I've been thinking since I first set up and ran the Dumbarton Loop FKT course that I should be able to run it faster, under 7 hours anyway. It's "winter" in the Bay Area, temperatures are excellent for running, with dodging rain and wind as the biggest issue. Despite a rainy forecast and not knowing for sure how the dirt trails along the bay would be holding up, I was again in "what the heck" mode.
Funny thing was that this was the first time I was chasing an actual time for an FKT. And it was my own time I was chasing. One of these days I'll tackle something I have less confidence in accomplishing. On the other hand, I ran reasonably well the first time around the Dumbarton FKT loop, so this wasn't a gimme. Today I ran and kept on running, tried to keep from slowing too much, kept my stops short, and was really happy I didn't have to push at the end to make it. My legs are really feeling the effort (and the pavement) afterward!
A lovely morning at the corner near Target on 1st Street (and it didn't take long to realize that I was wearing too many layers once I got started running):
Lots of recent rain means a full Guadalupe canal:
A rainbow! I followed it for a couple hours, finally realizing I needed to take a picture of it. I was committed to spending less time taking photos today, but this was camera worthy:
Double rainbow, with a reflection in the water, making me smile:
The dirt trails were in great shape, kudos to the builders and whatever material they used. It was slightly slippery in one short section but for the most part really easy running (much better than other types of Bay Area mud, for sure).
Onto pavement for the duration, the path toward Shoreline Lake:
Possibly the best view I've had of the Dumbarton Bridge from here, with sunshine lighting it up, darker skies behind it, and clear air from all the rain:
And more good news! The San Francisquito creek trail and Friendship Bridge are finally open, yay! No more detour needed. I filled my bottle at the Baylands Athletic Center bathroom, happy to save a little time vs. my Starbucks stop last time. The new trail, with geese for company:
It's quite a nice bridge they have built:
I continued up the trail, through this S-turn:
A short way past, here's the exit onto Weeks Street - there was quite a bit of water in the parking lot today, but also a way to tiptoe around the giant puddle on the grass. And the rainbow magic continues!
Starting up Dumbarton Bridge, the only significant (and it's only slightly significant) elevation gain of the route:
It started raining off and on while I was on the bridge, so I mostly kept the camera put away for the rest of the run.
My legs were not exactly pleased to continue running on sidewalks, at a faster pace than I normally ask, for this many miles. Good training. Also, I really wanted to break 7 hours so I could call it "good" with this loop.
The final break, at the convenient store at Cushing/Fremont (water from the bathroom, dark chocolate Kit Kat from the shelf):
Motor on, motor on, listen to a couple podcasts to pass the time, happy I'm not getting a full-on headwind while running south. Check the watch, still good for time, keep running, almost there...
Yep, solidly broke 7 hours (6:36), glad that's over!
Yay for no major downpours, excellent weather, and for the variety of running options in the Bay Area!
FKT page for the loop: