California Dreaming

Two back-to-back work trips in California in January? Can’t complain much about that! Ryan came up to San Francisco to spend the long MLK weekend with me exploring the coastline and logging some good sea level miles in preparation for the upcoming Sean O’Brien 100K.

We kicked it off with a breezy drive down the Big Sur…

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and a hot run in the big sun.

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We hit the trails at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park to run a loop up Mt Manuel and then hopefully have timed it so we’d hop onto the buff trails along the water by sunset. The route looked pretty straight forward on the map. But looks deceive. The first 3000′ up Mt Manuel grooved until, all the sudden, as we neared the top, the trail sort of just petered out. After tagging the somewhat lackluster summit we bushwacked our way along a ridgeline hoping to find some semblance of a trail again. Twigs, branches and corse shrubbery ravaged our legs as we picked our way through the growth and cursed the supposed “fire road” marked on the map.

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Thankfully the open views and contour lines on the map allowed us to find our way off the peaks and back down into the valley below. We chased the setting sun and finished off the along Hwy 101 – the first miles of the Big Sur Marathon course. A quick shower at the campground and we hit the road back up towards the city.

Next we joined up with the San Francisco Running Company for their Saturday morning group run from the shop in Mill Valley to the trails in the Marin Headlands. I last ran these trails at the TNF 50 miler way back in 2010 — what a treat! Big climbs and crashing ocean views!

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Next up, a Sunday long run at Point Reyes National Seashore with plenty of waterfall photo ops!

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Alamere Falls & the Pacific:

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And finally, we topped it all off with a Monday morning sunrise run up Mount Tamalpais with our local Mill Valley friends Larissa and Amy. From the clocktower in the center of town, through the thick fog, to the top of the mountain and back to town in time to head to the Sonoma wine country for lunch! It doesn’t get much better than this!

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Meanwhile we’ve been flip flopping between warm winter days and big dumps of snow here in Boulder. This weekend we head back to California for the Sean O’Brien race. Looking forward to getting to dip our toes in the ocean again!

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