Monday, March 14, 2011

T-8 days to LA, last medium run....Los Trancos!

open spaces indeed!
Saturday was my day for the final "longish" run of the taper, 8 miles. FINALLY I had a chance to try out my Peregrines on the trails. I decided to drive to the parking lot at the Arastradero open space preserve and run up through it into  Foothill park. 

I normally don't like to drive to any of my runs, but in this case it would take an extra 4 miles each way to get to the start of this run.

the trail beckons
My goal was just to do the distance at no particular pace...I knew there would be a lot of up and down.

It was a great day and I felt pretty good. I wasn't sure how to get out the back side of Arastradero into Foothill but I figured I'd find a way eventually. I have made it a mini-goal to learn all of the trails in both parks by heart.

hawk looking me over

deer running for it
I got a bit lost on the west side of the park and eventually  asked a guy which way to Foothill...the way was up the fire road which turned into a paved road for about a half mile to the Los Trancos trail.
The full trail is a 7.5 mile loop, but I didn't have the distance to do for that so I decided to do go until I hit 5 miles and then turn around.

one of the 21 bridges
This trail is also known as the 21 bridges trail, and here is one of them. 

All along the way so far I was climbing, I was walking, HR was at a low aerobic level for me but my legs were feeling the burn. On the flats I would jog but my average pace was still pretty low.

This run became such a contrast to road running. I'm running in a place called Wild Horse Vally and there are not any signs of mankind, except the trail I'm on.

wild horse valley
Actually if you look closely you can see the scar of a fire road on the hill in the upper left.

But it really feels amazingly wild and far from the hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley..which is just 5 miles away.

I kept climbing and found a little bunch of orange poppies (the Ca. State flower) clinging to the rock face on the upslope side of the trail.

bay laurels

I discovered that it is much MUCH harder to run fast on these narrow trails with roots, overhangs, branches sticking out in your face.

My average pace was hovering around 15m/m at this point and I was thinking to myself that it's a darn good thing that S2S has an 8 hour time limit! It could take a while.

I ran through many stands of bay laurels and they make the trail smell a lot like the bay leaves you have in your spice drawer. That scent as well as the scent of eucalyptus says "you are in California" (even though the latter is a transplant from Down Under...they are all over).

South San Francisco bay
Eventually I got higher and higher and some views of the lower bay revealed themselves.

I got as far as bridge 7 out of the 21 when I turned around and headed down. Even though down was easier than up by far, I still could not go that fast and be safe. 

I found I needed to learn how to watch my footing AND watch for things at head level. In a few places I had to stoop under fallen trees angled across the trail but with 4-5' of space underneat. Ooof! Hard to do when you are stiff from climbing.

I found I was only getting 11:00-12:00 paces on the way down..I realized that I may have to revise my estimates for S2S..but it doesn't really matter since as long as I am under the cutoff  I have no goal (besides I'll get a nicer 50k PR when I do it the 2nd time 8).

Retracing my run I entered Arastradero park and this time ran straight to the car park with 9.4 miles on the garmin...a bit more than I was supposed to do but hey.

Even more, I did almost 2000' of up down..Gak. My legs were letting me know.

S2S has 3.5X the distance, 2X the climbing and 3X the descent of this little run.'s all much less abstract now...I know I can do it, but it's going to be a long long run/walk/trot.  

The Peregrins were just I thought the uppers loosened up and are perfect for me. They were padded enough for the occasional rocky bits (maybe even too much for a mostly dirt trail) and the soles have the most amazing grab to them on all surfaces.

Final stats 9.4 @ 13:17 m/m , 110 avg HR, 74 cadence (from all that walking).
Really good leg muscle workout. Both the fronts and backsides of the legs were pretty tired by the end. 

Luckily, I have a full week of LA taper (doing mostly nothing) for them to rest up.


Oh yah, Happy Pi day!  

Being a nerd, I have, of course,  Pi memorized to 35 digits. (i.e. 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288..). Knowing Pi out this far actually saved me (and my debug teammate Dave) a couple of weeks of nasty work at Prime Computer in 1982. I'll save that story for another time....=)

1 comment:

  1. First of all, good luck at LA! Second, tapering is one of the best parts of running! ;) That run looks absolutely amazing. So jealous. Love the poppies on the rock face.


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