A little more than a week ago I flew to California for the Michigan State vs. California football game. Arriving on a Thursday meant that my normal workout routine was interrupted.
Normally during the fall, I have yoga Monday, ski conditioning Tuesday and Thursday, ride my horse on Wednesday and Friday and go for a couple of big mountain bike rides on Saturday and Sunday. Exceptions to the rule are when I switch out a trail run in the mix.
Back to a week ago... I flew into San Francisco on Thursday evening and so Friday there were no plans - just whatever plan my mother and I cooked up to spend the day before the big game. It was only about 8:30 a.m. on Friday when I snapped. Away from Park City for only a day and I was craving an outdoor exercise outlet.
I hate the gym - the only reason to visit the gym in my mind would be during the months of November, December and January when it's not light enough to find your own car in a parking lot after work, never less share some quality time outdoors after 5 p.m.
So anyhow - before my mother had finished breakfast I was on my computer searching. This was tough - I was in San Francisco, California and I had absolutely no idea of where to go to get in the only outdoor activity that was feasible - a good trail run.
How many times do you go on vacation to a foreign state – never less a metropolitan city and wonder - where can I go and feel safe yet get in a good workout? Lucky for me my computer zoned in on the Tennessee Valley Trailhead located just off of Highway 101 on the scenic Route 1 in Marin County.
It seemed, at least on the computer, that Tennessee Valley had a labyrinth of trails along the Pacific Ocean. I told my mom we couldn't do anything unless I got in a good run first. She shrugged and went for a hike while I was running the "Golden Hills" and taking in the views of 200 foot cliff-bands meeting the deep blue sea.
I admit I thought it would be a snap to run there after coming down from the mountains to sea level, but to my surprise when the sign said “steep grade” it was serious.
The run that I did Friday morning was as steep as the Spiro Trail at Park City Mountain and had me puffing as much as I would have been on Puke Hill when we are hauling across the Wasatch Crest Trail from Deer Valley to The Canyons. I ran about 4 miles before finding my way back to the trail head. It was so beautiful I was almost sad for the run to end. And - since the game wasn't until 5 p.m. the next day, I was out the door early on Saturday morning to fit in another run.
I am sure that San Franciscan's have much better local secrets, but a tourist doesn't need 2000 feet of vertical when searching for a vacation workout. Instead a scenic and diverse trail system with lung bursting ascents and technical descents is more than enough to tide the tourist over until the plane lands and the tarmac is within site - sure beats the hotel treadmill any day!
Labels: single track, Trail Running