Tag: Running

Vacation- Birthing Cave

The Birthing Cave trail in Sedona is nice, short, fairly easy trail to do. Unless you do it the same day you do Soldiers Pass and you’re overweight and out of shape.

Oh, wait, that was me.😆

Honestly, getting to the trail head was probably harder than the trail was. My GPS disagreed with what AllTrails said. And I didn’t actually find the trailhead. I stopped too soon and parked along the road near the Mescal trail head. Which is also how I learned there was another route to Devil’s Bridge but I’d already been there the last time I was in Arizona.

We started out on the Mescal Trail thinking we were just going to go a mile or so in and see what there was as we knew we weren’t in the right spot. Luckily a quarter mile in, we hit a trail junction that included a branch off onto the Long Canyon Trail which is where I had been trying to drive to. So we took it. It was a nice single track with some elevation drop.

Once at the Long Canyon trailhead, we headed back towards the Birthing Cave. Or, at least we hoped, this trail doesn’t have signs and there some places you could another direction. We ran into others just as confused as we were. Good thing was that this trail was pretty flat, wide and actually runnable if you wanted to.

After a little more winding back towards the cliff walls, you start to climb. I had to take a break, I’m so out of shape.😂. Then you start to scramble up, careful you don’t try to use a cactus as your handhold. The cave is cool but also not as big as you think it will be and it fills up quickly. It’s also very slippery and I was too tired to try climbing all the way in. I didn’t need to break my face.

After a short time in the cave enjoying the views, we headed back to the car. With the extra we tacked on with parking at the wrong trailhead, we came up just under 3 miles. Like I said, short but still good.

Vacation- Soldier’s Pass

I love dirt. I really do.

Getting sick in January may have derailed my original vacation plans by a lot, I was still planning on adding getting in some miles on new to me trails. So I headed back to Sedona.

First trail up was Soldier’s Pass.

AllTrails calls Soldier’s Pass a moderate, 4.5 mile out and back trail. There is a small trailhead parking lot but will likely be full. We parked in overflow about a mile down the street at a school/ bike park location. There was a nice trail that ran along the road so it was nice warmup.

I love the color of the rocks and desert in Sedona. I know it gets hyped up a lot but there is a very valid reason for it. That also means be prepared for crowds. Everywhere. From prepared, experienced hikers to people in flip flops.

The beginning of the trail brings you to a cool sinkhole to check out. Then about a mile in (or 2 from overflow) the trail brings you to the Seven Sacred Pools. Maybe I was tired, but this part was a little underwhelming. Were there 7 pools? Maybe. Maybe I was blind. The trail starts to climb a little here but nothing strenuous.

The path was nicely shaded actually as we made our way to a little plateau. From there the real climb begins and things start to get hard. The path narrows and gets steeper as you make the last climb to the rock wall and the caves. The caves are cool. Getting up an into the big one is sketchy but I am proud that my claustrophobic self managed to climb up to the cave level. I spent some time up there for a bit- only almost fell once, ha! It does get crowded up there though and how more people don’t fall, I don’t understand. I did slip on my way back out of the caves and wrenched my shoulders a bit but I didn’t fall, so win!

From there, it was back down to the plateau then on to the Seven Sacred Pools again. Took a few moments here to take a sit and eat a snack or 2. It was a little warmer than I figured for March, even in Arizona.

All in all, round trip from the overflow lot to Soldier’s Pass was 6 miles with around 800 ft of elevation gain. Most of that in the last .25 mile or so. Totally worth it.

2022 Oakland Marathon Recap (10K)

Oh, I have some much to share from last week. So many miles- on foot and by car- but let’s start with the end of the week- I ran a race!!!

Disclaimer: I received an entry in the Oakland Running Festival to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

I ran Oakland Marathon (Half) back in 2019 and loved all of the street art along the course. I ran it virtually in 2021 because I loved the medal. When the opportunity to run it again this year popped up, I was all in. I was looking forward to seeing of my fave murals along the half course as well as wondering what new ones may have popped up. Then COVID.

Don’t get me wrong, I was out of fitness in January before COVID hit but I essentially felt like I was starting from scratch afterwards. I lived in denial for a bit but by the beginning of March I knew there was no way I running the half. Yes, I could finish it but what damage would I do? So I dropped to the 10K, which the website made super easy so that was a bonus. Then race morning arrived dark and early. So dark, I got lost walking from my hotel to the start. Oops. Don’t do that.

