Trail Thoughts – Birds and Rocks

I went on a trail run this morning and saw a very cute bird a lot like this one:

Source: www.kcet.org

It may not be so significant in and of itself, but! Yes, there is a but! This is a bird that used to be considered a Western scrub jay… This year, the American Ornithologists’ Union formally made the distinction between this bird and another that had also been called a Western scrub jay. My pretty blue friend above is the California scrub jay while the “paler, smaller-billed jays in the far eastern reaches of the state are now officially referred to as Woodhouse’s scrub jay.” For more on this, check out this post from KCET. I was actually kind of excited – I think because I really used to like bird watching… Until I ran out of bird watching time. 😉

The other thing that kept me from obsessing over the actual run was thinking about all of the rocks I was artfully dodging. Why? Because not too long ago a friend of mine likened trail running to just running on dirt. Like, you know… Flat, easy dirt. While there are some of those trails around, I’ve been doing trails with rocks like these, along with 700-900 ft elevation gains (and those are the easy trails):

I’m not trying to sound particularly “bad ass” or anything, but I was a little taken aback by my friend’s comments. You have to work hard to earn those gorgeous views! Or, you could just spend a few million dollars and buy a house in the hills – Yes, a few million… This is California after all. Haha! Seriously, though, that was one of the many things that went through my head this morning as I was looking at the hills. Gorgeous, sweeping views of the bay, the mountains… Those people are lucky-ducky to have such great backyards. 🙂 And, they don’t have to drive to get to the trails!

Lots of rocks!

What kinds of things do you think about when you are running? Let me know… And, as always, stay healthy!

Spiderweb Vortex – Eek!!

This morning, I went on a 4-mile trail run. I took a break from the trail runs while I was trying to get my knee back to normal, so it was really nice to be back out there. I went to Edgewood Park because it’s a pretty quick drive to get there and it’s very pretty. I have only seen one deer there before, but this morning I saw 3… And, the requisite lizards basking in the sun.

Today’s run had me starting on the Sylvan Trail. Not doing Old Stage Road at the start again! (More on that below.) I then took the Serpentine Trail to the Clarkia Trail. I didn’t get to the trailhead, but turned around after 2 miles and returned the way I came.

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Edgewood Park Map

I’ve posted photos from there before so didn’t really think about taking any this time until I saw this:

Here’s the spiderweb vortex!!

It’s a spiderweb that goes into some kind of crazy spiral vortex that disappears into a hole in the ground. I mean, whoa! So, yes, that’s the photo I took today. Kind of glad I didn’t meet the spider…

Then, I felt like I needed to take a photo of something that wasn’t creepy. To make up for the spiderweb, here are some pretty flowers:

These flowers are prettier than the spiderweb vortex 🙂


Hilly trail runs are nice. A bit more challenging to me than paved trails due to all the rocks and uneven surfaces, but really worth it. I feel like it’s a great workout, plus it’s lovely, plus it’s peaceful. I should really do more hill work and this is a great way to do it – I’ve learned my lesson about starting off on a really steep uphill, though. The one time I did that, it ended up making me feel winded the entire run. So, a more moderate hill is a better choice for me. Still elevates my heart rate, but it doesn’t keep me from enjoying the rest of the run. I’m learning how to make my trail runs more enjoyable and still exploring different trails. Newbie at work! 🙂 Any trail or hill advice? Let me know!

Stay healthy!

These are interesting…

On the days I don’t get in a quick run, I make sure I take a 20-30 minute walk around SF Financial District, near my office. My goal is still 10,000 steps per day! I keep passing these guys on Mission:

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Every time I see them, I think of Tim Burton’s “Nightmare Before Christmas” and surely you can see why:

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(Image from http://reviewjunkies.com/throwback-the-nightmare-before-christmas/)

These statues are definitely quirky… Not your run of the mill artwork, that’s for sure. When I walk this particular path, I always look forward to seeing them because who doesn’t need “This is Halloween! This is Halloween!” running through their head? 🙂