After three so so runs this week, things turned around today. I took a chance on Strawberry Canyon and was happy to find a relatively dry trail, no mud waffles today. As I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed a couple women in the car next to me, they got started a few minutes before me as I fiddled w/my new water bottle, gloves and hat. They were fit and had the appearance of real runners......you know the type tall, thin unlike my short stocky stature. I hung back (way back) on purpose as not to embarrass myself.
The trailhead begins immediately with a gradual but steady climb that flattens out mercifully in spots, good thing cause it leads to one LONG steep ass hill, I'll refer to as Big Bertha.
Despite hanging back I caught up w/the women at the foot of Big Bertha....they walked
and as I passed them I said "call me crazy but I'm going for it!" I kept my head down and arms pumping and took Big Bertha Down!!!!!!!!
I got to the top and kept on running. The trail is pretty flat at this point but starts a gradual ascent after a 1/4 mile or so. The sky was so clear the sun warm on my face....I felt so happy
I started to cry. I turned around after 35 minutes and you know the rest......boing boing boing wheeeeeeeeeee!!!!
I never saw those women again and they were gone by the time I got back to parking lot an hour later.
Several years ago I attempted to run this trail, I got maybe a third of the way......nowhere near where I ended up today...that felt very very nice.
For the record I had penne pasta w/red sauce for dinner lastnight, got a good solid 8 hrs sleep. Pre-run I choked down an espresso GU (kind've gross), and filled my waterbottle w/gatorade.
Not sure I like the hand-held hydration system, it was fine while wearing the gloves, but after awhile I got too hot and took off the gloves which caused the bottle to get slippery. I kept having to switch hands.