2021 Ultra #10 – Cowabunga 50K

I think there are three main challenges in running an ultra (or two) a week, every week. The first one is recovery, second is trying to not get injured. The third one is the logistics and planning around making up new routes while trying not to repeat. This also includes running the exposed these routes early in the year with cooler temperatures. The Cowabunga 50K was set in Round Valley Regional Preserve. I saw on Strava that Sajeer Vazhayil had run this loop and saved me a bunch of time! Round Valley is not a very big park, so this course is basically 4 laps on a loop course. Here’s my Strava activity:

Round Valley Regional Park

It’s a bit of a drive getting there, but the gates were open when I got there at 7:30am. Not many cars in the parking lot. I picked this day because it was the cooler of the other days in the week and there was also some overcast. I can easily imagine this place getting to 100+ degrees in May.

The climb up Hardy Canyon Trail was steep in a few places, but generally runnable. This is one of the more shaded sections of this loop. The cows were grazing and a couple of places I had a step off to the side to go around them. Didn’t want to piss off a mama cow!

Mt. Diablo in the distance!

I think I saw more cows than people on this run. Finished the first two laps in 1:20 each and for a brief moment, thought I’d make it back to the car for a Tailwind reload + coke, Decided against it. Psychologically, I think two or three laps on a loop course works for me. Four just felt like a drag. So part of me was like, let me get through this one more time. That way I’ll have only one lap left. Or something. Funny how JEDI mind tricks work on these ultras. 🙂 I was definitely feeling the mid-ultra blues on the 3rd lap and was dragging my feet.

Made it back to the car in 4:30. Reloaded on the Tailwind, drank a coke, dunked water on my head and headed out feeling more refreshed. Dunno if it was a second wind or the sun hiding behind a cloud, was definitely moving better. Made it back to the car in 5:59:51! No face planting, no bonking, no GI issues and no injuries. I’ll take that. Given my last 50K was just 4 days ago, grateful that the body’s starting to adapt to this frequency and mileage. So that was #10, just 40 more ultras to go this year!

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