Monday, January 19, 2015

... Ready to Hope

When I started running longer distance again last fall, I loosely targeted Brazen's Summit Rock Half-Marathon in the Santa Cruz Mountains in December. The race date coincided with a neighborhood half that I would've otherwise supported (Walnut Creek Half), but its course was underwhelming (up and down the same major throughfares we use everyday).  

But we wants adventure, my precious. To Summit Rock! To dirt trails and dappled sunlight under redwood forest! This was the finish:

The best/worst feeling. This one was tough. To finish, all routes descended a technical single-track that was covered with forest debris from the Great 2014 HellaStorm that past the day before. It was cold and it was wet. And if you took your attention off the trail for a moment, you were a goner. 

In this pic, my left calf was cramping up and the only way I could finish was to keep it extended, limping across the line. I was so tore up, I didn't even notice the guy next to me.

Anyhow. I don't know what I was thinking when I started trail running in late fall with the weather worsening. It's tough to get up for a long training run when it's in the 30s or 40s and the sun stays low on the horizon. But these scenes make it worth it:

 Shell Ridge

Eagle Peak from above Deer Flat, Mt. Diablo

Mt. Diablo and Las Trampas Ridge from Rocky Ridge

 Pt. Pinole eucalyptus grove

Mt. Tam from Pt. Pinole