That's what the Bolder Boulder t-shirts have proclaimed. "Sea level is for sissies." If that is true, then I spent seven glorious days as the biggest sissy you can possibly imagine. AND..... I liked it.
Don't get me wrong, part of the reason I enjoy sea level as much as I do is living at 5700 feet. I love coming down and breathing that plentiful air, cruising up hills and basically shaking it out a little without the curse of oxygen debt. So when the opportunity to spend a week in Vallejo, CA, arrived, I was excited.
My Mother-in-Law lives six miles from the south entrance to the Benecia State Park. That, pretty much, was the morning routine. Six miles to the park (a net downhill with three MONSTER uphills on the way), then usually the out and back five.
|But Officer, I get at sea level and I can't help myself...|
Day four was spent on a bucket list run: the Muir Woods, Dipsea trail and Mt Tamalpais. Ever since Bruce Dern took me to "the mountain" in the movie "On The Edge," I have longed to hit those trails. What a blast!
The trails varied from smooth to very rocky; from uphill to screaming uphill. A few times, in the woods, you could have convinced me I was facedown on a brand new deck, the redwood smell was so strong. I also found it amazing how sparsely the trail was populated. I think in the two hours I climbed, I might have seen eight other people and NO ONE else running. Once at the top, I decided to head down (can't believe my helicopter pilot, Jeeves never showed). Reminiscent of my one time experience at the Pikes Peak Marathon, going down was not nearly as much fun as I thought it would be.
|Got my eye on the peak|
Day five was a simple, but extremely hilly run all over. I thought I'd be considerably sorer than I was but I still ran easy. The plan for the rest of the day was canoeing on the Russian River, so strength had to be conserved.
|Angel Island.... I'll be BAAACK!|
My final run (day seven) would be a 14 miler with no watch, no heart rate monitor. Just a celebration of sorts for oxygen and its wonderful power. All told, I logged 82 miles in my seven days and arrived home feeling pretty good about myself. Upon arrival, however, I was faced with the trifecta (for me) from hell: an end of the day run, after a meal, and back at altitude.
The Savannah Rock n Roll is a little more than nine weeks away which is the halfway point of my eighteen week plan. I am liking my progress. I've averaged 76 miles a week over the nine weeks and lost 25 pounds in the process. Still have 20 to go to be at Flying Pig, year 2000, weight (I ran 3:10:34 that day).
Long run tomorrow. Park to Park ten mile race on Labor Day and a track session thrown in for the joy of it. Life is good.