A rain-filled Union Creek.
Mud and Waterfalls
It was a mudlicious early springtime run. This time I used my cross country flats; that was the ticket. I didn't slip once, even though I was in some shoe sucking sludge out there. It took me a little time to get used to running in the mud. I wasn't sure of my footing on that sludgy ground. I watched some cross country runners from the University of Santa Clara power past me through the sludge and I felt like a total clutzy dolt. I'm a little gun shy on the slippery trails...but I did improve markedly by the end of the run.
I started my run outside of the parks at Edgewood Road. Crystal Springs Trail takes a good mile and a half in as a rutted flat trail that suddenly juts upward and into the hills before diving down into Phleger and Huddart Parks. Crystal Springs Trail was kind of a mess today. Sections of it were completely churned up mud from horses' hooves. I tippy-toed around some of the really soppy sections at first. This was shoe sucking-off stuff!
The temps hovered around a fabulous 70 degrees in full sunshine. This is that magical time of year around here when it's green, sunny and warm on occasion. We'll still have cold rainy days, but they lead to spectacular days like this one. Come May, the hills will turn brown.
I ran into Phleger this time around. I thought about going up into Huddart, but decided to do something different. I also wanted to see how Union Creek was looking. Well it was Union River this time around complete with beautiful cascades and little tributaries that fed it from the hillsides. I ran along its banks via the Miramontes Trail and then headed up the hill a bit before turning back at the hour point. I figured two hours of good trail running would be enough for today, as I'm slowly building up.
On the way out of Phleger I saw a beautiful, healthy doe. She had a wonderful winter-fuzzy coat and a full belly (pregnant?). She was completely unconcerned about me and continued munching on the lush green spring grass.
I put the hammer down, as best as I can at this time of year, on the last flat section back out to the car. I got my courage up on the last big downhill to let 'er fly through the mud. I'm glad to say that there were no geological surveys. I pushed the pace to the end and felt my technique actually improve a bit. I thought about dancing lightly over the mud and hoof prints. It seemed to work!
The plan is to add one to two more trail runs in per week. I'm hoping on seeing some really improvement from this. And I just feel much happier out there.