Tuesday, February 28, 2012

My Second Second Saratoga 50K Fat-Ass (Where's My Prize Money?)


To clarify at the outset, this was not THE 2nd Second Saratoga Fat Ass, but MY 2nd and THE 4th.  THE 2nd running of the Second Saratoga Fat Ass was held two years ago and was MY 1st.

I was scheduled to work three straight overnights on Friday (February 10th, 2012) through Sunday (the 12th) nights.  Working all Friday night, driving to the Santa Cruz mountains, running most of the day, then driving back to work another overnight shift seemed enjoyable not safe and would make the following overnight shift REALLY unenjoyable for me and unsafe for my patients.  So I asked the Fat Ass Coordinator (note, not Race Director, this is NOT a race!!!) Keith Blom if I could run Friday and still have it count as an official Fat Ass result.  He consented, which made him even cooler than he already was for putting this on every year. The other advantage of running this Friday is that I would be tired enough to fall asleep before my shift started.

I was a bit sore in my back and arms from doing trail work at Mission Peak the day before, which included helping lift and roll heavy beams, shoveling sand into the trail section we were resurfacing, throwing bricks onto a truck, and finally shoveling the unused sand vertically into the same truck later.

Catra and I volunteering at Mission Peak
with the East Bay Trail Dogs
Not fully recovered from a sleep deficit accumulated over the past two days, it was hard for me to wake up early enough to make it down to the Saratoga Gap parking lot before 11 am.  Start when I want (well, I wanted to start earlier....)  Such a contrast to 2010, when I was texting back and forth with Toshi the days before the start.  He originally wanted to start at 5 f***ing o'clock in the morning.

recycled photo from 2 years prior
race report

Two years ago, Toshi and I ran together for the first 18 miles until he ditched me.  This time I would have to pace myself.  I had wondered beforehand how hard it would be to push myself, given that I was running a Fat Ass completely alone for the first time.

I figured if I was breathing pretty hard most of the time, I would end up pushing myself more than an average training run.  The sky was clear most of the first loop, allowing for some great views.  I tried to take pictures, but my iPhone camera froze, and I wasted more than a few minute trying to get it unstuck before I remembered I had an alternate camera app. (Camera+)

view east to Silicon Valley

I added some bonus fraction of a mile accidentally taking a horse bypass on the outbound and then doing a circle of a campground area on the return.  I hadn't been able to print up the maps on the website, so only had the turn sheets.  I got really hot and sweaty in the lower elevations with my jacket and Wasp pack on, but it cooled down again when I returned to the ridge and my aid station.

The clouds started to move in and a light drizzle during the 2nd loop.  No navigational problems.  I could spice up my run about getting attacked by a mountain lion, but it is not part of my normal blogging practice to exaggerate or embellish.  I think I listened to a few cool podcasts and music.

cool technical section

By the 3rd loop I was starting to feel really stiff, including my back from the previous day's trail work, but I was able to keep honest decent effort.  The drizzle was pretty constant so I stopped taking photos, doubting that I would ever find the time to blog this run.

remember that these Garmin devices always undermeasure your distance
(I lost reception several times with all the clouds and foliage)
I finished in 5:30, more than half an hour slower than 2010, but I felt this was decent enough given my lack of sleep, soreness and running solo.

Even if people ran faster the next day, I could still say I was the first to finish!

GPS recorded map of my run

I was cold and wet, and got stuck in rush hour traffic, as my bladder filled up and I got more hungry and sleepy. I made it to In and Out to fuel my tank and then Costco to fuel my car tank get some needed food supplies.  Wow, no lines at Costco at 7 pm on a Friday.

I was dead tired but by the time I was showered in the call room, so I had only two hours of unconsciousness before my alarm woke me up.  As patients kept coming all night without a hiatus, I was reminded of how easy running 30+ miles in the mountains is compared to doing my job most of the time.  But then I had to remind myself that none of the docs I work with, even those who have run a marathon, could finish the majority of my longer workouts or races.  I also reminded myself that I was getting paid for the shift.  Money, not just that warm, fuzzy feeling of accomplishment while communing with nature.

Apparently the next day it rained more, got muddy, and people got more lost than I did.

Jean Pommier's recap of Saturday

I ended up having the fastest time.  In a formal race, you can't legally run the day before.  But this was a fat-ass.  I won!


Even if it is unlikely I had the fattest ass, I can definitely say I was the fastest fat-ass!

one of few images you get
 that are neither semi-pornographic nor disgusting
when you google image "fat-ass"

official website

1 comment:

Sarah Lavender Smith said...

Great job Mark -- though your sleep deprivation just never lets up. Sleep in, man! BTW I like the "middle-age fart" caption you have on the home page. Good to see you at the first Chabot AS and I hope you find time to write about that run too.