Amid a backdrop of economic slowdown abroad, the US kicks off the week quietly but then things ought to heat up. And let’s not forget the threat of another government shutdown (Nightmare on Elm St. Part II).
Economicalendar (all times are Pacific):
- Mon, 2/11: Quiet.
- Tues, 2/12: JOLTS (7am).
- Weds, 2/13: CPI (5:30am). Treasury Budget (11am).
- Thurs, 2/14: Jobless Claims, PPI, Retail Sales (5:30am). Business Inventories (10am).
- Fri, 2/15: Empire State Mfg Survey and Import/Export Prices (5:30am). Consumer Sentiment (7am).
10-Year Treasury History
- 2.66% Market Open
- 2.72% One Week Ago
- 2.71% One Month Ago
- 2.86% One Year Ago
Coastal Trails Golden Gate 50K
On Saturday I ran my first “ultramarathon.” The Coastal Trails Golden Gate 50K (that’s 31 miles for us non-metric folk and 33.6 miles for us looking-at-my-Garmin-Fenix5-running-watch-stats folks) was, to cut to the ‘being chased’, a tale of suffering the likes of which I have not felt in some time. Even though I would consider myself a “seasoned” endurance athlete as a result of 14 Ironman triathlon finishes and countless other long distance competitions, not much could have prepared me for the exquisite combination of distance, climbs and descents, cold rain and mud that I experienced on this glorious day. Now, granted, hardcore ultramarathoners will consider my journey here, and 50K itself, a dance among the daffodils, but when career and parenting conspire to allow you to run only 15 to 20 miles a week in training, giving a fat 30 miles a go elevates the term ‘Weekend Warrior’ to a whole ‘nother level.
Anyway, let’s get dirty. The race started at Rodeo Beach and despite the rainy forecast, the day could only muster breaking clear and cold. From sea level, there is nowhere to go but up and that’s exactly what we did, climbing the Coastal Trail past Battery Townsley and up over the ridge to then descend into Tennessee Valley — another awesome place for a nice hike. But again, today was not that day. From TV, we headed up the Fox Trail and then descended into the Pirate’s Cove loop, which is Marin coastal scenery at its best. The weather held nicely and the muddy, uneven steps out of the loop were manageable. By the time we were back on the valley floor we were about 10 miles into our day and ready to tackle the long, steady Marincello ascent towards Wolfback Ridge. I was hanging in on the descent to the Golden Gate Bridge but somewhere along the subsequent climb alongside Conzelman Road I started to feel the fatigue of 16+ miles setting in. But still, not even halfway there.
The Persians have a saying, “The drowning man is not disturbed by the rain,” and oh, did this prove to be true. On the long descent back to Rodeo Beach, the rain set in, the skies grew dark and it got cold. The two, short and steep insulting stretches along the Coastal Trail at the bottom of the descent were mud-choked runnels of Slip-and-Slide fun. And so it was that I returned to the start area again and headed back up the hill for loop two. But not after a very kind volunteer helped me pull a fleece hat out of my running vest and send me off with words of encouragement. One thing I learned while racing long ago? Don’t linger at transition points that come through any start/finish area. The temptation to bail is too great and it makes succumbing to such temptation much easier. In fact, don’t even look at the festivities. Keep moving.
I somehow managed to top out without too much pain. I even descended consistently and with gratitude, as for this loop we did not need to retrace the Pirate’s Cove section. Instead, we turned right back up Marincello and repeated the half marathon loop. It was on that descent that I realized my training-deficient legs had the endurance to run only about 24 miles and that the remainder of this day, if I was to complete it, would be a mixed bag of hiking the ascents quickly, running downhill gingerly on my shattered quads and then playing a game of mental poker comprised of the phantasmogoric next hands of psychological milestones I could soon reach before throwing in the proverbial sponge.
Just shy of 6 hours, I brought her in. My wife and son were there in the rain to greet me. Despite the self-inflicted hardships and what the author of this post might otherwise have you believe, this was a profoundly moving experience. And it was also an important step on the path to a larger goal. Like most such endeavors, it didn’t go exactly to plan and it was way bigger than myself. Part of what excites me now is the prospect of figuring out how to do it better. What seems daunting at this moment, will be the skill and ability I will possess later. And I will be better for having stuck with it.
Get there when you get there,
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