7:48 PM 09 August 2008 at Malibu Creek State Park (Bulldog Trail)
After we arrived in Los Angeles from San Francisco, I told my son that I will be running again the Bulldog Trail at Malibu Creek State Park next Saturday (09 August 2008) and will try to simulate the racing condition by starting earlier in the morning. I requested him to bring me to the said park and just drop me there to be fetched at lunch time.
Almost one week after finishing the San Francisco Marathon, I was back at the Bulldog Trail. After preparing for my things (water, electrolytes, GUs, and protein bars) and eating a light breakfast, we left the house at 7:00 AM and due to the traffic at Highway 10 West and at the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH), we reached the park at 7:45 AM. I started my run immediately after getting out of the car.
I could see that there were hikers and runners about to start and preparing their gears at the vast parking area. The temperature was already at high 60s and the sky was clear without any clouds and I could feel that the temperature is about to get higher.
As I started my run, I planned to start slowly as I was using a 2.1-liter CamelBak Hydration (additional 5-6 pounds of weight) and thought of running the 25K loop twice if I still have time before my son’s schedule to pick me up at the entrance of the park.
I started my run with the pace of 6:40 mins/km where the road was plain and wide and after 2 kilometers, I reached the portion of the creek where the trail is only good for one runner and I started to slow down my pace to 7:10 mins/km. After I left the portion of the creek, the road started to go uphill and I tried my best to continue taking those small steps while jogging and I was successful until I reached the intersection of Crags Road and the start of Bulldog Trail.
I passed by a lady runner who was talking to other two hikers who had a dog with them. The lady followed me as I was going up at the Bulldog Trail and she started a conversation by telling me that she’ll be on my back following my steps!. I slowed down as I was trying to catch my breath and could hardly talk to her. She ran beside me and we started a brief conversation. I found out that she will be running the Bulldog Trail Run and I told her that it will be my first trail run race and this run was my second time to practice. I told her that I got so many wasted time during my first run because I got lost tracing the trails included in the 25K loop. We spent at least 3 minutes chatting while we were running uphill and she introduced herself as Dianne. I guess, her age could be in the mid or late 40s. I introduced myself as the Bald Runner from the Philippines. She offered help by telling me that she will try to lead me to the whole loop. Sensing that I could not keep up with her faster pace, I told her to just go ahead and maintain her pace. She answered back that she was going ahead and wait for me at the top of the trail/mountain. I think this is the most polite way of telling me, “Get lost, Bald Runner!” Hahaha!
After one hour and 5 minutes of continouos slow running uphill, I passed by an Asian woman walking alone on her late 20s and I didn’t bother to talk to her and I just waved my hands while I continued my run. After a few meters, I started to brisk walk and I saw two guys ( a Filipino and a white guy in their 20s) at the side of the road standing and resting. We greeted each other and I thought that they were waiting for the Asian lady whom I overtook. The Filipino guy overtook me at the peak of the Bulldog Trail but he stopped after a few meters. From the peak of the Bulldog Trail, there was no Dianne on sight and I started to go downhill along the Moreno Trail and on my way to the Corral Canyon Trail.
As I was going downhill, I met two ladies who were brisk walking towards the peak of Bulldog Trail and they were wearing running attire as if they are Olympic track & field athletes (very short compression shorts & mid-rib long tight shirts). I greeted them “Good morning” and waved my hand and they responded with the same greetings! Before I was about to reach a part of a cemented highway beside the Corral Canyon Trail, I passed by two Asian guys (Chinese) walking with CamelBaks & “walking sticks” on each of their hands.
I tried to control my pace in going downhill towards rhe end of the Corral Canyon Trail because I was starting to feel some pain on my legs. However, I reached the Comfort Room Building at the end of the trail with a time of 2:50 hours and I felt strong. However, my GF 305 started to register a “low battery” warning and it died down.
I tried to locate Tapia Trail which is indicated in the map of the 25K route as the last trail before reaching the starting area at the Malibu Creek State Park but the trail was full of overgrown plants with branches covering the trail. By forcing my way to these trails back to the Malibu Creek State Park, it caused some scratches on my long-sleeved shirt and the trail ended into a wired fence and had to go back to the Comfort Room Building. I just walked and frustrated not being able to locate the said trail.
As I reached the Comfort Room, I saw the Filipino guy who just arrived and said to me, “You made it..Good job!” I said, “yes, thanks, you made it, too!” I asked him if he knows where the Tapia Trail is so that we could be back at the starting area. He answered that it was also his first time to run the trail and the only way to go back to Malibu Creek State Park was on the Las Virgenes Road. And then two tall white guys arrived and they just finished the run. The two guys took time to fill their water jug at the Comfort Room and we had a brief chat and I found out that the Filipino guy will be running the 25K while the two white guys will be running the 50K and they were glad to know that I will be running the same distance.
The two white guys and I decided to run along the Las Virgenes Road towards the entrance of the Malibu Creek State Park and I started running ahead of them while they brisk walked. The shorter guy overtook me when I was almost 200 meters away from the entrance of the park and he was very fast and strong!
I finished one loop of the 50K distance in 3:03:15 hours with a distance of 25.3 kms. I really wanted to run some more as I had still at least one hour to spare before my son’s schedule to pick me up at the park but the temperature was too hot already and I could feel some pains on my leg muscles. I decided to have my cool-down and post stretching exercises. I hydrated myself and took some more GUs and power bars which I programmed to be taken during my second loop run.
It was another nice trail run for the week.