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Attacking that mountain like an addict, I’m up there for the radio static- my mission, to kill in competition.  San Bruno Mountain was scheduled again, and I only have to do it one more time, then I begin a course review of all 8 trails I’ve run up to now, peaking with this one and then descending back down.  It will be interesting to see how my race at Salt Point is going to converge with this training.  I think I gotta plan.

Feeling more intrepid than usual today, always on a budget, I thought I would try to suss out where I could pick up the fire road to the Ridge Trail.  I was just on Guadalupe Canyon Parkway, and decided to go and find Old Quarry Road.  I did a loop around the Brisbane business parks, and noted that absolutely no parking is allowed on the street.  Probably to prevent the hippies from camping out.  I did a total loop and ended up finding it.  Up a road to a pull out and there was the trail head denoting I was in County and State Park land without having to pay $5 for day use.

So I park my Contour at this turnout in front of the heavy gate barrier with all the trail prohibitions marked in pictographs and knew I was in the spot that would take me up to the gate on the Ridge Trail that I scouted on Monday.  I didn’t know how far it would be up to the Ridge, assumed it was a mile but it was straight up hill.  No sense in trying to run that, if I were more mathematically inclined, I would try to determine the angle, but it looked like an aggregate 60*.  I took precautions, because of my malady, I need to be protected from the sun, long sleeve loose fitting NF tee, and tights.  I wore my Adidas Kanadia Trail shoes because I really felt as if the Adi Zero XT’s underperformed and I’m going to see about shipping them back.  Giants’ Visor, Nike Shades.  It was steep going on this coarse quarry gravelled road.  I tried to stay to the dirt packed trail on the ridge, but it kept running out.  Eventually I got to the gate at the top, ran a few 100 feet and discovered the 1 mile marker.  Incidentally, it was .97 mile from where I parked at the trail head.

Had to stop and check my distance on my GPS unit, RunKeeper, take some self portraits and panoramic views.  Then I’m all cool, run to the Summit Loop Trail.  Crows were being considerate and tagging along and alot of the time I was running in the wake of butterflies, hummingbirds zinging in and out to keep a diversity in my periphery.  It was hot and bright on the Ridge Trail, but I could see the Radio Towers atop the Summit swathed in Daly City fog, so knew that once I got on the Summit Loop Trail I’d have some respite from the intense sun.

The single track of the Summit Loop Trail made me glad I went fully covered as the trail is lushly overgrown and encroached upon with thorny blackberry.  Nice to be in the cool drifting fog coming down off the Summit and knowing that this is all single track downhill.  I passed an older gent trail running in a Giants’ fishing cap and got passed by a trail runner behind me, with longish dark brown hair wearing black shorts and a black tank who was loping along the downhill without braking.  Observing his downhill stride made me aware of my own and how I was approaching my downhill technically.  In preparing for the gravelly downhill of the fire road I was conscious of planting and propelling with power.  Wasn’t so worried that he was so much faster than me, because this is a training mountain, however, because I’m focusing on it so much here, realize I was kind of miffed.  Just remember, I’m running my own race.

Got down to the bottom at the Magic Tree, hugged and kissed her for a moment and let her listen to some disEmbowelment through my headphones that was playing on my Shuffle.  Crossing Radio Road, I could see the dark haired, dark clothed runner loping along the other side of the Parkway on the Saddle Trail.  I continued through the Eucalyptus Grove, but got distracted and foraged for ripe blackberries on the side of the trail.

Realized then that it wasn’t so important to run all out and run so hard.  My focus on running this week, because of my ailment, is to reduce stress.  So I looked at the slope of the mountain and how on this side protected from the harsh overhead sun of the East Ridge and with the fog from the Ocean flowing down into it it is overly lush with vegetation.  Got up to the Summit again and began the Ridge Trail, powering downhill and walking when I wanted to.  At the fire road, realized it would be not only ridiculous but also dangerous to try and run down to my Contour.  I really took my time observing, exploring and even so, did slip a few times just walking down the side of the mountain.

When I checked my stats on my phone at the end I was a little surprised that it was a total of 8.37 miles.  There really is no need to go up the fire trail again.  I’ll pay the $5 bucks and just do a decent 6.5 miler starting from the top of the Mountain.

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