Monday, March 10, 2014

Lake Chabot 30K, Warming Too Cool

I recently spent a week in San Jose, CA for work and decided to stay through Saturday and do a trail race. Inside Trail Racing was putting on their Lake Chabot race, with multiple distances, and the 30K seemed to be just right. Since I was running Way Too Cool 50K in two weeks, Lake Chabot would be a perfect tune up race.

Back home in the NJ/PA area, I had been doing long runs in 15-20 degree temps, with twice weekly snow storms making it challenging to get the miles down.

Typical Sunday run back East

The Bay weather was just a bit different, with the temps at race start about 50, and not a snow flake to be found.

Lake Chabot from the dock
Morning Tranquility

This course is really quite enjoyable. The first and last mile or so are on paved trail that meanders at the lake's edge. Most of the rest is dirt road or path, with some bits of single track sprinkled in. The middle section has some challenging climbs and decent. Race director Tim Stahler and crew seem to have the formula down for hosting a great trail race. Lake Chabot measured up to other ITR races I have done. Well organized, fun course, great volunteers and sacrifices to the weather gods were made well in advance.

Tim (w/ bull horn) makes sure we're listening 

Warming in the prerace sun
The 50K 30K and 1/2 all started together. Nice, easy, flat start along the lake

Fellow East coaster Pablo enjoys 1st mile with Cristina

Early crusing 

On to the dirt
Down and . . . 
. . . across the bridge
Much of the course looked like this, but with hills
Lake C from the other side
Soon the hills started. The first two miles lulled us into easy running on the flats. Now there was work to do.

Everyone start climbing . . .
. . . and climb . . .
. . . getting higher . . .
. . . keep on climbing

. . . still higher
It soon became apparent, as the temps pushed into the upper 60s, that my body doesn't really acclimate to a 50 degree temperature swing in one week. I was breathing much heavier that I usually do for similar climbs.

Ahh. Some nice single track thru the woods 
I decided to back off on the climbs and work on my non existing downhill technique. That will be a work in progress for a while.

Happy, smiling volunteers always make it better.
The race seemed to fly by so quickly, as if in dream pace. I kept thinking I would wake up and there would be another 6 inches of snow to shovel and run through. Yet, it was real, and I thoroughly enjoyed the entire time.
One thing I learned is that I was not in 50K shape, especially for a California 50K. I'll just have to take it easy at Way Too Cool. (Yea, sounds good now.)

. . . as we go merrily along
Thank you ITR for another outstanding race.

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