11 March 2012

Hornitos-Indian Gulch 10 Mile Race

Last night I decided to go out and do this run.  I needed to run ten miles anyway.  I thought that I could practice hitting race pace.

Of course the race coincided with Daylight Savings Time going into effect. I woke up at 5 am which is really like 4 am to drink my coffee and do my reading.  But after the 3 am wake up for Big Sur, this doesn't faze me.

In the early morning, I posted this on Facebook: Heading out shortly for a ten mile race in the foothills. I have a FANTASTIC chance of being last since only very serious runners will drive out to Hornitos.

Finally got dressed and did a triple check that I had everything.  I'm on the road when I realized that I hadn't eaten anything.  Fortunately for me, I realized this before I left town and was able to find a Starbucks for a scone.  With scone in hand and with music on the radio, I left the city limits and started my drive to the middle of nowhere.   

It was a beautiful drive.  It seemed like I was the only one traveling those back country roads into the foothills.  I also had to stop when I crossed over the Merced River to take some pictures.  

Merced River

Quiet and beautiful
At this point, I'm glad that I came just because of the peacefulness of the drive.  I realized that I need to take the Vespa out here one day for a getaway.  

Hornitos Road led to the little ghost town.  I got a prime parking spot, registered, and then returned to the warmth of my car to spy on the other runners getting ready.  Lots of the quintessential serious upper middle class runner types.  

The race director, in telling us about the course, prefaced his comments with "I know most of you have run this course."  This concerned me because people who know me know how much I am uncomfortable with NOT knowing something.  Luckily a friend was there and he told me that I couldn't get lost.  

Then the race director presented a plaque to a couple who had run nearly all of the 36 running of this race.  They were quite elderly; the gentleman had a cane.  What warriors!  I hope that I am still active in thirty years!  

Finally we are off.  
  1. We head out onto Hornitos Road.  Lovely road.  Nicely paved.  Wide.  Lots of room.  
  2. At mile 1, the two milers turned around to head back.  The crowed thins.  I see kids and make a note to drag my boy out here next year.  
  3. We turn onto Indian Gulch road.  I'm horrified by the state of this road.  Hilly and woefully potholed and cracked.  I'm likely to injure myself.  I glue my eyes to the ground and find the safest path.  
  4. Around mile 2, I'm regretting my arm warmers because it feels too darn warm.  
  5. Around mile 2.25, I realize my shoe is untied.  Curses.  I have to tie it.  A blonde passes me who is probably in my age group.  She looks late 30s.  
  6. At mile 2.5, the five milers make their turn around and the crowd in ridiculously thinned.  I'm caught up to the blonde.  It is really just the two of us out there.  
  7. Some man runner passes both me and the blonde; I care not.  He is a man.  
  8. The lead runner passed me right about when I hit 3.75 miles.  He ended up winning in like 1:02.  Fast.  
  9. I start counting runners who are ahead of me.  
  10. This counting reveals that there are 8 women ahead of me including the blonde.  
  11. I pass the blonde at the five mile turn around.
  12. I pass the man who passed me earlier at the same turnaround.
  13. I pass no one else for the remainder of the race.  And no one passes me. 
  14. I count people behind me.  I think I counted four of five.  Smallest race ever.  
  15. The entire way back I fight an incredible headwind.  I hate life.  I wish I had stayed in my flat little valley city.  
  16. I finish in 1:44:45 ish.  A little slower than my half-marathon goal pace, but not too much off.  Considering my intense concentration on the bad road and fighting the wind and the hills, I think that I may be able to hit my goal in two weeks at the Oakland Running Festival.  
Running in the middle of NOWHERE!
A little hillier than I expected.  
Breakfasted at the post race shindig.  I hoped that maybe being the 8th woman, I might have eeked out a 3rd place for my age group.  No such luck.  Oh well. 

At least I wasn't last. 
At least I didn't injure myself. 
At least I feel more confident for Oakland. 
At least I had cake waiting for me at home.  

The cake for which I ran

1 comment:

  1. #15 cracks me up. I'd run for that cake too.