Sunday, January 27, 2008

Lake Chabot Regional Park - 21 Miles

It's been a while since I had an adventurous run so I guess it was bound to happen. I slept in this morning and watched highlights of the Boston Indoor games when I got up, which wasn't over until 2PM. I drove out to Lake Chabot afterwards, the first time I've ever went on a run on East Bay. It was about a 35 minute drive and I didn't start my run until 3. There's a 12.5 mile loop going around the Lake and I figured I would run that and add on a few more miles to make it 16. I went out on the west side of the lake first and followed Goldenrod trail, which I thought would take me all the way around. I realized later that after about 5 miles I should have made a turn onto another trail. Instead I continued on the same trail and for a long time I thought I was heading the right way. I even decided to add on an extra 3.5 miles by doing an out and back on another trail, instead of adding on at the end of the loop. I finally figured out that something went wrong about an hour and a half into the run when I reached the end of Goldenrod trail and had only the option of heading back. I turned around and kept trying to figure out where I could have possibly taken a wrong turn. I was hoping that I wouldn't be too far off the right trail since I knew how long this run would end up if I just went back the same way. I got the bad news when I came across some guy and asked him what would be the shortest way to get back to the lake. His reaction was priceless. He kept saying that the lake was really far away and was shocked that I was trying to run there. I didn't even tell him that I had already been running for about 13 miles. It was a bit shocking to realize that this would turn out to be a 20+ mile run and I had another 7 or 8 to go. It was starting to get dark but fortunately I made it back in time before it was completely dark. I hadn't eat much all day, just a cup of coffee, some yogurt and a granola bar so I was getting pretty hungry. I thought my legs would give up after all these miles on hilly terrain but I held on fine, making it back to the car in 2.5 hours. I actually managed to keep a decent pace the entire time and I think calling this 21 isn't too far fetched, making this my longest run ever. Until I realized that I had gone the wrong way I was really enjoying the run. The trail was paved for about the first two miles but was pretty nice after that. It was a bit muddy but nothing too bad. There was a good amount of hills but only a few steep ones and mostly rolling. The park connects to the north with Antony Chabot park, which connects to Redwood Regional park so there's a lot more miles of trails in the area to explore.

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