Tom was taking a course this weekend in California, and I got to go along for the ride (run!).  Nothing makes me happier than trail running.  Running in crisp air, leafy mountains?  yes please!  It was every bit as good as I imagined it would be.

Day 1

No running yet – this was a day in San Francisco with Tom, to be enjoyed.  First stop in the pouring rain was breakfast at Dottie’s, then a wander around Union Square and a coffee with friend Mariko at the Market at the Ferry Terminal.  A walk to Fisherman’s Wharf, and we visited a great running shop, Fleet Feet, for me to buy some new trail shoes.  Cuz guess who forgot her trail shoes at home?!

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7 hours in San Fran.  Then zoooom in the rental car over the bridge to WALNUT CREEK!  Where Tom’s course was taking place.

 

Day 2

The excitement!  While Tom was learning, I got to play.  I hit the trails early, while the hills were still deeply hidden in dense fog.  It was wonderful.  I ran up and around the Diablo Foothills.  I was so, so happy.  I ran 11.5km through the trees, up the hills, through the mud, through the fog, across the top. See map of my run here, or let the pictures speak for themselves:

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The new trail shoes!

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This is me having fun, in case that’s not apparent.

 

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I was in heaven. Not exaggerating.

 

 

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Yeah, I did get a bit lost up there, but it was amazing.

Then I rushed to Oakland to meet my friend Mariko and her girlfriend Heather, and off we went (via huge breakfast) for some hiking up Mount Tamalpais.  Time for more pictures!

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Mariko leads the way

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One of the things I love most about trail running is feeling hot in cold climates.  Does that make sense? I’m one of the coldest people you’ll ever meet (hence moving to Florida!), but there is something about being active and working up a sweat when it’s cold outside that I just love.

 

Day 3

Trails again, this time the Redwoods Trail near Oakland, a 13km run up and around a densely wooded canyon and back down again, with 408m of climbing.  I have a thing about loops – I will always prefer to run a loop than an out-and-back.  My run, and some photos:

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This is running at its best! Through the Redwood trees.

 

I met Mariko and Heather for a coffee in Oakland at their local farmers’ market for a coffee and then headed back to the hotel, only to realise that Tom wouldn’t be done his course for another 4 hours.  Surely I wasn’t going to sit in the room and wait for him, was I, when I was in such a paradise of trails?  So back on went the running kit and my trusty OMM jacket and I headed off to Mount Diablo, the tallest mountain in the area at 3849′.

Mount Diablo, beckoning

Moment of truth:  keeping in mind I’d already done a decent run that day, and darkness would loom in around 3 hours… I didn’t start from the bottom.  Instead I drove up, white knuckled (I hate driving on mountain roads!), parked, and ran up to the summit, just 5km up and down but 307m of climbing in the ~2km up!  See the run here, or admire the view:

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An amazing weekend of trails.

Now trying to avoid thinking about the fact that I’m living somewhere with no mountains or hills…..

What’s your favourite type of run?

Weekly Roundup

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Total:  10h22

Swim:  2200 yards

Bike:  80km, 2h40

Run:  52km, 5h30

Ps, did you notice I finally got to the swimming pool this week?  That’s because I’ve signed up for another Half Ironman in January….

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2 Comments

  1. It was a great shop, but most of all the sales guy was fantastic – that’s the real key, isn’t it!
    California is amazing and I hope to get back there soon!

  2. Ah, I love the California redwoods! Fleet Feet stores are fantastic, too — there’s one where I grew up and it’s always a stop when I’m home visiting my parents.