I found out late last week that I needed to be back in California this week. I scheduled all my travel as usual but over the weekend it was denied because of an approval timing snafu. So on Monday, I was alerted to this and re-booked the travel. Unfortunately, due to the immediate departure and increased cost, my boss’s boss had to approve it. He works out of Norway part time so I had to wait until the middle of the night before the morning of the flight for the approval to go through and the ticket to be issued. Anyway, it was and I am here now. But I had to fly into Oakland, which isn’t as close as flying into San Jose. So I got my bag, drove through an In-N-Out, scarfed down lunch, and proceeded to my meetings. My concert calendar alerted me to the fact that Linkin Park was playing in San Jose tonight. But the ticket was $85 base price (without fees) and none were available. I could just go and buy one off the street. I was done by 5PM with work so I decided to go run. It was 60 degrees out and it was hard to resist getting some miles in. Maybe I might get down quick and still go to the show?
I headed out from work along the normal path and suddenly wondered why I hadn’t gone to Mission Peak to run the mountain. Always a nice time. I wonder how far it is over there. Maybe I will head towards it. Luckily, I had thrown my headlamp in my trout vest because I got burnt last time I was here by finishing stumbling in the dark. Not this time. I weaved up through Milpitas into Fremont and figured it couldn’t be too much further. About about an hour and something I was at the trailhead. Still a lot of cars there. I headed up and was losing light on the 40 minute climb to the top. Walked a couple of steep sections just because I didn’t want to push it with the hip. I wasn’t feeling too fresh at this point. As the sun totally went away, I put on my headlamp. There are cows all over the pastures along side the trails here but at night they seem to gravitate to the trail. Makes it odd when you have to pass an animal that is bigger than a Mini Cooper and they could hurt you real bad if they cared to.
Unfortunately, the sunset gave way to colder temps and fog rolled in. I was suddenly engulfed in it. My headlamp was shooting into the fog and bouncing right back at me. It was cold and I had about 5 feet of visibility. I have been up that trail enough times that I knew where to go but it wasn’t so much fun anymore. Cold and kind of scary when you can’t see. Heard a howl off in the distance. I need to get this done. Oddly, its like 6:30 PM and I am feeling this anxious. Weird moment. I kept ascending and finally ran into the summit post. Just behind it there were 4 pair of beady eyes staring at me. Ew? 4 cows up on the summit wondering who this fool was. Never seen a cow even near the summit but at night they go over and check it out apparently.
Pretending to have fun in a quick photo op. I was freezing my butt off. Started to descend and the fog was wet and made the rocks all slippery. It was slow going. Didn’t see anyone around. Couldn’t see far anyway but no lights. Made my way down to the first junction and nearly missed the turn. Had to check the Garmin route to be sure I was going back the way I came. As I popped down out of the fog, the city lights came back into view and I suddenly felt relieved. I was thinking I should have taken the ridge all the way south to connect into Levin Park then back. That would have been cool. But it didn’t feel even close to safe doing it tonight in the fog and not knowing the trail. Some other time. On the descent, I saw a dozen people still heading up to the summit.
I got back into Fremont and found my hip starting to flair up. I was 2:15 into the run. For the last few months, I have purposely limited every run to 2 hours max. Figured post-shot, I should try and go further. Guess 15 minutes was all the buffer I had. It didn’t hurt that bad, but it wasn’t right. I slowed the pace and struggled to hold my form and stay out of the limp. Somewhere in the 9 minute range it was tolerable and I just grinded out the miles back towards work. It did get a bit better at about 3 hours in but by then, that In-N-Out Double-Double power had worn off. I had no sugars this whole run. Only water. So I was feeling a bit bonky and tired. And ready to be done.
Weird moment: I was running down this sidewalk which had hedges along it. I like to think I am light on my feet and don’t make a lot of noise running. I often come up on people and they never heard me coming. Anyway, running along this hedge and I see this gap in the hedge. It backs up to a wall. Down in a crouched position, there is this guy wearing a black sweatshirt and black leather gloves. He is rubbing one fist in the other palm while looking down. He didn’t notice me until I was right in front of him and it caught him off guard. I just kept moving and didn’t hear anyone coming after me. I am confident he raped or mugged the next person that walked by.
Finally, saw the hotel in the distance and worked my way there and over to the Cisco sign where I started 3 and a half hours prior. My mood was a bit better by this point.
Not exactly sure what to make of that run. I went out well and felt good up and down the mountain. Bad patch after though had me never wanting to run again. I went through scenarios of this injury not getting better and just hanging this thing up and pulling out of the LT100. Weird things go through your mind. But I have no interest in racing just to finish there again. I have time goals. And I want to be healthy to give those an honest shot. I probably just need to step back and realize the timing here and that I have another 30 days of recovery. And that this run of 20+ miles on a random Tuesday exactly 7 days post-injection was probably…retarded. But nobody ever said ultrarunners are smart people. We mostly just don’t know how to say no.
I went 21.73 miles with an elevation gain of 2,501 feet in 03:30:29, which is an average pace of 09:41. Heart rate average was 139. View my GPS data on Garmin Connect.