Saturday, March 7, 2009

Trail Run To Sunol In The Dirt

On Saturday mornings, I usually wake up before my alarm goes off at 4:30 AM because I am so excited to go on my weekend trail run. This morning promptly at 4:25 AM, I woke up feeling very rested and ready to run. I had everything packed up last night except for my camera. I ate a good size bowl of super porridge(millet, oats, rye, amaranth, quinoa, millet,etc) with cultured kifer milk and raisins and a large mug of jasmine green tea.

We had 2 new editions to our running group this morning, Sue Corrie & her dog Rio. She had 1 or 2 cancellations and so did I. It was Sue, Andria, and myself. I changed the route slightly to accommodate Rio. Dogs really don’t like running on a paved road for 4 miles. Neither do I! After approximately 2.5 miles, we hopped the fence and were trail bound in the dirt to Sunol!

It was a clear starry night. Temperature was about 45 degrees. Perfect! We started out with flash lights on and shucked them after a mile. When we hit the trail everything was so green. It was like being in the dales in Ireland. No, I have never been there. It’s my blog so I can write and fake it if I have to. We ran to the top of Mission Peak and saw a spectaculiar sun rise. We did not linger as we were in the running mode.

When ever we get a new addition to our group, I am always leary. The person could either be really slow and mess up our pace or the person could be super fast and kill us! Sue was kind of like a Goldilocks girl. Just right! Andria and I not really training for anything, so we are very flexible. Sue is training for a what seemed like a half dozen races. Been there/done that with kids. God bless my wife for putting up with my 6 hour long training runs.

At the sign in gate to the Ohlone wildnerness we spotted a lone runner. Runners are rare at 6:30 AM anywhere. Practically non existent here. It was Steve Bradley! We ran with him to Sunol. Steve and Sue had never met. Their only connection is an old baby jogger that I gave to Sue 4 years ago. Steve gave it me 8 years ago and I needed to get rid of it. I suggested they become friend on Facebook a few days ago without realizing the baby jogger connection. They live a few streets away from each other in the Niles district of Fremont.

We reached Sunol in 2′15″. That was excellent considering that we ran Mission Peak before running down to Sunol. We took a nice long break and ate dried cherries,apricots, figs, cocoa nibs, nuts, and other running power food.

I have been running for 35 plus years. This may seem like a bragging moment-running is almost like walking now. Trail running seems effortless because we enjoy it so much. Don’t get me wrong, by the time we are finished, I am very tired. When I started ultra running 8 years ago, I would go home and go to bed after a 4 hour run. Now I go home and play floor hockey with kids and walk 3 miles with my wife.

After our 20 minute break at Sunol, we had the monster hill to climb. It’s approximately 1500 vertical feet to climb out of Sunol. I would be lieing if I told you that we ran the entire hill. We walked.

I am a die hard runner. However, I rarely talk about running. It’s kind of a boring topic. Running is a life experience. Each run is different and somewhat philosophical. If I read someone’s blog about how many hill repeats, track work outs, and sprint works, I would be so bored. To each their own. I run the trails to see the beauty of God’s creation. I love the ever changing weather patterns. I get to see deer, cattle, goats, wild turkey, hawks, and occasionally a mountain lion.

Today was very special because I got to run with Andria and Sue. Running is not about running. It’s not glamorous. You stink when you are done. Your muscles get sore. Most of the time you do it alone.

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