Friday, February 1, 2008

Heading To Warmer Climates

All right, I have to admit it: I'm a little tired of winter. This year has been amazing (actually, just January) with all the COLD, low elevation snowstorms. I'm ready to head to warmer areas so here I sit in Morro Bay, home of my folks. We're all heading to San Diego tomorrow. The best part is there's no snow. Pat and I are going to a Firehouse Convention and my folks are going to babysit and we're all going to get to visit with our So Cal relatives. Mix work and pleasure.

The nice part about all my favorite running trails getting snowed over (I don't enjoy running in deep snow) is I've got a great excuse to try out some new (to me) low elevation trails. The last couple weeks have really been dedicated to running and weights with 1 day of snowshoeing (just had to take advantage of some first tracks).

Getting first tracks in Negro Canyon, Donner Lake below

Looking towards Tinkers Knob
My long runs have been a 14 miler, 17 miler, and yesterday I did 19. They've all been hilly with a fair amount of singletrack. I explored the Spenceville Wildlife area and discovered Fairy Falls. Unfortunately, I didn't have my camera with me since it was raining but it's beautiful and I will make it back out there this spring.

Another great trail I ran is the South Yuba Trail which is 100% singletrack and can get challenging due to the constant ups and downs. The day I ran it was absolutely beautiful.

A fun bend along the South Yuba River

The Yuba River's namesake, Yuba
Up until about mile 6 I felt great, I was in the runners groove. Then the ups became longer and steeper and I was just plain tired. Turned around at mile 7 and struggled back. I really enjoy running without an MP3 and listen to nature but sometimes you just need a little help (distraction) to get in those last few miles. I've recently discovered Steve Runner and Phedippidations, his weekly pod-cast. It's really entertaining and got me back to the jeep.

Ladybugs everywhere!
Yesterday I ventured onto the Auburn State Recreation Area's wonderful network of trails for a 19 miler. It was cool and threatening rain with a forecast of snow about 2000 ft by afternoon. I parked at the Confluence and headed out on a loop that included Lake Clementine, Fuel Break, Culvert, and Confluence trails for about 7.5 miles. I got new bottles at the jeep then headed out the Quarry Rd to Maine Bar trail and back.

Foresthill Bridge

Lake Clementine

Looking towards Quarry Rd from Confluence Trail

The trails are in great shape, a bit muddy in places but not bad. I was just about the only person out there which was really nice. Unfortunately, I've aggravated an old injury from last summer. I believe I tore my calf muscle after the Reno Tahoe Odyssey last June and now my lower leg is bothering me again. This time it's the outside of the right calf. It starts out hurting at the beginning of the runs but then gets better and then only hurts when I stop and start up again. So I guess the solution is once I start running, never stop :)

Hawver Cave

Along the Quarry Rd.
The last 2 weeks have included running 15 and 18 miles with cross training of snowshoeing. Last week I ran 40 miles. I'm not sure how the miles crept up on me but I sure didn't follow the 10% rule. This is my last heavy week of training before having an easy week next week. I'm ready for it. Hopefully I can let my leg heal and come back strong again. I have so many plans for big runs this year that I certainly don't want to get derailed by injury this early in the season.

After my run yesterday I drove back up to Grass Valley where it was snowing heavily. I got my girls from daycare early and headed home where it was snowing and blowing like crazy. Due to how my leg was feeling I jumped into an ice bath (wow, was that cold. Ice baths seem easier in the summer). It made my leg feel better but then the power went out before I could get my hot shower! This morning was spent shoveling snow just so we could get the truck loaded and get out of town.

Last June I ran my first marathon in San Diego. I look forward to retracing some of those miles in the coming week. In shorts and a t-shirt.

Good luck to those racing tomorrow, I know a few of you have ultras planned.


Sunshine Girl said...

Enjoy the weather and dry trails - I am envious!

Sunshine Girl said...

Enjoy the weather and dry trails - I am envious!