Sunday, October 01, 2006

Turned around

Tina and I arrived in San Francisco bright and early, well before the start time, for our 20 mile run. Unfortunately we arrived bright and early in the wrong location, so after walking around for a bit and following some other lost folks, we figured out we were supposed to be one block up from our current location. We high tailed it over there, but the 6:45 am group was already gone. So we ended up starting out a little later than expected.

We headed up a big, big hill past the Cliff house then we followed the very small course markings to a trail, where we stopped to stretch. Unfortunately by the time we were done stretching, everyone else had taken off and we didn't see any course markings. Great, which way should we go? Luckily some San Francisco team runners came by and said 'if a turn isn't marked..go straight.' So we did, but then the same runners said they remembered something about a certain trail, so we headed down some stairs and along a different trail. Still no course markings. We came out onto a larger trail and they started heading left when I saw a tiny arrow pointing right. So we all went right and up some more hills. We finally hit a water stop and they told us to run to the stop sign and then turn. Okay, we ran there, but turn which way?? Here there were some course markings, but they were in chalk and today's were supposed to be in flour. The San Francisco runners told me that the chalk markings were from last week's run. Okay, great.

We managed to find our way back onto the trail and headed back down past the Cliff House and back into Golden Gate park. The route into Golden Gate Park was manned with someone who told us 'go out to your mile marker or the museum and turn around.' Okay, they didn't mention that you have to run on a certain side to see the mile markers. So along with many other folks, we were running on the wrong side of the road and only realized it when we saw a water stop across the street and were told to go to the crosswalk and cross. Here we found out that the turn around was for 12 miles. Wait, if we have 12 miles and still have 10 more after that to get down the Great Highway and around the Lake, that's 22 miles! Sheesh, this course was so poorly planned.

Anyway we made it out of the park and started to head out the Great Highway. Out the highway and up towards the lake. We hit the water stop at about 15 miles and were told that they were turning everyone around. Coach didn't want anyone on their feet for more than 4 hours. Guess we're just too slow for a full 20 miler. Well, we would hit at least 19 by the time we made it back to the finish line. So we grabbed some snacks and headed back the way we came.

On the way back we saw coach and he asked how we were doing. "Bad," I said. He wouldn't even give me a ride back to the finish line! :-)

With about 3 miles left to go, my ankle really started to hurt. I'm not sure what's going on, but maybe I need new shoes again. Tina was booking, but came back to drag me to the finish line...again. Thanks T!

Total time and distance: 4 hrs, 19.4 miles.

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