Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Boston Marathon #8 -- 3:09:00


I ran my 8th Boston Marathon yesterday, finishing in 3 hours 9 minutes. This was my 4th fastest Boston Marathon and my 32nd road marathon.

I'm really pleased with the race. I probably went a bit too fast in miles 18-23, though, because I had some cramps (left hamstring, both calves) in mile 25. But otherwise the race went pretty smoothly. I was aiming for 3:10 and my official time is 3:09:00. The weather was good -- cool and overcast. The volunteers and organizers and spectators were fantastic as usual.


I had been looking forward to my first big in-person race since the pandemic. And the Boston Marathon is always a rewarding experience. This was the first Boston Marathon that my wife was able (and willing?) to come to with me. We made a nice trip out of it, spending three nights in New Hampshire and three nights in Boston. I only did two short runs, but we did two rather strenuous hikes, including going to the top of Liberty Mountain. The fall colors of New Hampshire were gorgeous.

Once in Boston, we made our way to the covid vaccine check; it was smooth and quick. Thankfully, almost all of the runners were fully vaccinated, as the line for the covid test, for the unvaccinated, had just one person in it. The Expo was far less crowded and was much more spacious, with many fewer vendors, than in past years. My wife convinced me to buy the Boston Marathon 2021 jacket which I think looks pretty smart!

The next morning, Sunday, the day before the race, I got in an easy 4 mile run and then we walked for a few hours, getting lunch, going to a science museum, and then finding dinner. (I had a tasty spicy Moroccan rice and tofu dish.) The weather was pretty good, being mostly overcast and in the high 60s in the middle of the day, but rather humid. That’s still a little warmer than the ideal running conditions, but I’ve run in much worse in Boston. It was fun seeing all of the fit runners everywhere.

I worked on my pacing plan that night, which is rather last-minute. I wanted to do well, but I also wanted to have a good experience, and I guess I wasn’t super-concerned about doing my absolute best. For example, in the preceding weeks, I always chose running with friends rather than doing fine-tuned race-specific workouts. I still preferred hills and trails, versus flat paved roads, too. And in the months prior, my focus was on getting ready for Tahoe 200 which ended up being cancelled due to forest fires. So, my training and mindset were not focused on this race.

I tried to memorize my pace plan, but it’s a little bit complicated, so I wrote it on a cheat-sheet that I took with me, to memorize while on the bus to Hopkinton. I had four goal paces for four different sections of the race, starting off a little slower and finishing faster, with a goal time of 3 hours 10 minutes. I figured that I was in about as good shape as I was two years ago when I ran CIM in 3:09:43. The pace plan came from this Marco marathon calculator which I have used a few times before, and I have the breakdown in a spreadsheet that I adjust for each race. For this race, the plan was as follows:

  • 7:24 per-mile for miles 1-2.
  • 7:19 per-mile for the next 7 miles.
  • 7:15 per mile for the next 8 miles.
  • 7:10 per mile for the final 9.2 miles.

For elite athletes making word-record attempts, it’s better to run the same pace throughout. But I think it’s a safer strategy to start off a little slower because the cost of going too fast too early can be very high later in the race, if you “bonk” (run low on glycogen in your body) or get cramps.

I had a terrible night’s sleep before the race, just tossing and turning all night. It didn’t help that the hotel room was a bit warm and that big cities are typically noisy, especially sports cars and motorcycles with extra-loud exhaust pipes. My calves were sore, perhaps from this serious hike a few days earlier, and my legs were generally restless, too. I had forgotten to take any kind of sleep aid. Being on a computer late at night probably didn’t help either.

Finally, I fell asleep at some point but the 6:30am alarm woke me up and I was quite sleepy. Jennifer kindly made me a cup of instant coffee and I ate a light breakfast (1.5 bagels with peanut butter) and got ready for the day! Exciting!

