(Picture credit: Pacific Coast Trail Runs)
Whew... I did this 13 mile race nearby in Pacifica, in San Pedro Valley Park this morning on the spur of the moment, deciding only on Wednesday to sign up at the suggestion of a friend. I had done this race one year ago and really fell apart, suffering from heat exhaustion, walking several times, and taking 2 hours and 1 minute to cover the hilly miles and 2930' of elevation gain. (Still, I came in 3rd place of 69 runners last year, so I can't complain too much.)
The course runs up to the top of Montara Mountain. It's as high as you can go around here. Click on this elevation profile chart to see the #s.
This year, the weather was much more comfortable for running -- overcast and cool! I thought it might even rain since I had to run the windshield wipers here in Montara. It was also more crowded this year and I'm not sure how many runners were in my race, but I did much better in most regards. I took more than 12 minutes off of my time and I stayed in the lead the entire time. On the down side, I got a little confused about the course and took the wrong trail twice -- once for about 50' and the other time just 10 or 15'. It was a close call near the end as I was getting fatigued on the last big hill, but I crested just in time and took off on the downhill. I was literally seconds away from pulling to the side of the trail and letting the guy behind me pass when I reached the top. (He wasn't on my heels, but he got to within a few seconds of me.) I seem to be much better at going downhill right now and I finished at least a minute ahead of him. For first-place finishes, they give out a cool running cap. I'm happy! And sore.
I tripped and stumbled once, but I was going up hill, so I supported myself with my hands and my knees didn't hit. I carried about 16oz of sports drink at the start which was probably too much considering the weather. I dumped about 4 or 5 oz on my head while ascending the last hill to help me cool off and reduce weight. Most of the top runners in the 30 km and 20 km races didn't carry anything.
I should note that I was far from being the fastest runner out there that day. The 30 km race was where the really superb runners were at. There were 3 runners who ran the first 21 km of the 30 km race faster than me. Amazing!
I was also rather heavy this morning -- 169.5 lbs which is my highest running weight ever. It's 5 lbs heavier than when I ran this a year ago. I ate a bunch of salty foods yesterday and had about 4 bowls of cereal last night. And I weighed myself before going to the bathroom, but still, I need to work on my weight a bit.