Thursday, September 07, 2006
Just gimme the night...
Another beautiful Wednesday night and another run up Mission Peak. More perfect weather, clear skies and a very bright moon. It was a nearly full moon (aka a waxing gibbous moon). In fact, the moon was so bright going up the face that it almost seemed like daytime. This was definitely a "no headlamp" run. As seen above, it is also the first time I remembered to bring the camera.
I started the run off at a good clip and was pushing up the hills as I have been doing lately on my middle distance (10-15mile) runs. My thinking is that if I can improve my uphill speed than my normal slow shuffle/run in my long races should feel easier. In this run I felt strong and the air temp was just right for pushing it a bit. I decided to hit the peak from the front side (as apposed to going around back first) to see if I could make a PR to the top. I did. I made it from out my door in Warm Springs to the peak in just over 1:22, slightly over 48 minutes from the Stanford Dr. parking lot. I'm sure there are those who can really speed it up to the peak, but for me going sub-50 is an accomplishment. Pushing up those last rocky sections was tough and probably helps explain why my photos came out so shaky. Well, that and the facts that my camera isn't so good at night and I am not so good with a camera. Anyway, I took a few shots from the top, but most look like the Bay Area is on fire.
I continued over the peak and down to the Eagle Trail. I decided that, with the good time I was making, I would reward myself with some bonus miles. I detoured down the Laurel Loop trail to the Ohlone Wilderness sign in to leave a little message. I did have to use my headlamp a bit there as even I am not crazy enough to run blind beneath the tree cover. The Laurel Loop is also where I had a legitimate scary animal encounter. No, not a mountain lion. Something much more frightening. Luckily as it ran away ahead of my, its big puffy black and white tail in the air was not pointed directly in my direction. I can just imagine coming home from my run reeking of skunk spray. ("Honey, your sleeping in the backyard tonight.")
The rest of the run was pretty uneventful except for once again meeting the grazing deer out on the trail as well as at the bottom near the parking lot. I took one more picture before heading down. I debated whether to post the cheezy, grinning, sweat-covered image of myself. However, given the background I seem to be laughing as the Silicon Valley goes down in flames and sometimes I kinda feel that way.