It was a 15 minute walk to Boston Common and the endless line of buses was quite a sight. I wish I had my phone to take photos, but I didn’t want to take the time or to walk the extra distance to have a drop bag. The boarding process was quick and efficient. Excitement was in the air! We were allowed to board by our bib colors. There were 6 colors for the 6 groups, sorted from fastest to slowest, based on our qualifying times.

I rested my eyes occasionally on the bus ride, as did the guy who I sat next to. We were tired, I guess! Most people were chatting. I did notice that a few buses in front of us on the freeway started to exit while our bus continued on the freeway. They were taking the wrong exit! Oops! I’m glad our bus driver knew the route well!

We arrived in Hopkinton! There were some spectators waving at the buses as we drove in! Neat! I just love how the local residents, from Hopkinton to Boston, really embrace the marathon. I thanked the bus driver as we exited and we runners started walking towards the start line.

This was the first year of using what the race called a “rolling start”. In the previous seven times I ran this race, going back to 2007, there was always an “athlete’s village” set up where we stayed underneath giant canopy tents and waited for an hour or so before moving towards the starting corrals. But not this time! We just kept walking towards the start. There was a large group of porta-potties for us, and most of us took advantage of one last stop. I ditched my thermal blanket and did some warm-up exercises. It was only when I got within sight of the starting line did I realize what a “rolling start” really meant. There were no corrals, no national anthem (at least not for me, being 15-20 minutes after the race started for the fastest runners). We just walked straight from the bus to the start line and then started running when we were ready! This was a great innovation! There was no particular crowding or anxiety about not getting to the porta-potty in time before the race started. There was no lengthy wait in the cold. And from the organizer’s point of view, they didn’t need to do nearly as much set-up and could have hundreds of fewer porta-potties and no giant tents and everything else required to keep us comfortable for an hour+. I hope they stick with the rolling start!

I normally eat an energy gel 15 minutes before starting a marathon, but I only waited a few minutes before walking to the start line, and then I was off! Woo hoo!

The steepest part of the whole course is right at the beginning, with a fast smooth downhill. I took it easy and ran at what I thought was a very comfortable effort that approximated a 7:24 pace on flat ground. I felt good!

I had a few minor random pains in the first 6 miles or so. Both calves felt kind of tight or sore and my left knee’s patella-femoral tendon was sore. I tried not to worry. I gave a thumbs-up to many cheering spectators. It was fun seeing the communities and terrain. I kept an eye on my pace and picked up my effort a tad after the first two miles.

I thought of friends and family who were probably following me online when I crossed the 5K checkpoint.

I finished off my 20oz of Tailwind at about the 6 mile mark and tossed my old water bottle. I usually eat an energy gel every 35 minutes or so in a road marathon, but because I was getting so much sports drink, I held off until almost an hour had passed. Still after all these years, I’m not sure about the right amount of water to take for the calories I’m getting. Through trial-and-error, ~24 ounces an hour of sports drink plus 100 calories of something else seems to work for me for long races (marathons and longer) in cool weather.

The aid stations are every mile, starting at mile 2. They were not too crowded and getting a drink was easy. There are *so* many volunteers. Thank you, volunteers! It’s really amazing how many people donate their time to make this race such a wonderful event.

The miles flowed by smoothly. My breathing was steady and easy. In-in-out-out, in-in-out-out was my cadence with my breathing and strides in sync. I enjoyed the spectators. I noticed a couple of other runners who were always nearby and at about the same pace. Whatever minor aches or sorenesses I had disappeared as I warmed up.

Around mile 13, I heard a roar up ahead. Wellesley College! This women’s college is always super-supportive of the race, with hundreds or maybe even thousands of young women cheering and screaming encouragement. The signage felt different this time. There were a couple of “kiss me” type signs, including one that stood out to me as being especially funny — “If you don’t kiss me, my boyfriend will be mad”. But many more signs were advocacy-type signs, like about climate change and social justice. I smiled and gave a thumbs up or an occasional cheer myself, but I didn’t stop.

