Glorious afternoon run!

The road really does seem to go ever on and on from this vantage point.  This is what late November looks like in the Northern California coastal hills.

Since the weather was cooperating, I did my "long" run this afternoon instead of Sunday morning.  5.7 miles.  Some of the hill trails are quite steep -- I walk some of the ups and some of the downs.  Since we have had rain recently, the adobe mud was in fine shape, adding weight to the shoes with every step in some spots where it was seeping.  But since the weather has been dry for a week, there were also spots where the trail is firmly molded into whatever shape the local traffic pushed it into when it was wet.  This is park land, but they lease it for grazing.  Cattle hooves create amazing texture when the adobe is pliable, and when it dries in those craters and mounds, it is a very difficult running surface! 

I'm glad I didn't have any thought of speed workout today.  I just let my watch run while I took pictures or admired the views, and walked wherever I needed to, which included drink breaks and bird-watching.  Great aerobic workout, great strength workout on those hills, and totally awesome mental-health miles.

Plus I always feel like a real trail runner when I come home with muddy legs!

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