Saturday, March 12, 2011

18 miles of Marin

I have visited the Marin Headlands at least a half dozen times, and I have never, not once, been there when it wasn't encased in fog. I advocated aggressively for a trip to Marin this weekend, so I was thrilled when the famous California sunshine made a showing for our planned Saturday run. Even the insane St. Patrick's Day parade traffic in downtown San Francisco couldn't dampen my spirits for such a momentous occasion.

We met up with Beat's friend Jochen, who lives in the city. Jochen proposed a "little" run of about 18 miles.

Since it was to be only my second run post-Susitna, and following a fairly overactive week of mountain biking, I balked a bit at the distance. But then Jochen promised fantastic scenery — my weakness. OK, legs, guess you're gonna hafta cowboy up.

My Susitna pains still come back a bit when the mileage piles up — sore tendons in the outer sides of both feet, sore IT bands, and general reminders that running is quite hard — a fact that month of "rest" had managed to mask. I slowed up Beat and Jochen a bit, but they were also too busy enjoying the scenery to really notice.

The views were indeed awesome. The Headlands are a mostly tree-free ridge, allowing for sweeping panoramas from all angles. Trails routinely and quickly drop from 1,000 feet to sea level and then climb again.

The weather could not have been better — temperatures in the low 60s, a stiff sea breeze and abundant sunshine.

We dropped down to Pirate's Cove for a snack on the beach ...

Watched waves crash on the rocks ...

And checked out very recent mudslides, likely damage from Friday's tsunami.

On the way back into Tennessee Valley, we watched a bobcat hunt on the hillside.

And ran, ran, ran all the way back to the Golden Gate Bridge just in time for an evening of Thai food and cappuccinos in the city.

A fantastic day ... one much better served by pictures than words. Map and profiles at this link.