Running has been a bit ‘flat’ for me lately. I’ve been running, I’ve been enjoying it (apart from the most awful 4 miler last week, which was grim from start to finish) but it’s been a bit flat. I think it tied in with exams etc but I badly needed an injection of running joy and at the weekend, I got it. Because I got together with my favourite running girls to run some trails.
We met at 8am at Pleasanton Ridge, a state park in the East Bay. It was grey and cold heading over, and I very nearly wore my arm warmers but in the end, I was very glad I didn’t! Along with the usual faces, there were some new peeps – and Layla was finally mended enough from her injury to be able to run, which was pretty awesome.
My expectation was that there would be a steep climb for the first mile or so, then it would level out and be fairly flat until we ran down. The word ‘Ridge’ was in the park’s name, so that was obvious, eh? It started as expected with a big climb which lasted two or three miles! There was a LOT of hiking and it was getting hot as well. We were sweaty!
However, the views were spectacular!
My expectations of the run were somewhat wrong. There WAS a giant climb at the start but it never got flat. Instead, we ran up and down short but very steep hills the entire time! It was really draining on the legs! But still…the views.
We had a couple of groups running – one group wanted to do 12 miles, one group wanted to do 10, BT wanted to head back earlier for a baby shower and Layla did about 6 or 7 miles so as to not risk her newly mended leg. I knew that, with my current fitness levels, 12 miles of these hills was beyond me, so I headed back with Debbie and Amanda. I’d met Debbie once and not Amanda, but they were awesome girls and it was really lovely to run along and get to know them! Running is such a great way to get to know people better.
Eventually, we dropped like stones back down to the car park! That was fun. All in all, 10.1 miles at 13.12 pace. Not too shabby, given the hills.
BT, Layla and I headed over to our brunch location to bags a table, and fairly soon the 12-mile girls came to join us! And we ate a lot of food. It was awesome.
At the risk of being totally cheesy, every time I spend time with these girls it makes me incredibly happy. These are all random strangers I met through the internet and they are wonderful! KP and Jess are both moving away from the Bay Area in the next few months, which is gutting – I’m not thinking about that for a few more weeks.
But every time I spend time with these girls, it makes me want to run more. I found myself googling trail races when I got home. Nothing pinned down yet but it’s coming!!
Pesky run-enabling females!!!