Rodeo Valley 50k – Coastal Trail Runs

Well, sometimes you just gotta get after it a little bit. At the Rodeo Valley start this morning I was psyched to get goin’ at 8:30 from the picturesque beach with a solid field of 50k and 30k runners. I was hoping to run the hilly course at about 8min/mi, giver ‘r take. It wasn’t a problem finding motivation, or a rabbit because one manifesting himself as smilin’ Jorge Maravilla, who’s been blazin’ the ultra-running scene for quite sometime now, showed up to throw down. I got about 9mi on the Maravilla Express before the conductor found out I didn’t have a ticket.

Photo compliments of Rick Gaston!

I figured I’d sit on the nice average pace I’d established, keep the cadence up, run smooth, and flow to the finish. Then I took a wrong turn, with another dude. It wasn ‘t so bad ’cause 1.) I got to see my Windsor neighbors, Julie and Greg Yaeger (again) and 2.) I ran into Victor Ballesteros of Victory Sport Design. Victor’s a seasoned ultra-runner and completed the entire Tahoe Rim Trail around Lake Tahoe in 2012. We finished up the “pink loop” and were headed out for round two of pink, when, climbing up from Rodeo, I was feelin’ like I had a shopping bag around my face. Suffering’s good; suffocation not so. I watched Victor motor away, makin’ it look easy.

With Victor Ballesteros – Photo compliments of Rick Gaston!

I then ran a few yards passed a turn at “Hill 88.” I ran back down, saw the turn I was supposed to take and went barreling down the trail, all the way down, to the bottom (see Strava map below) in the wrong direction (insult to injury). Anyway, I was zapped and since having a respectable North Face 50mi just a few weeks back, I wasn’t upset in the least. “Yeah, it’s okay to be done. It’s not 2013 yet. I reset my Garmin about 23mi in, took my number off and started up the mile climb back to the point where I’d gotten off course. It was then clear which way I should have gone. I’m good at a few things, but d*mn, navigation is surely not anywhere on that list. Something I’ll really need to focus on. Either improve focus, or don’t get dropped. Two sets of eyes are better than one!

I’m dwelling on all the positives that happened today, like, for instance, I dropped my bottle early when running and bounding with another dude chasing Jorge. The guy actually went back and got it for me. That’s good stuff right there. Thanks bro, good karma for you in the 2013!!!

Here’s the fancy Strava data from the portion of the 50k I raced today:

Today’s effort finished up my goal of completing the iRunFar Holiday 50mi Challenge. I think I’m going to continue using Strava, only for running. It’s a bit more work since, when incorporating Strava into the mix, I’m using three online tools: Workout Log, Garmin Connect, and Strava. Anyway, I dig the connections to other ultra-runners that Strava creates. It’s fun, and motivating!

Now, my sweet nurse, Amanda, just walked through the door from her day-shift. Time to relax and enjoy a DiGiorno pizza (it’s not delivery), a few “Snow Day” winter Ales from New Belgium Brewing, and the made-for-tv movie…


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