Monday, January 12, 2009

Garin Garmin-Google Mapping on Motion-Based 36 Mile Solo Fat Ass Run

I had just finished working the 3rd of 3 straight graveyard shifts into the weekend, slept 4 hours and then stayed up on purpose to try to reset my clock and take advantage of the unusually mild weather with a Sunday afternoon hike at MLK Regional Shoreline in south Oakland, my older son riding his new Lightning McQueen bicycle and my younger one pushed around in the overpriced Kettler with the convenient back-saving handle.

The next day (Monday January 12th) was the true post nightshift recovery/off day. It would hit the low to mid 70's, unusual for January and a welcome warming after lows in the 30s the week before (which was warm compared the rest of the nation). I was determined to get a good run in. Hopefully more than 50k. A fat-ass training run of one. Me the only invitee.

I woke up not having decided where I'd run yet. North to the East Bay Municipal Utility District trails or south to the Hayward hills? By the time I got both of kids into the car and dropped off at their preschool/daycares, I decided to stay close by heading south. I parked my car at a park 0.3 miles from my younger son's daycare, regretted having brought perhaps my only pair of shorts without any pockets, grabbed my Ultimate Direction handheld and a squeeze bottle filled with powdered sports drink, and took off.

Whoops, forgot to lube.

Since this hasn't been invented yet, insufficient lubing would be a problem on a long run.

I circled back to the car for a 5 minute first split, lubed up with Aquaphor and tucked a small tube of it, then took off again. Through the Hayward Greenbelt, crossed some roads by Cal State Hayward (renamed a few years ago CS East Bay), then hit some unmarked and unmapped trails I'd found in the years I've lived nearby, leading into the north part of one of the lesser frequented gems of the East Bay Regional Park District, Garin /Dry Creek Pioneer Regional Parks (most people just call it Garin Park), which sits nestled above south Hayward, the heart of the Bay.

hiking up Newt Pond Trail in Garin with the family almost a year earlier; my older son made it without pleading to be carried.

I decided my goal for the day would be to run as many different trails as possible, and map them onto Google through the Motion Based website compatible with the Garmin Forerunner 305.

I usually pass through the Garin park while commuting 3 hours to the farther of 2 hospitals at which I work, so I'm usually bee-lining through it to keep the commute to 3 hours. It was fun and relaxing to deliberately choose longer, more circuitous routes, and to veer off on spurs that I knew would dead-end.

Because the only water of which I knew in the park was at the main entrance, and I carried only 1 bottle, I planned 2 large loops to the south, before heading back up north a different way out.

It was warm! So luckily it was balmy especially on the ridges, on which I enjoyed the beautiful views of the Mission Peak to the south, the bay and ridges of the Peninsula to the west, and Mount Tam and San Francisco to the north. (Too bad I didn't have a free hand for my camera.)

Heading down a single track, I saw a man taking a siesta on a large tree branch. His medium sized dog barked and then approached me growling. "Fido (real name changed to protect the dog's identity), stop that."


"C'mon Fido, get back here."

I get barked at and approached all the time by dogs running through these parks, and they're usually friendly, but this one, was not. I stopped.

"What's wrong with you, Fido? Get back here!"

What's wrong with YOU, you lazy asshole? The dog is just instinctively defending its territory. Get your ass up and hold your dog.

"Could you please control your dog," I politely ask him, still waiting. Finally lard-ass gets up and holds his canine's collar chastising his pooch. "I've been bit before" I mutter as I pass, the dog still growling.

Later on that loop, I took a short detour down a path I've never taken. It took me by a new garden that opened up last year. Bonus-- a drinking fountain? -- will make running long in this park less logistically challenging, since I really don't have to return to the main entrance to rehydrate, or go 99 minutes between bottle refills as I had today. I saw another path heading south out of the parking lot and followed it. No signs saying "do not enter" or "no trespassing." A man rode by on his horse and didn't say anything. More bonus-- I just found a way to replace a half mile of asphalt with dirt trail for my running commute to and from Fremont.

Here's the link to my mapped run.

I guess there's no way of telling from the linked map in what order I ran all the marked lines. But it was a great excuse for a long training run.....

I got back to my car 6:11 after my start, 5:58 after subtracting the lube and 5 bottle fill-up breaks, for 35.6 miles recorded miles (but the Garmin always undermeasures distance). The plan was to pick up the kids drive out to the 680 corrider where my wife works for dinner. I picked up my younger 0.3 miles away, then my older at his preschool, stopped by home to quickly wipe off and change some clothes (sorry, no time to shower-- kids waiting in the car in the driveway), then drove out.

We hit a playground.

Compare the above to that from my AR50 posting from last year. It was his first time on a swing and he wasn't so happy.

I'm so proud of my son.

Dinner was at a great fairly fancy Italian restaurant. But I was so hungry I might have eaten Spam. Luckily they didn't mind the kids, who had more energy than I did to make an acceptable ruckus. Sometimes my boys melt down and we have to doggie bag more than half the meal.

first published February 19, 2009


Eudemus said...

Very cool Mark. I discovered Garin a year or so ago and have run there on occasion. The Tolman Peak trail and Ridge Trail have some nice little climbs. I also like the bit of single-track in the north side of the park. Where was this new garden and water fountain you mentioned?

Mark Tanaka (Ultrailnakaman) said...

"This beautifully restored garden and cottage sits at the end of May Road off Mission Boulevard in Hayward" says the website. May Road is the continuation of Whipple Rd. east of Mission Bl. I think the parking is free. Before this the southernmost entrance was a little north at Tamarack up the hill, but all these signs there say no public parking for the park.

Jo Lynn said...

You are treading on my territory (Garin) now Mark! I'm out there most days of the week. I park at May Road all the time. Never knew that garden had a drinking fountain. But it isn't open every day either so honestly I haven't even been in there. Yup, I love that park. So many different loops to take. Lots of miles can be covered. Thanks for sharing your run.

Chihping Fu 傅治平 (超馬阿爸) said...

Nice report and run!

Perhaps you can hold a Fat Ass event for us. The park is really a gem. I and my family go there all the time. It does have some steep trails for runners and nice garden trails trails for my family.

Did you go to the trail with so many narrow bridges? This is my family favorite.


Lloyd said...

Sweet run! Gossip Rock is the spot.

When I visit, I usually enter at Tamarack, run up Dry Creek to the main park, loop the north towards Cal State, then return via High Ridge, loop Gossip Rock, and descend via Pioneer or straight down the hill.

Here in Ohio the biggest elevation is 300-400' max, so it's always a treat to run Garin in town.

Yeah, get in touch before Mohican and I can provide any info if needed.


kate said...

"I usually pass through the Garin park while commuting 3 hours to the farther of 2 hospitals at which I work, so I'm usually bee-lining through it to keep the commute to 3 hours."

is that running as you run to work? Very inspiring.