There was a Santa Claus spectator. And a sign that said something like “Fear the fart” which made me chuckle. I passed a couple of single-leg amputees. I passed one runner who was a triple amputee — both legs below the knee had those blade-style prosthetics and he was missing most of his right arm, too. I wonder if those were war injuries.

I was running well and started passing people more frequently and was rarely getting passed. I started seeing runners who were struggling. In the town of Newton, at around mile 18, I actually looked forward to the hills, as a sign that I was getting closer to the finish and for the change of pace (literally). I passed a lot of people on these uphills. I was feeling good but tried to remind myself that I still had a long ways to go.

Miles 22, 23, and 24 were my fastest miles of the whole race. I was feeling good! But then I sensed problems. My calves, hamstrings, and thighs were getting twinges of cramps. I was very close to the limit. When I passed the mile 23 marker, that means I had just over 3.2 miles remaining which felt like a long time under these circumstances. “Just hold on. Keep it together for just a bit longer.” I told myself. I became more focused on the task at hand and was interacting with the crowds less. I was still steadily passing most runners, many of whom were struggling worse than me.

Somewhere in mile 25, the cramping got much worse, seemingly over just a few seconds. I slowed down. Tried to speed up. Boom. My left hamstring froze, clenched and not releasing. I didn’t stop but I had to hobble. “No no no no” I think I said out loud. “#%$@!” I had less than 2 miles to go, but I could see this going very badly. My hamstring unclenched, probably after just a few strides, although it felt longer. I ate my last energy gel, just in the the hope that it might help keep the cramps away. Breathing-wise, I was in good shape. I probably had plenty of energy, too. But some of my leg muscles just couldn’t do any more. I slowed down for a bit to try to recover.

The mile 25 marker went by. The “one mile to go” marker went by. I pushed harder. So close. Just hold on. Right on Hereford! Left on Boylston! The finish line is in sight, just 3.5 long blocks away. Another runner was standing in the road at the corner, leaning over. He vomited as I passed. Faster. Almost there. Faster. I heard my name! I glanced to my left and it was Jennifer! Woo hoo! Keep it together. Faster. I was going to come in under my 3:10 goal time! Finish!!! Whew! What a relief!

The volunteers again were so wonderful and the amount of effort that goes in to supporting us runners is just incredible. I got water, a bag of food, a thermal “space blanket”, and of course my medal. Whew! I felt good! I was sore, for sure, but didn’t have any cramps. I exited the finish area and went looking for Jennifer, but it was too crowded, so I made my way back to our hotel. She had gotten there a couple minutes before me and had bought Chipotle burritos for us! Nice! Thank you, my love!

What a day! I wanted to rest and take a nap, but my phone was buzzing quite a bit. Thank you, my friends and family, for thinking of me. I texted my daughter and called my parents. I learned of my finish time — 3:09:00. Nice! I’ll take it! :-)

A bit later, we had a wonderful group dinner at Legal Sea Foods, with my friend Ned and his wife Leslie and a bunch of Ned's running friends from the San Francisco Road Running Club. I felt pretty good and could walk up and down stairs just fine. I was sore, for sure, but I had been much more sore after other marathons.

What went well

  • I think I paced myself pretty well on the whole, but maybe was a bit too enthusiastic in miles 22-24.
  • No blisters or bad chafing. I had used RunGoo on all the usual spots that can get chafing, like my toenails, nipples, and thighs. I was getting a spot of chafing on the top of both feet and a touch around both armpits, which is unusual, but otherwise, my skin was in good shape.
  • No bathroom problems. I didn’t eat much fiber the day before, and I woke up at 6:30am for an anticipated 9:30am to 10am start. I ate and drank plenty (1.5 bagels with peanut butter, coffee, water) shortly after waking up, but then I didn’t drink or eat anything else until about 5 minutes before I began running.

