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Path To Redemption: A Journey To Find My Finish Line at Lake Sonoma 50

Path To Redemption: Overcoming Obstacles on the Journey Jason Bahamundi Run Tri Bike

Coming out of January, I expected February would be one of those months where the training schedule goes smoothly. For the first three weeks of the month, that was correct but then life happened. The path to any goal is often filled with potholes and obstacles. We can either learn to work around them or let them derail our journey altogether. Which fork in the road would I take? Where would this path to redemption lead me? Is it still a path to redemption or a journey to find my finish line?

Unexpected Turns: Navigating Life’s Curveballs

As if the turn of the calendar meant I was in a new body, my training picked up. January was filled with overcoming setbacks from two illnesses. It was rough but on February 1st things began to pick up. I made my way back to the incline treadmill workouts I have planned and grown to love. Getting back on the trails and loving the moments surrounded by nature.

I built out my training plan so that I would add an additional loop to my trail runs. This loop includes a 0.5 mile climb that gains over 350 feet in that half-mile. In addition to that gain, it also drops 400 feet in a mile and then is flat for 2/3rd of a mile. Over two miles you get a true feel for climbing, descending and running. The loop was going to be the main contributor to my Lake Sonoma success.

In the middle of the month, I was able to do this loop 3 times and I was mentally ready for what was going to come on race day.

Family Matters: Prioritizing Time Amidst Challenges

My plans changed when I got a call from my sister informing me that I should head to Charlotte to visit my mother. My mother is in the late stages of Alzheimer’s and had been admitted to the hospital. This could be the last time that I would see my mother alive so I booked a trip to Charlotte. That unexpected trip would precede a trip to Los Angeles so that Lori could attend the second cohort in her pursuit of a Doctorate degree from Pepperdine.

What had been a stunning two weeks of training was quickly thrown into question marks. I was no longer concerned with performance on race day. Instead, those concerns were replaced by being with family. Trying to enjoy what could be the last moments with my mother. Having lost my father at the age of 23, the time spent with my sister, mother, mother’s husband and Lori meant much more.

Training Amidst Turmoil: Making the Best of a Tough Situation

I didn’t run in Charlotte and in the two weeks I was in Los Angeles, I managed to get two runs in. One was a very flat run and the other was down and then back up the mountain on the campus of Pepperdine University. Neither of them would be entered into my training hall of fame but they were runs and I was grateful to have them.

When I got back to Seattle, I started to think about my goals and whether or not I would have enough time to get to a spot that was good enough to hit that goal. Heading into this training cycle, I had hoped to break 12 hours and truly be closer to 11 hours. Can I manage to do that based on the missed weeks of running and training? Honestly, I don’t know but my mind is questioning that goal.

I have hit the ground, and treadmill, running but I’m unsure if it will be enough. That being said, I will continue to show up and push forward until race day. Despite the setbacks I am determined that my path to redemption at Lake Sonoma be built so that I give myself a chance at success. Training will be a part of that success but so will the other components of race day. Those components include nutrition, gear and strategy.


Fueling Success: Nutrition and Preparation Strategies

In the past two weeks, I have been testing with Osmo Nutrition. The testing has gone very well and I have decided that I will be using this on the course. My plan is to use their power fuel product combined with their active hydration. This will provide me with nearly 400 calories per flask. In addition to the Osmo Nutrition products, I will add 1 stick of Salt Electrolytes to a flask every 2 hours to ensure that I am getting enough sodium.

I plan on making packages of these products and leaving them in the Mako Endurance drop bagsI have recently purchased. Having the bags prepared ahead of time will allow me to refuel at three aid stations that allow drop bags. If I don’t need to add the powders to the flasks, I can add the baggies to my belt and carry them with me until I need to.

In addition to Osmo and Salt Electrolytes the plan is to use Spring Energy Gels (Awesomesauce specifically) and UnTapped Waffles. These products will get me close to 600 calories per hour which can help keep me fueled for the longevity of the race.

Gear Dilemmas: Finding Confidence in Equipment Choices

Being able to access these items will be paramount to success. As mentioned, I will be using drop bags this year. When I previously race Lake Sonoma I didn’t use drop bags. The thought was to keep moving through and not waste time. What happened was that my body got wasted and I spent more time at aid stations than I should have.

With 3 opportunities for drop bags and multiple aid stations on the course, this year will be different. I will use those aid stations to ensure that my bottles are filled, my nutrition is in good shape and not get ahead of myself if I spend 2 extra minutes in the aid station. Those two minutes can make the difference in how well I finish.

The last component to success on race day will be the gear. I know that I will be using a race belt and a vest but the shoes are up in the air. Having run plenty of miles in the Topo Athletic Ultraverse 3, these are one of two choices. Recently, I purchased a pair of Salomon Sense Ride 5 shoes and have really enjoyed them as well. My biggest hangup with those shoes is the ‘laces.’

The Salomon Sense Ride 5 uses a Quicklace® and I have had it get loose during a run. Is it a big deal? No, but it is something that would have to be dealt with should it come loose. If I’m using a Kahtoola gaiter that day then it becomes a bigger issue as I’ll have to unzip the gaiter, tighten the lace, rezip the gaiter. OK, that sounds like it’s not a big deal so I’ll have to decide on which shoe I am more confident in.

Embracing the Journey: Racing with Purpose and Gratitude

Lake Sonoma 50 is in 4 weeks. I have 3 more weeks of training and then it is go time. What will happen on race day? I cannot make that prediction but I do know that I will show up prepared to have fun. I will chat with the other competitors and I will laugh at the stories I hear along the trail. Thanking the volunteers will be part of my race day experience as well.

When it is all said and done, I don’t know if I will have succeeded on my path to redemption but I do know that I will use the lessons I have learned to continue to improve. After all, race day is a victory lap for the work that came in the days, weeks and months that preceded the event.


Jason Bahamundi Run Tri Bike Magazine Owner Triathlete Ultra Runner Trail Runner
Jason Bahamundi, founder of Run Tri Bike, is a passionate and accomplished endurance athlete dedicated to proving that there is a spot at the starting line for everybody and every body. With a background deeply rooted in the world of triathlons, running, and cycling, Jason has not only excelled in his personal athletic endeavors but is committed to fostering a supportive and inclusive world of endurance sports. This led him to establish Run Tri Bike, a platform that serves as a hub for enthusiasts to connect, share experiences, and access valuable resources. Jason's genuine enthusiasm for endurance sports, continues to inspire individuals to pursue their goals and embrace the transformative power of an endurance sports lifestyle.