Saturday, December 10, 2005

Out of Hibernation: A Run Report

So I broke my "No Exercise" in December rule, I went for a run with the guys I ran the Grand Canyon with back in August. Only one missing was Jason, something big came up which hopefully was nothing too crazy. Originally planned in November as 40-mile adventure from the Golden Gate Bridge to Point Reyes National Park it was toned down to a 2+ hour run followed by coffee and food. A much more sensible plan for the holidays.

It turned out to be a crazy, beautiful, sunny day. Leaving the city at 7AM we drove to Point Reyes. Our route started from the Bear Valley traihead which took us up and over the hills toward the ocean, continuing to the ridge that traveled above the shoreline which led us down eventually to a fire road that ran parallel to the shore, then back up the hills to Bear Valley. The start was chilly! 37 F /2.7 C. There was no wind but a low lying mist of fog. Deer was everywhere when we started, grazing, chillin'. We even saw a "white" deer which I was told by JP is not native to California. The start was a little too fast for me, did my best to keep up with JP and Stephen. It was my first run since the Quad Dipsea race two weeks ago. Since then I've been doing nothing, I don't even allow myself the quick jogs to the store or the post office. Ugh...sluggish, heavy, sore... After 20 minutes of this I had to let them go. I couldn't keep up and seriously thought of shortening my run so these guys can go off on their own. However by the 35th minute the funk lifted and I felt a lot better, the slower pace brought me back. Soon I was running strong and I continued to press towards the beach behind the two. In the valley and tree covered hills it was cold but out on the ridge it was quite warm. There were no trees on the ridge which gave us an amazing view of the Point Reyes shoreline. Just so amazingly beautiful - a cloudless sunny sky and no wind. Too bad I didn't pack the camera:( Here the trail went from soft, root and leaf covered to dry and rocky - a nice change. From the ridge we made our way down to the fireroad and continued on that for what seemed like 4 miles before starting the ascent back towards the tree covered hills and back to the Bear Valley Trailhead. My watch read "2:49" by the time I made it back, a little longer than I had planned but well worth the effort. The guys were gracious enough to wait for me at different sections of the run, especially at trail forks and intersections. They were out there longer than they wanted so it was definitely and act of grace and camaraderie on their part. When we started at 8AM there was hardly anyone there, now the parking lot was filled with people. The mist that hung in the valley was now gone and it was warmer. On the way home we stopped at the Bovine Bakery for some coffee and muffins. Sat on a sun drenched wooden bench, ate, drank and people watched. A lot of cyclists were also out, good to see.

Sometimes the good weather of the North Bay stops at the Golden Gate Bridge but not this weekend, sunshine and clear skies continued South to San Francisco. We arrived to a city in full swing under this beautiful weather. In fact shortly after I'm done here I am going to take a shower, get dressed, and head back out to Fillmore street for some Christmas shopping. Who wants to be stuck in a mall on a gorgeous day like this. A little urban hiking seems to be in order and this time I'll take my camera... speaking of gadgets, where is that iPod? Maybe some decaf as I cruise the streets? Now we're talking!

Back to Hibernation.

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