Monday, February 16, 2009

The Tarts Go Hardcore

Joaquin Miller-Redwood Regional Park
(Sunset- Sequoia-Bayview- Castle- West Ridge- French- Fern- Stream- East Ridge- Canyon- Stream- West Ridge-Dunn-Joaquin Miller Rd)
(15 miles)

Yesterday I was going to do a long run, but I wimped out due to tempestuous conditions. This was serendipitous for me- not because of the weather (which was rather worse today), but because l'autre Tarte des Trails was doing a loooong run in Joaquin Miller/Redwood and thus I had some company!

I thought at first I would only run a portion of Suzanne's planned 4 hour jaunt, as I was feeling somewhat nervous about the state of the knee after last Saturday's DNF. I did yoga four times this week, which reminded me every time that I have ridiculously tight hip flexors and quads. This must change, I think-- especially based on today's results. My knee was feeling pretty good, but I was thinking that 2 hours or so would be a good goal.

I woke up this morning slightly dehydrated from a fun dinner the night before. This, added to the sheets of rain falling outside my window did not exactly make the thought of hitting the trails especially tempting. However, I had informed Suzanne I would be there, so I suited up, put the dog in the car and headed for Joaquin Miller.

When we got to the trailhead, the rain was coming down so hard, it was making tons of noise on the car's roof. Running in the deluge was about the last thing I wanted to do, but there I was. And there Suzanne's car was, too, so it's not like I could claim I got there and she wasn't.

Amazingly enough, it wasn't hard to find each other. For some reason, there weren't too many runners out this morning. We waited around a couple of minutes for Steve, who was supposed to join us, but then decided hypothermia wasn't a good plan for the day and took off. Fortunately, we met Steve coming down the trail a few moments after taking off (he did a bunch of miles before meeting up with us), and the three of us (plus Neko!) took off.

I don't have many pictures from the run because everything was so soaked, I didn't want to take my camera out too much. (It's making some strange noises tonight-- I'm a bit worried I got it too wet.) However, running today was lovely. If you could get over the fact that every single piece of clothing you were wearing was absolutely soaked, it's hard to complain about towering redwoods, dripping ferns, green, green, green moss over everything, and then, when it broke up a bit, wispy clouds sitting on the tops of the trees. Suzanne pointed out that this looked very "Middle Earth" and I could not agree more.

The other good news? I ended up running 3 1/2 hours today and my knee did not hurt at ALL. (Ok, so we weren't setting any speed records, but you try running through ridiculous puddles and up and down French trail and then tell me how fast YOU run!) I couldn't be more pleased-- I have definitely been worrying about AR50 and my knee, and while I don't think I'm out of the woods, I felt so much better today than I expected to, I have much hope for the spring!

The big winner of today though? Neko. I think this is the longest run I have ever taken her on, and let me tell you-- she is a dog built for endurance. An hour and 45 minutes into the run, she was still bounding around, trying to get someone to play stick with her! I think at about 2 1/2 hours, she finally started running with us, as opposed to bounding up, back, around and around. I think that I actually tired her out today though-- another first! She has been sprawled out, sleeping on the floor the entire afternoon.

Great day today-- definitely a day that earned us our "hardcore" stripes as well. Just ask Neko.


Xenia said...

Sounds like a great run. Your dog is adorable! I want a running buddy like that. :)

Suz said...

What a day! To clear up your trails, we started on Sunset, then Sequoia-Bayview, then I think Castle (in Joaquin Miller). Also, I don't know if that meadow has a name, but it's not Bort. Bort Meadow is in Chabot. Had we run from there to Bort Meadow, we would have been even more impressive than we were. Thanks for the fun day! I never would have hung in there for fours hours without you and Neko escorting me to my victory lap.

Victoria said...

Oh perfect! I'll change them right now! I can't find the name of the meadow-- I put Bort because it was in my head, but apparently it was in my head because I was remembering you talking about running in Lake Chabot.

Maybe next time we'll run to Lake Chabot! Seriously, I was looking at all the trails on the map yesterday-- much to be explored!

foodie hunter said...

awww. look at the cute and tired neko!

Jo Lynn said...

Yippee for the girls - with or without fur. ;)

Rick Gaston said...

What the? I thought I commented on this already. Anyway just stopped by to say that the title still cracks me up.

Victoria said...

So here's the original comment from Rick-- I had an iPhone mishap and pressed "reject" when I meant to hit "publish." Fortunately I had saved the email and here's the text-- apologies to Rick for my clumsy fingers!

From Rick:

Funny Suzanne should say "middle earth" because that's exactly what I think of when I'm running the North Bay trails in heavy fog or rain. Especially in Muir Woods, I can picture a scene in my head straight out of Lord of the Rings. Anyway good deal on running in the rain. You know AR50 can be like that on race day, wet, cold, muddy and trails filled with standing water. One year I paced there was mud that would suck the shoes out of people's feet. My runner lost her shoe once. So good training:) You'll be ready if it the weather is bad again!

Gmello said...

Aw middle earth this post makes me want to jump on a plane and go run on a bay area trail, love that misty foggy weather.

Here in Vegas it's the polar opposite - although its been good for my training since I can never call off for a rain day.

Anonymous said...

Then you bounce up in the blog and read about your knee complaining some days later... and there you go. Long runs should always forecast long rests.

Look at me, jogging 30 minutes at old lady tart tempo.

Ponte buena. Besos SPJ