Monday, March 12, 2007

Running on Columbine

I had planned to follow up my flat-25 on Saturday with a bit hillier trail run on Sunday of around 10 miles. My son's basketball workout in Oakland provided the perfect opportunity to run up near Lake Chabot. I started up at the Clyde Staging Area and decided to try out the Columbine Trail which I had only been on a little bit in the past. My wife has hiked the trail and says it is the best in the park. After Sunday, I think I can go further than that and put it up as one of (if not the) best running trails in the East Bay. This choice piece of rolling hills is even better than the Golden Spike a little ways further north in Redwood Park. It is a bit wider, but more runnable in my opinion. It has little that I would call steep and just as little that is perfectly flat which was just right for me after Saturday's run. It also has enough twists and "whoop-de-doos" to keep one smiling the whole way. The drop down from the Goldenrod fireroad to the Columbine is a bit sharp, but from there it follows the creek for about a 1/2 mile before heading up into the woods. From there it climbs and dips for a little over two miles before ending at the Honker Bay fireroad which leads up to a campground in one direction and down to the lake in the other. I opted to the lake where I knew a much needed porta-john would be available. I then went along the lake for a little further before turning back around at the intersection with Huck's Trail. The way back up the Honker Bay allowed for me to get a little more serious climbing in. I continued all the way to the campground to refill my water bottle. From there, it was back down to the lovely Columbine. A little ways in, I noticed another trail runner coming up behind me. He was definitely speedier than me, at least on this uphill portion. But, then the beauty of the trail revealed itself again and I took off on my forte downhill. This continued for the rest of the trail, each time he started gaining, I was able to hold him off until the next downhill. I believe he went the other way once I made it too the creek and intersection with the Bass Cove Trail. However, I could feel the effects of pushing it as I continued along this flat section to a gradual uphill. When I hit the connector trail to go back up to the Goldenrod, I didn't think I had it in me and so I opted to continue along the Cascade Trail. This was a little longer, but more picturesque return route with a more gradual climb back up to the ridge at the end. I estimate that my overall time would be about the same, but with more running.

My end of run, map-based, calculations came out to exactly 10 miles. Right on target and I definitely felt that I could have gone longer. All in all, it was an excellent run and a beautiful way to cap off the week's running. The weekend 25+10 confirms my plan to do a run the day after my Pirate's Cove 50K in two weeks. This also gave me a nice weekly total of almost 63 miles. The weather was absolutely perfect all weekend and the real weekend "capper" came after returning home and relaxing in a poolside hammock with my wife.

1 comment:

olga said...

I almost got scared of the name of the trail...
I think it's good to run AR50, even though it's so different. A test for speed legs on road will teach the pacing and LT stuff, and the trail is not as easy as the profile may suggest. But the last climb is surely welcoming:) and nothing to be afraid of!