Saturday, December 24, 2011

Greatest Training Ground

Time: 110:03
Distance: 22.58k
Pace: 4:52/k

Through the wonders of Facebook, I was able to chat with my old high school teammate and meet up for a run at Howarth Park. It's a familiar meeting location for runners in Santa Rosa and one that I would visit multiple times during the week when I lived in Nor Cal. Meagan was also game to run with us under our promise that we wouldn't drop her too much... too often. The excitement of being back in the park might just get the pace moving between Steve and me!

We came up with a loop that would be roughly the distance Meagan was looking to hit and we were off. There are lots of climbs, trees, pretty views, a couple lakes, dozens of other runners, bikers, kilometers of dirt trails and wildlife. There were also lots of rocks. I don't remember the trails being so rocky or maybe I was just tougher back in high school. Steve and I were able to find relatively clean routes on the trail to avoid the rocks and we've learned which rocks are safe to step on and which need to be avoided. On the contrary, Meagan's little stubby legs and already sore foot weren't suited to the terrain.

On a number of occasions she was dropped when the trail became overly rocky and she decided to walk. Yes, a Olympic Trials qualifier stopping to walk on runs! I could tell she was getting frustrated, but there was little we could do other than be overly careful.

It was great catching up with Steve and getting a run in back up in Annadel. We are both convinced it's the best place to train in the country. Meagan thinks we are nuts. On the run we also saw Kim Conley and Sarah Hallas who are both talented runners from the area. There were no Sara (Bei) Hall or Julia (Stamps) Mallon sightings today.

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