extra 2.6 miles and the fact that we missed the small detour through the Niles Community Park at mile 3, my GPS gave 32.76 miles for the run, not too far from the 50K distance (31.1 miles). I was hoping to break 4 hours, I will have to come back next year and pay more attention at the bridge crossing...
It was fun to see a group of 25 or so, representing a good mix of our East Bay, South Bay and Mid Peninsula ultra running communities! A big thank you to Mike Palmer for setting such event up and giving us the opportunity to run in these local Parks. It was a first for me and I particularly enjoyed the amazing views from the West side of Bayview Trail in Coyote Hills.
Big thanks too to Chihping Fu for such a stocked aid station that he had to move back and forth to avoid the rain shower. And for attending to his legendary photo coverage of the events he is involved in (with a brand new camera!):
After bragging about my great 2111 season, I had planned to share about my 2012 program, this will have to wait one more week. As a hint, this run was a great preparation for a flat 50K in two weeks, many will know which one I'm talking about.

To finish this post, and for those who are not subscribed to Ultra Running Magazine (you should! ;-), I received my copy this week which includes a new column from our team Captain, Greg Lanctot, about running clubs, starting with a feature of our QuickSilver Ultra Running Team. And, on the 3rd cover page, the Vespa ad I mentioned in previous posts. Here again, I ran a good sustained pace for 4 hours after taking one Vespa CV-25 at the start then very few calories compared to the 3,000 or so calories I spent: 1 Gu (100 cal.), 1 banana (thanks Chihping!, 110 cal.), 2 cups of Coke (80 cal), less than one bottle of Gu2O (100), 2 S!Caps. Burning fat and learning how to leverage your fat as your main source of energy/fuel, isn't it what these Fat Ass events are all about? ;-) Anyway, another opportunity to wish you a great 2012 year!

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