Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Rodney Dangerfield Run

PCTR Mt. Diablo 8K

I am about to go into a doctoratin' frenzy, trying to finish up papers and classes by June 28th. As a result, it's likely that I won't be doing much racing for the next few weekends-- maybe not even so much long running! (Gasp!) I was not excited about this turn of events-- I haven't been at a PCTR event since I volunteered at Diablo 6 weeks ago-- I was going through withdrawal!

I had a bunch of other social events planned for the rest of the day, so I had originally written off the possibility of doing any kind of a race on Saturday, but then Sarah suggested I run the 8K. The 8K???? Who runs an 8K? (Ok, so I've run lots of 5Ks, and quite a few 10Ks, so plenty of people run both of them, but lately? Not so much...) Plus, now I hang out with people who wouldn't even bother changing into their running shoes to do an 8K-- let alone drive for 30 minutes to do one.

BUT the race was going to be on Mt. Diablo, and as we all know, I'm in love with the big devil. AND I'd heard a rumor that the t-shirt design was going to be very cool, with RED in it. I love red and really don't have enough in my running wardrobe with that color, so I signed myself up and even talked a friend into running his first trail race with me!

We got to the start early so I could see all my trail peeps (yes, that IS how I think of them!). They were all running the longer races though (25 and 50K), and when they heard I was running the 8K, I got some interesting reactions. One person asked me why I was running the 25 and not the 50, and when I said "I'm running the 8K" she said "Oh. I don't know what to say to that." I did see Cynthia just before the longer races took off, and ran into Jo Lynn in the parking lot-- here is the pink trail brigade!

It was Jo Lynn who delivered the final insult as she headed toward the start line-- "Have fun on the baby race!!!" she yelled back at me. Um, thanks. As my friend pointed out later, the 8K was the Rodney Dangerfield of trail runs-- it didn't get no respect!

The 8K at Diablo is not a super-easy 8K. It's almost 3 miles of up and then around 2.5 straight down. Given that my knees weren't totally happy from last weekend, I probably shouldn't have been running on them, but I thought oh well, it's less than 6 miles, I'll be fine. The uphill was great-- my knees were doing fine and I was having a good time not worrying about saving myself, which I usually think about while on the beginning climbs of a longer race. As you can see from this picture, even though the trail never got up to the top of Diablo, you still ran surrounded by beautiful views.

Unfortunately, my knees were complaining on the downhill and I had to slow down a few times to stretch out and walk a few feet when it was too steep, but I had a great time running hard and was very happy I managed to get out and run a quick race before jetting off to a social-event filled weekend.

I missed not seeing everyone else finish though....


Jo Lynn said...

I was happy to see you yesterday. It is unusual for you to be running a baby race. Sorry, but it's true. But I'm glad you decided to do something yesterday instead of nothing at all. I always like to get a good run in before I go off and do some "social" event. I will miss seeing you for the next couple of months.

Drs. Cynthia and David said...

And what an excellent pace you set! Trail sprinting! If you can run well at short distances, you will be able to run well at longer distances too, and maybe not beat yourself up so much in the process (avoid injuries and all that).

I'm thinking I should have stopped at the 25 K. That mountain is just too hard for me. I really didn't want to DFL, but I felt bad blowing by the last runner, so I walked with him a bit and got him running again, and then he took off at the very end, leaving me to DFL! How fun is that? (not that it would have made more than a few minutes difference, it's just the principle of the thing...)


leinfellner said...

Glad you like Diablo! It is in my backyard now and I run there a lot! It was good seeing you at the race (and I missed having a beer with you afterward) - take care of yourself now and finish your work.
We'll see you soon again at the races,

209Mike said...

At least you were racing! I'm having PCTR withdrawls. Can't wait until Sequoia (better make sure I sign up this time). Good luck with your doctorate stuff (I need to know what stuff is - this is why I needed to run the rest of Miwok with you)

Rick Gaston said...

Haha, on the Pacifica race I've only run the 9k:) Don't let em push you around those crazy kooks. Was it Suzanne? The last time I signed up for a 25k she shook her head at me, mockingly of course. Oh those guys, well I would have thought the same thing had I been there and given you a hard time. Hey that's what friends are for right?

Samantha said...

that is SO true! the rodney dangerfield of trail distances. funny. i agree. i probably wouldn't get up early to put on shoes for 8k but now, after reading your report....well, maybe. :) i need more red in wardrobe as well and am a sucker for a cool shirt design. it was great chatting with you at Ohlone before you pulled away. hope your knees are recovering. will definitely need more practice on that course and would love the company so yes, i'll be in touch when i'm ready to face it again. :)