I had back to back 25 mile training runs on the schedule for this past weekend. Since I had an early, 7+ hour shift covering the San Francisco Marathon for Ultra Sports Live.TV on Sunday, I moved the runs to Friday and Saturday.
Mount Tamalpais and Mount Diablo
Day One – Two base to summit climbs on Mount Tamalpais following Eldridge and Old Railroad Grade.
Day Two – Two base to summit climbs on Mount Diablo. The first climb to Mount Olympia and North Peak, the second climb to Eagle Peak and Mount Diablo.
Three Things I Did Right
- I wasn’t a hero the first day on Tam. When I finished I wanted to feel like I could turn around and go back up if I needed to and I did.
- Put a lot of thought into planning my two different loops on Diablo. Did the climb to North Peak first since there would be no access to water and the temperature a bit cooler. Did the climb to the top of Diablo second knowing there was water and the descent familiar so less thinking and navigating required at the end of a long day.
- Learned from my Sierra Azul experience and brought ice to use when we got back to the car to start the second loop.
Three Things I Learned
- I used my iPhone as a primary navigation tool using the Gaia offline app for the first time since the printable trail maps for Diablo that I could find online were terrible. It worked well but I still prefer a printed topo map.
- Losing hard-earned elevation due to rolling terrain when I could see the summit I had to get to above me did my head in.
- Mental fortitude or the lack thereof played a large role in how the second day unfolded. The physical piece was much less of an issue than the mental one.
Three Things I Would Do Differently
- Lower my expectations of how a run will go when three-quarters of it are a question mark. Tam, extremely familiar, vs. Diablo, practically unknown. I went into Diablo thinking it would be as straightforward as Tam when it was far from it.
- Signing up to cover the SFM for USL after two back to back summit days isn’t ideal. On the other hand, knowing that I could still be completely functional and in a good mood after all that is awesome.
- I lost my cool a few times during the second ascent up Diablo. I haven’t done that in a long time. I want to let those moments exist then pass with a lot more grace than how I dealt with it.