Sunday, May 08, 2005

Quicksilver 50K (May 7, 2005)

Date : May 7, 2005
Location : Almaden Quicksilver Park, San Jose
Race : Quicksilver 50K
Finish Time : 7:05

I woke up at 3:45 am. Finished my morning activities and headed downstairs (I slept the night in Anu's place) to make tea and eat my bagel. At about 4:10 am, woke up Anu. She showed up downstairs at about 4:30 am for her cup of tea and half a bagel.

Started driving at about 5:10 am. I made it to the start at about 5:25 a.m and found Anil almost right away. As usual, I was busy socializing. Met my Oracle buddies - Yuki Negoro (5:16 for the same 50K last year, 9:54 for a 50-miler a month ago and 10:07 Saturday in his second 50-miler), Chihping Fu (5:30 in the 50K last year and 9:44 in the 50-miler Sat) and Amrita Zerbe (6:20 in a 50K on Mar 20, 9:54 in her first 50-miler Sat). Also introduced myself to Kashyap's cousins (ultramarathoners) - madhu and Kishore Avasarala. Madhu ran 5:38 in the 50K while Kishore did 6:45.

The run started promptly at 6:00 am. I had decided to start at the back of the pack. The start was downhill. Caught up with Anil 0.25 miles into the run and we wound up running the next 31 miles together :) What an amazing person he is. Strong as a horse. Never complaining. Helpful. Enjoying himeself on the course. Not worried a whit about time. That's the way to run my friend. Without a care in the world.

About half a mile into the run, we came up on our first hill. The entire group of people started walking. The hill must have been 0.4 miles long and we all trooped up solemnly. My body was slowly starting to warm up. My right was a bit tight, causing tightness in my right ITB. This tightness eventually disappeared after the mile 9 water stop. The first thing I noticed was the frequency with which I had gravel and dirt get into my shoes. Need to get these gaiters that a lot of people were wearing, including Anil. These prevent stuff from getting into your shoes.

Ate a lot of boiled potatoes and salt at the 9 mile stop. The next 9 miles were good. We had decided to walk EVERY hill (big or small) and that's precisely what we ended up doing. That strategy paid off handsomely at the end. My legs were feeling great between 27 and 31. Anil kept up this great walk-run pace and it was easy, mentally and physically to run by his side. Thank you Anil. Owe you one.

Around mile 21 or so, I suddenly started to have breathing problems. Allergies? Anyway, 21-25 was a climb and we walked all of it. At the top, I took one of my Accel gels (4:1 ratio of carbs to protein). This picked up my blood sugar and it lasted all the way to the finish. Miles 25-28 or so were downhill. We met Pradeep and Arun around mile 28. They were a sight for sore eyes. It was fun after that. The few hills left on Hacienda we conquered and the last part was a downhill that was done at breakneck speed.

It was the most wonderful feeling in the world to see the finish and all of you cheering. Thank you for showing up. That was the icing on the cake.

A few things about my running mate - Anil has impressed me no end. He is such a strong runner - both physically and mentally. I am so impressed with his ability to eat up distance and not even break sweat while doing so. He is planning to run his firts 50-mile run in November and I know that he will do well there too.

Thank you Anil.