09 December 2014

Across a foggy Gate: Straight up, mud on the side

Race day, Sunday, 7 Dec....Also the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, so if you didn't pause to remember those who lost their lives that day, with the consequence of the US being inexorably pulled into World War II, well, I got nothing for ya. 

My day started with a 0445 wake-up and a hilarious wake-up of my buddy Adrian, who, after I too cheerily popped into his room at 0450, promptly went back to sleep, only to have me act as a snooze button five minutes later (no, don't turn on the light...).  I made last additions to the race bag (extra socks, pants, bibs, and water) and donned my race gear, with a last minute debate on whether to go tank or t-shirt.  

Next was coffee, a banana and gingerbread (not my normal pre-race carb by pretty much my standard December breakfast fare) and a quick jaunt north past the Richmond refineries and west across 580, passing San Quentin and turning back south to the Larkspur Ferry terminal where we would catch the shuttle to the Golden Gate Recreation Area and the start. 

 I will let the pictures below tell the rest of the story. I had originally planned to try for a sub-1:50  when I selected this race but with the calf tear and the resultant ease-off of my training, I reset for a 2:30 goal and a mindset to run as a tourist and just take it all in. And I did....

Damp, muddy and still dark at the start/finish. 
Pre-race, bag checked, feeling a bit chilly (less than 10 minutes to the start). 
The elevation chart. Three major climbs of about a mile each,
with one lesser climb, still steep.
Just about halfway up the first climb.....
(thank you, race photos, I'm def buying these!)
Climb #2, looking down
Climb #2, looking up
Yes, we just kept climbing and climbing, this was #3
Pacific Ocean 
Part way down the last downhill, I was having a blast,
although I know it looks like I have my racing face on!
All done! We finished at almost the exact same time,
only 1.5 seconds pace per mile different...
Yes, there was still plenty of mud on the course!
Unlike my normal race demeanor, I was a chatty Cathy along the whole way (ok, save for a few of the climbs), and met some really nice people along the way --- a grad student studying education at Cal who would normally be surfing and who actually checked out the swell as we passed each ocean view, a guy who grew up riding horses on the trails, another who was a Bay Area returnee and chose the race to celebrate her return.

I did have some abdominal twinges on the second downhill, which was quite steep and I felt some trepidation creep in, but it abated and by the time I got to the base of the last downhill, I knew there was only a small climb and less than a mile to go.  The race was not a true half, they added .4 just for fun to make it 13.5....

At the end of the day, I crossed the finish line and relished in the accomplishment of conquering those inclines, ones I knew so well and which made my heart soar over the course of this race. 

1 comment:

  1. Great work WIlk! Proud of you girl! Happy Holidays and Semper Fi!