Saturday, March 31, 2007

Training Update
A month after the marathon, I finally feel as though I've transitioned into triathlon season. Did three good swims this week, including 2,500 yards one day. Pretty big for me, especially in March. Today was my first brick – 25 miles on the bike over Mount Veeder (1,200 feet or so above the valley) and down Dry Creek, right into a 3.35-mile run that included a 400-foot climb and a mile or so of trails.

Speaking of trails, they figure to be a big part of my spring training this year. We're living less than a mile from Westwood Hills Regional Park now, a real blessing. Apparently this parcel was earmarked for development in the '70s, but the city and the developer couldn't agree on the scope of the project and the city

Westwood Hills Regional Park, Napa

ended up buying the property. I wouldn't call it pristine, but pristine is hardly possible in a city, right? But it's open space and highly variable in nature, with eucalyptus, oak and buckeye, and grassy meadows. A main fire road heads up from the parking lot on Browns Valley Road, and singletrack and deer trails crisscross what are said to be 110 acres of parkland. We didn't have a big rain year, but did get enough to green the place up nicely, which should last until May, roughly.

The previous several years, I ran almost exclusively on flat ground. That's what was out the door from 184 South Montgomery Street. Now, out the door from the new (temporary) place, it's hills, so hills it shall be a couple of times a week. These runs will build strength and depth of fitness – and they're fun! For one thing, running on the dirt, especially gnarly dirt on incline, takes me out of the head. I'm thinking about where I'm stepping, no time to contemplate how far I've gone or have to go. And it's just plain pretty out there, too.

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