Tuesday, August 07, 2007

A fun berkeley weekend

Well, I just got back from an enjoyable time returning to my trail running roots in Berkeley for the weekend :). Sarah invited me up to joined her running group, The Luna Chix (btw...if you're a woman runner in the bay area, check them out, they put on great runs!), on an enjoyable run around redwood park in Oakland. I planned to wake up at 4:15 to get ready and be out the door by 5:15 for the drive up. Unfortuatly, I didn't wake up until a bit after 5!!! Frantically I rushed around and still made it out the door by 5:20. I tried a new way up (taking the 238) and got there with time to spare :)

Now, I thought I'd interject here with something sort of odd that I'm experiencing on account of Tahoe. Suddenly, I've become someone who 'does ultras', as Sarah expressed to the girls on the run :) Immediately, people seem to think I'm some great runner! It's really a bit confusing, to them as well, when we actually start running and I can't keep up :). I really feel the urge to do a 50 miler even more now, though, because right now 50k doesn't seem so different from the marathon, so it doesn't feely as ultra-y. Still though, it's sort of fun to be seen as part of this group now.

The initial plan was to follow the PCTR course and do 30k, i.e. the 20k loop plus the 10k loop. However, while out on the 20k, we realized we weren't going to get back in time to meet with the new people joining us at 9 for the 10k, so we cut it short to about 9 miles. We (rather Sarah) was definitely pushing the pace, so we were getting a great workout in getting back. We got back and had a bit of time to rest while the new group arrived. After some last minute bathroom stops, we were off again. Unfortunately, at this point I started feeling sort of sick. I was trying to keep up with the girls but finding it painful to run and so was mostly hiking, falling further behind. Finally, I shouted out to them to wait (about 1.7 miles into the loop) and handed over my directions so that they could continue without me. I went out another .2 and then headed back alone to make it an out and back instead. It's funny, I've been wanting so much to run with people, and now that I finally had people to run with, I just wanted to be alone :)

Unfortunately, with being alone, I got a tiny bit lost, as I got confused by the trail markings. I headed up on the wrong trail for a bit, and then decided that it was really unfamiliar. Just slightly freaking out about becoming lost in the forest, I played with the features on my garmin, and found a "back to start" button. Yes! It was like the car gps, alerting me to turns and such, and just helped boost my confidence that I knew the way back. It was slow going, taking me an hour and 11 minutes to go just 4 miles, but it really was beautiful out there. Miraculously, by the evening I felt normal again, so who knows. My body is weird sometimes. The other runners arrived, having finished the full loop, 15 or so minutes later, and we snapped a quick group shot before we took off for food.

After the run we headed to a brunch place at a chocolate factory and had a lovely meal. All of Sarah's teammates were super nice and fun to hang out with.

Next Sarah and I headed to the Monteray Market to pick up items for Jasper (the winner of the TRT 100!)'s get together. We planned to make an almond torte from the Chez Panisse Cookbook (which turned out amazingly!)

For Sarah (of PCTR) here's the recipe :)


This cake is for marzipan lovers and is nice just powdered lightly with vanilla powdered sugar and served with a cup of coffee or tea or a glass of sherry, or better, an Italian Aleatico or Passit. It is also good with sliced peaches or nectarines and creme anglaise.


cups sugar

cup (about 8 oz.) soft almond paste

cups softened unsalted butter

1 tsp. vanilla extract

6 eggs

1 cup flour

tsp. baking powder

¼ tsp. salt


  1. Beat the sugar with the almond paste until the almond paste is in fine pieces. Or, better, pulverize it in a food processor. Beat in the butter and the vanilla, then cream the mixture until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the whole eggs, one at a time — the eggs should be at room temperature — beating well after each addition so the eggs are thoroughly mixed in. Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt, and beat in just until thoroughly blended.
  2. Butter and flour a 9-inch springform pan and turn the batter into it, smoothing the top evenly. Bake in a preheated 325 degree oven for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and the center feels springy when you push it gently.

After making the torte, I popped down for a bit of a nap (4 1/2hours of sleep is certainly not enough!) and then it was off to the party. It was amazing the number of amazing runners that were present. Just hearing casual conversations about what hundreds people were doing or how their WS went. It was pretty awesome.

I had a bit of a foot in the mouth experience talking to Mark Gilligan, the 2nd place finisher of TRT (who did the 129 mile death ride the weekend before), because, while I knew his name was Mark, I didn't realize he was that Mark! So, we're talking about Tahoe, he congratulated me on my finish, and then I asked him if he met his goal for the race and was happy with his finish? He made a seeminly knowing smile assured me he was very pleased :) When I was alerted to my ignorance a bit later, Sarah tried to console me by telling me that it was a good question, maybe Mark did want to beat Jasper! It's funny, I've read Mark's name so much for various races, but I just didn't have the face to go with it. Oh well, now I know :)

Something sort of fun was that a few people apparently recognized me from reading my blog! Sometimes it seems like only the people that post are reading, but I guess there are lurkers following along as well. If you're reading this, by the way, leave a post to say 'hi'! I'd love to get to know more of the readers :D It is nice to know that my words aren't just going into empty air.

As talks of hundreds was going on, I asked Sarah (of PCTR) about what she recommended for a first (non WS) 100, to which she answered, half jokingly, "of course, Headlands Hundred!" While it was somewhat said in jest, as she began telling me about it, it did sounds pretty good. Could I possibly be ready for 100 next summer? Seems a little crazy :D It'll be nice checking out the race this weekend, when Sarah and I volunteer at it (we'll be at mile 58 at the Rodeo Aid station!).

