Saturday, March 17, 2007

070311 50K Training Run and Anew

So What's New?

First run after DST (daylight saving time)

I really like this idea. It gets people to make more use of the day. I remember we had this when I was a kid in Taiwan. Taiwan no longer does this, so I don't like to see people still at home when there have been warm sunshine at 6am. This is a little waste of productivity.

However, as a runner having to get out early for a run to save family time, I feel like losing one hour. In particular, I need longer training run to build up as my series of races are approaching.

Taste Various of Gels

Talking about gels. Knowing that I would need to do long training run, I bought a bunch of gels from Zombie Runner last year - one for each brand and each flavor. Later after the run, I can say which one is better. I guess I love gels overall, but I remember becoming sick of them after taking 20 or more in longer run.

Today, I'm going to run long hours, so it's a chance for me to carry a few different kinds of gels.

First Training run with my camera in a pouch

The camera SD600 is needed for my family. Since it's lightweight, I'm happy to have it during a run. I'd like to capture any moments to share with my family and post them on this blog to share with my friends. I did use it in a race (see 070217 Sequoia 50K - Barely Finish with a Screaming Ankle), but this is the first time I carry it during a training run. I bought a "weather-resistant pouch" made by Case Logic. I feel fine with it, but still keep reminding myself to take great care of the camera for fear of dropping it, in particular, when my hands become sweaty, sticky, and exhausted.

First Time to use Forerunner 305

Yeah! I finally bought a Forerunner305 after months of thinking about having spent too much on entry fees so far this year. Today I do not carry the heart beat monitor because I want to get used it in other casual run first so that I won't get screwed up in those important long run like today. It is more important that I'll correctly record my mileage.

First Time to complete Alameda Creek Trail Round Trip

Alameda Creek Trail is a 11 mile paved road at south side of the creek and a 12 mile dirt path at the north side. It borders Fremont and Union City. I have trained there for years ever since I started to run. However, I only ran part of it at a time. To run the entire course in one shot has been an impossible dream to me. Today, I'm going to run the entire 12 mile dirt path out and back - 24 miles, and more.

Two Hours in Dark

I did not go to bed until midnight. I somehow was busying checking how my friends were doing in Cool 50K (Congrats to our Ultraholic folks - Yuki, Rajeev, Anil, see the Results). I did not adjust my alarm for DST, so it was actually 4-ish when I got up on the alarm at 3:40am. The usual doubt of why I should do today's long run disappeared during my busy morning ritual. I had six Gel's, one small prescription used bottle of GU powder, one 24-oz empty water bottle, and my SD600.

Since I have lost one hour due to DST and stayed late last night, I run out from my home at 5:20am, which is 4:20am the night before. I hold a can of V8 and I'll drop it at a place of 4 miles out and back, where there is no water available.

The street is quiet and I feel great. However, within a quarter mile, I feel a minor lingering pain from my previously injured ankle (see 070217 Sequoia 50K - Barely Finish with a Screaming Ankle). After 20 minutes or so, it disappears. I guess I was a little nervous about today's training. Although keeping moving triggers the symptom, but also relives it afterwards.

My pace is gentle - 8:15 min pace. It takes me 11 min on the neighborhood streets before I get to the Alameda Creek Trail. I first get to the paved path, i.e. at Fremont side. It takes me another 6 minutes to get to the other side, the dirt path at Union City side. I drop the V8 there and begin to run toward the Bay for 4 miles out and back, i.e. 8 miles in total.

Running towards the Bay, I am surprised to feel the warmth. It's not like spring, but more like early summer (Again global warming). I can see city lights at the west across the Bay 10 miles in front of me. If I happen look over my shoulder, I can see city lights with 5 miles in Fremont at left and Union City at right. It's foggy so I can not see many star but a bright half moon above. Populated across the sky are the busy flights and they are definitely not UFO. Alone is myself running on the trail, which I can only faintly see 10 feet ahead. I feel alone but my mind is as clear as a crystal. Running always brings me chances to think about some tough questions that are not easily figured out at other time.


When I get to the Bay, I stop for seconds, relieve myself, and turn around. There is a V8 waiting for me 4 miles away. I can see some lights far ahead in the sky toward east. I'm going to Mission Peak, or not due to the dense fog. Oddly, it becomes a little colder as I leaving away from the Bay and run toward the hills even when it is near sunrise.

