Holy Cow! What a run!
Distance: 12.8 miles (21K)
Time for Run: (3:01:10)
Total Elevation gain: 3,310 ft. (according to my Garmin)
Pace: 14:09 min/mile (MUCH better than I expected!)
We arrived in Pacifica and the weather was beautiful, but COLD. My run buddy and I sat waiting in the car (we got there about 1 hour early. This is typical for us) and as people started to arrive I noticed one thing, they all looked pretty hardcore. I began to get that sinking feeling that I was going to be last today. Upside is that there was a 30K run and 50K run being held at the same time, that way at least I would come in before those people and the volunteers wouldn't be stuck wondering where the hell I was.
The race started in the parking lot of San Pedro Valley County Park and as its name suggests it was in a valley so we immediately started the ascent. The pre-race briefing told us that the 21,30, and 50K runners' first loop would take us up, up, and up until you cannot go up anymore. Well, at least he is not a liar. The trail was steep and rocky. Later in the race I saw several of the hardcore runners with bloody knees from falling on the treacherous terrain.
The views were extraordinary. I was too afraid to look most of the time because taking your eyes off the trail ahead of you, even for a second, could end in disaster. I did take the opportunity to snap a few photos.
When I finally reached the top I was amused to see that the radio tower my run buddy and I had joked about in the morning WAS where I had to run to. The first climb to the tower was about 3.5 miles all up hill. I was never so happy to see a radio tower in all my life. This picture was taken by the hottest 66 year woman I have ever met. She has been running for 30 years
and does ultra-marathons (runs over 26.2 miles) she was doing the 50 K today. Her name was Barbara and we ran down the hill for about a mile together. I was grateful for the expertise and company she gave me. VERY inspiring.
The descent on this loop was pretty technical and I had to be really careful to 1. not fall and break my neck and 2. not hurt my knee. I was successful on both parts. (At least I hope was successful with 2. I am icing the knee and I am going to rest it tomorrow and Monday.)
I felt like I was on top of the world during the descent and at 7 miles I was downright euphoric. Wait, I had felt this way before, right before I bonked on my 20 miles run, must eat. So I did. I never bonked and felt pretty good for the whole run.
The second loop was 9.3 K and had two climbs the first was not as bad as the second. The second climb felt like it would never end, but the descent was glorious. I finished in 3:01:10. I really was concerned it may take me 4 or more hours with all the miles of uphill and technical descents.
I have to say I am feeling pretty damn good at the end. The race was very well organized the volunteers were very nice and I will definitely do it again.
21 hours ago