The last time I ran on Angel Island was my 50k last June. On that day I did six loops around the island. Yesterday was only two loops - the middle and summit loops. We took the ferry from Tiburon and were on the island by 10:00. Our race wasn't to start until 10:35. It was SO cold and windy. We walked around and hid behind buildings until after the 25k runners took off.
As we were waiting for the 16k runners to start, I asked Aron if she wanted to run this race her own way or hang with me. She said she wasn't sure but as she was answering me, I could tell she was thinking she wanted to RUN this race.
Each loop starts off with a steep climb up stairs that a lot of people walk. After that, I can say the rest of the course is runnable for most people. I started running when I could and hiking when I needed to. Finally I had to stop and re-tie my shoes. When I put them on originally, I had my gloves on. A little bit later I came upon Aron, standing on the side of the trail, waiting for me. I told her not to wait for me, I wasn't going to run the entire thing. She looked at me for a second and said "okay" and took off. I told her to "go get 'em!"
this is NOT Aron
In the midst of all this beautiful single track, there was quite a bit of rolling fire roads. As soon as I saw this part, I was happy Aron had ran ahead of me. She is so fast on the road and I figured she would be doing well.
Being as slow as I am, I began worrying about how long Aron would be waiting for me at the finish line, in the cold. I will say though, for me, I was running very well. I walked much less than I usually do. But, when I looked at my pace running on the flatter sections, it was anywhere from 10:00 to 10:50/min. I know I'm good on the downhill portions but not good enough to make up the time I knew Aron would do. I was actually considering stopping after the first loop and waiting for her to finish. I was starting to think of excuses I could use. I completed the first loop (5.0 miles) in 54 minutes. Oh! That's not bad! Okay, I'll do the second loop. Thank God I did. Look at this beauty I would have missed!!
It was super foggy but the trails looked SO cool on the summit loop!
I thought I did a lot better on the summit loop but actually I was slower. But, on a high note, I did get some gorgeous photos, right?
When I came down the last portion of dirt trail, onto the short paved section, I could see Aron waiting for me by the finish line, holding both of our green bags with our extra clothes. She had changed into her dry clothes and greeted me with a HUGE smile and a wave. She looked very happy. I could tell she had a great run and that she had FUN.
I finished in 2:16, averaging 13:something/mile. Aron finished in 1:40something, averaging a 10 minute mile. Yup, she smoked it and she didn't really push it hard or make a great effort from the very beginning. I am very happy with my performance. I ran more sections than I normally would. I didn't hurt myself AND my knee was PAIN FREE once again! Whoot! I think these shorter distance races are good for me. Look at this, I can still get out and do PCTR events and see old friends. With a new friend. Who knew?
Life is good. Real good. ;)