Looking At 2016 – More Running, Less Kudos

I think it started right after Skyline 50K when I decided I wasn’t going to track each and every one of my runs anymore. I stopped uploading stuff to Strava and pretty soon after, stopped wearing my GPS watch all together (except when I run the races). Turns out my brain really doesn’t like the constant feedback of kudos, PRs, weekly mileage tracking, etc. Besides, I don’t want to have to name every single run. 🙂 The JOMO (Joy of Missing Out) is strong with me. This stuff was really detracting me from running. It’s not why I started running in the first place and at some point got caught up in it. But 2015 was a great year otherwise. Two road marathons, five 50Ks, two 50Ms, one 100K and a few half marathons here and there.

As I look forward to 2016, I’m hoping to run a few more 50 milers than 2015 and be more consistent on one marathon+ distance race each month. Mostly though, be a little bit more regular about running without really worrying too much about meeting fixed weekly mileage, getting faster, etc. Most of this conservative training/running is driven by my work/travel schedule. At least for now, running is no longer an obsession, but a quiet companion that brings quietude and sanity to the otherwise hectic life. I’m also seriously considering getting a treadmill with a 15% incline to better my climbing skills and really to save the precious time getting back and forth from my favorite trails.

Here are some of my favorite pictures from my running adventures in 2015. This one was from the Coyote Hill Half Marathon which kicked off the year.

Bay lands from the top

Bay lands from the top

I ventured out to Sean O’Brien 50K in February and managed to get a sub-6:00 finish. Just amazing views of the Santa Monica Mountains with lots of climbing. Rabbit Hole Cafe has the most awesome vegan food!

Rain Clouds Moving In

Rain Clouds Moving In

The Marin Ultra Challenge 50K was a training run before the first 50 miler of the year and also to get back on some of the trails that were part of the Miwok 100K course. I’ll be running the Marin Ultra Challenge 50M this year and looking forward to hopping back on those trails.

Single Track To Tennessee Valley

Single Track To Tennessee Valley

Was super happy with my 9:11 finish time at the American River 50M. I planned this well, ran a great race and finished strong. Compared to the Lake Sonoma 50M I ran in 2014, I surprised myself by running a fair amount even in the later part of the race.

Leaving Dowdin's Post

Leaving Dowdin’s Post

The big one for the year was Miwok 100K, my first 100K. I went in with a lot of apprehension, had my ups and downs during the race (including an unexpected, uncontrolled sobbing fit), but managed to finish sub-14 hours. The bagpiper dude on top of a fog-covered Cardiac Hill in the early miles was awesome. This year I’m running the Quicksilver 100K, but hoping to run at least 3 or 4 50 milers. I don’t have the calling for a 100 miler just yet. I know physically I might be able to run it, but mentally I’m not there yet. Maybe some day…

Golden Gate Bridge

Always an awesome sight – Golden Gate Bridge

A huge amount of mental fatigue set in after the 100K and I didn’t want anything to do with running for a couple of weeks. Just vegged out, ate a lot and grew fat and lazy. To break that trend, registered for the Double Dipsea to get back on the trails. That was super fun and it was pretty inspiring to see 70+ and 80+ year olds “run” that race.

Single Track Galore

Robert Rhodes always puts up an awesome Coastal Marin 50K and it’s simply the best way to get your trail mojo back. Twenty runners over a very relaxed 50K over the beautiful Marin Headlands trails with a mobile aid station operated by his dad simply makes for an amazing experience.

Regrouping until everyone's together

Regrouping until everyone’s together

I don’t usually run road marathons (kills my ankles), but this year I ran the San Francisco Marathon with a itty-bitty PR (I think I got 1 minute faster). And this with averaging like 20 miles/week. Took me twice as long to recover compared to the Miwok 100K. But my buddy Charles got to BQ, which was awesome.

I think I saw this sign a couple of times

I think I saw this sign a couple of times

I heart Skyline 50K! A fast 50K and one of the older runs in the Bay Area. Lots of veterans here, but this year it felt a bit more subdued. Not a whole lot of runners this time, but I had another back-to-back PR here with a 4:57 finish. My first time running a sub-5:00 50K!

Okay, that's the best volunteering spot ever!

Okay, that’s the best volunteering spot ever!

Of course, back-to-back PRs has to be followed by some disappointment just to make life interesting. I had my first DNF at the Ohlone 50K where it got to 108°F by mile 16ish. Have to get back there someday to finish what I started.

Near Goat Rock

Near Goat Rock

Another big highlight for the year, I managed to run a sub-10:00 Dick Collins 50M which felt really good, especially coming out of the DNF. It was a flawless run where the hydration and eating went well, no cramps or GI issues, weather didn’t get so hot and one of those runs that really made me start liking the 50 mile distance.

Mt. Diablo looming in the horizon

Mt. Diablo looming in the horizon

I don’t know why I thought I could get faster by running roads, but somehow decided to register for the California International Marathon in December. I started pounding asphalt and stuck to a self-drawn-out plan for the first two weeks and quickly went back to fun-driven training. Ran how much ever I wanted, whenever I wanted. Just as a detour and a little R&R (rejuvenation and redwoods), ran the Whiskey Hill Half Marathon which reminded me how much I missed the trails.

single track FTW

single track FTW

The California International Marathon went really well where I ran a 3:20 pace up until mile 16 or 17 and then the wheels came off. Bad case of cramps and I limped to the finish line at 3:45. Not exactly a strong finish for the year, but whatever. At least it was kinda fun running in the rain.

Looking ahead in 2016, I got some fun 50K’s and 50M’s planned for the first half and hoping I make the Mt. Hood 50M lottery. I’m almost certainly going to run the Skyline 50K and the Dick Collins 50M again (nearby trails without a lot of travel). Looking forward to sharing trails with many running friends (both old and new) and wishing everyone Happy Trails!


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