Now I can hear a lot of sound around from birds. I smell skunk, but I don't spot them but see rabbits once in a while. It is a busy hour for them. I get motivated and feel very energetic with so many life around.

I try to take a few shots, but find them failures later at home. The best one is shot when I turn around from the Bay and waiting for sunrise from Mission Peak. The sunlight reflects through the cloud and spread itself all over. Within 30 minutes, I can see orange dyed sky ahead. What a great day coming for today!

I later pick up the V8 and feel replenished. I keep steady 8:30 min pace but don't feel any rising in temperature around.

When I am near Quarry Lakes, I decide not to enter the park, but stay on the this trail to avoid any possible paved road. I also know there are two water fountains ahead. I skip the first one as the way to test my thirsty, but I take my first Gel. The second one is within one mile, where I'll take two salt tablets as it is almost two hours.

Running toward the hill end of the 12 mile Alameda Creek Trail, there are dogs barking at the other side of the fence. Like I did in the Fremont Fat Ass, I take my another Gel at the turnaround.

Coming Back and Start Struggling

I came back to the second water fountain again. I drink enough water and fill up my water bottle for the first time. Yes, I started with an empty bottle. One entrance to Quarry Lakes is nearby, but I feel not ready to enter it and do loops there. When I did a shorter training run last week, I did a big loop inside the park. The park was beautiful in the morning and I regretted not bringing my camera. I'll enter the park next time when I do a longer training run.

Sun has risen for an hour. I started to get warm and tired as well. Coming back to the first water fountain, I'm taking another two or three salt tablet since they are stick to with each other. There do have about half mile on the asphalt. It becomes less tolerable when body is tired and sun is up.

Sometimes I think i should take some break for more pictures when I am tired. Now I'm tired but it's not true. I feel no energy to repeat the process of taking pictures. Still I feel like taking shots for the last and save my little energy for the last few miles. I know it's getting close to done.

Looking back at the hill, I take the final shot on the beautiful trail. No matter how I train or become an ultrarunner, I find I always hit the wall at mile 22 or so. Here I am, but I don't feel that exhausted as before. I think that's a great thing to become an ultrarunniner. We usually hit a couple of walls in an ultrarunning race.

I am tired and feel like I have 10% or less energy left. Finally I arrive at the place where I drop the V8. It is where I can turn around and head home. It is also the place for the 4 miles out and back to the Bay. Next time I'll do this 8 mile stretch one more time.

Going Home

Before I leave the Alameda Creek Trail with 1.5 mile to go, I decide to run an extra mile because I need it to make a 28 mile according to the mileage on my GPS. Somehow I feel a little recover perhaps because it's close to finish or because of the ultrarunning training, whatever.

When I get home, I figure out I accidentally stopped my GPS in the beginning for 30 minutes or so. It was so dark at that time and I was not familiar about Forerunner305. Hence I am even happier because I have done about 50K and run over 5 hours (about 5:10). I'm totally satisfied with today's training and looking forward the longer one on next Sunday.


anil said...

Very nice pictures and nice to know about all your Gadgets, you seem so excited to try them out.

it reminds me its been a long time since i ran around alameda and don edwards, i miss those trails.

Peter Lubbers said...

Great training run, Chihping!
Glad you finally got the 305. You're right, you need to be very careful not to accidentally stop the clock. It happened to me many times while taking off my camelback. I wish they had some sort of Lock button, like iPods do.

So what was your favorite gel in the end? I love the Hammer gels. apple/cinamon, raspberry, and chcolate.

Chihping Fu 傅治平 (超馬阿爸) said...

Hi Anil,

Was it part of Ahsha training when you ran on these trails?

Glad to be here so closed to them. Perhaps you can join me some time.


Chihping Fu 傅治平 (超馬阿爸) said...

Hi Peter,

Thanks for giving the last push for me to get the 305 after months of longing for.

I've tried G, HammerGel, Cytomax, and Clif Gel. I actually love them all, but every brand has its own taste and ingredients.

Cytomax tastes thick but delicious. Clif Gel is made of healthy brown rice syrup. GU tastes light, better for long running. HammerGel also tastes good.

You may want to try other brands just for fun and comparison.