One Down, Two to Go

Last Saturday I completed Pacific Coast Trail RunsWoodside 50K trail run. It was a great day.

The course starts and ends in Huddart Park, which has fairly short hours (8 to 5) at this time of year. The overall time limit for the 50K was 8 hours, which is an hour shorter than most of PCTR’s 50Ks. More importantly, PCTR set a 2 hour and 50 minute cut-off at the 19K point, and since that 19K includes a good part of the day’s climbing (about 4500′ total), it seemed like the cut-off might actually be a factor.

Back at my first 50K in June, I had a 140bpm average heart rate and felt like I was going to die, so I’ve run 50Ks somewhat easier than that since then. But last month when I ran the Stinson Beach 50K (no blog report), I averaged 143bpm and felt fine. So that more recent experience combined with the aggressive cut-off led me to push substantially harder at the start of this race, aiming for a heart rate range of 140 to 155bpm. After I made the cutoff with almost 30 minutes to spare, I kept up the effort. And when I got to the end, I actually thought it seemed too easy, though of course having spent so much less time (6:14:14, faster than Skyline to the Sea (no blog report), which is mostly downhill), maybe that’s not surprising. My average heart rate ended up being 148bpm.

Before the race started I finally met fellow Coastside Running Club member George Miller. This was apparently his first ultra after an injury that kept him away for a long time, but he did great and was in good spirits every time we crossed paths. I also spent some time talking to Tom O’Connell, and Scott Dunlap caught a picture of Tom and I and included it in his blog entry (I’m the third one of the three in the photo).

Even though this run was my personal record (PR) for a 50K, I was 33rd out of 49 finishers, and 12th out of 14 in my age group. It’s a tough age group, and in fact I would have placed slightly better if I was 10 years younger.

The reason this post is titled One Down, Two to Go is that I’m also scheduled to do the Muir Beach and Rodeo Beach 50Ks on 12/13 and 12/20, which totals 93 miles over a period of 15 days, not including any other runs I do in between (about 12 miles in the four days after Woodside, as it turns out). At the time I signed up for these three events it seemed like a stretch, but at the moment it seems like a great idea.

The other great idea was to use these three events to help raise money for one of my favorite charities, Second Harvest Food Bank. They are getting a big increase in requests and a decrease in corporate donations.

Here’s how to help:

  1. Go to
  2. Select Friends and Family Drive for Donor Type
  3. Select Mike’s Absurd Series of Runs for Organization Name
  4. Click the Next button
  5. On the next page click the Donate Now button
  6. Then you can choose particular foods to donate, or at the bottom of the page you can just enter an amount
  7. When you’re done with that, click the Donate button on the right near the bottom of the page
  8. Then finish by entering your information to pay

Here’s how I’ll keep it interesting. If I don’t finish all three events, I’ll reimburse you according to how many I do complete. Send me an e-mail if you want me to let you know how I do.

If you’re doing okay, help someone who’s not. Thanks.


2 Responses to “One Down, Two to Go”

  1. Two Down, One to Go « Random Musings About Movies, Running, and More Says:

    […] Random Musings About Movies, Running, and More Watch this space… « One Down, Two to Go […]

  2. Well, that worked out well « Random Musings About Movies, Running, and More Says:

    […] plan to some, but frankly that just made me want to prove them wrong. At the first one (Woodside), my goal was to finish under the shorter than usual cutoff times, which pushed me to run harder […]

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