Today, Easter Sunday, a friend and I went down to Marin and over to Stinson Beach to test out some of the trails for our 7 mile trail race next weekend. The race is put on by EnviroSports and along with a 7 miler, there will also be a half and full marathon. Um…after the 5.25 miles I did today, I’m more than ok with NOT running the half or full marathon. If you know Marin and the Dipsea and surrounding trails, you KNOW exactly what one goes through. If you don’t, well, I’m here to tell ya…it is NOT for the faint of heart, both literally and figuratively. I have run the Dipsea trails (via the DIPSEA race 3 times in the past) but because I have lived in Atlanta for the past 10+ years, I had not been on these trails in quite some time. It’s more than fair to say I had forgotten both how challenging they are and how utterly beautiful, refreshing, and invigorating it is to run on the famed trails. AHHH…so amazing.
Our 7 mile race will begin at Stinson Beach and go up! Basically, up, up up and more up, up, up. Up steep climbs, up steep, narrow wooded staircases amongst the glorious ferns, eucalyptus trees and tons of other greenery. We will travel over many small bridges, go over and under huge fallen trees, swiftly and carefully navigate our feet among heavily rooted and sometimes very slippery trails. We will huff and puff our way as we climb the many sections that are un-runnable to the common man/woman. WHO CAN RUN THOSE SECTIONS? I WANNA SEE IT! We will even go up and down a ladder. A LADDER! Pretty fun, actually. So…this is part of what I did and saw today during my 2.5 mile excursion UP the trail and another 2.75 miles down. LOVED the downhill. Felt like I had very good pace; was able to maneuver the steep and often tricky sections pretty well. I’ve always been good at those parts, which makes it more fun for me and am able to pick up some pace that i lose on the climbs. But, the beginning part. The 2.5 miles up…that was NO JOKE. I had a tough time getting going…it was early morning. no warm up. nothing. just start climbing. Plus, all week, I have been doing my new NIKE Training Program and I’m feeling it. Lots and lots of squat exercises, which is totally new for me. Legs have been sore all week. So, then throw the super duper trail run in from today and what do you have? Some super duper tired and sore legs. Need to try to find a hot tub this week. My friend, Sharon, and I did not run the trail together but we started together and then caught up afterwards. We we both smiling and feeling quite accomplished. We enjoyed a wonderful, delicious breakfast at the Dipsea Cafe afterwards. Where else would we go?!!
These pictures DO NOT show how tough the course is…but hopefully they show some of its amazing beauty. Another reason I am so glad to be back in the Bay Area!