Back in February, I took my friend Kerry to the top of Mt. Diablo as part of her Bay Area Bucket list. I hadn’t been back to the summit since that day, mostly because I was training for AR50, then recovering from it. It’s a pretty tough run, so I never wanted to risk being really sore during training, mostly from coming down the mountain. So, although I run on the Diablo trails all the time, I hadn’t been all the way up in some time.
Until this weekend!
Kristin, Sima and I have had it on our to do list for the summer and after some planning, we finally had a date that worked for all of us. Jessica was able to come too, and I was really excited to take my friends up the mountain for their first time!
We started off early Saturday morning to try to beat some of the heat, and just so we weren’t out there all day… because this run takes a while!
I see bunnies quite often but have never been able to get a picture of one. This bunny is so much cuter than the giant gross rattlesnake we saw later in the day.
I took the girls on some of my favorite single track trails that wind up the mountain. There are definitely some tough sections that are pretty steep, so there was a good part of this that was hiking (but hiking is just a form of trail running, right?). Every time we would come to an opening I would point out how far they had already come.
And of course, reminded them of where we were going.
Slowly but surely we made our way up the mountain… gaining elevation with every step. A few miles later we were one trail from the Summit Trail.
Then, less than 2 more miles later, we were finally at the sign we had been climbing all morning for.
It was a gorgeous day in the Bay Area and you could see forever from the top. We filled up our water and took in the hard earned views for a few minutes before the real hard part: heading back down.
We took a slightly shorter way down, which also meant it had some steep sections! I always think this is the really hard part. When you already have tired quads from going up for so long, it’s not easy to control going down steep trails with loose dirt. It was getting pretty warm, but we made it back to the car after just over 11 miles and almost 4,000’ of elevation gain.
I was so proud of my friends for pushing through and getting to the top. This was even Kristin’s first real trail run! I told them anything else I take them on will (probably) not be this hard. But you know I can’t promise that for sure. The really hard runs have such great rewards.