I had done a rookie mistake and didn’t read the weather properly. I packed my BibRave singlet and a light weight long sleeve that I figured I would be ditching before the race started. Except the 10K started at 7 and it was 45 degrees. I still find that to be very cold, particularly on the top half of me. Crap. I layered the long sleeve under my tank and bought a cheap wannabe buff for my ears. I was still cold but it worked, mostly.

The 10K started at 7AM along with the marathon. When I first got to the start a little after 6, I thought it looked like it was going to be a small race and yet 30 minutes later- bam! Thousands of runners. Woah.

Still feeling new, I told myself to stick to my intervals for the 10K. 40 second run, 2 minute walk even if that meant it was going to be one of my slowest road 10K’s. My goal was to cross the finish line and not feel broken.

I did allow myself 4 minutes of running out of the chute. I knew I would not want to walk so soon but also didn’t want to blow it so soon either. The first 2 miles were run around Lake Merritt as the sun was coming up. I am lazy by nature so races are one of the few times I see sunrises. And this one was nice.
Mile 2 was also the first aid station where I promptly forgot how to drink water and choked.
Miles 1/2- 13:16, 13:24

After that graceful maneuver, we were running away from the lake and into town more. These miles were a little less scenic but still good. There were also drummers out at one of the aid stations. I still enjoyed looking for street art and getting a pic of Fallon St. I started to flag a little and grabbed some fruit snacks from my pack. Those seem to be the only thing I can make myself eat while running.
Miles 3/4- 13:17, 13:23

Miles 5 and 6 brought us back into downtown Oakland and we split from the marathoners. I was enjoying looking at all the buildings we were running by but my stomach was starting to cramp in a not good way. I also apparently found my running legs, ha!
Miles 5/6- 12:30, 12:01

Dude, the finish was uphill. Who does that???
Finish 1:22:15

With the exception of the last 100 yards, I really like the 10K course. Also, for the first time in a long time, I crossed a finish line pumped and not exhausted. Yeah, I was slow and still have a lot of work to do, but it was a good day and I needed that. All in all, it was a great experience.

Success! 22/11

I finally did it!!!

I finally made it out for a run after work last week. I had a bag of clothes at work for months so I really had no idea what was in the bag. Luckily it wasn’t too bad and I kind of matched. And hey, I found the 3/4 zip I had been missing.😂

I can’t even remember the last time I ran after work so I wasn’t sure how much time I had before it got dark. And because I planned poorly or didn’t plan it, I didn’t have any of my lights or reflective gear. Stupid.

Sunset!

All that aside, I still managed to fit in just under 3 miles before it got too dark. It felt kind of awesome.

Wish I could say the rest of the week was similar but nope. I was packing for a trip on Saturday and while I had planned to do my long run before leaving, I just felt too stressed. You know the feeling? When you think you’ve packed too much and also not enough at the same time? Yeah, I decided spending the day getting ready was more important.

Then, Sunday it was time to drive! I’m going to have so much to talk about 🤣

Hail!! 22/10

I live in a part of California where the weather is pretty consistent, at least appearance wise. Sunny with a few clouds. All day, most every day. I’m not talking temp, I am talking merely appearance. Temperature wise we can swing 50 degrees in just 8 hours and that’s considered normal, haha. Anyways, I am trying to explain why I was so excited for it to hail on a recent run. Hail!!!

I headed out for a run on a Saturday, thinking I would get in my long run instead of waiting until Sunday. The weather just seemed to speak long run. Mid 50’s and slightly overcast? My long run may have only been 5 miles but I still wanted to take advantage of the weather while I could. My only hesitancy was how dead tired I still felt from work the day before. That Friday had been one of the most exhausting days I can remember. So to compromise I headed to the lake path as it’s easy to shorten the run there. Plus the dirt path is always nice to run on.

I was in the middle of lap 2 when it started to sprinkle. Or so I thought. It seemed odd that I could hear the sprinkles so well. It wasn’t until I noticed something bouncing off my hat that I paid more attention. Hail!!! I may have stopped and filmed some video I was so excited. It was also kind of funny how quickly the full park and path emptied once the weather got a little wet. Not me, I was loving it so I just kept going. I finished my long run and was feeling better than I had when I started. That is something rare.

Sunday’s run was pretty decent too but the weather was back to same old blue skies. The 3.5 miles were solid though and I did manage to up my running time in my run/ walk intervals. How I used to run 2 hour half marathons is completely beyond me at this moment.

Baby steps, right?