"...In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or
brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not."

~ Anonymous
(taken from Matt Erbele's, It Takes Time to Get Good)

Monday, December 22, 2008

How an 8 mile run turns into a 16 mile run

No, it is not 'New Math', or a crazy Garmin glitch, it is my trademark, unbelievably poor sense of direction and yesterday's very UNcharacteristic lack of planning.

First off, for credit sake and to appease my new bike and swim monitor Izzac (I have appointed him to keep me honest about the bike and swim portion of my training which are unarguably my weakest triathlon events and subsequently, the easiest workouts for me to bail on)

Saturday: Long Ride - 25 mile bike ride in the wind and cold on Highway 1 (yes, with cars and trucks and other scary stuff that I hate)

Total bike mileage for the week: 40 miles
Total swim yardage: 3000 yds

On to the run:

On Sunday I had planned an 8 mile long run. A group of us decided to run together in Santa Cruz. Everyone had different run distances in mind. Two gals were going to run for 1:20 (Our coach assigns workout times instead of distances. My low grade OCD won't allow for uneven run distances, so I pick a mile number that somewhat fits my schedule), I wanted to do 8, and the other gal was doing 14.

Picture: Julia called this the gateway to Narnia. It was a beautiful trail up a hill to where the old health club where the Lost Boys was filmed and then a pretty redwood trail.

We head out and I start to think (great time to get that ball rolling, huh?) hmmm... how exactly am I going to do 8 if I don't know where I am or how to get back to the start?

The other gals turn back at about 3.5 miles. Which is less than I want to do, so I think, that's ok, I will just run 10 miles of the 14 miles with her.

Hello RBR! 8 miles or 10 miles
, you still do not know how to get back!

Elevation for today's run

But this does not occur to me until about 30 minutes later. So I am now in it for the full 14. Whatever. We ran up through UC Santa Cruz campus which was quite lovely and had quite a bit of climb in it. Then we ran past pastures of cows. I love to run or even drive by cows. They make me happy. Back in the day, my hubby and I used to spend hours driving in the country looking at cows. What can I say? I am a cheap date. Picture: Me and the cows of the UC Santa Cruz campus.

At some point we saw a trail that headed toward the ocean. She says, "I think this trail meets up with a public park called Wilder ranch, and we can get back this way for a total of about 13-14 miles. It would allow us get off the road a bit." Sounds good to me! Off we go.

Well, after we climbed two fences, belly crawled under a barbed wire fence, and ran past the NO TRESPASSING signs I became a smidge worried that we were lost.

Then suddenly we are running amongst a herd of cows. Not running next to the pasture of cows and saying "aww, so cute!" like before. We are running IN WITH the cows!!

At this point, all I can think is, " Dear God, please tell me that: 1. there is no bull in this field that will charge and crush us until we are dead, and 2. Please say the rancher that owns this land doesn't blow our fucking heads off with a shotgun!"

I grew up in the country, this is NOT ok. You DO NOT just run through a rancher's pasture without permission. We got to the road and climbed another fence to get out and immediately met up with the rancher. God, I was mortified. I apologized profusely and the woman was very nice, but very clear that she was not happy. The fact that she did not have us arrested or blow our heads off with a shot gun is a testament to her good nature. No pictures of these cows. I was a little concerned about watching out for an enraged, hormone laden bovine that was ready to pound me into a cow patty.

After that, the run was pretty uneventful. We had been running for 11 miles at that point and my friend estimated that we had about 5 more to go (4.62 to be exact). It started to rain and it was cold, but not too bad. We ran along the ocean so the views were distracting. It was a fun run because of all the varying terrain: road running past the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, tromping along a soft redwood trail, climb through the UC Santa Cruz campus bike trails, unauthorized trek though cattle ranch, and cliff side bike trail along the Pacific Ocean. Truly a beautiful run...

... just a tad longer than I had planned.


Klassenator said...

Well I'm glad you are in one piece still after the horrible possibilities that could have come from this experience!

Hope your training continues to go well!

Unknown said...

Oh.my.gosh. It's always an adventure with you. That would be hysterical except for the fact that it was actually so dangerous! Glad you made it back in one piece to write about it.

Carolina John said...

I know what you mean about the cow pastures. we have plenty of them here, and it's best to stay out of them. unless you're collecting manure for the garden or something (with permission).

glad you survivied! it made for a great story too.

Diana said...

Love the cow story-born, bred and raised here in WI, I know exactly what you're talking about!!!
I love the fact that you can openly admit to the OCD of not running for uneven miles! I thought I was the only one. I hate that races always have to add that damn "point" something. Like 3.1, or 6.2-what's that all about-do they not realize they are just helping us go crazy??!!
Happy Holidays!

Formulaic said...

25 miles was pretty good, especailly when I have done jack!

Glad to hear that you survived the run.

It's amazing that you can extend the run so easy. It's a good sign of your running body.

8? 10? 14? sure no problem, no need to prepare, I'm built for it!

Willie said...

Mmmm cows taste good. Smell bad but taste good.

Glad you made it out alive.

Julianne said...

The elevation of that 14 miler run is crazy!! I don't like hills!! I'm still amazed that you ran almost double what you were supposed to but you did good RBR! :-)

SWTrigal said...

Wow-that is so impressive. I am jealous of all the calories you will be able to consume guilt free over the holidays!

E said...

You are in awesome shape to plan an 8 miler and finish 16!

Southbaygirl said...

S- Merry christmas! I hope you have an amazing holiday!!!


Steve Stenzel said...

Wow! Nice run and great story! I'm glad you didn't get shot!

Happy Holidays!!

Anonymous said...

Great adventure!!

Happy holidays to you.