Thursday, October 04, 2007

Running at night is awesome!

I just realized last night on a ~14 mile trail run that I just love running at night on trails. It really helps to have someone there (thanks Ocean Beach Jeff!) to keep the scary night animals at bay. I think night running is a key component of success to a faster 100 mile time. If I can maintain my speed (maintain a slow steady pace) at night, my 100 mile time should come down.

Last night, Ocean Beach Jeff came over and we took off from my house around 6pm. Up Keller Ave to the Leona Open Space Preserve. This is a great little canyon in between Campus Drive and Skyline Blvd (just south of Merritt College). We went along this trail for a mile or so and turned on a trail that takes you straight up to Skyline. I want to find the profile for "K2" at RDL and this hill. I think the East Bay has some pretty good hills that just are unknown to many of us.
Once we reach Skyline, we ran back down to the south to the Equestrian Staging Area and filled our water bottles. Down the connecting trail and over to Bort Meadows. We continued along the MacDonald trail until my Garmin said 7 miles. We turned around and trekked back up the hill. That hill was one of those bigger ones in Skyline/Firetrails that takes you over to Bort Meadows.
It was great to see stars in the sky. You don't get to see them too often in Oakland! Plus we saw 2 deer, a skunk, and what I thought was a little owl. It was a little odd. Here was this little bird that would wait until we were about 2 feet next to it and then it would fly down the trail and wait until we got close again. The bird did this about 4 times. I guess he was just showing us the way!
Made it back through the cattle gates, past Bort Meadow and back up to the Equestrian center. This is where we had a choice, either go down Keller Ave and be done in less than 2 miles or go back down the other trail, which would add about, as I put it, "More than 3 but no more than 5 miles." Jeff said let's take the trail. His response is why I know we make good running partners...we almost always opt for the longer, more difficult route. So back up Skyline and down the trail (which is quite steep going down!) through the canyon and back on Keller. A quick up and down back to my house. We took a nice walk around the block to cool down.
Almost 3 hours later and about 14 hilly miles completed, it was a great run. Not bad for 10 days after 100 miles!
Saturday will be the last long run before Firetrails 50.

1 Comments:

Blogger Eudemus said...

Brad, very cool run. I also love running at night, though I always go it alone (just me and the critters). Your route sounds pretty cool and I wish I lived that close to those trails. I've never been in Leona Canyon, but the MacDonald trail is one of my favorite. Last weekend I met a guy who lived right off the trail on Parkridge Dr. Now THAT is my dream home :-) See you in a week!

10:59 AM  

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