Summary: I ran well considering the sore abs from the day before. Accomplished most of my goals except meeting Chad. The weather was a little warmer than I expected and taking the Ultimate Direction bottle with me worked out well. Note to self: Do not work on conditioning too hard the day before.
My goals were as follows:
1. Make it to the race on time.
Accomplished: Made it on time, thanks to Judy my love.
2. Finish the race without major injuries
Accomplished: Finished the race without major injuries. Although my legs were pretty sore after the race and I had a stomach cramp too.
3. Try to break 1:40
Accomplished: My time was 1:35:42, so I broke 1hr 40min. Good enough for the 1st place.
4. Meet Chad
Did not accomplish: According to his e-mail, he had a big party the night before and woke up with a bad headache long after the race had finished.
5. Get into top 3
Accomplished: My time was good enough for the 1st place this year, but normally this time is 3rd or 4th place finish time. From what I know, my time is the slowest 1st place time of all time, which sucks. My goal for next year is to beat this time and show improvement.
Here is a quick table comparing the time from my training run (9/21) vs. the race time (9/28).
Hacienda to Capehorn pass
Capehorn to Bull Run
Bull Run to Randol
Randol to Capehorn
Capehorn to Hacienda
Silicon Valley Marathon
In its 11th year, this year’s race had a smaller field (690 finishers) than the last year’s at 763.
Summary: Even though I did not meet my key goals, I PR’d on my marathon time, met fellow runners from previous races including Mt. Madonna and Quicksilver. The time difference between the first half and the second half has improved from 2006 (14 min), but still has room for more improvement (8 min). This race has made me re-evaluate my training plans. For future marathon training I will focus on 1) pacing the first half and 2) keeping consistent pace after 2 hours when my pace dropped from 6:50min/mile to over 7min/mile.
My goals for Silicon Valley Marathon were as follows:
1. Get to the race on time.
Accomplished: I got to the start line around 6:20am and had a plenty of time for warm-up. The temperature was in the low 50s and the sky was clear with hardly any wind.
2. Finish the marathon with no injuries.
Accomplished: I did not cramp up during or after the race. My legs were hurting a little after the race, but it went away after 15 min.
3. Finish under 3 hrs.
Did not accomplish: I finished in 3:01:52. The first half was 1:26:52 and the second half was 1:34:56, almost 8 minutes slower. For future races, I will make sure to pace the first half.
4. Finish in the top 10
Did not accomplish: I was 11th overall. At first half, I was in 11th place (according to the people at the aid station). I passed the guy in front of me around mile 18 when he slowed down. I passed two guys around mile 20 where one guy was cramping up. Then, Ken (pictured below) passed me at mile 22 and a guy in a red shorts passed me at mile 23. A guy with a backpack passed me and the guy in the red shorts shortly after. I tried to catch up to the guy in red shorts at mile 26, but he saw me and he started booking it too. My last 0.2 mile time was 1:25, so not too bad. I ended up getting 2nd place in my age group (30-35), but the 1st place guy was also 2nd place overall, so the organizers bumped me up and I got a first place prize for my age group which was a free coupon for Etonic shoes.
5. Get sponsored by my company
Did not accomplish: It was unlikely that they would sponsor me since I did not finish in the top 10. However, my boss has spread the news to the president and I got a big pat on the back from the president for doing so well right for coming back from London business trip two days prior to the race. Actually, I used that trip as a taper, so it wasn’t so bad, but there may be a chance that they will at least pay for my next registration fee.
Third finisher Matt Fitzgerald, the author of such books as Brain Training for Runners, Complete Triathlon Book, and Guide to Cross Training (I have his autograph for Brain Training for Runners and Guide to Cross Training. No, they're not on Ebay ). He finished 3rd in 2:41 which was also his PR (You can read about it in his blog at http://mattfitzgerald.org/blog/?p=163)
Ken, who placed 8th.
Jolly Mexican runners I met at Mt. Madonna Challenge. Whoa, I look so pale!
