2021 Ultra #50 – Over The Hill 50K

It’s kinda crazy how lucky I’ve been to get to this point – 50 ultras week over week (sometimes every 3 or 4 days) through all the curveballs that life throws at us. This was my last one for the year, 50th ultra. In some ways, I’m glad I crammed a little bit in November (three ultras in 8 days) so I can have a bit more relaxed holiday break and a very chill last one. This 50K was just around my neighborhood, set in terms of 5K laps. Here’s my Strava activity:

Neighborhood 50K

When I woke up and came down, I saw this t-shirt with a note from my boys. Kinda made the day! The plan was, as I said, pretty chill. Start at 9am and I’d invited a few friends over to run a lap or two with me. There are two things I feel like I’ve forgotten this year: running with others (it’s been a long solo effort mostly because the sequencing & scheduling made it pretty difficult to coordinate with others) and “going for a run”, without numbering runs or counting miles!

I had setup a little “aid station” outside my house with Tailwind and some dates. And by 8:45am, Erin, Saurabh, Tim and Maddy came out to run a couple of laps with me. I’ve known Erin, Saurabh and Tim from almost 8+ years ago when I started showing up in the ultra scene in the Bay Area. I feel like we’ve been watching each other’s progress from a distance and it was fun to catch up and run with everyone!

With all the recent rain, I couldn’t have asked for a perfect sunny day to finish this #50ultrasfor50 project! A few days ago, I reached out to my podiatrist, Jesse Yurgelon, to see if he wanted to come out and run a lap or two with me. He was the one that did the Brostrom Procedure on my right ankle to fix a broken ligament. He and his partner Lyndsey were such troopers! The next couple of laps was with them and running with Lyndsey was like clockwork! Just kept a steady strong pace as we cycled through the neighborhood for a couple of laps.

My buddy Jens came out next and as always, it was great to catch up with him!

Rosie came out next to drop off (surprise!) the balloons, a beautiful card and epsom salt for the post-run recovery!

My neighbor across, Mike, came out and he stuck with me for 3 laps, close to 9 miles. We were just chatting the whole time and he timed it perfectly between miles 15 to 21 when the mid-run blues (The “why TF am I doing this again?” question) were starting to kick in.

Then handoff to Yadhu, my long time buddy whom I hadn’t seen for a couple of years through all the covid mess. It was great to catchup and it was his turn to pace me and keep me moving. Last time we ran together, I ended up pacing him on his first marathon!

At this point I only had 4ish miles to finish, but again this run was not about finishing at a certain time or whatever. Just wrapping up a amazingly stupid project with the much needed catchup with friends.

My son’s friend Stephen (I proudly ran their first half marathon with them a few years ago!) came out for the last lap and when we finished, we still had 0.75 miles to go. My wife and son came out with our dog and we walked to top off the miles to finish the 50th and last ultra for the year. I can’t think of a better way of ending the year than being with all these friends and family!

One of the questions that came up during this run was what was I going to do in 2022. Honestly, I’m happy to be goalless for a little bit, not measure miles, number runs, etc. – but running will continue on. I’ve already signed up to volunteer at a few different runs (aid stations, course sweep, etc.) just a way of giving back and helping others get to their goals. Maybe take up curling or something – I’m sure it’s a “chill” sport 🙂

There’s a lot to process and I’m relieved in some ways to wrap up this project. It started out as a crazy idea and at the half way point, didn’t look like it was going to happen. I can’t thank my wife enough for all the support, the world famous eye rolls 🙄 when I’m sore, limping around the house and the most awesome post-run ramen’s. It’s been a very very lucky and fortunate year to be able to pull off this self-imposed challenge!

Absolutely N.O. spam. No more than two emails each week. Learn about injury-free running, race reports, new trail routes, awesome recipes and amazing interviews.