Wednesday, April 04, 2007

South Bay Foray

Monday is normally a rest day and with a 4am wake-up to drive my wife to the airport and needing to spend the work day unpacking from our office move, my only plans were to try and get to bed early.

My plans for Tuesday, however, were swirling around in my head. This week is going to be tough to get the miles in so I thought I would try for a double day on Tuesday to start the week off right. My plans to run 7+ miles in the morning went to 6 and then 4 and then none as I had difficulty getting my head off the pillow and my eyes open. A lunch run wasn't an option as Tuesdays I need to leave work early to take my son and his basketball teammate to their trainer in Los Altos.

Their trainer is right near the very popular running destination of Rancho San Antonio in the Los Altos Hills. I had around an hour to get a run in there. I studied the map a bit and decided to try and do the PG&E hill which I looked to be about 6.5 miles with some good uphill. I hadn't been to Rancho in years so I couldn't recall how steep it was. I planned to just turn around if I couldn't make the full loop. Had I found this site first, I might have been able to plan the run better. The climb up turned out not to be too steep compared to what I have now become accustomed to. It is a good climb going up the PG&E trail, but is totally runnable so I pushed it as hard as I could to try to make good time. I managed the 4 1/4 miles (1700+ft climb) to the Vista Point in around 46 minutes. I was assured by a hiker that the full route back down to the valley was "around 6 miles" so I thought I would be able to get down in a little over an hour assuming it was straight downhill. Dispite the shade on the way up, it was pretty warm and I was sweaty so I was looking forward to heading down fast. I charged down the High Meadow trail and seemed to be making good time until I hit a bunch of trail intersections (I should have memorized the route or at least grabbed a map at the start!). I kept asking people, "this way down to the trailhead parking lot?" with somewhat mixed results. When I finally made it down to Dear Hollow Farm, I realized why. This wasn't the parking area, but it was the "start" of the trail up. I still had over a mile to go to get back to the car. Out of water and already worked, I kicked in what I had left in my legs to get back to the car in just over an hour and a quarter. It was a good time for the 8 or so miles, but I had told myself I was going to do another run after dropping the boys home (if I could) .

I headed to the Alameda Creek / Quarry Lakes area to see what was left in my legs and try to top off the days running. Some nice flat stuff should make it easier and once they warmed back up my legs felt OK (except for a very small knee pain that developed over the weekend). I headed out on the Alameda Creek Trail and then decided to finish with a figure eight loop around the lakes. The warmth of the South Bay was nowhere to be found here as I turned into a nice strong head wind that cooled me, but made this less of an easy relaxing, run than I had hoped. I finished with a little under 6 miles giving a daily total close to 13 and a bit over two hours. Nice to get it in the books.

The rest of the week will simply be played by ear. Less than two weeks until AR50 so next week is taper time before the race. A 60 mile goal may not be reasonable for this week, but we'll see.

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