Monday, July 14, 2014

Angel Island Pre-run Hike

Yesterday, two friends and I took the ferry over to Angel Island in order to hike the route I will be running in August.

What I really wanted to do was ascertain the intensity of the elevation changes.  The profile looks moderate, but how steep are these inclines, really?

I'm so glad we did this hike, because I really gained a lot of useful information to enable me to have more effective training.  I felt like the inclines are very comparable to the ones I get in my county park.  However, I definitely need to work more on duration.  Running up hills is difficult enough; running up hills for over a mile is serious work.  What I can do is park in a different spot and enter the park on particular trail which will give me around 1.2-1.4 miles entirely uphill.

At least half the trail is very narrow (one person wide) which will make passing etiquette very important.  There are also many portions with dangerous footing--dirt trail breaking away from the hillside, tons of rocks to trip you up--and other running hazards like low-hanging branches and underbrush.  It will require a lot of focus to ensure my feet land in the safest spots and I lift my toes enough on each stride to avoid tripping.

I'm really looking forward to the mostly flat portion from 1.2 to 3 miles.  The fire road is wide, smooth, and open to wonderful vistas all around the bay.  I'll be able to relax and really enjoy the run, pretend like I'm flying even.  Also, overall, the terrain is very conducive to imagining being chased by, say, a Utahraptor, or pretending to be one myself.

(Image from Smithsonian)

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