Headlands Marathon – Jet-Lagged and Sleepless

It was nice to be back in the Headlands, a year since my last 50M there. Right after that run is when I busted my ligament and had been sidelined for almost a year. As much as I’ve been running pretty consistently, I’d just come back from a business trip to London on Thursday. Over the 4 days there, I managed to sneak in 27 miles when I kept waking up at weird times. I guess, at some point there’s no escaping jet-lag and lack of sleep. My Strava activity:

Headlands Marathon

I spent the night at a friends house in San Francisco and headed up to Rodeo Beach early am to get to the parking spot close enough to the start line. In hindsight, maybe I should’ve dirt bagged in my van and gotten some more sleep. A couple of new things this year. The marathon didn’t start until 8:30am and with trail closures, this was a new, harder course: +800ft gain/loss with a 5,500ft elevation profile.

Harvest Moon

The Harvest Moon hung over the ocean with the fog still engulfing us all around. Tried to get some sleep in the car, but no go. Walked over to pick up the bib and saw quite a few familiar faces. Robert Rhodes was running his first hundo and would go on to finish in 30ish hours!

We left promptly at 8:30am and the first few miles were nice and cool and the fog stayed with us. The descent down Coastal Trail was pretty gnarly, steep and super technical. While in Skyline 50K last month, I was very tentative about my (now recovered) ankle, felt a lot of more confident running down these trails this time around.

I was moving pretty well, fairly relaxed about the whole thing. Left the Muir Beach Aid Station and was able to shuffle and run up most of Green Gulch. The long descent down Miwok Trail towards Tennessee Valley was definitely the highlight of the run.

By the time I got to the Bunker Rd aid station (water only), I was starting to feel the jet-lag catching up to me. The sun was out in its earnest now, and I kept pushing up Rodeo Valley trail. By the time I descended the SCA Trail to the Golden Gate Bridge aid station at mile 20, I was kinda out of it. Stood there at the aid station for a few minutes not really sure what I wanted to do. Really badly wanted to lie down and take a nap. Finally ate some potatoes, drank half a can of coke and mostly walked back up the trail.

Tried to make some time on the last descent on Julian Trail and pulled into the finish line in 5:40 ish, pretty beat. But still, was simply happy to be back at the Headlands and my ankle held up the whole time, including all the technical descents. So all good there. That night for the first time, in what felt like a few weeks, I slept like 10 hours straight. Well, before I could celebrate, I was up at midnight again the next night. Damn jet-lag. H/T to many familiar faces there, including Duke Hong, William Dai, Robert Rhodes, Mark Tenaka, Steve Snyder and others that I might be forgetting.

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