Sunday, March 6, 2011

We tackled the Big Mountain

Coach Marc warned us that it was going to be a grueling run. We were about to embark on a muddy running trek to reach 2,729 feet to the top of the mountain with awesome views.  On a clear day we could see the Golden Gate Bridge from the top.

Of course this morning we knew better.

This morning it was all about rain, rain, rain.

Fog and low-lying clouds was the verdict of the day. It was difficult to see 50 yards ahead of us. No way would we have a view of anywhere, but we kept on running.

Bald Mountain is relentless.

It can chew up sweet lil Annadell (from across the way) and spit her out.

Coach Marc warned us it was going to be grueling run.

It was more than that.

It was brutal.

And yet each step was a gift. Running under the redwoods, alongside giant ferns and waterfalls.

There were cliffs so steep with gravel so loose, that it was as if I was running a jacobs ladder.  I'd run three feet up and slip a foot down.

I'd crane my neck up to see where my path was leading and I would look see a runner run and disappear into the cloud..... and when I got to that spot.. I'd look up and there it would be another runner up ahead on another higher elevated place. One ridge and then another ridge. And then another. It seemed endless.

I really believe the fact we couldn't see below us.. it kept us moving forward. We had no sense how many miles we had ran. And looking down the cliffs, it was purely gray, so we had no idea how high we had climbed. But it was truly magical. And beautiful. And amazing. And serene.

Can't wait to tackle it again. Just hope it isn't anytime soon.

Here was our route:

Saturday, March 5, 2011

My rollers, my friends

Thanks to these delicious rollers and balls, they are helping to relieve me from all my pains in various areas: Achilles tendon, calf muscles, ham strings, IT bands, etc.

I've been doing excessive hill running... so my achilles tendon is stretching more than normal on every stride.  On recent runs, it feels a though I have a metal rod in it's place.

So I dropped by my local running store and picked up a few rollers and balls to help me self-massage my sore areas. It's been a few weeks now since I started using the rollers and balls and I'm really feeling the rewarding results from using them!

The idea here is that you roll your body weight along the roller where you are experiencing tightness in your muscles to break up the knots.  Believe me, it's no picnic. The sensation will make you wither in pain, but in a good wither! (ha!ha!)

Last Sunday was a 9-1/2-mile icy run up in Annadel.  It was C0OoLD and it was muddy from the rains the day before. The first 4-1/2 miles was all uphill. Breathing deeply in frigid air was difficult on the lungs, but after awhile, I began to feel myself warming up. Once reached the top... we were treated to miles of fun fast downhill. 

That's me in the picture below running through the muddy water. I read recently that it's better to run through the deepest part of the muddy terrain than to skip and prance around them. It's much more slippier on the outskirts, and besides that, it gives your shoes a nice bathing. 

(Oh, who am i kidding.... running through mud puddles is an enormous rush for those of us who don't like to get dirty... and besides that, it makes me feel bodacious!).

 Heidi and I running on South Burma

Early tomorrow morning I'm running a grueling 9 mile run 2,729 ft to the top of Bald Mountain. Forecast calls out rain all day so I imagine it will feel like a even longer run.

 Coach Marc says, "the worse the conditions, the more memorable".

I'll keep you posted.