Sunday, May 29, 2011

Shelter Cove

I have never been to Shelter Cove.  I know it is isolated, the beginning or the end to different sections of the Lost Coast Trail.  Kings Range borders here and you drive through much of it gettting there.  So when I found a race there, I grabbed the opportunity to explore.  I woke up early and took off to the Whitethorn School 3rd Annual 5k/10k/fun run in Shelter Cove.

Rain was steadily wetting the car but it wasn't downpour size.  A short 45 minute drive down the 101 found my exit and the beginning of a windy but absolutely gorgeous additional 45 minutes to Shelter Cove.  Having never been here, I left extra early and was rewarded with an empty road the whole way; not that there was going to be a huge crowd for the race, but it was a holiday weekend.  Several curves at the top of ridges revealed clouds above and a fog below sitting atop the trees like a blanket.  Beautiful country, mostly BLM run so it does have a good amount of farmland/grazing as well as off-road use, but otherwise is maintained as a fairly pristine area.  Finally I arrived at the coast in the beautiful and cozy little coastal town of Shelter Cove.  I quickly found Mal Coombs Park where a few people were already setting up. 

A light rain was falling so I dressed for wet and headed down to the beach, walked quite a ways both directions, snapped a few shots.  I can see why this is a good whale watching area.  Even with the cloudy day I could see forever into the ocean.  Mendocino Lighthouse sat on the bluff above me.  The private campground in town was realtively crowded but there were a few spots still, the weather probably scaring many off.  Originally was planning on making a camping trip out of this race but it didn't quite work out.  Good thing because it would have been wet and muddy.  Checked out the area for a few hours than came back to get registered, got my shirt, and headed to the car (20' away) to fuel up for the run.

There were probably fewer than 50 total people for the race.  There were runners, walkers, strollers, unleashed dogs, kids, the works!  The 5k was a loop and the 10k was the 5k twice.  The fun run/walk was a shorter 2 mile loop.  I signed up for the 5k, using this as a warmup for a 10k next weekend in Vacaville, CA.  I took off a little quicker than I wanted, trying to get ahead of the kid-mass and strollers.  (like I said there weren't a lot of people but it was still a little crowded to begin)  Not knowing the course, this quick start almost killed me.  The first half of the course has 3 killer progressively longer hill climbs.  By the time I crested the last one, I didn't think I could go on.  Than I saw that scraggly little 10 year old kid in front of me, seeing if I was going to catch up.  I found my burst on the downhill and slowly worked my way home.  Finished with a time of 23:55, my first 5k race so nothing to compare to.  If I could run my 10k at that pace I'd be stylin.  Sometime during the race the rain stopped, I didn't even notice.

I waited around at the finish for another 30 minutes, cheering the finishers on as they crossed the line.  I drove down to Black Sands Beach to check it out (WOW! beautiful!) and than headed for home since I had to work some night overtime that night.  

Coming weekend I am heading over to Yreka for Sam's high school graduation HOLY SHIT!!! wow where did the time go?  After his graduation on Saturday I am driving down to Vacaville, CA to visit with my sister and race the California Run Festival And Relay  the inaugural race which includes a 5k/10k/half-marathon/full marathon/ and 50k.  I'm running the 10k and I hope Christy and John decide to race as well. 

In unrelated news: my work schedule is changing for the summer months, any social life I had will now end.  I lose the one weekend day I had and now my days off will be Wed/Thurs/Fri.  Guess I still have Friday nights, but with work the next day probably won't be too many exciting nights.  But since my social life is almost non-existent here, I can groove on a busy fire season to make some good money and make the time fly.  I will be too busy anyway, running, working.  I plan on running my first half-marathon locally in October Redwoods Marathon.  I have Hal Higdon's half-marathon guide already above my 10k guide and ready for action!  I also now have a local gym membership with Healthsport which I'm really excited about.  I mainly signed  up for the Yoga to help my horrible flexibility and help relax while running.  Also the treadmills should get some use on rainy days.  They also have great equipment so I can do some REAL cross or strengthen training on days that call for it. 

Kids: Sam graduating high school;  signed up already for College of the Siskiyous;  got a job for the summer at Raley's (woohoo, Sam!); 4.0 in high school, never missed a single day of hihg school (made some school record for his attendance), made homecoming king; won a couple of academic scholarships.  He's had a terrific time with high school and I love seeing his high spirits.  Emily has been doing awesome in school and her recent project won her science fair.  AWESOME, Emily!!  She also has been driving her mother around everywhere now that she has her permit and is a driving nut now! 

Ciao! for now! Love everyone!

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