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Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mt. Diablo Marathon - Almost

Me and Vince (Who's camera is responsible for all of these pictures.)

It took all week to plan for this insanity.

Matt took receipt of my bike on Friday night and it spent the night in the back of his Tundra. Also part of his cargo were my trail running shoes, helmet and gloves, 2 water bottles, 2 oranges, a banana, Power Bars, and a quart size bag of mixed nuts and dried fruit.

My conveyance to the start of a Mt. Diablo summit hike, was my white and orange Reeboks. 5:15 am I hit the road on the run and 13.4 miles and exactly 1 hour 45 minutes later I jogged up to the culdesac of Regency Dr. in Clayton. 7:00 am, I crested the last hill, as Pastor and Vince drove up. Sarah was already there, and Matt showed up 5 minutes late.

Matt brought me coffee and a protein type shake, both of which were gone in less than 5 minutes.
I changed shoes, reloaded my CamelBack with a new supply of PowerBars and the nut / fruit mix and we hit the trail at a trot. There had been some uncertainty as to whether we would summit the mountain, or just take the Falls Trail loop. So we did both.

Sarah was interested most in the Falls Trail, so whether in a show of chivalry or just a chance to add some miles, we took the loop with her until it intersected the Middle Trail and our route to the top.

Sarah, Me, Pastor, and Matt

Parting ways, Sarah jogged back down to her car, while the 4 men headed uphill.
10:04am, I climbed over the rail into the summit parking lot. (We rarely take the trail the whole distance to the top, choosing rather to cut straight up the last 900 vertical feet in a 1/2 mile death march.) This was approximately mile 18 for me with an accumulated elevation gain of well over 4000 feet.

Wow, he looks awful!

An obligatory walk through the Nature Center and a brief sit down out of the 40 mph gusts was heaven - while waiting for Pastor and Matt to reach the top. As soon as they climbed into the parking lot, Vince and I bid them good day and began the jog back down. Ouch. I had to walk / trot the majority of the steep 1/2 mile drop off the top. Unlike my typical haphazard rocksliding, I was acutely aware of my fatigued legs and sore feet, and took my time through the sharp rocks and drops.

Once off the top it was a full run to the bottom, but alone, since Vince was nowhere to be found. Cramps came and went as my legs transitioned muscle groups once more. Vince made it down in the best time I've seen yet - less than an hour. I met him back at the trucks 7 minutes adrift.

There the bike waited to take me on the final leg of my journey down the valley back to my house. The 2 oranges vaporized. I managed to stuff the running shoes and balance of the paraphernalia into the CamelBack and started turning the pedals. An hour later I was emptying cabinets at home in search of carbohydrates and protein.

My total miles for the day were approx. 23 on foot (18 running, and 5 hike/jog up the mountain) and 13.5 on the bike. Total time was 7 hours.

I am actually beginning to think I will be ready for my Marathon in April.