Thursday, March 8, 2012

Thoughts before my third Way Too Cool 50K

This Saturday, I'll be joining a lot of other runners in the 23rd running of the Way Too Cool 50K, an ultra popular Ultra on the West Coast. The official race limit is 675 racers, but there are 806 entrants listed on the website, which probably means some folks have already withdrawn (not everyone makes it to the starting line in one piece). To get into the race, names are drawn from a lottery in December. The race is a lot of fun, but it can get really messy out there. I've run this race twice already, and it was a real mud fest in my first year. This year, the forecast calls for a high of 65 degrees and a low of 40 degrees. It's held in a town named "Cool" in California, which makes the "Way Too Cool 50K" name rather cool!

I was planning to run this race as a training run since my goal race is the Miwok 100K (a mere 8 weeks away, in May) and I cannot afford a few weeks of recovery that a hard race would necessitate. My training has gone relatively well, but long trail runs are difficult to squeeze in with two young kids! And to make matters worse, both my kids have gotten sick this week! I stayed home from work both on Monday and Tuesday, taking the kids to their pediatrician and caring for them (their Mom is more of the workaholic and went to work). I feel guilty for leaving my wife with both kids on Saturday, but the race is paid for and important training mileage for me. And if my wife needs help, she can always count on my mom, who lives practically down the street (its a huge blessing to have grandparents nearby!).

I don't know about you, but I have a hard time slowing down in a race. Its obviously easier to slow down in an ultra, but the urge to compete can be difficult to control! Kynan (aka Santiago of the Sea, on the Runner's World Loop) is using this race as a training run too. Maybe I can hang with him to keep my competitive instincts in check... And I already know he's a cool cat to hang out with.

Previous Way Too Cool Race Reports:

2010 Way Too Cool 50K - It was only my second ultra (and 2nd 50K race), and it should have been renamed the Way Too Muddy 50K... I had an IT Band flareup 4-5 miles from the finish line and finished in misery.

2011 Way Too Cool 50K - By now, I had done plenty of ultras but I was seriously undertrained and recovering from a calf problem that is still a thorn at my side. And I was expecting baby Grace to arrive that month (she arrived 3 weeks later)!

So what will happen in my third race? Will I limp to the finish with calf problems (please no)? Will I throw caution to the wind and speed to a PR (unlikely that dramatic)? Or will I simply enjoy the nice weather, good company, and take what my body gives me? I guess we'll all have to wait and see (including me)!


  1. Good luck John! Have a great race.

  2. Cool, California- been there, but not to run! beautiful- looks rocky to me though.

    Hope you have a fantastic race today, John, and that you are able to sprint to the finish line.

    Sidenote- you are a great dad. :)