Consider a 12-mile run. Consider a major part of the run on a hill. And consider the hill to be the Stanford Dish. You will need all the energy you can muster to complete the run. And that’s what I did this Saturday, 29th July. I conquered the Stanford Dish trail!
The Stanford Dish trail is a beautiful trail, offering nice views of the Stanford and Palo Alto area. We started from the back side of the trail (from Alpine Road) and went all the way up to the dish. If you remember to look back while running up the hill, it offers a nice view of Portola valley. After we hit the dish, we took a right turn at the fork and ran along some rolling hills, before running downhill all the way to the front entrance at Junipero Serra Blvd. We saw some nice views of the Stanford campus on this trail. We then took the even more steeper trail up to the dish. If I thought the first uphill was bad, this one was much worse. I had to walk up a couple of steep slopes. After we hit the dish, we once again ran along the trail that overlooks Portola valley- this time downhill, back to the Alpine Road entrance that we started from.
By this time, we must have done about 7 miles. After this, we ran west along Alpine road. I was quite tired on this stretch, and was not quite sure why. I had tried my best to not “attack” the hills, but “massage” them, as our coach had put it. That should have left me with enough energy to finish off with a decent pace on the flat road. After running about a mile or so, I realized that all this while, Alpine road has had a steady upslope. No wonder! After I hit the turn-around point, I was quite charged up because I realized that the rest of the trail was a steady downhill, and I managed to finish up with a big smile on my face. I now have the Stanford Dish trail under my belt.
My timing for this run degraded a bit, but that was to be expected, considering the hilly course. More importantly, I managed to finish the run.