Friday, September 28, 2007

Running again

I went for a nice and easy (a little hilly) 2.2 mile "run" last night. Not very fast, maybe 11-12 min/mi pace. I left the watch and Garmin at home. I didn't want to get distracted by gadgets and gave all my attention to my body.

My blisters are healing, my aches are fading. Saturday will be my first time back running any significant distance, hopefully 5-7 miles. Still nice and slow and paying close attention to how I feel.

Still working on my RDL report. Seems like once one race is done, mentally I've moved onto the next race.

I've signed up for yet another race, Whiskeytown 50k. Takes place on Oct. 27th. Still contemplating Helen Klein 50K or M. Maybe I'll do a wait and see until after Whiskeytown. Next up is Dick Collins Firetrails 50 Mile on October 13 and then the next day, the East Bay Frontrunners 10k Pride Run. Will not be breaking any 10k PRs that day!

Getting my WS100 application in the mail shortly. Will this be the year? Will I be a two-time loser?

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Mile 55?

Coming into another aid station (maybe Rattlesnake?) Paula is pacing right behind. My flashlight (thank you Zombie Runner!) is so bright, that I led the entire time during the night. Went through a lot of batteries, but well worth keeping on the trail!

Coming into No Hands Bridge AS

Flying down the hill into mile 40. Jeff ahead and Buzz Higgins behind.

RDL Pictures

"Ocean Beach" Jeff and I at the start line. We are totally excited!! (And I think a little freaked out!)

Monday, September 24, 2007

Can I have some more?

Awesome, awesome, awesome! That's all I can say. What an experience!

I finished (if you couldn't tell!) 27 hours 20 minutes 38 seconds! I placed 35 out of 98 starters!

My feet took a beating. My first blister appeared at mile 26 and it just got worse! My calves are really tight, but the rest of my body feels absolutely fine!

More to come...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Am I ready for 100?

Before any race I get a little nervous. I think it's a combination of excitement, nerves and sometimes a lack of confidence. That lack of confidence shows up as questions: Did I train enough? Will my IT Band not act up? Am I really a runner? Can I really do this? Am I just crazy? Do I have the right nutrition? Are my shoes too old, too new? Did I get enough rest beforehand?

I'm driving myself nuts! I just need to tell myself that I'm as trained as I will be; My IT Band will or will not act up; Yes, you are a runner; Of course you can do this; Yes, of course I'm crazy; Just eat and drink; I'm brining four pair of shoes, I'll find the ones that are "just right"; You'll never get enough rest if you have all of these questions going through your head!!!

I have everything packed and ready to go. Last night, I made a decision to stop by Target and pick up a few last things. Hat, gloves, jacket, pants, extra flashlight, gas-x strips, baggies, plastic container, camera case. I was amazed. This is the first time that I've been able to go to a single store and find everything on my list. That NEVER happens. There usually a few things that either they don't have or out of stock. Thank You Target!

I had been planning of one HOT run. The average temps are in the upper 80s and low 90s. Well, not this year (I'm not surprised!) It's going to be in the upper 50's and RAINING! It does not rain in September...except for the one time I'm attempting my first 100. Who just might be the one thing that helps me finish!

A few last minute things this morning; getting my tire fixed on my Escape, battery for my watch, print out crew packets, pacer packets, get cash, print out driving directions, get maps, pack clothes for Sunday. Ok, so there's still a lot of things I need to do!

I have a feeling that after this first 100 miler (and I survive and want to do more of them) it's going to be a lot easier to get everything together. Almost like a 50 mile race. I usually just get up, take a shower, eat breakfast, put some bodyglide on my feet, grab my water bottles and go out the door.

Keep me in your thoughts and prayers over the next days!

Finish in 28 hours. (Cut-off time 30 hours.)
Do no get pulled from the course.
Be able to walk on Monday.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Backpacking 2007

On top of Thunderbolt Pass, above Dusy Basin.

At Bishop Pass.

Know where you are going and "when" to get back!

I went over to San Francisco after work to pick up "Ocean Beach" Jeff and go for a Wednesday evening run. He was going to show me part of the course for the upcoming, first-ever Ocean Beach 50k.
It looks like it's going to be a great course. Out-and-back along Ocean Beach, up some stairs and over to the coastal trail to the Golden Gate Bridge, over to the Marin Headlands, loop around and go back to the beginning. Really great. During the run, I suggested that maybe there would be a 100k option (you know, because why not?!) Well, that will have to be reconsidered because of a little incident.
Did you know that the pedestrian part of the Golden Gate Bridge closes at 9pm? NO? Neither did we! We got over the bridge and Jeff asked if I would like to see the first mile of the Headlands portion. Of course I said yes! We ran underneath the bridge up to the trail. Went a little over a mile up the hill to the hurricane-force winds that blow the fog over the top of the hills. WOW! On our way up, we encounter an animal of some sort and a big spider that tried to own the trail.
It was beautiful and very dark! We flew back down the hill (as fast as one can go with a flashlight in the dark) and back under the bridge. Just as we reached the stairs to go back up the other side, a loud buzzing sound went off. We both jumped and I looked up and yelled, "The gate is closing! The gate is closing!"
We got to the entrance and sure enough, the gate had automatically closed. There was no way to get through. CRAP! There was a sign that said to push the big red button. I did and a voice came over the loudspeaker. "The bridge closes at 9pm, it will open at 5am tomorrow." Jeff and I looked at each other. "We are not spending the night up here." We looked up to where the voice came from and said we need to get back across!
The voice came back and said to pick up the phone if we had more questions. I picked up the phone. The voice told me that the bridge was closed. I pleaded, "Please, we need to get back across, my car is on the other side!" He asked why I didn't see the sign that said it closed at 9pm. Playing dumb (and I didn't see the sign the first time) "I'm from Oakland, I didn't know!"
He told me that he would send someone over to pick us up and drop us off on the other side.
Oh, thank God!
A cop pulled up and we got into the back seat. Only if I had my camera. I couldn't help but laugh at ourselves for getting a ride in the back of a cop car, across the Golden Gate Bridge. The cop was really nice about the whole deal. Actually, he did a lot of talking. A lot of talking. I think he was pretty bored out there and was happy for the chance to talk to someone.
We finally got back to Jeff's house completing our 3 hour adventure. What a run!
Of course the fun didn't stop there for me. I missed a traffic break by about 1 minute on I-80 getting onto the Bay Bridge. There was road construction and they had everyone get off the freeway at Fourth Street, take city streets to Essex/First St. to get back on.
Finally by midnight, I had dinner and was in bed.

I can't wait for the next run! :)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Preview report of AYAOTD!

Congratulations to Don and Jeff for completing the First Annual "Are You Afraid of the Dark 12 Hour Fun Run!"

Here are some pictures of the run.

Brad, Jeff, Don: Here we are In the Dark! 9pm up on Skyline in the Oakland Hills. We spent 3 hours of FUN on the trails. Goats, Spiderwebs, a weird trailer, cops, Lovin' in vehicles and fireworks! Yes, this run was to have it all!

Don, Jeff, Brad: Lake Merritt! We survived the trails of the East Bay Hills; the mountain lions had spared us, but would we be afraid here at the largest urban saltwater lake? Peter joined us for the FUN and did a few laps with us. Rats, screams, drunks, gunfire, we had it all at Lake Merritt!

The Aid Station: After some initial confusion, the race director/volunteer (yours truly) finally got his act together and the aid station came together. The back of my vehicle was our oasis in the dark. Our oasis of watermelon, pb&j sandwiches, potatoes & salt, brownies, muffins, pretzels, bananas, water, gatorade, salt tablets, tums...if we didn't have it, we probably didn't need it!

Jeff, Brad, Don: Alameda! And the FUN continued in Alameda! It was 4am and only 5 hours left of FUN was to be had. Fred joined us for a bit and John Taylor brought us much needed coffee in the morning. Pot smokers, vomit, GI problems, chafing in places where the sun doesn't shine and a second wind.

Jeff, Brad, Don: We had a great time! We came sprinting over the pedestrian bridge into Bay Farm Island with 5 minutes to spare, so to stay true to "12 hours", we finished with a 5 minute out and back along the bay.

Thank you for everyone's support, especially to Don and "Ocean Beach" Jeff, without them I just might have been to Afraid of the Dark to finish! Thanks "Sacramento" Jeff for your text messages. It gave us a surge of energy to keep going!

And a huge CONGRATULATIONS to Don for completing his first ultramarathon! I never had any doubt!

And...Give runners 12 hours to think and you never know what you'll get. (Save the Date, December 15 and/or 16! Details to come!)

A complete run report will be posted to a little later today...hopefully!

Brad Niess
Race Director/Aid Station Captain/Runner

Introducing Ocean Beach Jeff!

Come check out the newest member of the Blog world, Ocean Beach Jeff
He has a great report on the Are You Afraid of the Dark run.