First off, for credit sake and to appease my new bike and swim monitor Izzac (I have appointed him to keep me honest about the bike and swim portion of my training which are unarguably my weakest triathlon events and subsequently, the easiest workouts for me to bail on)
Saturday: Long Ride - 25 mile bike ride in the wind and cold on Highway 1 (yes, with cars and trucks and other scary stuff that I hate)
Total bike mileage for the week: 40 miles
Total swim yardage: 3000 yds
On to the run:
On Sunday I had planned an 8 mile long run. A group of us decided to run together in Santa Cruz. Everyone had different run distances in mind. Two gals were going to run for 1:20 (Our coach assigns workout times instead of distances. My low grade OCD won't allow for uneven run distances, so I pick a mile number that somewhat fits my schedule), I wanted to do 8, and the other gal was doing 14.
Picture: Julia called this the gateway to Narnia. It was a beautiful trail up a hill to where the old health club where the Lost Boys was filmed and then a pretty redwood trail.
We head out and I start to think (great time to get that ball rolling, huh?) hmmm... how exactly am I going to do 8 if I don't know where I am or how to get back to the start?
The other gals turn back at about 3.5 miles. Which is less than I want to do, so I think, that's ok, I will just run 10 miles of the 14 miles with her.
Hello RBR! 8 miles or 10 miles, you still do not know how to get back!
But this does not occur to me until about 30 minutes later. So I am now in it for the full 14. Whatever. We ran up through UC Santa Cruz campus which was quite lovely and had quite a bit of climb in it. Then we ran past pastures of cows. I love to run or even drive by cows. They make me happy. Back in the day, my hubby and I used to spend hours driving in the country looking at cows. What can I say? I am a cheap date. Picture: Me and the cows of the UC Santa Cruz campus.
At some point we saw a trail that headed toward the ocean. She says, "I think this trail meets up with a public park called Wilder ranch, and we can get back this way for a total of about 13-14 miles. It would allow us get off the road a bit." Sounds good to me! Off we go.
Well, after we climbed two fences, belly crawled under a barbed wire fence, and ran past the NO TRESPASSING signs I became a smidge worried that we were lost.
Then suddenly we are running amongst a herd of cows. Not running next to the pasture of cows and saying "aww, so cute!" like before. We are running IN WITH the cows!!
At this point, all I can think is, " Dear God, please tell me that: 1. there is no bull in this field that will charge and crush us until we are dead, and 2. Please say the rancher that owns this land doesn't blow our fucking heads off with a shotgun!"
I grew up in the country, this is NOT ok. You DO NOT just run through a rancher's pasture without permission. We got to the road and climbed another fence to get out and immediately met up with the rancher. God, I was mortified. I apologized profusely and the woman was very nice, but very clear that she was not happy. The fact that she did not have us arrested or blow our heads off with a shot gun is a testament to her good nature. No pictures of these cows. I was a little concerned about watching out for an enraged, hormone laden bovine that was ready to pound me into a cow patty.
After that, the run was pretty uneventful. We had been running for 11 miles at that point and my friend estimated that we had about 5 more to go (4.62 to be exact). It started to rain and it was cold, but not too bad. We ran along the ocean so the views were distracting. It was a fun run because of all the varying terrain: road running past the Santa Cruz Boardwalk, tromping along a soft redwood trail, climb through the UC Santa Cruz campus bike trails, unauthorized trek though cattle ranch, and cliff side bike trail along the Pacific Ocean. Truly a beautiful run...
... just a tad longer than I had planned.