This one was cold. When I left the house in San Jose the car's thermometer read 32. On the way up 280 to Woodside it dropped to 31 then 30 then 29 and on the drive up to Huddart Park past woodside it no longer read temperature ... just said "Icie"!
Ran with shorts, short sleeve Tshirt, baseball hat, arm-warmers and gloves. This choice was about perfect. The ground was frozen and you could see the frost on the trail, especially at the opt of the climb up near Skyline. Muddy parts of the trail were frozen hard, you expected to sink in to the mud but it was so hard it didn't budge.
Passed the first aid station and didn't stop as I still had water in my water bottle and I wasn't hungry. This was at about 6 miles I believe. The next aid station was at 12 or 13 miles and at this one I stopped and had a couple pieces of potato, a couple potato chips and a small glass of coke. I dropped my water bottle and gloves at this aid station as my hands were feeling warm and I was sick of that dam water bottle! Getting rid of the gloves was not good because my hands immediately became cold and red. Had to run like that for 7 or 8 miles before getting back to the aid station to pick them up. The downhill into Wunderlich park was just at the edge of being too steep to run but not steep enough for me to walk so I ran and tried not to apply the brakes too much. Still, I knew I was going to pay later. When we had to climb back up this trail was actually when I felt my best on this run. I felt great on the uphills but definitely held back and that was a good thing because I needed everything later in the run.
I took two 'diggers'. One was at mile 19 when I just tripped over a root and landed on my left shoulder and skidded to a halt. Luckily no rocks and a lot of pine needles - no damage done. Just tried to be more careful. It was because I was getting tired. The second digger was very late in the race. At mile 26 I felt my first pang of calf cramp. I haven't had a calf cramp since I started upping my training back in 2007 or 2008. It wasn't bad but I knew that feeling, those used to start just like that .... just a hint at first and then later BLAM! Cramp! So I started taking it easier on all of the downhills. I had lots of energy left, wish I could have used it. Then at around mile 27, I think, both calves cramped and this one was on a pretty good downhill section of road and not pine needles. Down I went again and this time it hurt. Scraped up my leg but otherwise OK. Got up and started running and my calves seemed to be OK.
Apparently in that fall I hit my watch and paused it somehow because a bunch of time later I glanced at the watch and saw it was paused. Had no idea what distance I had left. I guess about 2 miles left and decided to just cruise for a mile and then let it all hang out on the last mile. When the first mile passed I could hear the cowbells and two turns later and about .1 mile was the finish. I still had plenty left but I guess I'll be glad since my calves may have had something to say about a 1 mile hammerdog finish!
I ran what I considered to be excessively conservative until about mile 15 or 16 when I let it out just a little. I walked any uphill that even looked like it might be steep. If I did another one of these I'd do the same thing.
Good race, beautiful day for a trail run.
Finished 11th overall and 1st in 50-59.