Saturday, January 24, 2009

Running past your limits

This morning my friend Steve Bradley wanted to add more hills and miles to our previous run. I am always game for increasing my limits. We added over 1000 feet of vertical and 2 miles more than our last run. Andria drove over an hour to get to our starting point. I am not sure if I told her that we were running 18 miles. Sometimes it's better not to mention the distance until after we start because there no turning back!

It was a cool foggy morning. We were running up Mill Creek road by 605 AM. It was very dark and wet. We were not running at any record pace and hit the gate at the end of the road in 59 minutes. The best time that we can remember any of us running is approximately 48 minutes. I put my gloves on at the gate because it was started to get cold. It was sloppy and muddy on the trail. Again, this is part of the fun of trail running. Each run is new and never a carbon copy of any previous run.

The run down to the Sunol wilderness was foggy. At times, visibility was the shoulders of the runner in the lead. We made it to the park just shy of 2 hours. We ran past some dude in a sleeping bag on the concrete floor just outside the outhouse. Better accommodations were in plain view. He was 2 french fries short of a Happy Meal.

Steve and I scarfed down our favorite eats. I had 62% dark chocolate, walnuts, raisins, and almonds. I am not big on the Power Bar type of foods. Most of 'em are so full of sugar and artificial junk. I admit that I carry them for a back up because they have a half life of a million years or so. My favorite trail running food is dried organic sour cherries. I also make these awesome runners cookies with organic buckwheat, dark chocolate, dried apricots, and ground almonds. I lightly sweeten them with maple syrup or organic rapadura. On long runs we crave mostly salty types of foods. I add pink sea salt to my nuts and fruit mix. I usually drink a large cup green tea prior to departure as the water and caffeine fuels my needs. My dream run would be a tall cup of coffee half way through the run with a chunk of gourmet dark chocolate.

After departing Sunol, the real run lay ahead of us. We had over 2100 feet of vertical climbing to get to Mission Peak. This take over an hour and it is very strenuous.

Mission Peak was shrouded in a puffy light fog. It had the consistency of cotton candy. There was not much to see. We were the only ones on the peak.

My legs felt like molasses on the way down. I was stretched past my normal limits. Steve and I were dreaming of hot food and coffee. Andria never talks about food or coffee. She was probably dreaming that it would have been nice to sleep in and not drive 45 miles each way for a run in the fog.

Another great run completed!

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