I got a pretty early start today, getting out of bed at 5:30a to do the last long training run before the big race. Hit the trail at 6:45 with a plan to do the O50K course for 13-ish miles, then turn around and retrace my steps.
It was a lovely morning, with cool air and a warm breeze that was a bellwether for the warm day that was to follow. My plan was to take it really easy so that I could cover the full distance without falling apart.
The first 4.5 miles up Mission Peak were an exercise in restraint, but I kept telling myself that it was all for the best. Got to the top in 1:20 and felt like I hadn't done anything, so mission accomplished there.
As I was turning onto the trail that leads down to Sunol, I spotted another runner with a hydration vest. Likely another O50K crazy, so I chatted him up. Ends up he's run the race before, and has now moved on to 100 milers. Super nice guy, we chatted all the way down to Sunol where he was going to turn around.
After filling up our water and parting ways, I continued on the O50K trail. It was still springtime-beautiful out there, with many wildflowers blooming and the grass green for the most part. Over the Rock Scramble, then through the gate to the Backpack Area and its steep climb (23% grade). I got to the other end of the Backpack Area, and decided this is where I'd turn around. My GPS said 14.0 miles at that point.
Back down to Sunol, refilled water again, and up the long steady climb back to Mission Peak. Up to about mile 23 I was feeling awesome -- strong legs and clear head. That feeling mostly continued to the end. My measure of mental clarity is whether I will pick up litter on the trail -- that continued all the way to the end of the run, and I kept a reasonable running pace to the end too. Back down the steep slopes of Mission Peak and another half mile to the car, and here we are.
Stats: 27.8mi, 7300ft climb, 1800 calories food, 300oz water, 3lbs net loss bodyweight.
Here's what 1800 calories looks like: (yep, I'm a huge fan of Honey Stinger products!)<center>
I'm pretty sure these legs have another 3 miles in them for the big race on May 19!