We met with the group at the store, and what a fun, friendly bunch they were. There were actually two groups - one that was training for the Wharf to Wharf 10K, and the fun runners. Russ said I was welcome to join either group for their run - the fun runners were going to run an out-and-back for 30 minutes each way in Nisene Marks (which meant nothing to me as I'd never heard of it...turns out? It was a forest. On a MOUNTAIN.) Barbara planned to walk, while I ran - we probably should have gone with the other group, as there were walkers and slower runners in that one, but no matter. The first group took off, and we tried to keep up, but we missed crossing with them at a stoplight and had to wait until traffic cleared. Not a big deal, but by the time I rounded the bend to the forest, I had lost sight of the last runner and didn't know which direction to go, so I got an unexpected rest break for a couple of minutes until the next runner (who was leading the other group) came along.
So this was a mountain that I was running up. The scenery was beautiful - when I actually took the time to look at it. Going uphill, I tend to put my head down and power through, but for every uphill, there was a downhill, and that's when I got the chance to enjoy the forest. This was a tough run, and after a while, we left the paved road for a rocky, rutted dirt path. I continued to run on that for a bit, but I got tired of only looking down as I tried to not step on a big rock or into a hole - yes, I'm still paranoid about twisting my ankle. So I turned around started running back, and soon I saw Barbara walking toward me. She whipped out her iPhone and got a couple of blurry shots (because I was running so fast, I'm sure), but at least you can get an idea of how pretty the forest was:
Hey, I was going downhill so it's entirely possible I might have been running super fast! ;)
So pretty! So uphill...it just kept going up! Mountains are like that.
The purple blob between the trees is me - I'd rounded the bend at this point, while Barbara was still on the uphill part.
Gorgeous place - I'd love to go back and hike it so I could take in the scenery better.
Afterward, with Russ. I was giving him a hard time, because I'd asked about hills before the run, and he only mentioned the one behind the running store. Apparently mountains no longer register with him, LOL!
Russ invited us to join them for their Tuesday workout - Chutes and Ladders. They run to Seacliff beach and go down the hill there, and then up the stairs on the cliff. And then they do it over and over! We loved the name and while the workout sounded extremely hard (yet fun), had hoped to join them, but it turned out that we were pretty busy that day and didn't want to mess with evening traffic to get there. Here's a picture of the stairs, to give you an idea of what they do:
I got this from Google images - can you imagine running up this staircase?
Next visit, we are going to tackle Chutes and Ladders for sure!
And speaking of running camaraderie, I have to tell you that my running club peeps made me do the impossible last week - I actually joined them for a hill workout. THAT'S how much I like running with people - I'll even do hills, just to be with them! You all know by now that I hate running hills and doing hill workouts - I went to one back in the fall of 2010 and that was it. So last Monday night, when Jenny texted me that she wasn't going to make our scheduled run the next day, I knew my extended hill sabbatical was over, and I met with the running club bright and early on Tuesday morning to (ugh ugh ugh) do hill repeats. Guess what? I still hate hills, but I did the workout. And I survived. Ran a mile to THE HILL, then ran up that dang thing 8 times. I walked back down it, even though I normally love to run downhill, but I needed to recuperate before going back up. And then we walked the mile back to our cars. Not only did I live to tell the tale, I actually got up and did it again yesterday. I KNOW!!! I don't recognize me, either.