Happy blog-versary! It’s been a year since I’ve started this blog and the first blog I wrote was on Quicksilver Challenge 10K. I had met Chad on the previous weekend at another 10K race where he had beaten me at the last mile. It turns he is a semi-pro mountain bicyclist and lives right next to Quicksilver County Park. We agreed to run Quicksilver Challenge and race again. But… I came to the race almost 10 minuets late and he went on to get a 2nd place while I placed 9th place. We’ve been talking about racing again throughout the year, while both of us competed in races of various distances and encouraged each other. Chad placed 38th in Leadville 100 MTB recently and I’ve finished 5th at Quicksilver 50K and just completed Tour de Moshi, a solo bicycle tour covering 500 miles. I have just sent him the following e-mail reminding him about the upcoming Quicksilver 1/2 marathon – an opportunity for us to run together!
Are you ready for the 1/2 marathon this weekend?
I ran the course last sunday and ran it in 1hr 41min.
I thought I ran pretty hard, but it's so far from 1hr 30min.
hope to see you there. Don't get injured and don’t be late!!
too late bro, messed up my arch last weekend running in quicksilver. Im done running for awile but biking doesnt hurt too bad. im bummed but dont worry, we'll meet again!, oh yes...
Im gonna be out there rooting u on. I bet you win it! GL
I was bummed too, but I am so happy to see him again. I hope he can help me fix up my Little Giant. The break pads are running low but I dunno how to change it, and I also want to know how to re-wrap the handle.
Also, my girlfriend decided to show up this weekend to cheer me on. I’m really nervous about the race. My left knee cap has been bothering me for a week or so and I’ve been staying late putting in long hours at work. I’ve been tapering down my workouts this week, but it’s been so stressful I can’t help but run to relieve stress. I’ve lost track of eating adequate amount of carbs. It’s a little late to carbo-load, but this would be a good time to focus on my goals:
This was my second time to race this event. I went to the race with the following goals:
1. Make it to the start line on time
2. Finish without getting injured
3. Run under 15min from the beginning of the Sprig Lake Trail to the summit (a big dark trunk on the right)
4. Finish under 1 hour
My parents were very helpful and got me to the race on time (only because they wanted to change their CD at Wamu). It was in the 50s at Mt. Madonna with a light mist.
Me coming in
Cool! I’m the first one on the board.
Me and my parents.
From right to left. 2nd place finisher Andrew Taylor (he arrived just minutes before the race started – guess he didn’t need any warm-up), me, and 3rd place finisher Raymond Rodriguez. Amazing thing about Raymond is he registered for both the 6K and 12K race. He placed 1st in the 6K and he lined up for the start for 12K right after he finished his 6K. I also happened to run with him 2 weeks ago on Mt. Madonna. We were both training for the race.
The award ceremony. I received a medal and a $100 gift certificate at Go Run Sports in Morgan Hill.
Look at those sexy legs!
There were horses, too! The one tied to the trailer was a colt of filly. It kept neighing.
I was really lucky to fulfill all my goals and get a first place. The field was half the size from the last year and first place finisher from last year and the year before did not show up this year.
Nevertheless, I had one of the best runs and enjoyed every minute of it. It was cool, dark, and misty on the trail, the way I remember Mt. Madonna Challenge from last year. The condensation from the trees kept the trail moist and the droplets falling on the ground sounded like the trees were cheering the runners. When I got to the Camp Trail, the mist had lifted and I ran down as fast as I could, remembering my girlfriend Judy’s advice to do butt-kicks when running downhill.
I had one of the worst time recovering. I had a lingering headache that lasted for a couple of hours after the run. I thought I was dehydrated, so I kept drinking water, but it wouldn’t go away. I thought may be I’m low on sodium, so when my friend and I went to a Vietnamese restaurant back in San Jose, I filled a small sauce dish with soy sauce and had 2 or 3 shots of those. That seemed to have helped a bit. But, after the meal, I had a really bad stomachache and I took Pepto, but it did not help. When I threw up the entire meal, I felt much better. (Note to self: don’t take straight shots of soy sauce or order #51 at Pho Marina)
I will be cycling from Nor-Cal to Central California and back starting from Thursday 8/28 to Monday 9/1. The trip will be from San Jose, CA to Bakersfield, CA and the distance is about 240 mile one way, 480 miles total. Some may wonder why I picked Bakersfield (or Bakes as the locals call it). What’s there to do in the middle of California besides cow tipping and bake in the sun?
