Monday, May 21, 2007

The Key Thing

With my son's AAU Basketball Team hosting a tournament all weekend, I knew that I was not going to have any time for running. So, I decided to get a good run in on Friday afternoon before helping to set up for the tourney. I decided I would run up Mission Peak doing the first part of the Ohlone 50K race that would be held on Sunday. I had a couple of hours so I was going to run up to the peak via the race route then follow it along the Eagle Trail around back and then head back to Horse Heaven and return down the same way I came up. It would be around 9-10 miles in total.

I arrived at the Standford Ave parking lot and figured I would just use a single UD Quickdraw handheld and a single Clif Shot as this wasn't too long a run and I could re-fill on the backside of the peak. I put the gel in the handheld's pocket and then put my key in there. I usually don't like to do this. I don't like putting stashing my key in any pocket that I may have to open during a run. I told myself I would just be careful when I took the gel out. The mental state before a run and during a run have very little to do with one another.

The run itself was great. Apparently, the fireroad has been recently graded so there were not many "hoof holes" on the cut-over to Horse Heaven and even the cow patties were pretty sparse. With this, no mud and moderate temperatures, the Ohlone runners were getting a much easier than usual start. Of course, easy is relative. I don't usually run Horse Heaven even though it is a really nice single track because I almost always get off course. The trail was pretty well groomed so I felt more confident this time. When I got to a split in the trail I thought that going left was the cut-over to the Grove Trail so I went right. After about a 1/2 mile of downhill, it was clear that I had once again made a wrong turn on Horse Heaven. Oh well, I guess some extra miles are always good. I made it to the top in pretty good time (1:08) and headed down without pause.

Somewhere on the way down, along Eagle Trail (I think), I took out the gel and ate it and then put the empty wrapper back in the zipper pocket. I didn't even think about it. I filled the bottle with water and headed back down enjoying the rest of my run. Enjoying it until I returned to my Jeep and went unzipped the pocket to pull out my key. The stream of expletives that spewed forth from my mouth are not fit to print (nor were they suitable language for the families in my vicinity). Not key. My wallet and phone were also locked in the car. No way to call anyone. Someone offered me a phone, but I thought about it and realized that the only people who I could call had phone numbers that are only remembered by little tiny computers that obviously have better memories than I do.

Luckily, I only live about 4 miles from the trailhead so I ran home. What was that I said earlier about extra miles being good? These weren't good miles. Anyway, I made it home, called AAA for a locksmith and found someone to drive (and wait) with me back in the parking lot. By the time I got it all taken care it was after 9pm and I had missed the meeting to setup for the tournament. I guess I had an excuse for not helping out. However, I still had to go to Kinkos and pick up banners which ended up taking until 11:30pm (another story).


I have learned my lesson. Never put your keys any place that you will be accessing on the run. Also, I plan to buy one of these as soon as possible.

9 comments:

olga said...

OMG, this is a good story:) Sorry, it always seem funnier from aside...I'll email to your question.

Eudemus said...

It is funny in retrospect. The funniest thing is that I actually considered, for a very short moment, running BACK up the trail to try and find the key! My brain clicked back on and I realized the chances of me finding it were about the same as me breaking a course record in my next ultra :-)

Brad said...

I always have this fear too. I'm also afraid that one of these times, the key remote is going to get all wet and not work.

Eudemus said...

Brad, my Jeep doesn't have one of them fancy lectronic key thingies. Actually, considering the state of my wranger, I might as well just leave the key right there in the ignition. Not like its high on the list of cars to steal.

Norbert said...

Steve,
sorry to hear that. You have experienced my personal nightmare. When I run I put the key in a little key bag inside the waist belt. My cell phone (one year old RAZR) is more expensive than my car, so I can't leave it open neither ;-)
Norbert

Eudemus said...

Norbert, all I can say is that at least I was close to home. By the way, nice job at Ohlone. Your time was actually right around where I was hoping to run this year had I been able to participate. See you at Mt. Diablo!

Brad said...

See you signed up for HH & Firetrails too. Looks like your 2007 schedule is pretty much complete!

Eudemus said...

Brad, yep, I've taken the plunge. Thanks for the nudge over in the forums :-). All I need to do now is sign up for the Quad Dipsea and find a race in September in order to hit the ultra a month for the year (except December which I use to get myself fat and motivated for next year :-)).

Norbert said...

Steve,
thanks for the congrats. Ohlone was a complete Unknown for me and I took it easy (didn't know when I can expect trouble).
Did you see that:
http://picasaweb.google.com/Chihping.Fu/070520OhloneWilderness50K

I'll take it easy until Mt. Diablo. Yes, see you there! (I still need to sign up for the Firetrails. I'm also in for HH50M and TRT50M).
Bye,
Norbert