I wasn’t originally planning to run this race, but it was on my radar as one to do in time. When I decided to make a dry run at the half ironman distance last weekend, but spread out over three days, it was the perfect fit. I’ve also been sketching out how to train through the rest of the year, and I want to mix in more half marathon distance runs on hills to work on speed without being much concerned about endurance over many hours.
Having run here before, I knew about what to expect. Long, steepish hills, some short but crazy steep hills on the San Pablo ridge, and a couple nice flat sections that would be good for pushing speed. I mixed running and walking on the uphills, mostly paying attention to muscle stiffness, I didn’t want to beat anything up too much, since I had a 50+ mile ride planned for the next day. I ended up keeping approximate pace with a couple people who also ran the last two trail races I ran—Chabot and Diablo. A couple highlights that were new to me: the Havey Canyon trail is a lot of fun, even dropping into a rocky creek bed for a moment. And the whole park was bright green, quite unlike the foggy brown day I had when running here in January. I didn’t take many photos, since I just wanted to push myself without many distractions.
I finished in 2:36:24, right on my time goal. 89/187 overall and 9/16 in the m30-34 age group, both higher among finishers than last fall’s trail half marathons.