Monday, April 09, 2012

Running

I think sometimes when I get excited about something I tend to talk about it too much. I've tried not to bore you with my training for the Ragnar Relay because I'm sure it is much more exciting to me than it is to you. I figure since it is now less than two weeks away I can mention it. Last year when I ran this race it was such enormous fun. I'm also quite sure that I'm in much better shape this year than I was last year but the problem is that since I'm no longer a rookie so our team captain has given me a significantly more difficult position than I had last year. Last year I ran a 5 mile leg and then a 3 mile leg and then a 6 mile leg for a total of 14 miles. All of my legs were relatively flat with no nasty hills. This year my first leg is only 4 miles but I climb a thousand feet. I'm worried about that. I greatly dislike hills. My second leg is pretty much level with even a slight downhill grade but it is 8 miles long. My last leg (if I'm still able to move) is 6 miles and actually much of it is along mission bay. That should be fun if I can still run. If you add that up it is a total of eighteen miles. That's not all that far from a marathon. I'm a bit nervous but very excited.
Saturday I ran my regular six mile run and this time I decided to photo journal my run for you. I love where I run and I look forward to it every weekend. Of course stopping and taking pictures every half mile hurts your time in a big way but I figured it was worth it so that you could see how much fun I'm having. 
Here we are in front of my house heading down the hill. At this point I'm full of energy and excited about my run.
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About a half mile into the run I take a short cut across an empty field. I could go around this field but who wants to run on a road when you can run on a trail?
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As soon as I leave the field I cross Highway 56. If you look down the highway just past the bend in the road the freeway crosses a canyon. That is where I will be coming back home. Here I am way above the freeway and on the way back I will be way below it. I don't like running hills but in this country it is pretty difficult to avoid them. 
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Once again I leave the streets for the trails. This is looking back at the freeway I just crossed. The road you see is what I was running on and it crosses over the freeway. That is black mountain in the back ground.
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And then I head into the wilderness. This trail is heading south towards Park Village. This is mile 1.
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The trail then turns west and follows the top of the ridge between the freeway and Park Village. About 1.5 miles into my run I'm starting to think that 6 miles is a very long run and I'm wondering why I'm doing this. I keep telling myself that there is a long downhill coming up and I'm really looking forward to the relief.
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At the 2 mile mark I take a side trail south and come out at this cul-de-sac on the end of Mannix Road.
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This picture doesn't show it very well but Mannix is a very steep hill that drops from the top of the ridge down  into Penasquitos canyon. It is a very steep hill and it is a very welcome relief. Running down hill is as easy as walking and i love it. With every step down this hill though I can't help but think that I'm going to have to come back up this hill and that puts a downer on my euphoria. 
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At the bottom of Mannix I see the gate that takes me into the Canyon. I love the Canyon. I'm now at the 2 mile mark.
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As I enter through the gate I can see the wilderness in the bottom of the Canyon. The opposite side of the canyon is Mira Mesa. 
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The trail follows the edge of the tree's until about the 3 mile mark at which point it turns and enters into the thick of the trees. The shade looks very enticing.
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As soon as I enter the trees I come to Penasquitos Creek. It is truly an oasis in the desert. A nudred years ago this was a seasonal creek and dried up every year in the summer but now it runs year round and is fed from people watering their lawns and draining their pools.
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The entire area around the crossing is absolutely beautiful and is one of my favorite places in the world. Back in the day when I rode my bike to work I would cross this same bridge and I would also pause for just a moment to enjoy the area. I don't run through here. I have to walk and embrace the moment.
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There are two branches of the creek and this bridge is only a few yards from the first.
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I then leave the trees on the other side of the canyon and head back east. I was running west before.
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The trail now winds in and out of the trees. A beautiful run. I'm now at the 3.3 mile mark.
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The 3.6 mile mark.
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At the 4 mile mark I turn and head north back into the jungle. Sorry about the finger.
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The trees are a lot thicker here and the temperature is probably 5 degrees cooler.
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And then I cross the creek back to the side I started on.
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When I come out of the trees I take the trail continuing east for a few hundred yards at which point I take this little side trail up into Park Village. The community park is up the hill to my left and the elementary school is straight ahead of me up the side trail.
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Up on the road you can see the elementary school to the left and straight across the road is the gate leading into the trail that I'm going to take home. I'm now about 4.5 miles into the run.
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Here's the gate you saw in the last picture.
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Here I am at 5 miles heading back to Penasquitos. It is a lovely trail but a constant gentle up hill battle. I'm feeling the miles and looking for an excuse to walk.
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I can see the freeway up ahead. I feel like I'm nearly home now.
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I'm getting closer. Running is mysteriously becoming much easier now.
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 And closer still. This is pretty close to the 5.5 mile mark.
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 And then I go under the freeway. Do you remember at the beginning of the run when I was up high looking down at this same freeway? Well now I'm down low looking up at it. This means that I still have some steep hills to climb.
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 And then I climb up out of the canyon onto my street. I'm now at six miles and nearly in front of my house. I'm sweating like a pig (trivia, did you know pigs can't sweat?). As soon as I walk into the house Lisa will tell me how bad I smell and plug her nose. Truth be told, I can hardly stand to smell myself.
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4 comments:

Lynn said...

Sheesh. After seeing all that......I suddenly realize how EASY I have it on my 6 mile run. I think there is one short tiny hill. Ugh. I've got my work cut out for me to catch up. Good for you!

Alycia (Crowley Party) said...

I don't think it is boring at all! Take me on this exact run when I am down, okay?! me you, Sarah... whoever wants to go! The family that runs together stays together!

Lisa said...

I loved the pictures and I hope someday I can run the 6 miles with you. I can walk it but I can't run it. I'm proud of you.

Alycia (Crowley Party) said...

p.s. did you know that pigs also need sunscreen :) that is why they cover themselves in mud!