One more time, I decided it was time to shake my comfort zone and go run for 26 miles. This time I knew more or less what to expect but wanted to try a slightly different route. I would, I thought, use mostly trails in the Headlands instead of returning on the pavement via Sausalito. The route was going to be, from our place in San Francisco, run on the streets the ~5 miles to the Golden Gate Bridge then cross the span go up Conzelman to Coastal trail take Bobcat trail to Marinccello down to Tennessee Valley then back via Miwok and Coastal to Conzelman and San Francisco. This course is a little longer, i think 27-29 miles but no traffic or urban noise for a long nice loop in the headlands.
So got up, ate a banana, had some coffee, an ensure and added Gatorade for the backpack. At exactly 9:00 I was starting to run. My stomach was not happy I think it was part due to the cold weather. By the time I got to the north side of he bridge I felt I was in trouble and may not be able to complete the run but I slowed the pace a little and climbed Conzelman while feeling stomach cramps.
At the bottom of Coastal I decided I would take the short route (26 miles) I had done a few months back, lot less climbing and a few miles shorter. No Bobcat and Marinccello trails today. I was now climbing Miwok towards the Tenneesse stables and not feeling as bad as earlier but remembering how much easier this hill felt the last time I ran the same route. At the top I had to stop to rest for a minute or so. Weather was nicer now, still cold but nice.
Ran down to the stables and started to feel better. Now it was all pavement. The miles from Mill Valley to Sausalito are flat and have that never ending feel to them when you are used to cruising them on a bike. Made a stop at the old Sausalito Cyclery (now Mike's Bikes) for water and continued to the other end of town a couple of miles away.
At the bottom of the hill leading to the Golden Gate Bridge I made one more stop to have an electrolyte pill and stretch as I was starting to feel cramps coming. One more stop at the North end of the bridge before crosing the bridge, more electrolytes and a lots of liquids. The steady mist had managed to keep pedestrian traffic on the bridge very light, that was good news for my tired legs.
One more stop at the South end of the bridge, at the water fountain next to the Strauss statue, now I needed to add a couple of effervescent tablets to the water, ah the vice of the convenience of synthetic foods/drinks.
The next stretch form here to home was the hardest. I had to stop in The Presidio under an overpass to rest once more. Getting started this time was a lot harder but once I was moving there was no excuse to stop. Somewhere in Cow Hollow a female runner decided to run very close to me. At first I was surprised to see somebody runing so close. I looked into her eyes and told her my story without words. She ran next to me, not ahead not behind, for about two blocks until I deviated to continue on my route.
Climbed on Franklin St and got home 4:33 hrs after I had started. Just 3 minutes above my last run. I felt very tired not quite like dying but tired enough to consider doing it again soon... but not tomorrow. Pheidippides you are the man.
(First posted January-30-2011 at 10:11 pm)