Things to improve

  • For the first time, I carried a handheld water bottle in a road marathon and this wasn’t necessary at all for this race. l was slightly worried about aid station crowding, but between the rolling start and about 10,000 fewer runners than in previous years (due to Covid-19), it was easy to get sports drink at every aid station. I finished off the 20oz of Tailwind by around mile 6 and I threw away this old water bottle.
  • I had a really hard time sleeping the night before. My legs were restless more than my mind, it seemed. I had forgotten to take a Benadryl or melatonin or any sleep aid. I was also on my computer, watching an episode of Squid Game on Netflix, right before going to sleep.

Random data

  • I ate 5 energy gels during the race, plus 1 right before the start. 2 of them were caffeinated. One of the energy gels I got during the race. Although I had brought enough with me from home, one of them got punctured somehow. Because I had Tailwind (200 calories), I didn’t eat my first energy gel until about the 1 hour mark.
  • My Strava activity.

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Berkeley Adventure Run 50K -- 5:18:42

I raced the Berkeley Adventure Run 50K (31 miles) today, put on by Inside Trail Racing. It was a challenging course, with 6800' of elevation gain, going all around Tilden Park. I had a good solid run and I did about as well as I could. It took me 5 hours 18 minutes 42 seconds and I finished 7th out of 64, and 3rd in my age group. (The first place male, Daniel Kono, was 52 years old!) The scenery and forests were pretty and interesting. The weather was great for running -- cool and overcast. I only felt warm for some brief periods in the late morning and early afternoon.

I signed up for this race on the spur-of-the-moment, learning of it only one week before. I didn't register until just two days before the race. I thought this would a fun experience and a good training run.

I think I paced myself well and executed the race about as well I could, all things considered. I drank only Tailwind sports drink, and even started out with 20oz of Tailwind that I prepared at home. I ate an energy gel about every 45-50 minutes. My energy levels felt pretty good the entire time, but I got a strong thigh cramp around mile 29 on an uphill. I felt like I was on the verge of cramps and couldn't push any harder, even when another runner passed me in about the last mile. He was in my age group, too! Oh, well.

The only real negative part of the race was that there was some trail marking vandalism that cost me 4-5 minutes. Someone had not only removed the course markings, but had relocated them to mislead us. 🙁   Otherwise things went smoothly -- no falls or injuries.

Random socializing

  • Suki's and my mutual friend Katie met us before the race. She ran the 10K.
  • I met Seth from San Francisco and we crossed each other's paths repeatedly and had plenty of time for conversation. This was his first ultramarathon and he did great!
  • I re-met Jason who recognized me from the Woodside Crossover 50K (in 2019, I think).
  • After Suki finished, I met Lulu, an ophthalmologist from Menlo Park, who is interested in running on Montara Mt.

What went well

  • Pretty much everything! I felt good and ran strong almost the entire time.
  • I carried one 20oz handheld bottle. This made aid station stops very quick. I ran out of sports drink a couple of times, but not for too long, like 10-15 minutes, I think.
  • I used RunGoo on my toes, nipples, and other likely chafing spots. That worked pretty well.
  • Inside Trail Racing puts on really nice trail runs. The swag (t-shirt, medal) and prizes (pint glass and coaster, for 3rd place age group) were thoughtful and attractive. There were lots of helpful volunteers and lots of course markings and signage. There should be some race photos available for free, too.

