september 19, 1998
Today our run was supposed to be 7 to 9 miles. I think everyone ran 9 miles. I ran 9 miles. Wow! 9 miles.
Sandie, Craig and I car pooled to Woodside. Early - we had to be there at 7:30. We were actually there earlier so that we could hit the bathrooms first and check in and stretch. It was very cool and once I took off my sweatshirt it was cold. We checked in and I found Diana, Courtney and Kathy. They sent the first wave out at 7:30. We got off a minute later or so, but didn't really get a good stretch in first. The staggered starts were so the slow people (that would be us) finish near the same time as the really fast people.
The first 1/2 mile was ok but I was feeling pretty stiff and it was cold. We stopped after we crossed the street and we stretched for 5 minutes. Then we headed off again.
By this time the rest of group 1 were not in our view anymore. We ran through this very beautiful neighborhood with gated houses. It reminded me of the Great Falls area back in Virginia. I kept having to walk and shake out my legs. Those bricks were back. I soon fell behind my group and was running by myself.
I was going so slow that the 2nd wave of runners soon caught up with me and then passed me. I ran for awhile with a few of the wave 2 people. I kept alternating between walking and running and finally hit the water station behind the 2nd wave.
I had gatorade and then entered Huddart Park. I caught up with Erika and another girl (Jocelyn?) and ran/walked with them through the most beautiful area. We were running down the fire road which paralleled a small gulch with a creek. It was through the redwoods and was really awesome. I would liked to have had my glasses on and my camera with me. We were seeing the early morning light filter through the trees.
I was starting to feel better and was running for longer stretches and then we hit the BIG ASS HILL!!!
Marie was a little way up waving us all past with words of encouragement (it really does help) and telling us we were 1/2 way up.
Around the bend from here the hill kept going and going and I ended up walking most of it. It was pretty steep in some parts and even walking I was breathing really hard. I was trying to at least walk fast.
It was some consolation that even the 3rd and 4th wave - who had quickly caught up with us - were even having to stop and walk the hill.
At the top we turned onto the Chaparell trail. This part of the trail headed back into the woods and through a series of switchbacks down to the bottom again. A few minutes into this trail I stopped and ate some PowerGel. It wasn't quite as horrible as last week. I think it was because I knew what to expect. It really seemed to help and I ran on. By this time I had been running for 54 minutes.
The run down the switch back was mostly single file and I felt pretty good. The trail connected back to the fire road and I met Diana along the way. We ran down together and down the fire road. We passed the 5th and 6th waves going out and it was pretty cool to be a part of the team.
We caught up with Kathy and Courtney at the bathrooms and by this time I was feeling great. We picked up speed and continued down and back out the park and out to the water station.
Back on the road we alternated back and forth on the little trail and on the road. The pavement is hard on the joints but the trail only allowed us to run single file. It is hard to chat running single file. I was feeling like I was coming into my stride and began to speed up a bit. I pulled away from everyone else and was keeping up a consistent pace. I was trying to work on my cadence. I need to speed it up a bit. I am almost at 90. I was ahead of the group for awhile until I had to stop and take my shoe off to get rid of a rock. Kathy passed me. Man she was booking.
I caught up with her at the cross walk and we came into the end really strong. The very tail end of the run had team member lined up to encourage us on which is a good thing because the last part is up a slight incline. In addition I ran through some sprinklers right at the end and the cool water on my hot body messed up my temperature and for a moment there - right at the end - I thought I might throw up. It passed and I sprinted into the end.
I ran the near 9 miles in 1 hour and 50 minutes. I think that the overall time averages to a better time than last week. I felt really good at the end but it sure did take awhile to get there.
After stretching and icing my legs we changed and went back to Huddart Park for a potluck lunch picnic. It was very surreal because it was only 10:30 am.
Lots of food and good socializing. It was Vince's birthday so there were cakes and candles. I finished up my film and will post pictures soon.
We got home around 1:00 pm and I promptly went into a cold bath.
I am now very stiff and my joints are sore from running on the pavement. I need to work on the strategy to overcome my slow start. I don't want to get injured but I also don't want to lose time by having to walk so much early in the long runs. I suppose for a 26 miler it doesn't really matter.