Well, the headlands and Mt. Tam are always an adventure. I set out today to hike or walk, since I was still fighting the head cold from Wednesday, but still wanted to get out there. I mapped the part of the north face past Muir Beach last week, along with a bunch of other pieces so I can get in the rest of my long runs on parts of the course I don’t know as well (and parts I do for the really, really long runs). I had mapped a 20 miler that did most of the North Face course once you pass Muir Beach. My thought was I could walk 10 of that – Muir to Cardio, down Dipsea to Ben Johnson to Fern to Lost trail (fitting name 😉 to several others, before heading back to Muir Beach.
But, of course nothing ever goes according to plan, hence the adventure. It starts out easy enough, parking was way easier than I thought it would be, despite the late start. I tossed on some sun screen, pulled out the water, put on the headphones, and I was off. I’m pretty used to Redwood Creek and Heather cutoff at this point, and I have a plan to run them, of course today I only planned to hike, so I continued to plan and look for where I would run during the race as I hiked. I hit Coastal and continued to do the same thing….now I just need to run it. haha.
Then I hit Cardiac, which is where I should have called it a day, turned around, and headed home for what would have been a ten mile hike. But instead, I really, really wanted to see some new trails. So I headed down Dipsea, the same way I came up during the 50k. Much, much easier going down. I hit Ben Johnson pretty quickly, and it was actually a lot of fun. At some point I crossed a log bridge, stepped in water, and ducked under a log all at once. My foot was wet, my hands were dirty, and I was in heaven. I had to stop and turn around and just enjoy the fact that this was my playground.
Then I went flying…and went flying again. Some lady I passed told me I had a really good pace going…if only I had any control…haha. Then I rolled my ankle…again. So thankful for the rock tape….I roll the good one, and it doesnt really care, but the bad one…well, it still feels bruised hours later.
I took that trail down into Muir Woods….at some point I passed a couple hiking with Bud Light and a cooler….they had to be mid-50’s which made them that much cooler. Though, while hiking with beer might be fun, let’s be honest, I have enough issues staying on my feet – I definitely don’t need the help of a few beers. haha. Of course I got turned around in Muir Woods and ended up doing some sort of lap which got me back to the same trailhead I came in at…stupid Muir Woods. So, I went back up and tried a different way (and stopped to take a picture for a family), and found a hill…up to a campground….and then I found Fern trail. Nice trail….a lot of it runable if it’s the one I’m thinking of. Overall, a lot of what I found was either very runable or will kill me if I try – not too much middle ground.
I took that to the Lost trail, which was a good name, since I was feeling kind of lost. The hill and stairs on that make what I’ve seen of the Dipsea look like a pancake. Good God, I thought the stairs would never end…and then there were more. Finally I reached the top and asked someone coming down what trail they were coming from, and it was the one I needed. But, shortly in, the directional sign was broken and someone told me the trail only went one way. I had the Strava route on my phone, and tried to figure it out, but it was too tough to tell….nothing really looked right, but I knew the way they were pointing, back to Muir Woods, wasn’t right. But, rather than actually get lost, I took that way….asked someone coming up again where they were coming from, and they said Muir Woods. It was a nice trail….would have been a great run had I not been sick and beat up.
I got to Muir Woods, and found myself in a sea of tourists and children and pets and people and ugh….how do I get back to my car? I got to the exit, wandered through the store, and finally found a ranger. Of course, I had to wait for the guy with the cigarette hanging out of his mouth to finish telling the ranger about the deers in the woods to find out how to get back, but ok….I’d made it this far.
After expressing his shock that cigarette guy and I weren’t together – yes, me in my running gear and him with his cigarette, we look like travel companions….I ask him how to get back to Muir Beach. He asks if I’m driving…..and had somewhat of a look of shock when I told him I’d wandered down from Cardiac. He told me I was about 3 miles from the beach, and that I could pick up Redwood Creek Trail past the second parking lot. I thanked him, and headed off on my way.
I dont think I had ever been so glad to see Redwood Creek trail….I knew where I was :). I was so happy, I started to jog, despite the sick and the overall wanting to be done. See I do really well on my trails…haha.
I hated losing my 20 miler today, but there’s still time before North Face, and that 50k in October…
In other news, I made sure the adventure would continue past North Face, and signed up for the Umstead 100 mile endurance run in NC in March. Sometimes I think I’m completely crazy…other times, I think it’s totally doable. It’s a bunch of 12.5 mile loops….ugh. But, I’m guaranteed to see my family and friends at least that many times, more if they’re in different locations around the course. It’s also flat, which eliminates the ability to have a break on the downhill, it also removes all of the crazy uphill. I think the biggest hill is 150 feet over the span of a mile and a half…basically the bootcamp hill over three or four times the distance. My first climb today went from 600 feet to 1800 feet in just over that distance. I can do it….I still have plenty of time, right??
I think that’s it for now…over and out, until next time….