Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Running in the Dark

So Saturday morning I did a night + morning run. A bit like practicing the finish of a 100-mile but that's not why I was there. I wanted to run at night and see the sun rise. Most of all I was starting my run to coincide with the start of a 100-mile race on the other side of the country where they were three hours ahead. Someone special was running that race and I wanted to be there in spirit, just for the first part, haha I won't be running a 100-miles anytime soon. I had to do a 6-hour run anyway, it might as well also be a grand gesture of support. Why not right? That's what I was thinking anyway.

I left the apartment at 2am. A mile and a half later I had to circle back, forgot all my energy gels. Guess I wasn't firing on all cylinders just yet:) I had to run past folks coming home from their night out. I thought I heard someone from a taxi cab yell "freak". I was offended at first but then I realized that what I was doing wasn't exactly normal. I even had people looking at me from their cars. I had about 35 minutes of street running before I made it to the Presidio where it was quiet and deserted, except for the rangers on patrol and the fishermen fishing at the pier. I pretty much did loops around there before heading into the hills a couple of hours later. I had my lights but there really wasn't any need for them. There was no crossing the bridge, they close that to foot traffic at night to stop "jumpers". Sadly the Golden Gate Bridge is a popular suicide option. Not that I would go across anyway if it was open. I read somewhere that mountain lions are more active at night, like sharks they are.

It was beautiful and serene and it was certainly one way to greet the weekend sun. That will be last time I would leave that early though. Still too many people out at 2am with them looking at me like I'm crazy and you just know some of those cars on the road are driven by people with some measure of alcohol in them. I'm not crazy just a runner.

The quad muscle that bothered me at TRT is on the mend. I can do 1-2 hour runs fine. At Track last Tuesday I ran my fastest times yet but the long run brought back the soreness. It bothered me from the third hour on and I wisely pulled back on the effort and called it a day at 5 hours.

Check out the pics! Next post will be about the San Francisco Marathon expo. Getting my workout done so early afforded me the time to visit Glorybelle at her expo booth and in the process I met up with other ultra runners at the event, they were working at the booths or volunteering for the event.

DSCN0020.JPG Crissy Field at 3am. The bright lights is the Golden Gate Bridge. The rest obscured by fog. Despite the time of day and the fog it was not cold, shorts and t-shirt was enough.

DSCN0031.JPG Presidio Hills at 5:30am. The fog diffuses the light and creates an eerie and beautiful setting.

DSCN0035.JPG Another shot of the trail in the Presidio Hills.

DSCN0045.JPG Baker Beach at 7am. This part of the bay is past the Golden Gate Bridge heading out toward the Pacific.

DSCN0049.JPG Crissy Field Pier at 7:30am. People will fish here all night.

DSCN0050.JPG Crissy Field at 7:30am.

DSCN0053.JPG Crissy Field at 7:45am.

DSCN0055.JPG Crissy Field at 7:45am. There was a canoe race, the Aloha Hawaiian Festival was in town. These are the paddlers inspecting and looking over their rigs in the early morning.

I hope you all enjoyed the pictures!


  1. Rick,

    Great pics. I love running at night. Even if it is a road run. I ran late Saturday night till about midnight and it seemed so peaceful. I plan on doing a 6 hour trail/night run this Friday. I may be a freak but it is becoming my favorite time to run.

    Make sure you let the leg heal. A 6 hour run this close after a brutal 100 mile race? We know you are tough. Just don't want to see an undue injury.

  2. Wow. What cool pictures. It's like another world out there. Are we gonna have to pick you up in San Leandro one of these days from running all night?

  3. I wish I could paint those presidio hills...worth trying though.Gotta get more inspired again.Bring a pepper spray when you do something crazy like that.You said mountain lions? why do you want to scare me?!!!!BE CAREFUL...love the pics.

  4. What an awesome way to greet the day! Beautiful pics. : )

  5. Dave: Thanks, I hear ya. I've been running well on the leg prior to the long run. I did the long run to see how it would do with distance. I'm a little disappointed its not further along but it's a whole lot better than the week before. Funny tonight at track it was just fine again, no soreness at all. Doesn't mind the speed just the distance, heck of a thing to deal with when you're a long distance trail runner:)

    209Mike: Glad you like them. Well I prefer the deserted and dark places for these night runs. Something like that in San Leandro?

    Mom: No mountain lions in San Francisco, you have to cross the Golden Gate Bridge to Marin. The most dangerous thing out there were the cars but it was only on my way to the Presidio.

    Sarah: It was great seeing the sunrise and being almost done with my run. I was dreaming of coffee and breakfast while people were just starting out on their workouts.

  6. I've never done the late night/early morn thing, but I can understand why you'd want too. It's nice and peaceful out then. Now I'm going to be a Mom . . . JUST BE CAREFUL ;-) (oh wait ROFLMAO! I jsut noticed that Mom already said the same thing HAHAHHAHAA)

    But yes, beautiful beautiful pics!! Love them homie!

  7. Man, 2 am!! It sure looks like a great solitude run. Loved the pictures of the gray dawn coming up.

  8. WOW! Rick those pictures are just amazing! I love running at night and if I had scenery like that I would be thrilled!!

    The java family will be in SanDiego in October...is that like a 4 hour drive? How far is that for you? Probably too far to come for lunch?

  9. Those photos are AWESOME! Wow, what an interesting run that must have been. Thanks for sharing those excellent pictures. What a beautiful area you get to run in!

    Have a great time at the San Francisco Marathon expo, and enjoy your weekend, Rick...I am saying that because my weekend officially starts tomorrow! :)

  10. Rick,

    The pictures of the trees and the fog are Halloween creepy but also beautiful. I would think that there are ghosts lurking around every corner.

    Thanks for running with me this weekend! It was a great boost!


  11. What a great guesture for a run :) I'm sure your friend felt the support!

    I especially love the 3rd picture down, so beautiful. I'm sure seeing that sunrise was amazing!

  12. I love the pics Rick. Sounds like a great night run. I love to run at night too. I haven't done it in awhile though. I will probably see you at Headlands. I am running the 50.

  13. Marcy: It's so beautiful and quiet out there in the early morning.

    J~Mom: Errr...a bit far, about 8-9 hours. Haha, California is looonnng. One day we will get that meet up in the books.

    Jean: I hope you had a great weekend. Glad you like the photos.

    Meghan: I think there are ghosts lurking around the corner, so they say. It was a pleasure running with you, virtually, on the first part of your big 100. Maybe next time I can be there in person as either crew, pacer or fellow participant. Hope the recovery is going well.

    Addy: She loved it. I bet the sun rising in the Santa Cruz mountains is also just as beautiful. I know you love that place.

    Kelly: Thanks. See you this weekend. I should be at the finish line as you come in.