Time to up the mileage. A little anyway.
Discovery Park is a fantastic playground. There are several trails and if you tie a few together you can do a pretty reasonable run without too much repetition. There are also some serious hills if you want and the views are really great so you do not get bored. Plus it's trails! Hello, the road is boring.
After my ride yesterday Justin A said he might go out for the standard 10 mile loop on Cougar that usually takes me about 1:30 when I'm fit and in an impulsive moment I asked if I could tag along. All I can say is good thing that did not work out.
Wow. This was not as easy as I thought it would be.
I started mellow and just enjoyed the damp fall feeling as it was an awesome morning. There were rabbits hanging out in the parking lot (my car was only the third vehicle to show up today) and there were slugs and snakes on the trail and water dripping off the trees. And it wasn't cold! This is the kind of fall that I love.
I cruised around the park and only met two other people on my first lap. It went okay but every little climb (and they really were little on the Loop Trail) slowed me down some. I also was not able to flow on the descents and felt like I was constantly putting on the brakes with every footfall. Sometimes when you can flow on the descents it's almost like coasting on a bike. Almost. That was not happening at all today.
It was warm! Much warmer than I thought it would be and as I got close to the car after lap one I contemplated taking one shirt off but then figured I did not want to stop and I was not sweating that much so ran past the parking lot and carried on.
As I started out on lap number two suddenly the trail was full of people. I noticed that there were about 20 vehicles in the parking lot as I ran through and then I was passing folks and they were passing me walking and running in the other direction.
The descents were feeling a tiny bit better but the climbs were still somewhat of a slog. I finally resigned myself to just 'jog' this out and instead made a goal of simply not stopping running even on the big climb.
I peeled off the Loop Trail and headed down toward the stairs that descend to the north end of the beach. The wood steps were massively treacherous and I did pretty much walk here… In spite of being really careful I almost wiped out once on a slick, muddy spot.
Cruising along the beach trail at the bottom I of course had flash backs to going the other way in all the outdoor exercise classes I participated in with adventX.
As I neared the lighthouse I started to notice something slapping my left ankle and when I looked down it was the laces of my right shoe. This morning I had discovered that my shoes have one extra set of holes way up near the top and had decided to use them. It felt good but it also made the laces shorter and I no longer had enough slack to tie a double knot. Oh well, it only took a second to fix and I was off. As I rounded the corner at the lighthouse I hit a big headwind and suddenly got worried about the climb.
As you leave the beach the trail tips up right away. From here I would guess that it's a solid 3/4 mile to the top? With a ton of stairs.
There was a young couple a few feet in front of me and that helped for a brief moment as it was like a carrot. As I got close to the woman who was in back I said, "Excuse me." and she almost jumped! When I ran past she said, "I thought you were a bear!" C'mon… really? That made me smile and distracted me from my effort for about 10 seconds. Then I got to another set of stairs.
Boy, I had to take all these steps one at a time. But I did not walk! As I neared the top I knew I would make it and it felt pretty good. I was breathing hard but not that all-out, rasping, my wind pipe is 2 mm in diameter kind of breathing. Whew.
From here I rolled it in back to the car and after a bit I think I even got back up to the speed I was going at the beginning so not bad.
When I arrived at the parking lot I took a good walk to cool down and to keep the muscles loose. And my foot felt great! My left hand and right shoulder were a tiny bit sore just from swinging my arms and from carrying the bottle but no biggie.
I'm pretty certain that MapMyRide is coming up a tad short. Many of the trails I ran are not visible in the user interface so I had to guess where they went. But whatever, I had a good time in spite of this being kinda hard. The bonus is I am not sore after and am looking forward to more.
|Breakfast||5:15 AM - 2 bananas|
|Workout Food||drive to park - Nuun|
run - water
|Time of Day||7:30 AM|
|Weather||mid to upper 50s, damp ground, overcast sky, no rain, some wind|
|Course||counter-clockwise around the upper loop trail and then a bigger loop with the climb from the lighthouse|
|Pace||8:12 (assuming my mileage is correct)|
8:32 if the MapMyRide distance is correct
|Equipment||Brooks Cascadia, hand-held bottle|
|Clothing||shorts, short sleeve active T, long sleeve active T|