Sunday, June 11, 2006

My Mountain

This morning for the first time in days I awoke rested and wanting to run. With thoughts of Strawberry Canyon rolling around my mind I wondered if I was up to the task of my beloved mountain. Fueled only by 2 cups of Peet's Sumatra I headed out to get an early start. Brandy sensing something was up trailed me all through the house and was ready to go too.

When we got to the trail head a sign was posted that there had been a mountain lion siting in mid May. I briefly considered my other options but decided to take my chances. Interestingly my desire to run outweighed any fear. I was acutely aware of every sound and sight.

A younger woman was passing me on the left, we met up at the foot of Big Bertha. She paused briefly and when I got to the base of BB she started to run again. At the top she inserted her headphones and I wondered if she had noticed the mountain lion posting. She was maybe 50 yds. ahead of me and I thought I should ask her if she had noticed the posting. I whistled to get her attention but she either didn't hear or think it was directed to her. I don't know if I was being paranoid or maternal, but it seemed like someone ought to warn her. Anyhoo, she was fast and when I caught up with her she had turned around after only a mile or so and I felt oddly better that this girl wasn't running further up the canyon w/o being able to hear. One time Brandy and I were up there and I heard a big cat from a distance and we just turned around. While hearing a cat up close wouldn't prevent me from being breakfast at least I'd have half a chance hearing it from a distance.

Further up I noticed bunches of animal fur on the side of the trail, no blood or guts just big wads of yellow and grey fur. A bit further I noticed a ripped green polo shirt off to the same side, again no blood or guts. The higher we climbed the denser the fog grew adding to the eeriness of the scene.

Maybe I was aided abit by the adrenaline but I shaved off 5 minutes from the last time I ran this trail about 2 months ago!! 6.5 miles in 75 minutes 45 up 30 down. I suppose the cross training hasn't hurt either.

So, the Element is officially broken in, Brandy got it nice and muddy. I felt sooooo good after this run, even a little choked up on the ride home. I am truly my best on the trails. I'd almost forgotten how much I love trails having spent so much time on the swimming and biking.
I'm pretty sure the next event I sign up for will be the Angel Island 12K in August.


teacherwoman said...

Awesome! Isn't that such a great feeling! I would love to try some trail running... I never have before!

before I sleep said...

Holy Moley, and to think the only thing I have to worry about while running is cramp...

psbowe said...

I say you're very gutsy...great job! Around here, there's always cougar warnings, but like you, I take my far so good.

jeff said...

good that you had the puppy with you. and congrats on a faster time!

i think about cats quite a bit now, ever since those two mountain bikers were attacked in one of my favorite parks. you're right, it does increase your pace. =)

Sherri said...

I just came across your blog this morning. I love this post. You describe the happy post-run feeling very well at the end, I could feel your happiness! Also, a huge congratulations on completing your very first tri, looking forward to reading more as you prepare for your next!