2018 Fort Ord 50K – Winter Heat Training

Two weeks ago I planned to run the Fort Ord 50K with just a hand held and a couple of gels stashed away. Three days ago, I’m like – it’s time to get the full rig – 40oz of water, gels, vest, hat, salt pills, the whole shebang. And it was barely sufficient. In the 2nd half of the race, my Ambit3 recorded 90°F in the canyons. Here’s my Strava activity.

Fort Ord 50K

Just before 8am, right before the start, we could already feel the warm as the sun crept up over the knoll. Was good to see Larry, Moises, Jose at the start line. As expected, Larry was going for the PR and he would finish at a blistering 4:29 beating the sun by a long margin. Some of us weren’t fast enough to escape the canyon and the 2nd half was a crawl.

The picture below is one of my favorite shots and totally unintended too. I was just taking pictures and saw this eagle after the fact cruising around. Didn’t know until later the framing was just perfect. You can totally feel the warmth of the sun radiating out of this picture too. And this wasn’t even the half way point yet.

Reached the Creekside aid station at mile 18ish around 3:20, about the same time I ran this course four years ago. Fort Ord 50K was actually one of my first 50Ks when I was beginning my running adventures 6 years ago. From here was definitely the hard part. The canyons were holding on to the heat and while the ridges had some breeze, the canyons were exposed and running pretty hot. The second half was mostly trying to figure out a formula of three things. Dousing myself to keep the core cool, trickling down a combination of Tailwind and water to stay hydrated and finally rationing the liquids so I didn’t run out before the aid stations.

There were a few of us sticking together the last 12 miles, nudging each other along while the sun was pounding on us. Not much chit chat. Could start to hear the cars racing across the Laguna Seca tracks  in the distance and knew we weren’t that far from the finish. 4 miles. 3 miles. 2 miles.

Finally pulled in 6:30ish with just a couple of drops of water left in my handhelds. Long day, but got exactly what I wanted out of the run. 6ish hours of checking out from the hustle and bustle of every day and focused on simple things – eat, drink, one step at a time and popping out the occasional smile along the way thinking this was awesome.

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