The Trail // Armstrong Redwoods

 I love running.  Ever since I was a kid it was something that made me feel freer, stronger, happier.  A few years ago I found a super fun group to run with, Pacific Coast Trail Runs.  They host monthly races ranging from 9k to 100 mile ultra-marathons.  My sweet spot is in the 5-15 mile range, and I love having a group to go run with.  They are "serious fun", a friendly but competitive group of people who love running in the beautiful open spaces of coastal California.

This past weekend I ran a 17k in Armstrong Redwoods in Guerneville.  The park was only recently opened to the public and this was the first race in its history.  The trail was gorgeous, starting in the misty redwoods and climbing into the dry high grasslands.  

 I wasn't planning on taking any photos during the race, but the 2 mile second climb was brutal and unrelenting.  All the dudes I was running with started walking, and then passing me as I was sluggishly "running" uphill, at which point I decided that I too would walk up the rest of the hill.  Here I am trailing them as we all huff and puff at about 6 or 7 miles into the race.

The results of the race:  I came in 1st place female in my age group, 4th place female, and 14th place overall.  It was a tough run, and it has me totally inspired to run the next race on June 2nd at Mt. Diablo.


Funny enough, my good friend Eva Kolenko has just taken a family get-away to Guerneville and posted all about her trip on her blog, so after the race I parked on a side street near downtown and meandered through town to The Big Bottom Cafe where I thoroughly enjoyed a big lunch on her recommedation.  I love Guerneville, it has the same sort of sidewalk-less streets, strange residents, and interesting artifacts as my hometown, Forest Knolls.  Here are some of my favorite sights in town....

 L O V E + M E T A L