Valencia 50k Trail Race – Recap

Much delayed recap of the Valencia Trail Race.  Ran this one with my brother Bob, and we stayed together for the race.  It was a cloudless, sunny day and the temps were mid-upper 70’s.

First, the numbers:  we finished in 9:24:29 – way over my 8 hours over/under guess.  I was finisher #132 out of 158 runners, and 36 out of 40 in my age group.

Just to compare, the Winner was in 4:05, and he set the men’s record.  The winning woman was at 4:41.

In writing those down, I almost felt disappointed – and then I remembered the fun we had, the things I learned, and the fact that I did a 50k!   I hadn’t even run any farther than 18 miles before the race!

The race was organized well, the volunteers were enthusiastic, supportive, and some were even dressed up in costumes – it was Easter, after all.  There were tons of water/snack stations.  Because of the routing of the course, I think the longest distance between stations was under 5 miles.  We didn’t need most of the food we carried with us – but we were really glad we had our own hydration packs!  The heat got to everyone a bit – and it seemed *really* hot to me!

The plan going in was to run any flats and the downhills, and power walk/hike the uphills.  we wanted to test the distance, our food and hydration strategies, and just flat out see if we could complete the distance.

I felt pretty strong running when we ran – and walking was great when we did that.  The plan seemed to be working for the first half or so.  I was a little caught off guard with the amount of inclines – there just didn’t seem to be many flat parts of the course.

Food intake testing was good – never felt like we needed anything we didn’t have.  Water and hydration was good – but as the day went on and the heat went up, we found that we did go through our 2L packs.  I think a 3L pack might be in the future for me.  I seem to sweat a lot!

My quads got pretty sore from more running down hill than I’ve ever done before.  After about mile 27 or so, the bottoms of my feet were starting to hurt almost as much as my quads. Unfortunately, it seemed like the last 4-5 miles were all straight downhill.

I do know that as we got closer to the finish line, we could hear some people coming up behind us and Bob and I sprinted to the line – we did not want to get passed that late in the race. Ego can be such a bitch….

I think that proved to us that we did have more in the tank and could have pushed a bit harder out there. Good to know for the future.

Overall – a blast of a race, a day and the whole weekend for me!

Valencia Trail Race – 50K

wow – it’s here!  This Saturday is my #50kbefore50 race!

This is going to prove to be a big challenge – mentally and physically.

Valencia Trail Race – 50k (that’s 31.07 miles…) of trails and over 8,000 feet of vertical climb!

As always, I expect to compete it – and I’ll have Bob (#iblamebob) by my side.

Our over/under is 8 hours – can we complete it in under?

Apple’s Ecosystem

I really like this long article by Federico Viticci for MacStories – deep dive into the power of the stock apps provided by Apple and how those tie together the Apple hardware together.

The article is not written from the point of an “Apple Fanboy” whatever that is… In fact, this quote is one of my favorites:

It’s possible to like something and still point out its flaws. This is an unpopular opinion both among those who think Apple can do no wrong, as well as folks who think they’ve done nothing important after Steve Jobs. I strongly believe that both extremist camps are misguided.

Federico echos my own, more limited experience – while it is incredible fun to try out new software and hardware, and it can be quite enlightening to do so, I find myself coming back to the stock apps and software.  Time after time I will try out a new calendar app, or to do app.  And, time after time, I find myself coming back to stock.

I do like trying out other things to see what other new unique things they offer – it informs and educates me so I know what I am giving up.  It seems to satisfy my internal FOMO!

This article has found me downloading the Apple Podcast app again – while I love Overcast, I think I need to try the stock app.   If the lack of Voice Boost and Smart Speed drive me crazy, then I’ll delete the stock app right away….

Apple Watch Software wishlist

Now that I’ve had my Apple Watch Series 3 for a while, here are somethings I’d like to see on the next version of the software:

1 – Keep the screen on at all times.  I think it should be an option for all the time – even if that means dimming the time and date, and turning off all other complications.  However, there are a couple instances where the screen HAS to fully remain on:

  • When in a workout, keep the screen on.
  • When the timer is on, keep the screen on.
  • When the stopwatch is going, keep the screen on.

2 – Please quit showing the ring closing animations DURING A WORKOUT!   I mean, come on!  Wait until I’m done working out.

3 – Manual Laps button during a run workout – so I can track what and how I want to.

4 – Make the HR sensor a little smarter – sometimes it will lose your pulse from time to time if you are using your wrist or arm in the workout.  It needs to be much smarter about picking up the HR.

Too many times it loses my pulse, then somehow catches on to only half of what I’m doing.  If I’m pushing a 140 HR doing a workout, too many times I’ll look down and see 70 – as if it only catches every other beat.  Come on – there is no way a HR goes from 140 to 70 in 10 seconds!  I’m working hard here!

And, it takes way too long to catch up to the HR once it does lose it – I thought it was scanning once per second, but sure doesn’t act like it.

5 – I still want longer battery life, but I’m seeing some really good life span with this new version.  I’ve done a six hour walk/hike with GPS on and still had over 65% battery life.

6 – I’d still like an Apple approved watch face that was all complications – allow me to place my second most used items one swipe away from my main watch face.

7 – More watch faces – including one with digital seconds and an improved large face.

That is all I can think of right now – any that you have thought of that is not on the list?