First and foremost, my girlfriend lives there and it’s my turn to visit her. Second, I’ve been planning this trip since I worked at my old job. But I’ve kept making excuses and putting it aside. Now that I’ve finished my first 50K run and my friend Chad had inspired me by taking 38th place in Leadville 100 MTB, I am ready to take on the challenge.
As this is my first bike tour, I will spend a night in Coalinga (mile 140) at a motel. I’m not too comfortable setting up a tent and sleeping on the road yet. May be on the next tour. Here is my tentative itinerary:
8/28 (Thu) Leave in the morning (6am) and start biking. Destination Coalinga. I may stop by my parent’s house in Gilroy (mile 30) and in Hollister (mile 40) to see my friend.
8/29 (Fri) Leave Coalinga and arrive in Bakes in the afternoon.
8/30 (Sat) A day of recuperation.
8/31 (Sun) Leave early morning (sorry, no church service) and bike to Coalinga.
9/1 (Mon) Leave Coalinga and bike back to SJ. I may stop in Gilroy if I'm too tired.
With that said, I have a 12K trail race this Saturday at Mt. Madonna County Park. This race features some of my favorite trails including the 1,100ft climb in the first 1.5 mile on Sprig Lake Trail that really puts your lungs to the test. I’m hoping for a sub-1hr finish.
Other races this year:
Sun 9/28: 1/2 marathon at Quicksilver County Park (my training ground)
On Sunday April 20, 2008, I ran the 50K course at Quicksilver County Park to prepare myself for the upcoming Quicksilver 50K Endurance Run. The weather was much cooler than the previous week around low 40s in the morning and it never got over 60s during the day. In fact, it was so cold in the morning I missed my original plan to get to the park by 7am because I was shivering under my thin summer blanket and could not wake up on time.
After fixing a flat tire on my bike, I finally arrived at Quicksilver Park at Mockingbird Hill Entry and started running at 10:00am. It was 47F.
I brought the following:
5 x 20oz. bottles of Gatorade and Powerade
2 x hand held 20-oz. water bottles (filled with Gatorade)
I'm not sure if the bread was the best choice for running, but I needed some solid food to settle my stomach during the run and I had just bought the bread the day before. I also remember I was craving something savory during the run last time.
Mile 0 - 6.4
From Mockingbird to Webb Canyon
There is over 400ft gain in the first 2 mile from the start according to the altitude profile. This was one of the steepest climbs in the course and also where I was sweating buckets. Then, I shuffled my way down the steep downhill on Hacienda. My knees started aching going downhill and I remembered I haven’t been taking glucosamine regularly. I turned left on to the single track trail on New Almaden. New Almaden is a narrow, winding trail where you hop over small creeks and rocky trails, cross bridges, and run through the woods. There are a couple of tricky parts where you have to jump to get on the trail, but it’s a safe and fun trail for the entire family. I got to Webb Canyon in 57 min and refilled my water bottles.
Mile 6.4 - 9.7
Webb Canyon to Dam Station
I ran the rest of the New Almaden trail for 2 more miles and turned left on Mine Hill. Mine Hill is a fire road, and there was another mile of uphill to the next aid station. The uphill was not very steep and there were a lot of hikers and runners here. I arrived at the Dam Station in 29 min from Web Canyon station.
Mile 9.7 – 14.5
Dam Station to Capehorn Station
I turned left on Randol trail which was one of the easier trails on the course. If I were in a shorter race, I would have sped up on this part to bank on some time, but since I knew I was going to be running for a long time, I decided to save my energy. My knees were still hurting on the downhill and I concentrated on maintaining my pace on the uphill. It took me 43 minuets to complete this leg.
