when i decided to run 100 miles in 30 days back in july, i had no idea that it would conclude in northern california.
at first i thought it would be difficult to complete the challenge while on vacation, but i managed to run every day (to keep the miles from piling up toward the end). i adopted a regular route–a flat four mile loop around the neighborhood where i was staying in berkeley. i was also able to run around lake merrit, and alongside the berkeley marina with todd.
while i was primarily concerned with keeping up on the miles, i was also worried that i might injure myself somehow before i could finish the challenge. while i generally held it together since day one, the final two days had me wobbling around like a errant marble in the mornings. fortunately, by the time the afternoons rolled around, i was feeling fresh and ready to run. i even broke my PR for the mile at 7:34 on one of those days.
friday was the 30th and last day of the challenge. i made tentative plans to hit 100 miles on the golden gate bridge, but changed my mind after seeing photographs of the armstrong redwoods reserve. that afternoon, we packed up the car and headed north to sonoma county. on our way to the reserve, we picked up our friend, eduardo, in santa rosa. when we arrived, the parking lot was nearly empty. score!
after a quick pee-stop at the ranger’s station, we poked quizzically at the map where i would run, and then wandered into the woods.
1,300 year old trees. no big deal.
the running path, it turned out, involved a bridge, several hairpin curves hugging a steep ledge, a quarter mile of paved road, and a spongy, pine needle-y pathway flanked by gigantic redwoods. i had to run four loops of the path in order to complete the last four miles of the challenge.
for the first two miles, i did some starry eyed sightseeing. i’ve run across the brooklyn bridge at sunset, down the lakefront trail in sunny chicago, and over the golden gate bridge on a clear day, but this was probably the most beautiful place i’ve ever run through. i kept an eye on the trail, but craned my neck at times to gaze past the trees ahead of me. beyond those trees were vertically sliced views of more trees, going on and on into the distance. essentially, i was running through the forest moon of endor.
here i am at mile three, super stoked to see todd, nolan, and eduardo cheering me on.
YES. SO STOKED!!!1!1!!
but seriously, guys. i did it!
after hitting the 100th mile, i found myself standing alone on the path, out of breath, and dwarfed by the redwoods. i had earlier learned that some of these fuckers have been around since the magna carta was signed in 1215. that’s about 800 years ago. what did 38 year old tamara do? run 100 miles in 30 days? that’s nothing compared to living through centuries of plagues, wars, and famine. but you know…what i did wasn’t nothing:
humbled, sweaty, and at ease, i turned around and ran back to the start where everyone was waiting for me. for the first time in 30 days, i didn’t have to keep track of my running distance.
now that i’m finished with the 100 miles challenge, i’m ready to take on something new. i’ll still run, hovering around 60-70 miles a month, of course. once i figure out what that will be, i’ll let you know.
in the meantime, i’m going to finish up my vacation with mexican food, movies and sleepy-times.