Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Running a Classic

Time: 91:28
Distance: 20.25k
Pace: 4:31

I was up early and off to another coffee shop this morning to find the internet and some caffeine. I opted for a relatively new donut shop near Howarth Park that I'd never been to. I wasn't a fan as the old time behind the counter was beyond deaf. I thought the place had potential, but then the refills were limited to one per customer and I was quickly becoming disgruntled. I did purchase a cinnamon roll and ate it later in the day during a lapse in healthy judgement. Whatever, I used to be a member of the "Friday morning fritter crew" while living in Norman, OK. Scotty D would appreciate my choice.

Isn't this blog about running? Oh yea. I should post about my run and not donuts and coffee, though there is potential there for another blog.

I ran an absolute classic loop this morning that is known throughout Santa Rosa. It usually starts at Howarth Park, but I get to add on a bit by beginning from my mom's. The loop goes up Canyon Trail, around Lake Ilsanjo and back down either Spring Creek Trail or Canyon Trail. I opted for the longer distance of the same way I ascended because I'm trying to run 20k in the morning.

On my way to the base of the hill I spotted a fit looking runner across the creek and I was pretty sure it was Julia Stamps. I kept running and soon ran past a blonde woman with her daughter. It was only after I was a few steps beyond them when I realized it was Nika Horn. I hadn't seen her in several years and she definitely didn't recognize me. The last time I saw her she was probably pushing her daughter, the one that was running alongside her, in a babyjogger. Nika was one of the first, if not the first, great female distance runners to come out of Santa Rosa or Sonoma County.

I was just within an earshot of Nika to hear her say, "Hi, Jules.' It confirmed that the woman earlier was in fact Julia Stamps who is probably one of the most talented high school runners to date. I could rattle off stats, but you should just look her up and see her accomplishments. She now has two kids and is back living in Santa Rosa. Julia is still competitive and recently placed second at the Napa to Sonoma Half Marathon in 1:18.27. She was coached by Danny Aldridge who was also my high school coach. Danny's daughter, Jenny, was also a great high school runner who won the state 1600m in 4:49 defeating Sara Bei (now Hall). How is that for some Santa Rosa name dropping and boring stories of glory days?

I continued on my run and crossed paths with Julia up at the lake twice, but I'm positive she didn't recognize me. The pace on this run never really got going as my legs are still shot from being back on the hills. I've tried giving myself massages at night, but without a roller I've struggled to keep the legs really fresh. I had a good time being back in the park running a loop that I've done hundreds of times before. I forget how lucky I was to get my start running on some of the best trails in the country. People talk about the trails in Portland, Eugene, Boulder, Flagstaff, but Santa Rosa still has some of the best in my opinion.

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