Things to improve

  • I had never worn these particular Injinji socks with these particular shoes (Hoke One One Speedgoat 4 size 13), and the socks didn't cover all the skin that the tongue of the shoe touched, so I got some chafing there, with a bit of bleeding. If the race had been much longer, like 50 miles, I would have had to attend to the problem during the race, but it hardly bothered me for this race. In the future, I need to make sure that the socks and shoes will work well together.
  • I wish I had known the course really well, so that I could have followed the course by memory instead of following the colored ribbons, but that's just not practical for a race course that's an hour's drive away. There were about 50 turns in the turn-by-turn instructions, plus the trails didn't have signs anyways. It would have been very difficult to really memorize the course without running on the trails in advance. Some runners had the course's gpx file on their phones or watches, and that might have helped me, but I didn't want to carry a phone on this run.
Random data
  • I woke up at 5:30am which seemed to be fine for the 8:30am race start. I met Suki at 7am in Pacifica and we had plenty of time to get our bibs, warm up, use the porta-potties, and get ready for the race.
  • For breakfast, I ate a whole wheat English muffin with peanut and jelly, and a small bowl of corn flakes with honey.
  • I weighed 167.0 lbs the morning after the race. I forgot to weigh myself the morning of the race, but it was probably about the same.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

4 mile cross-country race -- 26:19

My friend Ned invited me to join a cross-country team with the San Francisco Road Runners Club. I haven't run a race like this since high school! We did two 2-mile loops in Golden Gate Park. It was a fun supportive get-together and a lung-busting 4 mile race. Good fun!

  • Results: https://www.pausatf.org/data/2021/XCGGP2021.html
  • Strava: https://www.strava.com/activities/5950048652

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Tiki Trot 5K -- 17:55.9

 I ran a good challenging fast 5 km race this morning, in Pacifica. The Tiki Trot 5K was put on by Pacifica Runners and I knew many of the organizers and runners. It was fun doing an in-person race again.

Looking around at my competition before the race, I recognized Jason Reed who had beaten me in this race before and who is typically faster than me. I recognized Brandon Heiken who I knew had been training well, and was likely faster than me. My guess was a 3rd place finish, and I was right! But it didn't go down like that.

I tried to remember to not start off with a sprint. The start is a gentle downhill slope and it's easy to get carried away. A few minutes after 8am, and we were off! This time with chip timing. Jason seemingly sprinted out in front. I felt at ease, like I was holding back, but was still perhaps running too fast. I slowly caught up and passed Jason in the first mile.

Then a short while later, Brandon passed me. I congratulated him. Then this young guy passed me. Whoah! For the first time, this race was on the RRCA circuit, and so it attracted some speedsters. This guy was probably one of those speedsters. He passed Brandon, too.

They slowly pulled away from me and I pulled away from those behind me. I tried to keep a consistent effort, but I slowed down on the flat rocky dirt and sand, and slowed down again on the final uphill. (About 2/3rd of the course is on dirt.)

I was feeling desperate. I probably could have sprinted to the finish line a little sooner, but I waited until I could actually see it.

Under 18 minutes! I think that was the fastest I have ever run a 5 km race. I even beat my track time from January, and this course is definitely slower than a track. I got a special RRCA medal for being first in the 50+ age group. (That sounds so old, but I'll take it!)

Cool! It was fun hanging out with Lauren and Mor. It is kind of nice to have this whole race experience compressed into about 90 minutes (including warm-up and cool-down runs, and the after-race awards and raffles).



Saturday, July 17, 2021

Dear Prudence

I met Prudence L'Heureux during my first 50K race, in August 2007. We went on to become friends and I paced her at Miwok 100K one year, and she paced me in two of my races. I visited her in Bend, Oregon, on my work trips.

Prudence was funny and determined and full of life. She was strong and self-confident. She was an amazing ultrarunner and was ranked #10 of all U.S. women ultrarunners in 2008. I greatly admired her and I’m grateful to have known her.

We texted as recently as April 2021 and she seemed fine and normal, and busy with tax season. She tried calling me that day, but my phone's volume was off and I didn't see her call.

She took her own life on June 17, 2021, in Mammoth Lakes, CA.

I want a memorial of her life to live on, so that she doesn't fade away completely. So, this blog post is my personal effort towards that goal. Another way to memorialize her is to donate to put her name on a bench in the Royal Gorge trail network.

This is us at the end of Tahoe Rim Trail 50 Mile in July 2012, where she joined me for the last 20 miles.

