This weekend I participated in my first trail race out here in California. I had done only a few back in Virginia so I’m still basically a newbie, however I am pretty sure I am hooked! I met a bunch of amazing runners out there and just set out to enjoy myself. No pace or finish expectations. For me this was all about the experience of trail running with a few added bonuses. #1 it was a Saturday race which I just love and #2 I got to see some amazing friends set out on some Ultra distance racing adventures.
Hosted by Inside Trail out at the beautiful Fort Ord, the race distances stretched from the 10k to 25k, 50k and 100K distances. Being newer to the sport I opted for the 10k which for the most part was held on fire roads with a modest 900 ft elevation gain. The course was a stunner none the less. The combination of beautiful weather, lots of rolling hills and plenty of green, due to the recent rains and break in the drought, made for an awesome first trail race.
Inside Trail provided well-marked trails, along with great aid stations. In fact I was so pleased that next year I am hoping to at least participate in the 25k. The volunteers were friendly and I felt great support being a 10k runner as I assume the longer distances felt. Here are a few more pictures from the day. I am a bit sore in my hips from the hills but man was it totally worth it!
View from the run
and up we go….again
Do you enjoy trail running and racing? Have you ever tried?
If you haven’t I suggest you do it at least once. Who knows you might just get hooked!
Getting through our first “winter” in California hasn’t been too challenging. Lets just say now I totally get why they say the average temp is 66 year round here. There were just a few weeks of 30-40’s back in December and now we seem to be staying in the range of mid 40’s for a low and into the 60’s on a regular basis. The only things keeping me from running outside regularly are family schedules and the fact it still gets dark early. Otherwise I can totally see why runner’s, and people in general, love this area so much.
I have really buckled down on following a strict heart rate training plan for the last 4 weeks. (I had veered off being quite so strict in Oct-Dec due to my November half) Most of these recent miles have been spent on the treadmill at night. In all honesty it hasn’t been too bad. In fact HRT running done on a treadmill makes it much easier to stay where I need to be.
Here’s a quick snapshot from one of my recent runs. Not too shabby
In the meantime the family and I have also continued to enjoy hiking with The Treadmill Trail Head group hikes whenever our schedule allows. A few weeks ago we were able to visit an extremely popular running and hiking spot out at Garland Ranch Regional Park (click on the name to learn more) in the Carmel Valley. These beautiful 4,000+ acres of dog, horse, hiker and runner friendly trails do not disappoint. Myself, my husband and our boys hiked just a small portion of what this beautiful park has to offer. When I say small I’m talking 3 hours and that is nothing compared to all the trails offered out there. Starting off with the main group we later broke off with a smaller group and hiked up to Snively’s Ridge. I hate to admit it but there may have been a bit of whining on my part because some of the hiking was steep and at times and it seemed the steep would never end. Note to self: request hiking poles for my birthday. But as usually the view was totally worth the climb. Check it out some views from the day.
The much flatter part of our day. The Mesa trail
Loved this moss covered tree.
View from the top. #worthit
Breathtaking in a totally different way than our hike a few weeks earlier at Brazil Ranch out in Big Sur. Hiking in this part of the country is so widely assessable that I am grateful for The Treadmill putting all these great adventures together. I much prefer hiking with a group over solo hiking. I’m looking forward to my next adventure out here is California. Stay tuned!