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....