Anyway, that was yesterday. Today I did the Coastal Trail Runs Montara State Park Half-Marathon. The route is all up and down: from San Pedro Valley Park we set off on a semi-loop, semi-out-and-back up to North Peak, then back to the start area for the "10 km" loop to the east.
The official course profile is here:
Here's my Strava data. Interestingly, shortly after beginning my descent from the North Peak the altitude froze in the mid-400 meter range. The Edge 500 relies on an air pressure sensor getting access to the ambient air, and if the holes, which are on the back of the unit get plugged with water, then the pressure gets stuck at what it was when the holes got plugged. Most of the run was in cool rain, and I was fairly wet. I had the Edge strapped onto my sleeve with a Forerunner wrist strap. This works nicely, but the plastic strap combined with the 2-ounce computer is uncomfortable on my skin, so I like to strap it around long sleeves if I'm wearing them. The wet clothing likely plugged the air holes.
Garmin Edge 500 air holes, courtesy of DC Rainmaker
The run went well, considering how little training I've been doing. No acute pain, just fatigue. My biggest problem was descending from the North Peak, where the wet, rocky trail caused me to become very conservative about my footing with my light North Face trail running shoes and a generally low level of confidence in my agility. In places I walked slower downhill than I'd climbed uphill earlier.
But even on the gentle, nontechnical downhills of the 10 km loop I was too slow. Toward the end of the race I passed Cara, who was hiking the 10 km event. She said I wasn't gliding like the fast runners, instead braking with each foot stroke. This is normally considered an issue with heel striking, but I try to keep my foot from getting ahead of my body, so don't think that's my problem. Rather I may simply be slamming my foot into the ground too hard. I don't know: I just need to practice more. Today was my first extended downhill running in a year.
The uphills I find easier. I don't really run them but rather do more of a power-walk. This seems to work really well. While guys like Gary Gellin or Leor Pantalot make me look like I'm standing still, I'm still competitive in these events on the climbs.
Cara, by the way, had a really good day. Her report is here. A few blisters but otherwise she did great given she's coming back from back and knee problems. We both agreed on the rainy day Coastal Trail Runs had gotten us outside when otherwise we'd have been huddling indoors waiting for the rain to subside.