I started this day off thinking that I would stay at home, play some virtual boardgames, and rest up for a big run tomorrow.
Instead, I woke up to find that boardgames was cancelled (the host felt too hungover), we’d play tomorrow, so I’d have to run today!!!
So I started late. (But so late to miss a “practice” Zoom meeting that an older friend of mine, Ed, wanted to hold.)
Here’s what I wrote for this run (with a whole gallery of photos on Strava, per usual):
Last week I said I’d take this week off. I’d say I still took today off cuz today was more of a run-and-hike-when-I-feel-like-it day. 😊
For the most part, this run was fine (though not the best). I finally checked out the Lafayette Reservoir for the first time ever (though I’ll have to go back when the inner loop is open). I also finally satiated my curiosity about the backdoor trail connecting Sibley and Lafayette.
Unfortunately I’m not sure I’d add either to my rotation of places to go. I wasn’t expecting the Lafayette Reservoir Rim Trail to be as exposed (and breezeless) and dusty as it was. This made the day feel warmer, despite the overall cooler weather. It was also much more rolling than I expected! Some of these hills were actually kinda steep!
On that note… There were some people out there today who were definitely not prepared for this — I saw a woman crawling down a hill essentially on all fours, and some people who kinda seemed like they were struggling. And a handful of people who were surprised by the hills (including me!).
I also encountered a rather exhausted-looking family about 1.5 miles from the parking lot, who asked me if the Rim Trail formed a big loop. I told them that it did, but if they were to continue from there, they had another 4 miles to go (they decided to turn back, I think).
Of course, that stuff is easy to notice. There were also a lot of hikers who were well-equipped (lots of people with trekking poles, even), and lots of people who waved hello.
As for the backside of Sibley (and Siesta). Ughhhhh. Ok, these were all new roads that I had never run. Specifically, on my way out — instead of going straight down De LaVega Trail into Orinda last my last couple runs, I decided to take a right turn to go more directly down to Lafayette. On my way back, I also took much of the same trails/roads, but deviated slightly south to run through Sibley and Merriewood instead.
What I didn’t realize was just how suburban this side of the East Bay Hills are. I felt like I was running through some weird version of south Orange County, or a nice part of the San Diego suburbs (the houses generally had Spanish-style architecture). This is not my favorite. There was a lot of new construction too. Also not my favorite (don’t get me wrong, I want more housing to be constructed… just not sprawling single-family houses on what should be a nature preserve).
Somewhere in the maze of houses, I ran out of water with about 6-7 miles to go, and quite a bit of climbing left.
Unlike my 27-28 mile exploration runs the last 2 weeks, I didn’t have a single food or water stop today. 😬 So while I managed the 1L of water I did have pretty well (I think), I started to feel dehydration and heat exhaustion set in somewhere around Mile 15 (while I was on the Rim Trail). Perhaps I should’ve rerouted my return trip to head up to the Orinda Safeway (I was on Moraga Road after all), but I “stuck to the plan.” All in all, I’m actually a little surprised I didn’t bail, cuz I definitely considered it! 😆
As for what’s next, I dunno. It feels a little weird now that the end of the self-quarantine is in sight. These exploration runs were partly enabled by the “solo running” order! So in a way, I feel like I ought to cross as much stuff off my list as possible.
But I feel like I’ve explored a lot of that list now — at least in my casual running range (up to 30-ish miles). I might go back to some places that deserve more attention (like Huckleberry Preserve). Or I might start solo-biking more (yikes). Will have to think more about this tomorrow.
- I lost about 9.5 pounds of weight during this run. Compared to the last couple weeks (where I lost 8 pounds each), I was more dehydrated during and after this run. I could not drink water faster when I got home!
- I had to pad the run with an extra 0.6mi of out & back to round this out to 26.2mi. So I can say I’ve run 3 marathon-distance runs these past 2 weeks. 😆
- I called in take-out with about 1.5 miles to go. I did that last week, and thought I’d do it again. It’s so nice to have a treat to run toward, at the end 😄
- It’s possible that going through Sibley might be the more direct way to cross the East Bay ridge. There might also be less vert required. But it’s certainly not the funnest route, I think… I’ve got to analyze this later.