Mile 14.5 – 19.0
Capehorn Station to Dam Station
I remember this trail from Quicksilver 10K Challenge from last year. This uphill is one of the toughest climbs as it covers 600 ft in 2 miles. I met an equestrian I saw on Randol trail and she yelled at me, Hom many more miles? I thought I finished about half the course, so I yelled back 25! Then, I realized that was in kilometers, not in miles. I tried to calculate in miles, but my mind couldnt process quick enough and the lady and the horse were gone. I meant to say 15 miles. After I reached the top at Bull Run, it was 2 miles of downhill to the Dam Station. Oh, the switchbacks. The downhill was killing my knees! When I finally arrived at the Dam Station, I set my backpack on the bench to fill my water bottles. Then, I got a call from my girlfriend Judy. As I stuffed my face with a piece of French bread and washed it down with Powerade, I told her Im in a much better shape than last week. There was a family with a dog next to me on the bench and the dog was watching me with a hungry look, so I asked the owner and gave him a piece of bread. This leg took me 42 min.
Mile 19.0 – 23.7
Dam Station to Dam Station
This part of the course was where I DNF’d last week due to the heat and dehydration. This time, I was determined to keep going. There were a couple of hikers and runners as I ran down Guadalupe trail along the dam. There was one climb and then it was downhill on Senador Mine trail until the park entrance. This is the lowest point of the course and from here, it was all uphill. This was where I stopped and started walking last week, but this time, I still had energy to keep going and I also had 2-3 bottles of Gatorade left in my backpack. I was not overheating either, since the wind has kept me cool. I turned right on to Mine Hill and I began a steady climb to the Dam Station 2 miles ahead. It took me 46 minutes to complete this leg.
Mile 23.7 – 27.0
Dam Station to Englishtown
This was another tough climb. What makes it so tough is that its the longest uphill stretch on the course. There were several times I almost stopped to take a rest, but my legs were not hurting and I kept going. It was a slow climb, but I knew I could finish this course today. This was such a challenging uphill I just love it in some masochistic way. It took me 36 min as this was one of the shorter legs (3.3 miles).
Mile 27.0 – 31.5
Englishtown to Mockingbird
I got lost a little bit around Englishtown, but Ive run English Camp trail before, so I knew it was going to be a steep downhill. I checked the map, fertilized the soil, and called Judy to tell her Im doing okay and I will finish my run in 30-40 min. Then, to my surprise, my dad was on the other line, so I talked to him and called back Judy. A 10-minute break! It was a nice break for my knees, though and I was able to shuffle down English Camp to Hacienda. On Hacienda, there are a couple of crazy hills that are so steep youd think you need to climb on hands and knees. These hills are tough to climb, but theyre short so its kind of fun when you have energy to tackle them. As I ran down Hacienda to the finish at Mockingbird Entrance, my knees were acting up and I was crying in pain and joy. I was almost done and this may have been the longest run Ive ever done. I was all teary eyed when I spotted a snake chillaxing in the middle of the trail and I got back to my senses immediately. I jumped over the snake and kept running. Phew, no harm done. I kept going and made it back to the parking lot. I was done and I just ran 50km in 5 hours and 25 min. Cool. Ill do it again on May 10.
57:57 (6.4 mi)
29:44 (3.3 mi)
43:07 (4.8 mi)
42:29 (4.5 mi)
46:47 (4.7 mi)
36:09 (3.3 mi)
39:42 (4.5 mi)
Total: 5:25:39 (31.5 mi)
After the run, I went for my post-run fuel up at Sonoma Chicken Coop nearby and devoured half a chicken.
sup tosh? you better register cuz im running it and know we can proly keep
a prety close pace. its a fun race. just like the almaden 10k but only 4.2!!
perfect starter. I better go and buy some shoes though...my pinky toes are
(Chad's invitation to Pat’s Run)
I've just registered for Pat's Run (http://patsrun.com/) on Saturday May 3. Pat's Run honors memory of Pat Tillman, a pro-football player turned Army Ranger, who was killed by a friendly fire in Afghanistan. I am running the race with Chad, a semi-pro mountain biker who lives in New Almaden where Pat Tillman grew up. Pat's monument stands right across from the entrance to Quicksilver County Park where I bonked last Sunday.
I didn't know very much about Pat Tillman until Chad mentioned about Pat's Run. The run starts at Leland High School, where he went to school, and the original Pat's Run started in Tempe, Arizona. Pat is a celebrated hero in Arizona too, because he walked away from a multimillion-dollar contract offer from Arizona Cardinals to join the military after the Sept. 11 attacks. He also ran marathons.
