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