Monday, June 18, 2007

35 to 1

No, those are not the current Vegas odds on me finishing my first 100 in under 24 hours. OK...perhaps that is an accurate assessment of my odds, but it's not what the blog title refers to. This was my Father's Day run on Sunday. But, first, the rest of the week in brief...

With lots of ice and some extra rest the foot was feeling mostly better. I stuck with my old shoes all week just to be safe. Had to run roads during the week, but managed a decent 36+ miles by Friday with runs of 9.7, 8.1, 10.6 & 8.2. Freddy had a tournament this weekend going through Sunday morning and we planned to spend Saturday afternoon at my parents for Father's Day. Since Saturday was all rest, Sunday would be my Father's Day and I planned to spend a good bit of it on a long run. The locale was undecided and would be planned at the last minute.

After Freddy's last game and a nice breakfast, a leisurely Sunday morning limitted my long run options, so I just tried to think of some place interesting. I was going to drive my wife to the city so I decided for one of the trails off Skyline Blvd (aka Hwy 35) up the Peninsula. The choice of Purisma Creek Redwoods was an easy one. This choice came out of my love for "destination runs" where I actually go somewhere interesting or on an interesting route during the run. While staying in the preserve would leave plenty of options, a more interesting one was to accept a bit of road running and go straight through the preserve to where it meets Higgins Purisma Road which can be followed all the way to the coast in Half Moon Bay. I even thought that if I managed the time I could go to the beach before heading back.

I got a bit of a late start so I decided to just head straight down (via the Whitmore Gulch Trail) and then into town to refill my hydration pack. Despite its proximity to rural housing, there is no water in the preserve other than the creek that runs through it. The initial downhill is pretty much a straight plunge that I remember being very exciting when I used to mountain bike it. Well, it was just as much fun (and almost as fast) on foot. I then had to deal with about 4 1/2 miles of road to get to Hwy 1. Another mile or so brought me deep into the tourist-laden downtown. I wandered around a little looking for a market (as apposed to a souvenir shop) to buy some water. The streets were a little crowded for my liking so I headed back the way I had come and where I had passed the James Johnston House which had some bathrooms and a water fountain in the parking lot. I filled as best I could from the drinking fountain, but would later learn that it was insufficient.

On the way back to the preserve, I took a little side trip to another historic locale called Burleigh H. Murray Ranch State Park. This is a historic ranch that holds a couple old buildings including a big old dairy barn. The "trail" is just a gravel road that goes about 1 1/4 miles to the barn. The map showed it continuing beyond that, but when I tried to continue I found myself amid complete overgrowth including itch-causing nettle plants and (as a quickly discovered) tick-infested bushes. I picked two of them off my leg before they could take hold and made a note to do a full body inspection when I got home. While I found no more real ticks, the virtual ticks that I imagined on my body stuck with me for the rest of the run.

Back to the road and up and over to the park. The road was actually hillier than I had expected and I definitely felt it on my feet during the downhill. I was glad to get back to the preserve and onto soft dirt. However, I was not glad to discover that my hydration bladder was empty and that I had only a less-than-full handheld bottle of NUUN mix remaining for the trip up to the ridge. My plan was to take the Purisma Creek Trail to the Soda Gulch Trail for a 6+ mile route back up giving a longer and more runnable route than the direct 3.3 mile climb. I would just have to make do and risk the danger of creek water if needed. About a third of the way up I resorted to the creek as I realized that the day was warmer than the shade-giving redwoods had led me to believe.

A little over half-way up I started feeling pretty bad. I knew I was probably a little bit dehydrated since I was conserving my water, but this felt like something else. My stomach was fine, I was just starting to feel really low. I calculated my calorie intake for the day and realized that I had taken in less than 400 calories in the 3-1/2 hours I had been running. I need to remember that even a big "Father's Day Breakfast" at Cocos isn't going to carry me through a 20+ mile afternoon run. I quickly downed two Clif Shots and felt better immediately. I still completely ran out of water on the last (and steepest) climb, but just reminded myself that it is good training and slugged it out.

I really haven't done a lot of long training runs this year as I have been pretty time constrained when not racing. Since I've run an ultra a month for every month except February so far, it really hasn't hurt my overall fitness. However, I really miss these training runs where I pick a route or a destination and make a sort of adventure of it. It's satisfying in a way that you just don't get from an organized and supported race. The run ended up being a little over 22.5 miles giving me a weekly total just under 60 miles. Finally! This is the first week since Miwok that I've managed to get my mileage back where I want it. Now, I just have to find a way to keep it up.

8 comments:

matt said...

i hear you on the adventure of unsupported long runs. great job, steve! and way to get your mileage back up there where you want it.

miki said...

wait, so you took purissima from skyline, hit the bottom, followed the road to half moon bay and then back again? cool. haven't tried that. purissima is beautiful though isn't it. i havent' been there in months though.

another great loop (though I think pctr has it mostly covered now) is a run thru huddart park, thru phleger estate, skyline trail to wunderlich. from there, you can take the roads back to your parking spot in town towards huddart. Apparently you can park in town and hit the Huddart Trails without having to park inside the park. Haven't tried that part yet.

angie's pink fuzzy said...

happy father's day!

Eudemus said...

Thanks Matt. Going someplace interesting makes the necessity of running on the road at least palatable.

Eudemus said...

Miki, thats exactly what I did. Though it you had the time to drive out to Half Moon Bay, going the other direction might be more fun. Even though you would have to finish on the road, you would be at the coast. I did a run like that last year starting/finishing at the beach and running up to Big Basin. Very cool.

I've done a run that sounds similar to the one you describe through Huddart back when I worked in Redwood City. I don't remember the exact route as I was running much shorter distances back then. I also once went from Edgewood to Huddart through a residential area so it is definitely accessible without parking in the park.

Eudemus said...

Thanks Angie.

olga said...

No odds, forget that:) Happy belated! Good deal on running, and I am interested to know how you did your side bar with graph:)

Eudemus said...

Olga, thanks for the congrats. By the sidebar graph do you mean my table of races? Blogger has a way to add components to the sidebar, but they don't have a table one, just a list. I added a generic component and hand-edited the HTML to make a table. If I was ambitious I could probably figure out how to make this a component that others could use, but I don't have enough spare time to get my runs in let alone for doing Web programming on the side :-)