One of the prettiest places in the Bay Area, in my opinion, is the Nimitz Trail at Inspiration Point. So it stands to reason that I'd take my sis and bro-in-law for a walk there while they were visiting. I've dragged them up there before but I can't help showing off the beauty of where I live. The one fly in the ointment is the vast number of cows hanging out on the trail.
Anita met us there Saturday morning for a scheduled 4+ mile walk. Seriously, the length of the walk would be determined by cowage. It was a crisp, clear morning and we could see for miles. Anita and I had fun pointing out our favorite sights and probably got a bit annoying with our enthusiasm. I mean, how many times can someone listen to someone else gushing about the view of the Bay? Or the view of the bridges? Or the view of San Francisco? Or the view of the valley with Briones Reservoir glistening in the sunlight? Or the blue wildflowers (which we still are unable to identify)? Or the poppies or the bunnies or the eagles? Come to think of it, I'm surprised they didn't just take off running and leave us behind.
As we got close to the 2 mile marker we could see a large herd of cows off to the side but they were behind a fence. Except for one lost mama standing on our side of the fence right next to the trail. I hid behind my companions and made it past, but then we turned the corner and realized that another herd was on our side of the fence. Next to the trail. On the trail. Surrounding the trail. I thought I could suck it up, but decided it wasn't worth the adrenaline rush so we turned around just before the 2-1/2 mile marker. I'm glad we did, both to keep the encownters to a minimum but also because by the time we finished, my legs were tired from the hills.
On Sunday the three of us wanted to actually get in a run so we decided on the pancake flat Iron Horse Trail. We decided a half hour out, half back. I warned them about the grade on the trail; it's much easier going out than returning. My sis took off and my BIL steadily increased the distance between the two of us. I was trying to go easily but I'm having consistent difficulties with my legs going faster than my lungs can suck in air.
To purposely slow myself down I was run:walking a 9:1, and checking Mr. Garmin regularly to make sure I didn't speed up. Despite that I was tired at 2 miles and decided that 4 miles would be a good workout, even if it was shorter than an hour. I turned around and headed back up (literally up) the trail and discovered for myself how much harder it was in that direction. But it was a beautiful morning, clear and bright and sunny and cool and breezy, and I was determined to enjoy myself.
I finished my run with about a 12:15 average. Not too bad, not too good. The last half averaged about 15 seconds per mile slower than the first, a little slower than I had expected. Afterward I was tired but also had that "hey I'm a runner again" feeling.
Slowly I'm getting it back. Slowly I'll increase my consistency. Slowly I'll run and slowly I'll re-convince myself that indeed I can run distances. Slow isn't that bad if at least I'm moving forward.