Here's my version of an equation to sum up my 3rd training: Heat + Stench of a drying marshland + 5 miles = 1 Heck of a run! Alright, so I've been blogging about how wonderful my runs have been thus far...and even though this is probably the farthest continuous run of my life up to this moment, I can't say it was fun, but it was very rewarding in the end. I know...this is the reality of training to run 13.1 miles...lotsa hard work and plenty of sweat, but a great sense of accomplishment to top it off.
I started out from Sac earlier than usual this week (6:30am) since our training site was the Baylands Nature Preserve in Palo Alto. I did a 5 mile route along the Adobe Creek trail which is primarily a flat dirt trail circling the marshes, up a small hill, along Highway 101 to a bike trail and then through a parking lot! Besides my handy water bottle, I was accompanied by two running partners: air redolent with the smell of overpowering fennel and the putrid odor of a drying marsh loaded with the droppings of its geese and other wildlife. Ick! I know! The smell was manageable for most of the time until I was in my last mile and then, I was downwind, so nothing could prevent the sulfur-like stench from permeating my nostrils to the point that I really thought I would be dry heaving. It was that bad. Otherwise, the rest of the run was pretty dry and heated...something I haven't experienced as a combo yet...but I know this will help condition me to run in San Jose for sure!
Oh yeah, my Reason to Smile (or shall I say Chuckle): During my 3rd mile, the trail was littered with little rabbit pellets...made me laugh for a moment there since I literally felt like Hansel & Gretel following stones to some witches' house made of candy. The sight of those pellets managed to motivate me to run a little faster; well, that and the funky smell. :)
After my run, and some stretch exercises with my team, I decide to head back home since the heat started getting intolerable. But before that, I take a detour to grab some lunch and experience 4th Street in Berkeley. You see...I went to school there for 4 years and never managed to make my way to that part of town; partly b/c from I-80, it looks like a dilapidated section of the city. But I had to make a trip to my favorite stationery store that I discovered as I was planning my wedding last year: Paper Source! It has the most unique and reasonably priced selection of papers...great for invitations, cards, whatever you can think up! I wasn't able to find parking right away, so I take a turn and end up on the 4th St. strip....similar to Chestnut St. in SF. It is home to some cute little boutiques and restaurants, plus my other favorite place: The Crate & Barrel Outlet..yes outlet! And as I'm always looking for great bargains, this was a great place to discover.
Well, stay tuned for a couple more weeks since next week, July 28, I'll be missing my training for good reason: I'm taking my GRE! Yup! A week of attending a national admissions conference in Memphis and then off to a 4-hour grueling session of test taking. Oh, and if you're wondering why I've been using such erudite vocabulary lately, it's b/c it's my way of studying my vocabulary for the GRE. And no..I don't always endeavor to sound so pretentious. Haha...until another week of laughs...wish me luck! :)
9 months ago