Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Meandering Labor Day Weekend Run

Sunday I set out for what I thought was a simple, usual run at the Headlands. Integrated into the course was a 9-mile club run that I volunteered to lead. I figured since I was going to be out there anyway I might as well. Besides it's part of my duties as run lead for the club to lead trail runs. I haven't led any in awhile because of the racing I've been doing and low attendance. The club route I posted had us starting on the Marin side. I cross the Golden Gate and see only Matt. Ok no problem. Matt however is a faster runner and I was at the high end of my heart rate trying to keep up with him. I kept it close on the first climb but then he warmed up and poof he was gone. On a downhill I meet up with Cat. I've run into Cat and her training partner on Sunday mornings at the Headlands. We are usually going in opposite directions saying quick hellos. This Sunday she was running solo and we were both going the same direction. We started talking, introduced ourselves and continued to talk about how much we loved the Headlands. A runner for 20 years, she has never done a road marathon or an ultra but likes to take part in a trail marathon in Nepal - the Mt. Everest Marathon. I googled it when I got home, ummm...the starting line is at 17,000 feet. Godspeed Cat cause that is crazy!

Cat, myself and Miwok Trail.

As we were talking I saw the Miwok trail in the distance and asked if I could snap her picture with the trail in the background. She insisted on taking mine's as well. The picture doesn't do it justice, only a section is visible and the steepest part is out of the frame - visible only after you climbed the majority of it. This is where I do the majority of my hill repeats. Cat had started her run climbing Miwok and was circling back to her husband and dogs who were waiting for her at the valley floor. We said our goodbyes at the bottom of the hill. Matt was nowhere to be seen by the time I got back to the parking lot.

Baker Beach.

When I returned to San Francisco I decided to extend my run. First heading to Baker Beach and then the Presidio. Baker Beach was full of people, I had forgotten about the holiday weekend. Lots of people at Baker Beach, including the usual nudists at the eastern end. Presidio is an old military base that has been turned over the city. It's because of the military that we still have this open space in the city. It could easily have been another Pacific Heights or Sea Cliff, areas full of expensive homes. I explored new trails eventually ending up in the national cemetery, the only cemetery within city limits. Sometimes the vegetation and trees get thick but in the Presidio there is nothing to worry about, there are no mountain lions or snakes...well maybe snakes. You know in Hawaii there are no mountain lions, bear, snakes or poison oak. There are wild pigs but those are yummy...just sayin. I should have done more running while I was there.

Exploring new trails in the Presidio. Finding my way to the national cemetery, always a sobering sight.

My 5 hour run became a 6 hour run. Somewhere around 5.5 I was ready to stop. How does a body that can go for 24+ hours feel absolutely spent in 5+? Puzzles me sometimes. The last mile I kept laughing at the intersections because I wanted to walk home. No self-condemnation here only self-ridicule.


  1. Adrenaline. For the last question.

    Beautiful run!

  2. Great run out there! Every time I read about you running in the City (Even just in part) it makes me want to do another run there. I never made it to the headlands (except in one pctr race) because I was afraid of the hills :P.

    Your 6 hours of running will be used as motivation when I'm out there doing my 20 tomorrow :)

  3. the starting line is at 17,000 feet.
    Niceeeeeeeee were do I sign UP?!! --LOLOL that is friggin sick!!

    Nice run Bro, such a beautiful place to go for a run!!

  4. Sweet long run, dude. 5.5 hours is tough. The scenery looks beautiful, too.

  5. That is a heck of a run, Rick! I liked the picture with the people circled in the background. Really give some perspective!

    Great run, and very pretty country!

  6. You continue to blow my mind. A 6 hour run. I was dead after my two hour 'long' run. ...Doesn't feel so long now. : )

  7. I wonder how long your have to acclimatize for that one! Sounds like a nice run even though you were pooped at the end. But I guess that's how you're supposed to feel, right? Great pics!

  8. Wow, 6 hours just like that! Most impressive to me that you continued after you returned to SF. Usually when I stop I can't continue.