Sunday, September 13, 2009

For every uphill there is a down...

Today I ran the Quicksilver Half-Marathon. I just found out about it a few days ago, and thought it sounded like a lot of fun. The starting line is only about 3 miles from my house, and the entire run is on trails. I have been wanting to explore Quicksilver park more, but have been afraid of getting lost (it is huge with many trails). Also there are frequent mountain lion sightings there, which is not something I am anxious to come across. I knew it would be hilly, but figured this would be a great opportunity to explore the park safely.

I had no idea what to expect for a time. Because the run is all trails and hills, I knew I would be much slower than my usual. Since I did my last half in 2 hr 2 min, I was guessing about 2 1/2 hr for this run.

The run took off, going uphill. The first 4 miles were completely uphill without much of a break. I found the first 10 minutes the most difficult, than I fell into my groove, steadily making my way up. The scenery was stunning. Almaden was a mining town many years ago, and many of the mining structures and buildings are a part of the park. There was incredible views of all of San Jose to enjoy as well. After the initial 4 miles up, there was a stretch of some downs and flats, and small rolling hills. Then we were hit at mile 9 with another long, unrelenting uphill. Not having done this trail before, I had no idea how long it was going to last. Every turn I made I kept expecting to see it flatten out, only to see it continue. It lasted a little over 2 miles, but at that point in the run, it felt like an eternity!

The last 1.5 miles was downhill to the park entrance. While going downhill is easier, it has it's own challenges as well. My back was killing me!

I purposely did not wear a watch because I did not want to feel pressured to push myself on this type of run. I was pleasantly surprised to come in at 2 hr 15 minutes!

It was a difficult run, but I loved it! Trail running is for me. The trail runners were a small, more intense, slightly quirky group of people. This was a very small race-- I am guessing around 150 or less (probably less). There is a Quicksilver 25K in May, which I can't wait to do. There is also a 50 miler, but I will NOT be doing that! (I checked out the finishing times for this online just to see how long it takes. The times ranged from over 6 hours to over 12 hours. 6- 12 hours! The only thing I want to do for 6-12 hours straight is sleep)

Click on the above map where it says "view full screen". You can then click to see the elevation and course.


Suzanne said...

I am SO impressed!

cardiogirl said...

Way to go, Michelle! You are inspirational, but I enjoy your running success vicariously. It's much easier on my knees that way.

Um, 50 miles?! I would totally impress myself if I were able to do that, but I truly don't think my body could handle 12 hours of intense exercise.

Probably a good idea that you sit that one out.

Katie said...

Awesome run! Hilly is such a mixed bag. The uphills are hard, but I hate running downhill too. My back and knees kill me!

Sounds like such a great race. I love smaller races. Trails are nice too as long as they're not like this Wapack Trail Race. Some of my co-workers ran this race and it's like a mountain hiking trail! One of them even got lost! Crazy, crazy, crazy...

Anyway, congrats!