We’ve had my in-laws to stay for the past two weeks – they left on Friday and so we’ve cracked on with packing up our world, ready for our move back to the UK. It’s a funny balance to find – we want to get loads done but there are still 6 more weeks to go and we don’t want to feel like we’re camping for that long.
Someone asked me recently what races I had signed up for before we leave – and the answer is none. There are no races I’m hankering to do – instead I’m just full of desire to run as many trails as I can with as many friends as I can for the next few weeks.
In addition, one of the ramifications of our 4-month travel plans is that I’m not going to be training for most of 2017. I can’t envisage me desperately trying to find a track in darkest Alabama so I can run the 400m repeats I have on my plan. I don’t want to be stressing about running 12 miles with 6 at goal pace whilst I’m melting in the humid heat of a July Texas weekend. So my goal until the end of August is to just run for the sheer joy of it. Once back in the UK, I’m looking forward to getting back into training hard and doing some races in our new hometown.
I want to keep up a decent weekly distance of at least 25 miles and to run at least four times weekly (if not more, I’d prefer five!). I want to run in all the places we go to, to explore new towns and trails. There will be the odd race of course (the Reykjavik 10k, a parkrun or two in Australia and in DC) but training-focussed running won’t be happening for a long while.
I’m not sure how that will translate onto the blog. There’s a danger that all my posts are ‘We went here, it was really nice. I went for a run, here are some photos’. I suspect that the majority of most posts between May and September WILL be like that. If that’s not your thing, please don’t feel obliged to keep reading but personally I always like reading people’s travel-and-running posts (as long as they’re not smug) so I hope you’ll enjoy it too. (Please feel free to give feedback if I veer into Smug territory).
I’m LOVING running at the moment. Since I stepped away from structured training in January and just started running for fun and especially since I started trying really hard to fit trails into my world at least once a week my stokeometre has gone sky-high. I’m excited to run every time – although since the clocks changed and the mornings got DARK again, I’m not excited any more to run in the dark!
Anyway…at the weekend, I got in an excellent run and an excellent hike. On Saturday I met Lisa and Lety at nearby Water Dog Park. I run there a lot but always the same trail as I feel safe there. This time, we had a route planned to explore further in the park. I had no idea what to expect.
It was gorgeous! It was wild. We turned a corner away from the bits I knew and we were deep in the middle of nowhere, even though we were still in darkest suburbia. We were faced with steep uphills, beautiful muddy wooden trails and…really poor sign-posting. As such we went slightly off the planned route but we knew roughly where we were and where we were heading and it was gorgeous. The loveliest trail we ran was Chaparral Trail – a ridge trail covered with low brush which had wonderful views over the Bay, which was hazy in the early morning.
We eventually came out on Hallmark Drive as planned and we crossed over and did a loop of the Crystal Springs Cross-Country course. The trails there are wide so we got to run together. Everything was muddy though after the recent rains – basically Lisa needs trail shoes 🙂
We were short on time so we ditched the planned long loop home and ran down the more direct trail back to the cars. We ended up with about 7 miles in the legs but a disproportionate amount of endorphins!
Then on Sunday, my boys and I escaped the lure of packing boxes and the sofa and drove over to Pacifica to San Pedro Valley Country Park. I’ve run there a few times (here and here) but this was the boys’ first time. The skies threatened rain so we ended up doing a short loop along Valley View Trail but it was enough to get fresh air in our lungs and to give us pink cheeks. We hiked up the hill and then all ran down. I love running with my boys so that was a real treat!
Six more weeks of Bay Area life. Lots to pack in.