Lessons Learned: Bulldog 50K Ultra Trail Run

1) Intelligence (“Know The Enemy”)—I had the chance to run through the 22K distance (except the last 3K) for each loop of the trail run distance on two occassions; my first time one month before race day and the second time two weeks before the race day. These practice runs along the trail route starting at 9:30 AM and 7:30 AM on each run gave me the needed knowledge and information as to the overall profile and condition of the route. Through these practice runs, I was able to gain confidence and finally plan for my race strategy. Running through the trail route gave me 50% chance of finishing the race.

2) Do Your Homework—I had to make a research on the Internet and from books and magazines available in order to get as much information I could about running an ultramarathon. The book “The Ultramarathon Man” by Dean Karnazes had greatly influenced me to take my body what it feels to experience and finish the ultramarathon.  Printed magazines on Ultra Trail Running and books about ultramarathon had also helped me by reading the experiences of ultramarathoners who were just like anybody else—they started too as beginners. “Tips” and words of encouragement from my blog visitors (Ben Gaetos aka Benwah, Quicksilver, and Eric aka Habang Tumatakbo) were very helpful. Thanks to these ultra friends! Continue reading “Lessons Learned: Bulldog 50K Ultra Trail Run”

My First Ultramarathon Race: Bulldog 50K

Recap of the Bulldog 50K Ultra Trail Run in Malibu Creek State Park, Calabasas, California, USA (23 August 2008)

I registered to participate in this ultra trail run on the 2nd week of July after I arrived in Los Angeles, California to experience what it takes to run an ultramarathon, a running event which is longer than a marathon. My son paid $ 70.00 for the registration fee through his bank’s debit card and my application was accepted immediately.

I ran through the route of the race for two times except for the actual last 3 kilometers of the trail that connects the Corral Canyon/Backbone Trail to the Malibu Creek State Park, which is the Tapia Trail, instead, I had to run along the side of the Las Virgenes Road facing the incoming traffic.

In my first practice run in this route (25K-loop) with my son, my GF 305 registered a total ascent of 4,593.6 feet (1,392 meters) not including the last steep hill between Tapia Park and Malibu Creek State Park, and a total descent of 4,217.4 feet (1,278 meters). After running the whole distance of the Bulldog 50K Ultra Trail Run, I expect to run run twice the figures above as my total ascent & descent distances. The race started at an elevation of 600 feet (182 meters) and reached the highest peak of 2,528 feet (766 meters) at the end of Bulldog & Corral Canyon Trails. And I have to run through the peaks and the trails twice under the heat of the sun!

Continue reading “My First Ultramarathon Race: Bulldog 50K”

Race Strategy & Tactics: Bulldog 50K Ultra Trail Run

1. Finish The Race—The ultimate objective in participating to this ultramarathon trail race is to finish the race. This will be my first ultramarathon trail run and treat this as my benchmark for future training in ultramarathon races.

2. Think Time, Not Distance—Since this will be a run along the mountain trails of Malibu & Calabasas, my average pace will be slower and I have to finish the race within the 9-hour limit, starting at 6:30 AM and closing the race at 3:30 PM. I should be able to run eack 25K loop within 4 hours or better.

3. Familiarity of the Race Route—I ran the 25-K loop twice, one week before and after the San Francisco Marathon finishing each run practice at 3:30 to 4 hours. At least, I have a knowledge of the route and had experienced running it during noontime. Continue reading “Race Strategy & Tactics: Bulldog 50K Ultra Trail Run”

5 Days Before Bulldog 50K Ultra Trail Run

Last Monday afternoon, I did a speed run around the neighborhood covering at least two blocks and this session was an impulsive action on my part just to test if I still have some speed on my legs. It had been months that I did not have this kind of speed drill due to the fact that I concentrated much on my endurance for the San Francisco Marathon and lately, for my first ultramarathon trail run this Saturday. The streets in the neighborhood is relatively flat with some ascending portions and I thought I could make some sprints along the sidewalk. And I did!

One loop has an average distance of 850 meters as my GF 305 registers 845 to 870 meters on those repetition runs I did. I was surprised to see that I averaged 4:30 minutes per kilometer on my pace for the whole speed session. I did eight (8) repetitions of the loop with at least 200-300-meter recovery runs in between reps. I was happy and surprised that I still have that speed with my legs and I guess, I am becoming faster with my average speed. Continue reading “5 Days Before Bulldog 50K Ultra Trail Run”

Bulldog 50K Ultra Trail Run: Reminder Before Race Day

I just received this reminder from my e-mail sent by the race organizers of the Bulldog 50K Ultra Trail Run.

Your event is coming up and we want to be sure you’re event day ready. Please take a moment to review your race registration information below:
Print and bring along to your event
Confirmation #: 33899847-071808171743
Name: Jovenal Narcise
Event Name: Bulldog 50K Ultra Run
Date: 08/23/08
Location: Malibu Creek State Park
Event Web Site:  
Safety ID Tag, Like Road ID
Post Event Snack
Plenty of Can-Do Attitude
We hope you have a safe, fun and successful race day!
Your friends at Active.com

“You Made It…Good Job”

7:48 PM 09 August 2008 at Malibu Creek State Park (Bulldog Trail)

After we arrived in Los Angeles from San Francisco, I told my son that I will be running again the Bulldog Trail at Malibu Creek State Park next Saturday (09 August 2008) and will try to simulate the racing condition by starting earlier in the morning. I requested him to bring me to the said park and just drop me there to be fetched at lunch time.

Almost one week after finishing the San Francisco Marathon, I was back at the Bulldog Trail. After preparing for my things (water, electrolytes, GUs, and protein bars) and eating a light breakfast, we left the house at 7:00 AM and due to the traffic at Highway 10 West and at the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), we reached the park at 7:45 AM. I started my run immediately after getting out of the car.

I could see that there were hikers and runners about to start and preparing their gears at the vast parking area. The temperature was already at high 60s and the sky was clear without any clouds and I could feel that the temperature is about to get higher.

As I started my run, I planned to start slowly as I was using a 2.1-liter CamelBak Hydration (additional 5-6 pounds of weight) and thought of  running the 25K loop twice if I still have time before my son’s schedule to pick me up at the entrance of the park. Continue reading ““You Made It…Good Job””