Showing posts from November, 2013

Chimera 2013: my first 100-mile ultramarathon.

(Disclaimer: it’s a long post but hey, trust me, it’s been an even longer race!)I get up at 3am after few hours of restless sleep. Excitement quickly kicks in so it’s not too bad. I got everything ready the previous night so I quickly dress, jump in the car and I’m on my way.When I’m getting close it starts to rain. Badly. I get there with plenty of time to spare and on top of that registration opens late, so I end up sitting idly in my car watching the rain and wondering if this is the weather I’ll have to put up with for the next… well, 100 miles.The start is delayed by 30 minutes so when we set off at 6:30am it’s already bright and headlamps are not needed. The next 18 hours are a bit of a blur, but I’ll try to recall few things that are worth mentioning and that I still remember.After a short time the rain stops and never comes back. In fact weather-wise the race was close to perfect. Some people complained that it was too cold, but they were clearly hard-core Californians surpri…

100 miles ahead: looking the beast in the eye

It’s almost time. The event that I was waiting for and preparing for for the last year or so. The 100 mile run. The Chimera.Now, I always knew that completing this race was not going to be easy. All I was hoping for was that when I stood on the starting line I would be able to tell myself: OK, I did all I could to prepare for this; now let’s see whether that’s enough.Sadly, reality got in the way.The first 8 months were great. After running 50 miles in The Lakeland 50, in August 2012, I got the taste for trail running and, after moving to California in October that year, I started developing it further. I was running at every opportunity I got, exploring the “neighborhood” and sometimes venturing muchfurther. I was doing decent mileage with decent elevation gains. I was also enjoying myself immensely in the process.It all collapsed in June 2013. I run Big Basin 50k, clocking my best time ever for that distance (on the trails). But I miscalculated. I kind of forgot that just one wee…

Coyote Ridge, 2013

(What happened to the reports for weeks 39-42, you ask? Frankly not much was happening and I just didn't have an inspiration to write. My pedantic self will have to live with this hole in my running autobiography ;-).Last Sunday I had the Coyote Ridge 50K race coming up. I was looking forward to this race for two reasons. Firstly, I run the same course last year, so finally I would have a benchmark to compare against (comparing between different 50K races is tricky, as different routes and elevation gains can make quite a difference). Secondly, this was supposed to be my test for the Chimera 100 miler. Two weeks before I ended up not running the Diablo trail run, as my ankle did not feel 100% and I didn't want to risk another injury. So Coyote Ridge, mere 4 weeks before Chimera, was my last chance to do a test run and see whether I can face the daemon.My training leading up to this race wasn't ideal, so my goals were modest. The main goal, and one that I promised myself t…