For the last year, during Covid, I have been doing my long runs on the trails with some friends. They have called themselves Dave and the babs. I had been seeing their posts on Facebook for some time and suffered from FOMO – (fear of missing out) Over the years I had joined them on occasion, but our schedules just did not typically work out. With Covid though my weekends have become remarkable free. Molly and I have similar ability and tend to run together and the two of us have been the most consistent about getting out there every week. It has been awesome to have a consistent long run partner again.
A couple weeks ago Dawn got a message from Molly’s husband asking us to keep her out of the house for 5 or 6 hours on Sunday the 24th. It would be Molly’s 50th birthday and he was cooking up a surprise. Molly wanted to run something long for her birthday so it turned out to be an easy task. After kicking around some ideas I suggested that we run a 50K for her 50th birthday. She has run several and she agreed to the idea. I have never run anything longer than a marathon but I figured if we kept the pace really easy I would do okay…
So Molly and I met at 7 am at Bouquet Canyon and the Pacific Crest Trail. I had measured the course from there to Grass Mountain and it was 1/2 mile short of 50K so we started by running a short out and back the opposite direction. A small storm had come through the night before so even at the start their was scatterings of patches of snow. It was in the 20s, but their was no wind so it looked to be good running weather.
As we got close to the first ridge the trail become covered in a thin layer of snow. It was not icy or slippery. It was just white and pretty! Some sections of the trail are a bit overgrown so as we ran through I could not help but brush up against snow laden bushes… at times my bare legs had moments where they were quite cold… almost felt like I was getting all scratched up, but when I looked down there was no damage.
We made it to where the trail crosses the dirt road – Spunky Edison. I had driven up the day before and left water – I refilled. Shortly after that we encountered Dave. He had started at San Francisquito and was running to Spunky Edison and back. He had left messages along the way scratched into the dirt….. “go bab and Dale”, “Happy BDay Molly” etc.
Molly and I continued all the way to San Francisquito Canyon. We crossed it and started up Grass Mountain. We took it very easy going up (mostly walking). Our turn around point was right at the top.
On the way down we met Karl. He had parked at San Francisquito and had run up to find us. Karl stayed with us the rest of the way! It was awesome. I had not talked to Karl much in a long while so we had lots to talk about….. talking always makes the miles go by much quicker.
We made our way over the ridges until we hit the last one… 4 miles to go – almost all downhill! We were starting the downhill when Dawn, Andi and Stacy met us. They had parked at Bouquet and were running up to meet us. The six of us ran and talked and go through the last few miles together.
When we got back to our cars, Molly was surprised to find her car decorated with a Happy Birthday banner and some signs! The ladies quickly got out a card table and set up snacks! It was an awesome ending to an awesome run!