Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Sunday's Long Run

GGB at 6AM
Golden Gate Bridge at 6AM. A nice start to a great long run. Click here for more images.

Sunday was like race morning. Alarm clock went off, snoozed only a couple times and then I was up. Despite only 3 hours of sleep there was no whinin or bitchin only quiet excitement. Camelback was already packed, all I had to do was mix my energy drink. I also budgeted enough time for coffee and breakfast. A cool, calm and orderly morning, no rushing.

By 5:30AM I was set to go. Headed out towards the bridge to Baker Beach. I ran the "Alcatraz" course so named because its the run route used by the "Escape from Alcatraz" Triathlon. It was beautiful out there, especially at Baker Beach. I took the time there to snap a few photographs before heading back towards town. 10 mins from the bridge is Sports Basement and I was meeting up with J.P. and Kelvin at 7:30AM for the run over to Marin for the start of the trail run. We actually didn't leave the parking lot until 7:45 so we huffed it the whole way, worried that we were going to be late. Those two are faster runners than I am, I should be so lucky, so I was running hard to keep up. My heart rate was near or at max for the majority of our run over. Towards the end I was barely hanging on and they left me for good when we hit the sands of Rodeo Beach. We made good time and even ended up extending our run a bit and still getting there 10 mins early. Perfect.

About 40 people showed up for the run. Half of the group was made up of a team training for a Half-Ironman in May. It was their first group workout and Coach Neil erred on the side of caution by having them join our trail run instead of risking it on the bike with the forecast calling for rain. There were two routes; a 4.5 miler and 9.2 miler. I passed out maps, briefed them, Coach Neil briefed his team and then we were off. From the Rodeo Beach parking we headed straight to the top of the ridge, about 1.5 miles and a little over 800ft. of climbing. The last part of the climb is a narrow, steep singletrack trail full of loose rocks. Hahaha I forgot all about that section, seeing it made me laugh out loud. If people were cursing my name I didn't hear them. I was at the back playing sweeper. Soon as I saw off the last 4.5 mile runner down the right trail they needed to get back to the start I tore off after the 9.2 milers.

Some folks left soon as they got back but a good number was relaxing at the finish after the run. They were all chatting, stretching, making new friends, probably cursing their trail run leader. The run went well overall but some of them did manage to get lost. Maps people maps, use them. I totally understand though I get lost all the time. I even get lost in marked courses. I only yell out of amusement. What cracks me up about the wrong turn that they had taken was that the right way was an easy downhill back to the finish. Instead they headed up the trail, on the most steepest worst footing section. I don't know why I find that so funny. Amuses me greatly every time I think of it. Mebbe because I've done similar things. Besides getting lost a couple of our runners had fallen and suffered scratches but nothing major. We closed the run with a brunch at the Dipsea cafe. It was a bit of a wait but the food, was worth the wait. A successful kick-off run.

However it had been brought to my attention that maybe it's still a bit too early to be doing such hilly runs. So instead of returning to the Marin Headlands this Sunday we are going to do a less hilly run here in San Francisco, utilizing the trails in the Presidio, Baker Beach and Land's End. Boooo. Who doesn't like hills? Well it's my job to accommodate and serve so at least for the rest of February we will take it easy on the hills. Come March however....

Happy Valentines Day everyone!


  1. Cool pick of the bridge...

    I need to LOG more MILES weekly, going to pick it up this month :-)

    Really neat you met Ann Trason a few's what I just replied to you on my blog--LOL
    wow RICK that is very cool...ya she can fill my water bottle but ummm that's OK you don't have to pace me Ann ---lolol

    I can hear it now-- ahhh "Bob pick it up!" Ann says as she is trotting backwards yelling at me --hahahah

  2. Wow, Rick, those trails look absolutely awesome! And it looks like the group had a really good time. Excellent pictures!

  3. That looks like a beautiful run!

  4. remind me to never ever follow your direction...and make sure you don't follow me. i wonder what will happen if we do stay together through bighorn? picture a few miles at night...long long night.
    good job at orginizing. i miss miwok already:)