We finally got onto the trails this weekend and wow, what a butt kicking run it was. We headed out to Ross, which is about 20 minutes north of San Francisco, not too long of a drive, especially at 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday morning when the roads are empty. It was a chilly morning as the sun hadn’t fully broken through yet but pretty good running weather once we got started.
The mileage for the run was 7.6 miles but as I’m quickly learning, a mile on the road does not equal a mile on the trail. Not by a longshot. We began on a flat road and after a mile in, we entered a park and began running on trails and began climbing up, up and more up towards Lagunitas lake.
Side note, Lagunitas brewery is nearby and their IPA is one of my favorite beers.
Back to the trail. It had rained quite a bit the night before and I had expected lots of mud but the dirt is packed pretty hard up here and there was really nothing to worry about. Except of course the hills. There was around two miles of steady climbing and I’ve found it is better to just keep on motoring up, no matter how slow, than to stop and start walking. As coach Mama Lisa would tell us, “every biker will tell you the worst place to stop and rest is in the middle of a hill because it is so much harder to start up again from there.” And then when you do come up on a flat or downhill, you feel like you can fly.
The sun did breakthrough by the time I reached the turn around point 3.8 miles in. The trail had turned into a paved road although I didn’t see any signs of cars. There were some pretty views as we climbed higher but to be honest, the image that stands out to me the most is the packed, brown dirt on the ground in front of my as I put one foot in front of another and made my way up the hills. I’d look up and see the trail continue to climb without a break and disappear around a bend up ahead. Just one foot in front of the other and even though it felt like I was moving slower than a snail’s pace, I was surprised by how much progress I do make even when I think I’m dragging.
On the injury front, I’m still feeling my right achilles tendon but thanks to the help of Dr Sara LaMarch who showed up to our practice to help those of us who need it, it felt great during the run and even till now two days after. She taped me with Rock Tape from heel to upper calf and I don’t know how this stuff works but a few of us got taped up and we all benefited from it.
Next week’s trail run will be a bit longer and this time we’ll be in Pacifica. I still need to figure out how I’m going to carry water while I run. Seems like the team is split evenly into those who prefer hand held water bottles to those who wear a belt with water bottles attached. What I’d really like is to have a mule running alongside me then I could bring anything I wanted and not have to carry any of it. Boom.
Here is the trail route of the run we did in Ross.