Training Update: Weeks 3 and 4

The past two weeks I’ve been maintaining my schedule. Run 3 days, lift weights 3 days, do Peloton 3 days. One of my runs each week are a long run and I usually do those on Sundays. I started back to work this week so I was juggling a lot and meant that sometimes a Peloton ride was at 4pm and weights were at 5pm. But it got done,

Week 3:

For my week 3 long run I chose to head out to Ross and run from the Ross Post Office into Natalie Coffin park and up Shaver grade. It’s such a pretty place ot run and one of my favorite with a mix of flat roads, slow inclines, sun and shade. This trail system also has a ton of offshoots. Once you run into the park and come to the parking lot you can take a few different directions.

Coming up the hill towards the lake there are other trails you can take and when you reach the lake again, more options. Most of the trails off the main fire road are single track trails so I strongly recommend you wear trail shoes for extra support and gription.

The network of trails in Marin County is plentiful. If you’re interested in learning more and exploring, this map is a wonderful resource! I found mine in at Arch Rival in Strawberry but you can buy one on Amazon too.

(And if you choose to go off of the fire road to these other network of trails, bring water, your phone and tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back. Let’s be smart out there! )

I went out about 8:30am so I could beat the heat. The run was uneventful for the most part, the shocking thing was how low Phoenix lake had gotten. For those who don’t know much about me, I live in Marin County and we, like many other places in California are in a severe drought. It is worriesome and a good reminder that we need to do what we can to conserve this precious resource. And of course, pray for a rainy winter.

Anyway, the 5 mile run took me an hour. Check and check!

Week 4:

I guess in the scheme of things I didn’t do a long run. I went on an 8.8 mile hike on Saturday and got a stupid blister on my toe. I drained it and wrapped it but it was still bothering me Sunday. I thought about just hopping on the bike but decided to enjoy the weather and head to the Dipsea stairs. My plan was to get out for an hour, doing a compination of steps and some of the trail.

The Dipsea Stairs are located in Old Mill Park and is part of the Dipsea race. It’s a 7 plus mile race that starts in downtown Mill Valley and takes you up, down, up and over Mt. Tam before dropping you into Stinson Beach. The race is over 100 years old and the trail even older.

While Mill Valley boasts an impressive network of stairs, the Dipsea Stairs are iconic. Comprised of 680 steps, the stairs are 3 separate staircases that take you up the equivalent of a 50 story building. At the end of each staircase you run up and around the street to get to the next set of stairs. Each staircase gettting steeper as you get closer to the top.

At the end of the third set you pop out onto Highway 1 and some residential streets. To continue to the trail, you follow a short path straight and when that ends you continue up the street to the gate where the official “Dipsea Trail” begins.

At the 12 minute mark I’m up stairs, across Hwy 1 and am at the trailhead. I ran down the path, down the steps and across the footbridge. From here I had a choice of going down to the Dipsea trail or straight onto the Sun Trail. Ipicked the latter. The Sun Trail is a single-track trail that hugs the hillside. It’s more of a rolling run vs steep and on a clear day at affords you spectacular views and the expanse of the Pacific Ocean. On a foggy day you’ll run into wisps of air and will be only able to see your feet and a bit of the trail in front of you. Both weather conditions are beautiful in their own way.

After about 15 minutes I turn back and re-trace my steps. Because it will take me much less time to hustle downhill, I go down then back up the top taircase and before going down again. I repeat this with each staircase and then I’m on my way back to my car.

All in all, I feel strong on my runs and I’ll just keep working towards my 10 mile race in October. Which, sadly, due to the Delta variant, has been turned into a virtual race. So now I need to find a nice 10 mile route for ‘race day’.

Now go run!

Keli 🙂

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