TRIALS BLOG: Running at Crater Lake and Redwoods

So I have some catching up to do here. We’ll handle this in a few ways. I’ll break it down into categories to you can skip parts that don’t interest you.


The Meet

So Saturday was a bit of a boring day, except for the men’s 3K steeple final. Fam won the thing, as expected, but Billy Nelson came up and got 2nd and the A standard. I looked up around lap 3 and asked, “Who’s that little guy?’ It was Nelson. I of course rooted for him the rest of the way. He had a great finish to pull it out. It was very exciting.

How great is Fam. I know there are plenty of people who don’t like to mix their athletics and politics, but I like Fam talking about Tibet and having mixed feeling about the Olympics. The Olympics have always been a grand stage to make a statement. Jesse Owens did it in Berlin in 1936 just by winning 4 events. And Tommy Smith and John Carlos did it for civil rights in Mexico City in 1968 with their fists in the air.

Sunday was just plain awesome. The ovation that little Jordan Hasay got when she was introduced was the loudest of the day. She ran a very nice, smart race and got some great experience. The women’s are great when they cross the line – more emotion. Watching Lolo jones after she won the hurdles, even though she was a heavy favorite – was one of my favorite memories of the entire trials.

The men’s 1500m was a classic annoying sit and kick. I hate those type of races. That type of race favored the three men that qualified – Lagat, Lomong, and Manzano. I have to think that one of these 3:38 guys has a better chance to just get out and get after it.

Alan Webb did not qualify and I was surprised one bit. He did not close well in the semis and he would have had to close better in the final. Watching him race, he just seems like he’s panicked and immature on the track. Like he’s worrying about what people will say if he doesn’t make it instead of, “I got this, I know what I’m doing.” After hearing stories of how he eats whatever he wants, I can’t help and wonder if he needs to get out of his current coaching situation and move somewhere else. Then again, what to do I know.



Sunday – Chris Hunt dragged me out for 35 minutes on Pre’s Trail. Again, it’s nice but too flat and sunny for me to run on regularly. We saw Billy Nelson fresh off his steeple chase race the night before. We also ran behind Jen Rhines for a while. That’s the cool part about Pre’s Trail - seeing all of the top tier runners.

Afterwards, I manned up and jumped in the Willamette after wimping out the day before. It was freezing but exactly what I needed. Nothing gets you going like a cold, Mountain stream. Later on Monday I’d find out why the river was so cold when I drove past the snow caps that still existed on it’s source.

Monday – After driving all day, Monday was an off day. I did hike down 1 mile to Crater Lake. It was a rather easy hike but the lake it absolutely beautiful. On the way down a huge rock crashed down from above and missed me by 25 feet. I heard it start falling and scampered out of the way. Still, a little scary.

Tuesday – The plan was to run Little Bald Hills Trail in Redwood National Park. It’s a 10 mile out and back with water at 3.5 and 6.5 miles. It also climbs 1800 vertical feet on the way out.

I got to the trailhead a little late because the road to get there was a lot less traveled than I thought it would be, with huge old growth Redwoods lining the road. I didn’t bring my Camelbak with me so I was carrying water, a camera, and an energy bar in my pockets. It wasn’t ideal.

I started up the trail and right away I noticed that it was hot – really hot. It was actually close to 100 already and climbing. And the trail was climbing – fast. My calves were screaming at met after the hike from the day before, so I was worried about how they’d hold up.

So I was concerned about how much water I had, my calves, the heat, and also bears and mountain lions. Once I saw a fair amount of bear scat about 15 minutes up the trail, I called it off and headed back down the trail. There were just too many factors that said, “Turn around”. So I did.

I headed back down the trail and did 15 minutes out and back from my rental car, getting water before and after. Then I headed down another trail that led to an old growth redwood grove and to a wide, rocky river bed as well.

It all worked out for the best. The end of my run in the redwood grove is exactly what I was looking for – the REALLY big trees and padded, mossy trails. The river bed to follow was cold enough to be refreshing but warm enough to soak in and enjoy. It was why I like to travel on the fly with very little plans - It felt like a find.

Afterwards I drove down route 101 350 miles to San Francisco. It was 110 degrees in the inner valleys, and it almost felt hotter. I stopped in Eureka, CA for a quick bite before heading all the way to SF.

Traveling and Eating updates to follow….