Sunday, January 6, 2013

8+ Miles in Point Reyes

Last night just dragged on and on (by my own doing) and I don't think I fell asleep until after midnight.  The alarm didn't go off but fortunately I woke up at 7:15 on my own.  And I'd missed a call about a ride with the organizer of the run, Vincent.  I called him back and he was leaving early, 7:45!  Good thing all my gear was ready to go.  I hustled through making my coffee and eating breakfast and met him for the drive out to Point Reyes.  On a quiet Sunday morning it only took us around 25 minutes to get there.

Still in my cozy clothes.
And guess what?  It wasn't raining!  The sky looked promising too, with blue sky breaking through the clouds.  But brrrr, it was chilly.  We stood around waiting for the others to arrive while I picked Vincent's brain on all the events he's done.  He did Santa Cruz last year, that's the one I am shooting to be my first olympic distance tri.  He made it sound perfect, which is encouraging. 

Point Reyes in the morning.
The group trickled in and I changed into my Sugoi Versa jacket.  I debated on taking music but in the end decided I didn't need it, I'd let my breathing and footstrike be my music.  I ate an AccelGel 20 or so minutes before we took off and brought 6 Clif Shot Bloks along for the run (though I only used 4).  By a little after 9am we hit the road.  That's the beginning of the trail on the ride side of that picture.  Isn't it just a gorgeous landscape?  I am so fortunate to live in an area that has this kind of option for running.  And again, no rain!

The route is such that it's a mild uphill climb for the first 1.5 miles or so until you get to Divide Meadow.  I ran with one of the women for a bit and we chatted, which was a nice distraction from the uphill, but then she dropped back to take off her vest so I was running by myself for quite a while.  My chest cold was making the run a bit challenging but in general I felt good.  Eventually she and Jane passed me but I kept pace with them, keeping them in my sights the rest of the way to the ocean.

Oh, I've never been so happy to see a meadow in my life since I knew I would be getting some relief by way of a mild decline out to the Pacific. At mile 3 I ate two shot bloks and took the balero/sleeves off my jacket to turn it into a vest, the first time I used this cool feature. We arrived at the ocean and oh boy, you don't get a payoff view like that on every run!  Of course the guys were waiting for us, and then the other runners arrived behind us.  We posed for some group shots.  Thanks Kelli for sending me these!

Vincent on my right, Kelli on my left.

Jane on my right, Diane on my left.
We took in the amazing view and looked for whales.  Some chatting revealed that several of us are doing the Kaiser half-marathon, including Dan (grey/yellow jacket), Vincent and possibly Jane.  So fun to be hanging with fellow runners!

Before too long we were headed back for our return leg.  This is an out-and-back run so I knew exactly what to expect, some mild uphill for 2.75 miles or so to the meadow, then downhill to the parking lot.  We fell in running and I had Jane ahead of me.  I had two more Shot Bloks somewhere before the meadow.  Again I was able to keep Jane in my sights and by the time we reached the meadow I was close enough that we were able to run together.  She picked up the pace and I pushed myself to keep up with her.  And she was so encouraging, even telling me that I'm a natural runner.  Me?  Oh the journey it's been to become a runner - certainly haven't felt like a natural, feels more like I had to fight for it.  That was so cool to hear.  So we have a bit less than a mile to go and she encourages me to push, finish strong.  I'm struggling hard to stay with her, pulling out all my positive mantras to keep my legs moving.  I fell behind for a bit but then shouted at myself (in my head of course) and was able to catch up.  We stopped just before the parking lot so I could do a cool-down walk, which quickly turned into a cool-down jog.  Whew!  What a run!

Look at that last half-mile at an 8:23 pace!  And I was so happy with the overall pace of 9:58, which wouldn't have happened without Jane pushing me at the end.  She said she loves to run with faster runners because it pushes her to get faster.  I can see why, what a challenge.  Anyway, here's the elevation profile.

Point Reyes - Bear Valley to Arch Rock and back elevation profile.
Here are the full Garmin stats if you are interested.  Oh, and some post-run pictures, of course!

Thanks for organizing Vincent!

A bit of mud picked up on the trail (those are my Brooks PureGrit trail runners).

Post-run antics (or: I'm so happy to be done!!)
The Bovine Bakery yummies.
After a good amount of stretching and race chatter we headed into town to Bovine Bakery for snacks.  I had a chai tea (with a bit of soy milk and half-and-half) and a power energy bar they were selling.  Power and energy sell me every time.

We hung out at the bakery for a while, talking more swim/bike/run talk.  Kelli gave me the scoop on RST (race specific training) classes with TriMore Fitness, something I've been wanting to check out.  You take your own bike and they hook it up to a simulator and you ride actual courses, but it's adjusted to your fitness level.  So they have a Wednesday morning class that I might be able to do sometime if I can figure out childcare.  And they have weeknight/weekend classes too so I should be able to make something work to try it out.  Kelli made it sound really fun.  And yes, that would be, of course, my new definition of fun.  Wink.

Then it was back to the car for the drive home.  Vincent and I talked races, Garmins, and all the like on the ride back.  But oh man, my stomach started hurting something awful!  That's not unusual after a long run but unfortunately the normal fix, a trip to the bathroom, wasn't an option.  I suffered until I got home but even more unfortunately, the bathroom didn't fix things.  I took a shower and just kept suffering.  I felt nauseous with not-good intestinal cramping (then again when is intestinal cramping ever good?).  Ouch!  Finally I remembered Pepto Bismol so I gave that a shot. 

I laid down for a while and eventually things started to settle.  Not sure what caused all the upset but I wish I knew so I could avoid it in the future!  Of course Miguel was so supportive, taking care of the kids while I showered, and then reclined while my stomach settled - not to mention all morning while I was out traipsing in the woods.  People ask me all the time how I do it - work, kids, exercise, etc - and I need to start including him in the answer.  Having support is huge.  If he weren't so behind me in my efforts, I'm not sure this could all be as it is. 

So there you have it.  Great weather, beautiful surrounds, fun run and cool tri/runner peeps makes for a darned good Sunday.  Now I'm off to hang with my family and the houseful of people Miguel has over watching football.  Oh, and there's a pupusa out there with my name on it.  Happy Sunday to you!!


  1. Pretzels and a banana or bagel! Something salty and filling yet healthy helps me after a long run. For me, it only works if I eat immediately after the run. I can't wait too long.

    1. Salt, that's a good thing to try. I had a banana soon after and some water but I wonder if salt would have helped. Thanks for the tip, I'll try it next tie.

  2. What an inspiration - great work! I know how very important a good support system is for maintaining a balance: work, family, exercise, etc.

    1. Thanks Liz! It takes a village to keep a mom going too :)

  3. Gorgeous views and a great workout! What a combination!!!

    1. Thanks MaryFran, it's always so cool when we can combine exercise with beautiful outdoors isn't it? Makes it fun.


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