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On Sunday, Jesse and I took advantage of the absolutely beautiful weather San Francisco is currently experiencing and went on a 14-mile trail running adventure in Marin. Although Ironman Lake Tahoe has yet to be conquered (but it’s fewer than three weeks away!), we kicked off Labor Day as the start of trail running season with 3,000 feet of climbing and a solid day on the trails.

Jesse tearing it up on the Redwood Trail.

Jesse tearing it up on the Redwood Trail.

For those of you familiar with the Marin Headlands, we parked at the Tennessee Valley trailhead and ran through Tennessee Valley to the Coastal Trail, past Muir Beach to the Redwood Trail, and took a break to refill our (many) water bottles at Muir Woods. From Muir Woods, we snaked up the Dipsea and returned to the Redwood Trail for a one-third of a mile until reaching the Dias Trail Ridge, a connector to the Miwok Trail we had never ran on before, despite having traversed much of the Marin Headlands during our many trail runs and races (particularly during the North Face Endurance Challenge). After climbing for a few miles to the top of Miwok, we descended back down Tennessee Valley.

Our circular route.

Our circular route.

Our original plan had been to run an out and back route, with Muir Woods serving as our turnaround; however, reading a sign indicating that Miwok connected to the Redwood Trail piqued our interest, and we decided to see where that route took us.

On the Coastal Trail, which looks a whole lot like Big Sur.

On the Coastal Trail, which looks a whole lot like Big Sur.

The day was absolutely beautiful – not a cloud in the sky. We started running around 10am, and the day quickly started heating up. By the end of the (mostly exposed) route, I was getting upset because I thought I may be getting sunburned (and you may recall the nasty sunburn I received at Wildflower), but I ended up with a tiny bit of redness only on part of my calf. I tried a new (to me) hydrating method that  seemed to work really well: Skratch Labs hydration mix. I drink a couple of gallons of water per day, and I sweat A LOT (I’m talking buckets within five minutes of easy running), so drinking something with extra sodium (plus other electrolytes) helped me perpetuate my effort and avoid crashing. The pineapple flavor was inoffensive and tasty and tasted only mildly salty.

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Mt. Tam rising above the trails.

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Looking out toward Mill Valley and Tiburon.

We have a bunch of trail running races on the calendar this season, and I would not be surprised if we signed up for a few more Coastal Trails, Enviro Sports, and Brazen Racing events:

Sunday, October 5:         The North Face Endurance Challenge, Park City, Utah (half marathon)

Saturday, November 15:    Mt. Tam Trail Run, Marin County, CA (50K for Jesse, 30K for me)

Saturday, December 6:     The North Face Endurance Challenge, Marin County, CA (50M for Jesse, 50K for me)