Monday, March 26, 2012

Trail running in Muir Woods like an ape

Rise of the Planet of the Apes - Concept Art

Every now and then I like to beat my body to pulp with a good workout, take things a step further than I have ever before. This Sunday I did just that, in preparation now for Tough Mudder, which is described as a 10-12 mile endurance event obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie that are billed as “probably the toughest event on the planet". Whether or not the marketing hype is real, I need to train for it somehow. I started the day with bouldering until my hands couldn't take it anymore, working primarily on V2s and then I decided to try trail running at Muir Woods, on my own.

From I am mcgrof's smirking revenge

I had only tried trail running twice before and both times it was by mistake. One time I had gone climbing outdoors and finished climbing late, the hike to the routes we climbed was far from the parking lot so we had to get out before the sun set and before the park closed. Me being the only guy was tasked to carry the rope equipment and we booked it out of the park as fast as possible. It was fun. My neurons are failing me at remembering the other time but I do recall it being a mistake as well. This time I was actually intentionally trying trail running. I wanted mud, and hoped for rain.

From I am mcgrof's smirking revenge

I got tons of mud and a bit of rain, and a large unexpected set of tourists in my damn way. Why were all these folks coming to see the woods on such a cloudy day? Meh. I ran and ran, it seems only me and another person had the same idea. Tourists were nice and would make room for me as I passed, other times I scared folks as I jumped onto the floor as they were taking pictures. At one point I started feeling like one those apes from Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), specially since I forgot to wear deodorant. Plot Spoiler warning: in the movie the apes cross over the SF Golden Gate bridge and head over to Muir Woods to start their own lives as humans perish through some kind of self inflicted virus.

From I am mcgrof's smirking revenge

I felt great for the first maybe 3 miles, once I arrived to the Ocean View Trail, which was all uphill, I started accepting the fact that I was no ape. I tried running up all the stairs on Ocean View trail and quickly I started getting flashbacks of hiking up Vancouver's Grouse Grind during the 2011 Vancouver LinuxCon. Grouse Grind is considered mother nature's StairMaster (TM)... I gave in and walked quite a bit of the trail that had stairs, and started cursing apes away, and scaring even more tourists.

From I am mcgrof's smirking revenge

I made it up. I remember last time I tried hiking just the Ocean View I never even made it up, and this time I was trying to run through all the open trails. Funny how things work. At the top there is a large boulder, I wanted to climb it! No picture of the boulder though as tourists were rubbing themselves all over it as they rested on it. The view was... meh. But at least the sun was out. When in the woods though it was really chilly so I'm glad I brought a training jacket. Unfortunately the shirt I brought was cotton and with the training jacket didn't help much, nipple burn. Ouch.

From I am mcgrof's smirking revenge

All in all, I think it was about 6 miles. I really gotta get a pedometer, or something, this Google Maps trail thingy doesn't work so well at times. Not that far but I don't suspect Tough Mudder will require a crazy Grouse Grind like trail. I need to remember to get myself a CamelBak and something to snack on. All I brought this time was one measly Apple, not even water. Next time I'll come better prepared, wear deodorant and all. I'll tell my other fellow Tough Mudder buddies I signed up with (I think we have about 15 now) about the fun new trail, I hope they're up to go train there a few times. Its $7 for the day, $20 for the year pass. Trail running at Muir Woods was one of the funnest things I've ever done in a long time. I highly recommend it! Be sure to try it as an ape though.
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