After last week’s Summit Rock half marathon, I mostly rested during the week recovering from the run, though got a couple of hours of cross training on the elliptical on Wednesday. There was another small break between the storms and Saturday’s ZombieRunner Bay Trail Run was looking like it was going to be a good run. Registered for the half marathon on Wednesday night and was looking forward to it.
ZombieRunner Bay Trail Run
I was excited about this one because it’s on the bay trail, my usual running ground. I can leave my house, hop on the Steven’s Creek Trail, loop around the Shoreline lake and back out for a 16 mile loop. I do a fair bit of running here, both on asphalt and on the gravel and there are spectacular bird sightings here in the early morning. Today was no different. It was yet another 40°F morning, but I’ve learned my lesson in running with Luna Sandals on a cold morning. I picked up my race package the day before and stayed in the warm car until it was closer to the starting time. We started the run at 8:00am sharp. After the first mile or so on asphalt, we hit the gravel working our way up to the duck pond. I kept my steady pace (around 8 miles/minute) though felt that I was pushing myself a little harder than when I run solo. I guess the energy of running with others does that to you.
There were a group of four or five runners with me running about the same pace. So for most of the run, we stayed fairly close together and also passing each other often. Got past the first aid station and ran around the Mayfield slough and the Charleston slough. At around 5 miles, we left the gravel and hit asphalt. I took off my Lunas and started running barefoot. Remember Incredibles when Dash is running as fast as he can, hits the water, realizes much to his surprise that he hasn’t drowned and lets out this exhilarating laughter? That’s what I felt like. The sudden quietness of the soft landing of my bare feet was startling. I’ve always noticed that my barefoot pace is usually higher than with sandals. Hit the 6.5 mile aid station checked my watch: 50 minutes. Was looking pretty good. From there back on the trail to loop back over a little hill. Kept breathing deep, held my pace and then I realized we were almost back at the duck pond aid station at mile 8. Just a little further, was the very last out and back to Cooley Landing.
Downed my last cup of electrolyte at the turn off point and ran the last 1.5 miles barefoot. I stepped over the finish line at 1:38 which is a new PR for me. Was also super thrilled to finish 29th overall (out of about 400 runners) and 5th in my age group!