Why 4.2 miles?
Pat's Run is only 4.2 miles. That’s somewhere between 5K and 10K. Why 4.2 miles? It's because he wore the number 42 with the Sun Devils at Arizona State where he got in with a football scholarship. Why not 42 miles or 42K? That would be really cool if the Pat Tillman Foundation gets enough funding to make the run longer. It would get more public exposure too. I can already map out the course starting with a 10K loop on the Los Alamitos Creek trail, then to Quicksilver Park at the New Almaden entrance, do a 10K loop on the trail and back to Leland High School. I’ll run it one of these days!
Chad is a great guy and a runner. I've run with him in Almaden Classic 10K last year, where he beat me in the last mile, and also in Quicksilver Challenge 10K 9/30/07, where I came late and he went on to get a second place overall. He always says, “sup tosh” and he doesn't even spell my name right, but it's cool.
I'm a bit worried about the race. I haven't been doing any speed training, so I don't know if I can keep up with Chad. The only speed training I've been getting is the run from home to the train station, train station to the office and back with my backpack on (and sometimes with my dress shoes). Let's see if I can wake up early next week.
I went to run at Quicksilver County Park on Sunday. It has been a warm week and I thought it would be a perfect time to do a training run for the upcoming Quicksilver 50K to simulate the heat in May.
What I didn’t realize was the temperature got hotter than I expected. Sunday turned out to be the hottest day of the week, reaching close to 90 degrees. I brought four 20-oz bottles of Powerade with me in my backpack and a water bottle, but that was not enough. I ran out of fluid around mile 21.5, 4 hours into the run. My calves and quads were shot and I could hardly walk because of the pain. I also noticed my heart was beating really fast when I was running (jogging) up a hill that I could normally run with an ease. I had trouble breathing because my lungs hurt badly when I try to take a deep breathe. To make things worse, I was at the opposite side of the park from where I started.
I had 10 more miles to complete the 50K course, but I was in no shape to complete the run. I felt defeated, but continuing the run any further without proper hydration was suicidal. Just then, I received a call from my girlfriend. It has been 4 and a half hours since I left her a text message that I will be gone for a run at the park and she was worried. I told her I’m (barely) walking and I’m going to take a short cut and go home. The shortest route was the 3.7 mile single track I ran in the first hour. It was a fun, undulating trail with a lot of shade, but going back was the longest 3.7 miles ever! I came across a couple of hikers, but surprisingly, not many of them had water. Finally, I met an older Asian couple and they were kind enough to share some water with me (1/3 of the bottle). It wasn’t very much, but it was enough for me to walk a little faster, and even jog a bit. I also found a stream where I was able to splash some water on me and cool off. After an hour and half, I got back to the parking lot where I parked my bike. I was able to drink water from the fountain and felt alive. All that gunk on my lips and salt crystals on my face, shoulder, and legs were pretty gross. I called my girlfriend and told her I’m okay and hopped on my bike and rode back home. 5:45 run/walk was a bit longer than I had planned, but good lesson learned!
The idea was not bad. It was a good simulation of the actual race. There are going to be 6 aid stations for the 50K race at miles 6.4, 9.7, 14.5, 19.0, 23.7 and 27.0. I was going to take a short break at each station and fill up my water bottle and eat some snacks. Then, I realized I might not have enough fluid for the whole run and started drink less fluid, but I had underestimated the amount of fluids I was losing and bonked around mile 20. I will try the course again next week. This time, I will start earlier in the day (around 6am), bring more water (if I can carry more) and perhaps electrolyte capsules or Ensure (since I was hardly eating any solids and I would have probably thrown up gels).
I took a day off work and visited Mt. Madonna County Park in Gilroy with Judy. This was my third visit to Mt. Madonna this year. It’s like I can’t get enough of it. The trail reveals something different every time I visit there. We ran into lizards crossing our path, a couple of banana slugs, and a dead rat. Judy jumped more than a foot in the air at the sight of the rat. I was really stoked to be out in the woods with my favorite partner and running in my favorite trail in the middle of the week.
