Weekly training recap: 2/25/13 + my new favorite trail!

Mon: 30 min stretching/rolling.

Tues: 5 easy miles around the lake.
Stats: 5.2 miles @ 10:41/mile + 30 min stretching/rolling

Wed: Had planned to go rock climbing, but my climbing partner canceled. I was feeling a twinge in my elbow, so it was probably for the best. Settled for PT exercises and some pull-ups while we finished the last disc of Homeland.
Stats: 60 min PT exercise/stretching/rolling

Thurs: I was all excited to do a confidence-boosting tempo run, especially after my rambling post on Wednesday, but woke up with the worst neck pain ever. Well, actually, I had gone to bed with it on Wed night, but it had not gotten better overnight. I called in sick and laid around on the heat pad, which did the trick, thankfully. No tempo run for me. 😦

Fri: Tempted to run or do SOMETHING (e.g., yoga), but decided that I should let my neck rest a bit longer.
Stats: 30 min stretching/rolling

Sat: Run #5 with Running for a Better Oakland (RBO). This was a recovery week, so we only had 5 miles planned. Unfortunately, Alejandro didn’t show up. I learned later that he had transportation issues, and he was really upset about missing the RBO run. Poor guy. Anyway, my friend CR’s mentee also didn’t show up, so he and I ran together for 2+ miles before picking up 2 students who were running mentor-less. I ended up running the last part with Nick, a high school junior. He was a cool kid and I enjoyed talking to him.

Because of the shorter RBO mileage, and because I only ran 5 miles during the week, I decided to do a longer warm-up and cool-down, resulting in 7.2 miles total.
Stats: 7.2 miles @ 10:56/mile + 30 min stretching/rolling

Sun: Inspired by Aron‘s awesome trail running photos on her blog, I finally got myself an EBMUD trail permit to explore the various East Bay reservoirs. Today, we went to Briones Reservoir, which is 13 miles in circumference. Since I figured that we might like to have some shorter options, I asked Aron about good out-and-back sections. She recommended the Bear Creek Trail. I almost hesitate to write about this trail because I would love to keep it under wraps to prevent it from getting overcrowded… but I’m also excited to tell you all about the great run we had today. (Note: There are 2 Bear Creek Trails — one is at Briones Reservoir, which is on EBMUD property. This is the one I’m referring to in this post. The other is in neighboring Briones Regional Park, part of the East Bay Regional Parks system.)

peaceful single track

peaceful single track

Briones Reservoir

Briones Reservoir

shimmering waters

shimmering waters

Here’s why I loved this trail:
– 80-90% single track
– saw about 15-20 people in all (some of that includes people we saw 2x due to out and back) on a beautiful sunny day
– gorgeous views of Briones Reservoir and the East Bay Hills
– mostly shaded
– small rolling hills for the most part (though it does accumulate – my calves were certainly feeling it!) with one extended climb closer to the Bear Creek Staging Area

more glorious single track

more glorious single track (though a bit blurry)

lush greenery and the reservoir

lush greenery and the reservoir


One of the more exposed sections. The water was really green here.

One of the more exposed sections. The water was really green and pretty.

Bear Creek is definitely going to be a regular part of our trail running rotation. We’re also excited to run around the whole reservoir at some point. The Gypsy Runner was very enthusiastic about the trail and about his new running shoes – the Merrell Vapor Glove. I’m trying to convince him to write a guest post about it… hopefully that will happen eventually!
Stats: 7.5 miles* @ 11:11/mile, ~1000′ elevation gain + 30 min stretching/rolling
*My Garmin said 7 miles, while the EBMUD trailhead/marker said 8, so I thought 7.5 miles was a good compromise. There was a lot of winding trail under tree cover, which always screws with my Garmin. A hiker on Everytrail listed the GPS distance as 7.6 miles… so maybe 7.5 miles isn’t so far off.

WEEKLY TOTAL: 19.9 miles + 4+ hours PT/stretching
How I felt about it: An OK week sabotaged by a random bout of neck pain. C.


Howdy! My name is Jen and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I like to eat, run, and blog, but not usually at the same time.

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Posted in Training
14 comments on “Weekly training recap: 2/25/13 + my new favorite trail!
  1. kaitwatts says:

    Looks like a great new trail system for you! I can’t wait for things to dry up around here and do more trail runs. The time flies by.

    • Jen says:

      Yeah, it really does! I never feel the need for any distractions (e.g., music, podcasts) when I’m out on a beautiful trail. Hope spring comes your way soon!

  2. bt says:

    That looks like a gorgeous trail. Nice pace for the trail run with all the elevation gain!

  3. Dominick S. says:

    I have been having major issue with shoulder and neck tension but thankfully nothing as bad as you! OUCH. I love all the trails in your area. We have trails in Pasadena that I will begin exploring very soon. I need some trail shoes but am hesitant to go Gypsy Runner style…you guys are insane!

    • Jen says:

      Yeah, I don’t know what was going on with my neck. I’ve never had that kind of pain before. Maybe I’m getting old?? I’m going to blame it on the pull ups. haha

      Re: trail shoes. I’m loving the Altra Superiors right now – they’re a great combination of protection, cushion, and ground feel. I’ve also heard great things about INOV-8, Salomons, and the Merrell Mix Master.

      • Dominick S. says:

        I use the Solomon Missions CS5’s and the toe box was way too large and the arch was too high it was causing some serious blistering after about 2 miles. Pondering the Kinvara TR’s but I want to try on INOV-8’s and the Fuji Racer from Asic.

  4. Amy says:

    Everytime you show pictures of a new trail you discovered, I kick myself for not doing more East Bay exploring/running when I was there. So pretty!

    • Jen says:

      I was actually wondering to myself if you had been out there during your college days! Well, if you ever head back to the Bay Area, we’ll have to go do some trail running together! (even though you’re not a big fan?)

      • Amy says:

        I’m mostly not a fan when there is danger of rattlesnakes (I am so deathly afraid). I’m doing a 14.2 mile trail race in a couple of weeks, and we’re planning on doing another one in September, so I should probably get used to it.

        • Jen says:

          Yikes! I wouldn’t be a fan either if there were more rattlesnakes around here (which I’ve only really heard about at Mt. Diablo).

  5. Cathryn says:

    That trail looks beautiful – you get some great trail running out in the East Bay!!! Enjoy it!!

  6. […] Cathryn over to the East Bay to run the Briones Reservoir.  Bear Creek Trail at Briones is one of my favorite East Bay trails, so I was excited to explore the rest of the reservoir with Cathryn.  However, for all of my […]

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