What is a Fat Ass? The official definition seems to be a run characterized by the following slogan: “No Fees, No Awards, No Aid, No Wimps.”
Start: Walnut Creek
Course: Iron Horse Regional Trail
Plan: After taking son to his preschool about 9am, park at the Dublin/Pleasanton BART Station and take the train up to the Walnut Creek BART Station. Hop on the Iron Horse Trail in Walnut Creek and head south to Dublin station and make up an additional two miles to complete 20.
It took a few miles to settle into a comfortable run. The plan was to hydrate every mile and to eat something every 40-45 minutes. I carried a full 70oz hydrapak, enough gels/ chews, and a peanut butter sandwich.
Going from the start to crossing under 680 to Alamo, it was a bit of a grind because of the subtle ascent. Early on I had to stop to clear pebbles out of my shoe and adjust my socks fearing potential blisters. The trail is primarily paved and totally new to me. I was interested to learn how this part of the trail runs along a community which included preschools and a swimming pool facility. These are never noticed along 680. I noticed several people on foot and on bikes. Even noticed a small group of preschool kids in matching shirts chaperoned by adults. Everyone seemed normal and I felt like some running oddball with a hydrapak. I liked it. Just passing through. Don’t mind me.
By the time I got to downtown Danville I was feeling awesome. I was surprised how seemingly quick it took to reach here. This part of the trail was wonderfully shaded. The day was getting hot. Just before heading out of Danville by crossing under 680, I snapped a couple pics of myself by a welcome to Danville sign. A couple teenage girls walked by and commented about the heat. I knew exactly where I was going, but I decided to ask the girl the way to Dublin. They were clueless. Sad. As I shuffled under the increasing heat of the day, I pulled apart my PB sandwich and start lunch on the go. I quickly learned I wouldn’t be able to choke the dry bits down without also sipping from my pak. So much for lunch.
As I came across Sycamore Valley Rd it must of been 85-90 degrees. Running through San Ramon seemed to take forever. This part of the trail was long and boring. It didn’t help that the heat was taking it’s toll on my feet. Blister hotspots had developed on my left foot and nothing I did seemed to fix it. So I blocked it out. It was impossible to hold a steady constant pace. Too damn hot. I had to break down the distance by running from shade to shade. Despite the sweltering temp, the discomfort and snails pace, I was enjoying myself.
I ran out of fluids faster than I expected. The heat definitely was a factor. Fortunately as I got to Crow Canyon, I had options. The stupid option would be to foolishly believe I can keep going with liquids. So I decided the nearby Burger King was my first aid station. I walked into the restaurant bathroom to whiz, check if I was overly dehydrated, and splash water on my face and arms to cool me down. I had packed my debit card, so I picked up a bottled water. The cashier was just staring at me soaking wet and sunburned. I also filled my pak with ice and water from the fountain machine. It was a much needed break before going on the trail.
Starting Temp: 75 degrees F
Finish Temp: 95 degrees F