One life lesson my brain refuses to store in long term memory despite repeating the mistake so many times is: If you have some sort of event coming up, prepare for it the night before, not the morning of.
I can't begin to count the number of times I've forgotten a jacket, had the wrong uniforms decoartions on, or assumed something was in the car when it wasn't. Race day was no different. I forgot my vest and printed course directions. I adjusted for the first by just carrying things in my hand (phone, mask). The second one I adjusted for by making two wrong turns, or more precisely, missing them and blissfully plodding forward unawares.
Sure it was frustrating but it's hard to stay upset for long when surrounded by nature's undying majesty. I'm sure those redwoods had a good laugh at my foolishness. I like to think I did the race's name jusice by creating a true "scramble" in the woods. Perhaps I WAS the Sasquatch!
It was a tough race, and I'd really like to run the route again now that I'm a bit more familiar with the course. Honestly, I had trouble finding my stride too, so I just wasn't in the headspace to put up a good time for myself between that and my early directinal snafus.
I did study the "turn by turn" directions the evening before, but oversimplified the course in my head. I told myself "Stream trail, to West Ridge, to French, to Prince, and on down." If I had read closer I would have realized a few doglegs and quick trail changes. The race organizers anticipated this. Audio cues were available (STRONGLY RECOMMEND to quote the email), but I was too stubborn to download another app to my phone.
OK. I think I've made the point. Study the directions with a bit more rigor. The right answer (if I don't want to use audio cues) is probably to print both the maps and turn by turn directions, study the two together, and bring the two on the trail. I did have the .GPX loaded onto Strava as a route so that was good albeit inconvenient. Without that I'm sure I would've have gotten so lost that I wouldn't have completed the route!
After my detours and first go though, the trail network is pretty simple and I'd be pretty confident running through the park again on any of its trails.
The course itself has good elevation and a good mix of single track and fire road. It has a great mix for being quite a small park. I found myself alone among towering redwoods for a stretch on French Trail and surrounded by chaparral pine and oak with other hikers and dogs on West and East Ridge Roads. There was plenty of parking at the Trailhead for Stream Trail. A lot of parking actually.
I finished up with sore legs, my first Athletic Brewing Company non-alcoholic beer, and this sweet new chain, or Woodallion as runner's call it I suppose. Grateful to have found a cool new running route (twice) and spent some time amongst the wise redwoods.
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