Having fun being a tree-hugger with "The Advocate" a redwood 45 ft in circumference!!! Taken while Hiking in Nisene Marks on Saturday
Well, I haven't been posting much, as the past week has been quite full of non running things. I had to move (housing mix-up) last week, meaning that I missed my thursday run, instead spending about 3 hours lugging boxes down one flight of stairs and up two. Figure that sort of counted as a workout, as I was breathing hard and sweating lots for much of it :D. I'm finally all settled and enjoying my new place, which is essentially the same as my old, except with vaulted ceilings and a nice view of a forested area. I'll post pictures when I get a chance :). The other interruption to my training was the visiting of a very old friend (my childhood next door neighbor). He's just recently moved to Northern California (to work in the Capitol!) and had never been to Santa Cruz, so came down for the weekend. I need to figure out how to better get my runs in when I have out of town guests though, as I ended up with no runs until he left! We did go on a 5 mile hike on Saturday, but that didn't exactly make up for the dearth of running.
After he took off around 1:30pm Sunday, I realized I needed to do some kind of redeeming run, even though it was already pretty late to be starting a long run (at least in my book). After reading about Andy's Nisene Mark's experience, I decided to head out there myself for a similar 18 mile run. I ran from outside the park to the overlook, plus a little extra loop for what I think was just about 20 miles (the garmin, again, didn't work, so I went by the posted trail measurements that I saw out there. I've gotta to send that garmin in. It hasn't successfully worked since Mt tam!). It was really cool, though, to be so low key about running 20 miles. After the 50k last weekend, 20 didn't seem all that long :). And, once I got about 3 or 4 miles in, it just got gorgeous!!! So many beautiful redwoods. Plus, it was mostly uphill on the way out, meaning a fabulous 2nd half of over a 1/2 hour of really great downhill running, and then relatively downhill after that.
It took just about 4 hours, including the 20 minute break I took at the overlook chatting with a few bikers. There were 4 bikers hanging out there when I left. I felt half naked without a bike of my own! Not too many runners were all the way up at the overlook (actually, I didn't see any) which I thought was sort of cool. I finished just before 7pm, which is definitely the latest I've ever finished a long run, and was proud that I never felt scared while I was out there alone. There was lots of traffic on the trail, and it was all just so beautiful. I'm actually getting more comfortable with the idea of exploring out there alone now, especially now that I've been given a great site to access free maps of the parks (www.virtualparks.org).
As I've now had 2 low mileage weeks in a row, I'm thinking trying to step it up this week with 2 long runs on the weekend. Of course, I'm starting my Student Teaching Placement today (Ack!! scary thought!) and have finals this week, so I'm thinking just getting in my runs will be a challenge :P I'll do my best though!