She ran with me again at Dick Collins Firetrails 50 Mile in October 2012.

I joined her for part of her Miwok 100K in May 2008. To put her performance in perspective, I like to point out that in 2008, I ran my first 50 miler, the Headlands 50 Mile, which took place on many of the same trails as Miwok 100K. It took me 9 hours 47 minutes. Then Prudence ran Miwok 100K in 9 hours 47 minutes. So, on the same trails and in the same amount of time, she raced 12 miles farther than I did!

Articles and sources of information


Wide Open by The Chemical Brothers somehow resonates with how I feel about losing Prudence, and how she faded away from me, and from the ultrarunning community in general, over the years. The dancer in the video, Sonoya Mizuno, even looks similar to Prudence.

Monday, January 18, 2021

Yeti 100 Mile -- 19:07:40


Writing this, 10 hours after finishing this virtual race, I am *so* sore. I don't remember being so sore after a race before, such that sleep was very difficult. (I'm not sure I actually ever fell asleep before getting up a few hours later). Even my forearms are sore! 
But I'm really pleased with how the day went. This was my 6th hundred miler and I set a personal record for this distance by almost 4 hours.

The basic plan was to run four out-and-backs, of 25 miles each, mostly heading south which is easier, with one trip north which has bigger hills and some single-track trails. My goal pace would be 10:30 / mile during the day and 11:30 per mile at night, with 15 minutes of breaks each 25 miles. That would result in 19 hours 12 minutes.

The run basically went pretty smoothly and I was surprised at how closely I was able to stick to the plan, staying within about 10 minutes of my optimistic goal. What made a world of difference was having a different friend join me for each of those legs, in a safe manner. Knowing that someone was waiting for me, along with many other friends following online, helped keep me motivated, too. Also, I had to earn that belt buckle!

I kept up my hydration and energy levels pretty well, I think. I drank about 20 ounces of Tailwind and ate one energy gel (or equivalent) about every 5 miles. I had some other snacks, like Pringles, noodle soup, and two iced coffee beverages at home. Oh, and my friend Suki brought a warm freshly-made quesadilla at mile 85! (The 4th 25 mile leg ended up being split into 3 shorter out-and-backs.)

I want to give a huge thanks to Ned (25 miles), Ana (17 miles), Cesare (35 miles), and Suki (15 miles), for running different portions of it with me.

Thank you again to my family and friends for your encouragement and support!

Lap 1 -- 25 miles with Ned

We started at 7am. Thank you, Ned for getting up so early and driving from S.F. to meet me. Over the previous few days, I had either been sitting too much or sitting in a bad position, as my lower back was bugging me. It wasn't bad, but it was disconcerting. Otherwise, I felt ready! I had a good night's sleep two nights before (thanks partially to a melatonin) and I slept OK the night before (melatonin + Benadryl).

The miles flowed by smoothly and I tried to take it easy. It was good catching up with Ned.

After about 20 miles, I was starting to feel a bit sore. I was hoping that this soreness would "taper off" as the miles continued. My back pain disappeared somewhere along here and never came back.

This was a long run for Ned and his knee started bugging him, so he was glad to finish. I tried not to think about how much farther I had to go.

Lap 2 -- 25 miles with Ana

The crowds were coming to the coast and getting back and forth across Hwy 1 took longer and was a bit more dangerous this time. I was feeling warmer in the bright light of day.

I realized that I had forgotten my bag of Pringles at home, but I still had enough food.

On the return trip, heading north, the winds had really picked up. Ana offered to run in front of me which was helpful. I think we were both starting to feel tired and we just persevered. I was somewhat more sore and feeling some hotspots on some toes. Ana was feeling some chafing and at a water stop I was glad I could lend her my anti-chafing cream.

Ana hadn't been doing long runs recently and her left leg was hurting, so we parted ways earlier than expected; I think it was mile 17 for her. She was able to run home and then bicycle to my house in time to see me at mile 50. Thank you so much, Ana!