Thanks Jasper for a fun evening!
Sunday Sarah and I decided to have a lazy sleeping in day, and then went and saw Hairspray in the theaters. I highly recommend the movie! The music is fabulous, and I can't wait so see it again :D It's a bit addictive!

I got home and honestly felt like being lazy. But, having only done a 13 miler the day before I knew I needed to do something. I had to finish an essay first (ah the life of a student) but then I got myself to amazing campus 1/2 mile track, perched on a hill overlooking monteray bay and santa cruz. Lap after lap I watched the sun set and twilight approach. A few deer came over to enjoy the view. I finished about 9, having done 7 miles, and now finding myself on a track far too dark to continue. 20 miles for the weekend was okay though. Next weekend Sarah and I hope to run an 18 miler followed by a 20! We'll see how that goes..

Now off to do 10 or so :)


Bob Gentile said...

yes I will agree...looks like a fun time.

and also hanging out with fellow ultra crazy's :-)

Jessica Deline said...

cool. glad you are having fun up there!!

Tim Looney said...

It does sound like a fun weekend. I never used that feature on my garmin but it's good to know it works.

Sarah said...

Fun weekend! I'm chuckling that you don't feel ultra-y enough. You're certainly hanging out with the ultra-y crowd! : )

rick said...

Yeah man you're with us now, the ultra running folk. Sometimes it means people treat you with respect, sometimes it means they treat you like you're crazy. No worries about your comment not going through on my blog the first time, that happens now and then.

So that guy next to you, now he makes me feel insecure, he's all fast looking and skinny. He looks like a runner. That's Jasper? Never actually met him and only seen him once at a PCTR event. All I've heard is good things.

And about Mark, that guy was a one man cheering machine at Quicksilver 50-Miler this year. He was out on the course, at the top of a hill for a good part of the day, whoopin and hollerin at the runners and he personally made me feel like I was leading the race.

See you at Headlands Hundred if the hamstring holds. Sarah is right, the HH100 would be a great first 100. It never gets too hot in the Marin Headlands and the trail is very runnable, not too technical. I would give Miwok 100k a shot and if you enjoy that experience go on to HH100.

Addy said...

Bob- It is a fun group to hang with :) There I seem like the sanest one (by normal standards) but somehow feel like I'm a little crazy for not having done longer distances yet!

Jessica- It's no OC, but it's pretty good ;)

Tim- Yeah, i had never tried it, but was panicking a bit and thought it was worth a shot. It didn't help a ton, but gave me the mental confidence to trust my instincts more than anything

Sarah- :) I've got the crowd and the people right, just not the resume!

Rick- That would be Jasper indeed. He definitely looks like he runs :D He's a really great guy, very humble and approachable!Mark also seems like a great guy. What a nice thing for him to do! Doing Miwok next year is definitely my plan (volunteered last year and loved it!) I'll definitely want feedback from you about doing the race :D Look forward to meeting you!

hao said...

thanks for sharing. that sounded like a lot of fun. the run and the party. you need to bring me to one of these parties one day. ;) now you are forever labeled as the ultra chick amongst your friends. no use trying to deny it. :) have fun at headlands this weekend.



Bob T said...

Nice blog. I've always been fascinated with the idea of running an ultra, but all my excuses get in the way. So instead of actually running one, I just read about em'!

Having grown up near Mt. Tam ( I live in Kentucky now), I envy you and others who get the opportunity to run in that part of the world. What I wouldn't give to be able to smell the ocean and to run on those coastal trails.

Keep up the training and good luck in school.

Addy said...

hao- haha...definitely a label I'd be proud to wear...just need a few more ultras to really feel like I've earned it! We definitely need more bay area runner parties :)

Bob- Thanks for stopping by! What brought you to Kentucky? I can't imagine leaving Calfornia :) Thanks for the well wishes!

Sensationally Red said...

Addy...sometimes I feel like you're my 20 years younger soul sister. We think very much alike. I can relate when you said that now a 50k really doesn't seem that much more than a marathon and the thoughts about doing a 50 miler start to surface. And can I really do 100? I'm trying to beat those thoughts back, however, because I'm older, have a family, and all that jazz, but I'd encourage you to entertain the notion of doing that 100 miler next summer. Love the recipe!! I've made something very similar. I can eat maripan straight from the tube! Love that stuff.

Josh said...

"Could I possibly be ready for 100 next summer?"
without a doubt. Once you start training for it, it really doesn't take as much time as you might think. I ran my first 50 miler in mid march of this year and ran my first 100 miler 3 months later in June. Respect the distance, don't fear it.

e-rod said...

ultra-y, eh? will the 50-miler help you feel more ultra-y? :) hey headlands hundred sounds like fun. if there's anyone out there with the resolve to put in the training for a 100, i know her name's gotta be addy.

glad to see you're having up there.

Josh said...

as for feeling more "utra-y"

Here is a quote from my race report of my first 50 miler

"I am glad I have my first 50 under my belt. I felt like a fraud having only run 50k’s. Now I can call myself a real ultrarunner."

I felt the same way you do. But know I can say that is a bunch of BS! You ARE a REAL ultra runner, you don't have to feel bad for only running a 50K, or you don't have to feel like you haven't done enough. If anyone tells you other wise, just tell them to come talk to your 100 miler friends, lol.

Addy said...

Red- What a wonderful comparison :) I do feel like since I am young I need to do as many crazy and time eating things as I can before I get tied down

Josh- Thanks so much! It's great to have the encouragement from someone who's made the jump and is now awesome at the 100 mile distance :D And if anyone gives me flack about just doing 50k (not that I can imagine anyone would!) I'll be sure to send them your way ;)

erod- the 50 miler will definitely make me feel more ultra-y. Even just doing another 50k will help, so that I can say I do ultra[s], not just ultra ;) Thanks for the vote of confidence!