18 Mile Trail run!

Clay hosted the HDR’s monthly Mountain Trail Fun Run. There were at least 20 in attendance. Clay would have the exact count and will be posting about it soon, I’m sure – with pictures.

Here is his video:

As people milled about and got ready, I noticed Matthew and Eric take off first. Joe Kim, Grant Barnett and I were discussing similar plans, but they took off as I waited another minute for Clay. We got started and they were not too far ahead of me. Clay and I shared plans. I was thinking 14 to 18 miles. He was thinking run up to the ridge, do some intervals on the trail… We caught Kyra and the dogs started visiting. Clay ran with her and I continued up the trail. I was not particularly pushing the pace on this first climb, but I was feeling pretty good. It turns out I set a Strava Segment PR on the first 1 mile climb.  Going down the next section I spotted Grant and eventually caught him. Joe was not too far ahead and I gained on him. I caught Joe as Joe caught Eric and Matthew. Grant caught us as well. The four of us ran pretty much together all the way to the bench.  Grant fell back a little but he hung in there pretty good. I felt like we were taking it easy, but no too much so. I set a PR on the first segment coming out of the 2.7 mile low point and had my 2nd best time from the low point to the bench.

Shortly after the bench, at 6.55 Grant turned back  – he wanted to run a half marathon. We got to Spunky road and ran right across it and kept going. Joe had told us he would turn there, but he kept going. As we began the climb from Spunky to the 4 mile ridge, the others began to pull away from me. I slowed to take in some water and was not able to make up the ground. At mile 8 Joe turned back. I decided that since I was half way up the hill I might as well finish it. Matthew and Eric inched away from me and were probably 300 – 400 meters ahead when I reached the ridge. I yelled “race ya back” to them but I don’t think they understood me! I may not have been able to keep up with Matthew and Eric, but this climb was my 3rd pr segment of the run!

Going back I was all alone. I spotted Alan Brown at the bench. Marv Powers was about 5 miles out trimming some bushes when I went by. When I got to the last climb I caught Bev ONeal. I was not pushing the pace but I felt pretty comfortable all the way up the climb. When I got to the last mile downhill I was feeling pretty wiped out. My right ankle (the one I twisted a couple of weeks back) was beginning to ache. I relaxed to run slowly and gingerly down the trail.

Relaxing and running easy on a trail is a bad idea for me. I tripped and went face first into the dirt for the 4th time this year! My falls are getting better – that is, I am coming out of them with less, and less injury. I only have a couple of drops on my right knee.

As I arrived Clay was there to take my picture – or probably a video. It will be interesting to see how that one turns out. Like I said, I was pretty beat up…

A while later we spotted  a solitary figure moving quickly down the trail toward us. Whoever it was, they were moving to quick to be Alan or Marv. Matthew and Eric should be together. I was curious and concerned. Matthew ran up, dropped his camelback, grabbed a bottle of water and refilled it, and announced that he was going back for Eric. It got was getting warm out there and Eric had run out of water. Of course, running 20 miles the week after the LA Marathon (and a PR at the Nutty Runners 5k) may have been a little much…. Eric ran back and soon we could see both of them coming down the trail.

Shortly thereafter, Alan got back, and I headed home. There was very little shade out there and i did not want to sit there any longer in the sun. A couple of the long time members who were still hanging around were planning to wait for Marv…

Thanks Clay for sponsoring the run!

I ran 50 miles this week… The number is high because I attempted to push last Sunday’s longer run to Monday. It did not go well, but still I ran to school and home again adding 13 miles on a day that would normally have been a recovery day. Tomorrow -I rest!

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