February: A Winter’s Test
February started with a training run in warm and sunny Point Reyes that was supposed to be a mellow last long run before the American Canyon 50 Km in Auburn, but distracted by the views of the ocean around mile 5, I tripped on a rock and fell down hard for the first time in years. Fortunately, my right knee softened the blow to my shoulder, elbow, and hands. What’s a little blood and swelling over 15 more miles?
A week later in Auburn, the trails and weather could not have been any more different. The temperature at the starting line was 32°F and I was wearing tights, socks, and a jacket, anything to keep me warm as I exercised my resolve to embrace winter running. Despite the cold, I really enjoyed the views of the American River, specially near No Hands Bridge, and somehow I managed to keep a steady pace for most of the day.
With a total of 104 miles on trails, this month was a winter’s test that included running a 50 Km on technical single track with over 5,000 ft. of elevation gain in my least favorite condition — cold. But finishing made me optimistic about returning in March for the Way too Cool 50 Km when the temperatures are expected to be much warmer. And though it’s been a fairly mild winter in California, I am really looking forward to all the races I have lined up for the spring, summer, and fall.