Monday, October 24, 2011

Back to running paradise: anti Rhus Ridge

18 hours on a plane (2 from Riyadh to Dubai and 16 from Dubai to San Francisco), 23 hours door to door, 30 hours bed to bed (including/minus 3 hours of sleep on the plane), what a trip... As much as I enjoyed this first experience in Arabia, and I feel I'm going to go back soon with all the banks and business over there, I'm glad to be back home, in this running paradise! I went for a 9-mile run before going to bed on Thursday evening, nothing better than that to reset your body and mind clock. The temperature was 78F which some people would find high for late October but that felt almost chilly after running in 100F in Riyadh!

On Saturday, I slept in and missed our monthly Rhus Ridge run. I decided to still go but run the loop anti-clockwise to give me an opportunity to see a few familiar faces. Indeed, in Palo Alto's Foothills Park, I met David, Craig and Ed then, later, Chris G. then, 10 miles later, Chuck, at the top of Black Mountain, and Lee and Winnie as I was approaching Windmill Pasture in Rancho San Antonio Park. I ran solo but it turned out to be quite a social run after all. On Bella Vista trail up to Black Mountain, I actually met Gayla whom I've not seen for maybe 4 or 5 years. As I was getting acquainted with ultra running 6 years ago, Gayla was always running with Charles (Stevens) and she was a diligent participant in our Saturday morning long runs. Unfortunately, it was at that time that her knees started bothering her to the extent that the frequent cortisone shots were not even a solution to the pain. It was great to see her trotting down the trail and learning that she follows me on my blog with assiduity.

The weather was amazingly wonderful. I know this is kind of a strange juxtaposition, but it was actually hard to believe as we approach the end of October: pure blue skies, temperature around 80F (28C), some breeze, trails in perfect conditions, no sand/dust pollution. Speaking of pollution, my lungs were actually complaining and somehow irritated as I started the run, still recovering from the dust I must have inhaled in Riyadh in particular. Fortunately, after Thursday and Saturday runs, they were not bothering me on my Sunday run, phew!

Going anti-clockwise on our standard Rhus Ridge loop, I ran 29.5 miles at an average pace of 8:50 min/mile.
On Sunday, the weather was still perfect and I ran up to the top of Montebello Road, adding the Waterwheel Trail loop as a bonus for a total of 21.7 miles at 8:35 min/mile with stops at every creek crossing to cool off. Yes, a warm October and still creeks running, I told you, this is running paradise! With that, I ran 170 miles since Firetrails 50-mile and I'm averaging 63.6 miles/week since January 1, slightly ahead of my 62.1 mile/week (100 km/week). And, with such a weather, there is no excuse not to keep up with this goal!

No picture on this post (I covered this Rhus Ridge run several times already, for instance in this post with a link to a photo album), but I'm adding maps of my runs in Dubai, Riyadh and Manama to my previous post.

Have a good week and take care especially if you don't have the same luck as we have in the Bay Area with the weather...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sûr que, même si tu dois souvent aller en Arabie pour le boulot, tu n'es pas prêt de quitter "ton" paradis!!!