After a great experience on the WS trails, I took two days off, trying to give my quads a little rest. A midweek run with Erin and John at Chantry Flats was the perfect way to ring the halftime bell as far as my training goes.
We moved at a comfortable pace while I was very busy trying to avoid the masses of poison oak (Gifteiche). I now know exactly what it looks like. Very fortunately, I didn't show an allergic reaction after probably brushing against it on the WS trails. Today, taking funny pictures as well as the giant swing were as important as the actual running.
My adrenaline level almost went through the roof a little later when we ran past a bear. Erin and I being in front only witnessed the movement going away from us while John did see the it in its true size.
That's how big the bear was....
He told us to be "big" and keep walking. Being in the front, I heard the loud noise of something big moving and stopped as I didn't want to be the one confronting the bear face to face turning around the next corner. Eventually I did move again and we finished this beautiful run with some excellent lunch and coffee.
On Friday, a group of Coyotes went to Oakhurst to run the Shadow of the Giants 50k the next day. We all stayed in a beautiful house in the country and drove up to Fish Camp the next morning. Big Baz had his little talk about the new and a little bit longer course due to too much snow and off we went. It was the first ultra race for the majority of the group and a very exciting moment for them.
My goal was - again - to take it easy and take it as a training run. I got to run with Chris for almost 23 miles and shared some good conversations as well as tree hugging moments.
I'm the master treehugger with my 4 arms
On the nasty 4 miles down/4 miles up out-n-back, we crossed almost all of the other Coyote runners and exchanged a few quick words. Amber was having major IT-band issues and I ended up running back down with her to give her all the mental support she might need and finish her first ultra. I wasn't prepared for theses 10 miles of inspiration. I have had my share of IT-band pains and I know what it feels like to run or much more likely, walk with it. Amber would not complain or whine once about her pain and when asked if it hurts, responded with a light "a little". She even produced plenty of smiles when I tried to crack a joke or took a picture. All, while she kept moving, even running the entire last 4 miles! I was deeply impressed by her and learned my lesson to keep my smile and positive energy flowing at all times!
The following day, a couple of the group went up to Yosemite National Park and had some fun on the mist trail and taking post card pictures. It was a great way to finish this week and I have definitely stored more pictures in my heart.