In this month’s issue, Michelle Ren shares her experience on running her first ultra, Sara Song shares her feelings after her first 14 mile run, and Amy Katz shares her delicious hummus toast recipe.

Le Tour de OC 50K By Michelle Ren

It took a long time leading up to this, but I can officially call myself an ultrarunner! FYI, Jackie and I trained for this together so I’ll be using “we” and “I” fairly interchangeably.

Our original race (Leona Divide) was scheduled in April 2020, but we all know what happened then. It was postponed again in 2021, but we didn’t hear until March.

Since we had already put in months of training with about 6 weeks left until race day, we weren’t going to just give up. The same race director of Leona Divide was hosting an in-person race 2 weeks earlier than our initial date, so we transferred our entry and cut out 2 weeks of training (sadly, including peak week).

This race was calm and well-organized. I was legitimately afraid of getting lost, but that didn’t happen because the course was marked with ribbons, and volunteers helped redirect us at confusing turns when we weren’t paying attention.

Michelle running on a trail

Another fear I had was not finishing, which also didn’t happen because the course was short by several miles! That was a nice surprise, although I am disappointed that we didn’t hit our true 50k milestone (yet).

For whatever reason, the first 10 miles of the race were my most challenging. I lost sight of everyone in front of me quickly and I didn’t see anyone behind, so I assumed I was dead last.

Lots of early fatigue, negative self-talk, doubt, and fear. Thinking back, my favorite thought was, “This isn’t my thing.”

The course had 2 different out-and-backs, so I started seeing other runners on the way back, including Jackie, which helped me realize I wasn’t the only one out there. I took a brief break at the aid station (mile 10) and felt significantly better from that point on.

I also started seeing my amazing support crew at various points, which was so encouraging. Kenny biked alongside me for a mile or so and then literally lured me to the finish with a box of donuts. Thank you to everyone who came out to cheer us on – it made a world of difference.

Michelle and Jackie with their race medals

This was my first trail race and first time running more than 26.2 miles. I disagree with the idea that a 50k is “just 5 more miles than a marathon”.

I do believe that if you can run a marathon, you can run a 50k, but everything is completely different on the trails, mostly because of the isolation, obstacles, hills, terrain, and slower pace. Regardless, I really enjoyed myself, and I will definitely run another 50k at some point – after all, I still need to run Leona Divide!

A Runner’s Confession By Sara Song

Written by Sara Song on the day of her first 14 mile run.

I first picked up running

To feel good about myself

Not really for exercise

I have to confess

I don’t know how far I can run

I don’t know how fast I can run

I don’t know how long I can stay

I don’t know myself that well, I realized

I have to confess

2 miles easy, 4 miles far out,

6 is struggle, 10 is beyond thought

… …

Until,

I run with my club, the best in the world

All my unknowns, they let me know it’s alright

Runners running on the sand in Crystal Cove

Someone run with me on the first day,

Pushed me a straight 6 smiles

Someone run with me on any other day,

I never need to run alone

Someone smiled at me,

A sunshine drop here and there

Someone cheered at me,

When I felt too tired to lift one more step

Someone waited for me at the end of the race,

When I was the last one to finish

Someone chatted with me along the 14 miles route,

Just so I wouldn’t randomly stop

We do that to everyone

We do that at every run

I have to confess

Some times when I run,

I talk to myself, pray in mind and in wind

I listen to music, vainly to use time as I could

I enjoy the beauty of God creation, simply by looking around

I stare at every house on the Ocean boulevard, it’s an architect wonderland

My brain, once a while, likes to go blank,

The empty, empty blank

As if the world needs nothing but running

If you ever try it, it feels amazing

Above all and all,

I have your chat, running by my side

Even we are far distance,

I know I am running with my club,

And I can just keep going, as far as I could

I have to confess

You made me fall in love with running

To me, that’s a very beautiful thing

Hummus Toast Recipe By Amy Katz

You’ve probably had avocado toast, but have you tried hummus toast? This easy recipe can be enjoyed for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or a snack.

Here’s what you’ll need to make it:

  • Sliced bread: I like to use my favorite Bread SRSLY vegan gluten-free sourdough from San Francisco. I order several loaves at a time and keep them in the freezer.
  • Hummus: Store-bought is fine, or try my homemade hummus without tahini recipe.
  • Fresh garlic
  • Mushrooms or any vegetable you like to eat sautéed such as spinach, kale, asparagus, tomatoes, etc.
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh herbs such as parsley, cilantro, basil, rosemary, etc.

Here’s how to make it:

  1. Toast the bread.
  2. Meanwhile, saute the garlic and mushrooms in a skillet until they are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. (Mushrooms release a lot of liquid when they cook, so you won’t need any olive oil for cooking them. If you’re using other vegetables, you can add a drizzle of oil to the skillet before you saute the vegetables.) Set aside the mushroom mixture.
  3. Spread some hummus on top of the toast.
  4. Add the mushroom mixture on top of the hummus.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Garnish with the fresh herbs and enjoy.
Amy Katz holding a plate of hummus toast

Treasurer’s Report By Victor Gambone

Total Cash Balance, Beginning April 1, 20214,897.25
Cash Inflows: $110.00 Membership; $40.00 Merchandise; $114.50 Refund City of Irvine; $1.33 Refund PayPal265.83
Cash Outflows-First Thursday
Cash Outflows-RRCA Membership Dues & Insurance
Cash Outflows-Banquet
Cash Outflows-Uniforms
Cash Outflows-Social Gatherings
Cash Outflows-Other: RunSignUp Fees $8.388.38
Net Change in Cash   257.45
Total Cash Balance, Ending April 30, 20215154.70

10% Discount at A Snail's Pace Running Shop

Do you have a story to share? Please e-mail your newsletter contributions to Amy Katz at amyk262@hotmail.com.