Running in the woods with my new backpack from REI.
Sunday 3/16/08 Blue sky, wind from the north, perfect running weather around 50F
Results: My time was 45:16, which was faster than my expectations. My original goal was to finish under 45 min, but due to lack of training, I changed my goal to finish under 50 min. I did not make the 45 minute cutoff time to qualify for the sub-seeded group at Bay to Breaker, but I am happy with my time.
Walking to the bus shuttle in front of Ghirardelli Square around 6:50am. The runners had to use bus shuttle to get to the start at Fort Baker on the other side of Golden Gate Bridge. It was windy and cold, around 48F. My teeth wouldn’t stop chattering.
We’re still sleepy. We got on the school bus which carried us across the Golden Gate Bridge to the starting point.
We’ve arrived at Fort Bakers.
The sun came out around 7:30am. It started getting warmer.
And I was ready to strip off my clothes.
Then, I realized we still had an hour before the race, so I put my clothes back on.
Jorge with his co-worker Dan, who is training for Iron Man traiathlon.
Jorge and Dan’s boss, John.
Starting line of the 1st wave. 1st wave started at 8:30am, 2nd at 8:45am, 3rd at 9:00am.
Runners with faster time were in the first wave. Jorge was surprised to see Dan and John in the first wave since he was in the 3rd wave.
It was downhill from the start to the base of the Golden Gate Bridge.
There was a 1/2 mile of winding uphill to the bridge.
It was not very steep, but it was quite a long way to the top and I think that threw some people off.
On the Bridge, you realize the bridge is not flat. The middle section of the bridge is the highest point.
The sidewalk on the bridge becomes narrow and it's not easy to pass people here. But, the tailwind was pushing me and helped me keep up the pace.
After the bridge, we run down to Fort Point located on the base of the bridge under the arch.
It was a downhill to Fort Point. There was a female runner in black shorts with gorgeous legs ahead of me. The guy in the green shirt and I passed her going downhill. We passed the water station and it suddenly struck me that I may know the guy and I took a quick glance at him, but it was a different person. I came down ahead of him, but the guy in the green shirt and the green singlet were on to me again as we reached the 4 mile marker and turned around at Fort Point.
Alcatraz Island along Mile 5-6, where we started to run on the dirt trail. I felt comfortable running on the dirt, since I’ve been running on trails lately. I got an extra surge of energy out of nowhere and I left the two guys in the dust (or may be I was just kicking up some dirt).
We were back on the asphalt from mile 6 to the finish. I regretted going so fast when I reached mile 6, because I didn’t think I could keep up the pace. And right then, I heard someone come up behind me. It was that girl with gorgeous legs. She was on my tail and catching up to me. Before I knew it, she was next to me and ahead of me. I tried to keep up with her, but she was just too fast and running effortlessly with her beautiful legs. I don’t usually get chicked (be overtaken by a female runner) and this was giving me a big dent in my ego, but I kept telling myself at least I’m getting chicked by a hot girl (I’m guessing) with gorgeous legs.
There was a little hill overlooking Fort Mason right before the finish and I caught up to the girl climbing the hill. Good to know I was getting more than shin splints out of running on the trails. And going down the hill to the finish, I came ahead of her with probably the worst running stride in the race, ignoring all the don’ts in downhill running like overstriding and stiff landing. After crossing the finish line, I turned around to congratulate the hot girl, only to find out she looked a bit too old to be called a girl. So, she was one hot lady with gorgeous legs who fooled me into thinking she was a hot girl.
Here are the highlights of my day:
Feeding a huge, goofy-looking dog.
He is probably taller than I am!
Meeting up with Jorge who took all the pictures on this race report for me because I left my digital camera at home.
Chillin’ at Emporio Ruilli Gran Café in Marina district.
There were many hot-looking young and fit people there, and I think we fit right in with my skimpy running shorts.
I had a veggie frittata that hit the spot.
The place looked familiar and I found out this was the same café I took my girlfriend to couple years back when we went on a weekend getaway to a bed & breakfast place nearby.
I was fortunate enough to run in perfect weather with great scenery and PR on the 12K time. I hope to run this race next year and deepen my appreciation of running in San Francisco.