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…

San Francisco-1003

and a hot run in the big sun.

San Francisco-1031

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.

San Francisco-1014

San Francisco-1021

San Francisco-1034

San Francisco-1037

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!

SFRC run

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

San Francisco-1056

San Francisco-1061

Alamere Falls & the Pacific:

San Francisco-1081

San Francisco-1093

San Francisco-1108

San Francisco-1112

San Francisco-1120

San Francisco-1105

San Francisco-1127

San Francisco-1130

San Francisco-1138

San Francisco-1092

San Francisco-1145

San Francisco-1146

San Francisco-1154

San Francisco-1165

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!


San Francisco-1043

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!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *