Some mornings, you just feel like running. And besides the fact that I have WTC coming up, its been a while since I've just run, and run.
I drove down to Huddart in the morning with Luchi, unsure of exactly how the day would shake out. I do enjoy running with other people, but its hard to get your ideal training run in when other people are there. The pace, the mood, everything. But the flip side is that the right training partners can push you further than you thought you could go, drag you up the hills.
KJ met us at the park and promptly said that 20+ miles was not in the cards today, having just gotten back from a month-long vacation. So two laps it was.
It hasn't rained in what seems like years, and my recollection of Huddart dark and brown and green and wet was anything but. But the trails were just as soft and quiet, a strange emptiness on this silent Saturday.
In addition to putting in miles, I also wanted to find the connection between Huddart and Purisima. Easy to find at the top, a quick jaunt across the road. We dropped down the fire road and I realized that unless you're committed to going all the way around the loop, dropping down to Purisima is pure masochism. So I did it twice.
We raced down Chinaquin, KJ taking the lead. Luchi lagged a bit but its understandable, turns out there aren't that many people who can keep up with with KJ down the hill.
I dropped them off at the parking lot, refilled my water and set back off. I did my best to conserve water, knowing that I ran short on lap one. For a moment, I considered adding in the loop at Purisima, but pushing 30 miles was not meant to be. I wasn't prepared, and at that distance it turns out you need to have your act together.
I felt good grinding up to Skyline, but started to lag as I approached the top. I dropped down into the valley and hit the bottom, just behind some bikers. The climb back out was brutal. Long, slow and I knew I was short water. I did my best to keep my momentum and run when I could, but the hill seemed forever. I stayed just behind the bikers most of the way but couldn't seem to pass them.
Maybe I shouldn't put so much credence in it, but I still hate getting passed by bikers up the hill.
I finally hit the top and was beat, didn't have much water left and just wanted to be back home. I cruised back down but when you're exhausted and out of water, even the best descents don't seem that fun. I couldn't get to the parking lot fast enough. My legs hurt. I was thirsty. Hungry. I didn't want to be running anymore.
But I finished. And with just about the hardest training run I've done since some of KJ and my old school jaunts from the Marina to the headlands and back, my confidence bloomed.\