Monday, October 13, 2014

October Trails + other stuff

It's been literally years since I went on a proper trail run, so I was super excited to join Jen, Cathryn, & Jess on Jen's birthday trail run in Hayward. We've actually tried to get a trail run in together several times this year, but inevitably it seemed like every time a day worked for everyone else, I was out of town or had some other commitment. This fall has been weekend after weekend of traveling, football games, & weddings, so I was thrilled that this past Saturday worked out.

We met up at Jen's place Saturday morning, then carpooled over to the Ramage Peak trail head in Castro Valley.

Layla, Kristen, & Baby E also came along to hike

It took a few minutes for my Achilles tendons to warm up to the constant rolling hills and my ankles to get used to negotiating rocks and uneven terrain, but it wasn't too long before I settled in and was able to appreciate the scenery. The trail was gorgeous, a mix of picturesque autumnal woods, gently, rolling single-track through grassy fields, and stunning East Bay views.

Originally our goal was to run for about an hour out and an hour back, but about fifty minutes I rounded a corner and nearly smacked right into a big black cow standing in the path.

It turns out that getting taken by surprise by a cow is more disconcerting than you might think. I think I leapt back and shrieked "OH MY GOD THERE'S A COW" so fast that everyone else was pretty sure I was about to say 'cougar' (which we'd also been warned about).

Rather than try to convince the cow to move or go running past it for the sake of another mile or so, we turned back early for a grand total of ~6 miles.

Back at the trail head, we celebrated Jen's birthday with cupcakes, then headed off to brunch.

We figured EBMUD might appreciate our using imaginary candles, given the insane drought / fire season we're in the middle of.

A proper post-trail run breakfast :)

Because you have to be a bit careful about the footing and because some of the inclines were on the steep side, hitting the trails was a nice way to get in nearly two hours of easy running at the lower effort I've been trying to focus on.

WEEK OF 10/6-10/12

    * 20 miles, all easy
    * 3 x 45:00 strength workouts, plus a SHITE tonne of mid-run single-leg squats. (More on that when I get the RunSafe post together.)

Monday: a.m. strength work / p.m. RunSafe

Tuesday: 8 easy

    I think Tuesday will eventually be my longer goal marathon pace/effort day, so that is where Coaches Tom & Ashley started plugging in extra miles as I gradually increase my running. Still taking it super easy for now, so time-wise this was more like what a 10 miler would usually be for me, which made me feel extra productive.

Wednesday: a.m. strength work / p.m. karate Big fat nuthin'

    I failed to get up on time & then karate was cancelled due to a lack of quorum, so Wednesday ended up being an unplanned rest day.

Thursday: a.m. strength work / p.m. 6 easy

    Again, with the failing to get up. But I ran! And you guys, I never been so happy to see the fog rolling in over Twin Peaks. Yes, it was super windy, and cold enough that I actually wore a long-sleeve shirt & didn't regret it, but I WILL TAKE IT after a week of going sports-bra-only and still feeling like I was going to melt into the pavement.

Friday: a.m. strength work / p.m. football

    Because, football.

Saturday: 6 trails

Sunday: a.m. 11 long

    I was bummed to miss my long run this week, but we had a crazy amount of stuff to take care of before trekking out to Livermore for a friend's wedding that afternoon/evening & the only way I was going to get this one in was if I got up at 5 a.m., which was just not going to happen this week.

Goals for next week include breaking 30 miles for the week & a 2 hour+ long run. Oh, and getting the RunSafe post up.


  1. Awww. This makes me wish I still lived in the Bay Area.

    1. Come run trails with us the next time you're here!!!!

  2. I agree that trails are a really good way to get the slower, easier runs in without it feeling like a chore. And when I was running a lot of trails in 2013, it was the longest time I had ever gone without an injury.

    Good seeing you!

    1. You too!! I would love to do more trail running if I can squeeze it into the weekends. There are still a few here in SF I've still never made it out to, so hoping I can get out there soon. :)

  3. My college roommate was from Castro Valley; its totally awesome reading about it here:)

    1. Ha, cool. I don't get out there much so it was fun to see some of it. :)

  4. So glad you were able to finally join us!! Hopefully we didn't make it TOO easy of a run for you. ;)

  5. Lovely scenery for your trail run. I'm actually jealous of your trails. The ones we get taken on by our sadistic coach are all roots and ruts and rocks - not the best for a not-so-agile-older-runner-with-poor-balance.

  6. What a great run! I'm also jealous. Last year the parks board decided some maintenance work was sorely overdue on the one sad and overused major trail here that everyone runs on...and they turned it into a deep gravel bed in some spots.

  7. Awesome photos! Someday I'll make it to one of these runs to hang out with you guys. Some day...crazy fall schedule. :)

  8. So glad you came out with us. Need to do it again soon.