Mile 50 -- Cesare is taking over from Ana as my pacer

Lap 3 -- 35 miles with Cesare

Cesare had braved the traffic when he drove to meet me at my house. Thank you, Cesare! He also informed me of a change of plans -- he was going to run 35 miles with me instead of 25, so that Suki would only do 15 (she had been having calf pain). I was very grateful that they had planned this out for me while I was running.

So, I'm halfway done and was basically on schedule. I re-applied Run Goo to all the usual spots. I had no chafing on my nipples and just some minor hotspots on my toes. (I was wearing Injinji socks and my fast road running shoes, Nike Vapor Fly Next%.) I also quickly gulped down some hot ramen soup that Jennifer prepared; thank you, my love!

This was my longest stop. I grabbed my headlamp and battery for my phone, and we were off! Cesare and I headed north for a change. The weather had gotten more overcast and I enjoyed the cool air.

Photo credit: Cesare

Photo credit: Cesare
I realized I was getting some bad chafing around my butt for some reason. We made one stop at this one public restroom that stays open late and I applied some of my Squirrel Nut Butter anti-chafing cream. Onward!
Photo credit: Cesare

We got back to my house at mile 75, restocked, and then went out for two more short bits, to get to mile 85. Astoundingly, Cesare is in such good shape that he easily ran the 25 miles on just two energy gels, then grabbed some nuts and a bar for the remaining 10 miles, and he made it look easy. Thank you so much, Cesare, for the good company and good discussions about stocks, and politics, and health.

Lap 4 -- 15 miles with Suki

Suki! She was waiting for me and Cesare and even had made cheese quesadillas and pancakes! Wow! Thank you! I tried to be quick about getting refueled. I was tired and sore and really wanted to finish this thing. Soon we were on our way.

Photo credit: Suki

Suki originally told me about this Yeti 100 Mile virtual race, and our plan was to run the whole thing together, doing a large loop around the San Francisco peninsula. But with the worsening pandemic and increased restrictions, it seemed to be against the rules to do the whole thing together along with a mobile aid station. Rather than wait indefinitely while trying to stay in shape, I decided to run this solo, doing out-and-backs from my house. We also got permission from the race director to do the race past the deadline.

Anyway, I was so grateful to have Suki with me. We're so close to finishing! Just 7.5 miles out, turn-around, and then back. Suki played some good songs and had lots of energy. She kept me up-to-date about my optimistic schedule. It was looking that I might really be able to hit my 19 hour 12 minute goal! I dug deep for the last few miles and finally finally got to the finish! Whew!

Photo credit: Suki

Random data:

  • Race results -- I think I came in 3rd overall, out of 151. The current first-place runner has a typo and he probably took 25 (or 35!) hours and not 5 hours!
  • I weighed 166.0 lbs at the finish. That was 1-2 lbs less than normal.
  • I used Run Goo on my nipples, toes, and other common chafing points, and that worked great. For some reason, my shorts gave me some chafing on my butt. Ouch. I carried a small amount of Squirrel Nut Butter which I applied around mile 60 which probably helped. Carrying that also helped Ana during her run with me.
  • I found a $10 bill on the ground, picked it up, and then lost it some time later. Easy come, easy go!
  • I think I took 5 ibuprofen, starting at about mile 24. I know this non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) makes the kidneys work harder and so can be dangerous during an endurance activity, but my urine was clear and I was urinating frequently (every 45 minutes?), so I seem to be able to handle this.
  • I carried salt pills, but with all of the Tailwind and gels and cool temperatures (so I wasn't sweating much), I didn't think I needed any additional salt, so I didn't eat any.

Friday, January 01, 2021

Pacifica Runners' New Year's 5K -- 18:15

What a nice way to start the year! Kevin showed us how to accurately run 5000 meters on this track. My time was 18:14.5 which I'm happy about. That is 45 seconds faster than 3 months ago.