|Trails near Peavine Mountain, just West of Reno.|
A year and a half ago, my husband and I both began commuting to Reno from our home in Truckee for work. I was beginning a new job teaching 5th and 6th grades at a private school; he was attending paramedic school and eventually working on an ambulance in the city. On our drive home, we would share our days, and marvel at what opposite worlds we experienced in the same city.
The world of a paramedic is less than glamorous, as I'm sure you can imagine. While I was awash in loving, well-off families, bright, happy children, and a world that values education, he existed in the seediest of underbellies for such a small city, describing scenes straight out of the movie Seven. His work is beyond admirable, but I have to say, I prefer the view from the teacher's desk.
After spending so much time there by this point, I've developed an ardent fondness for Reno, and in fact, I owe it a lot. Let me explain what I mean.
Aside from being home to a job that I love, and of course, Trader Joe's, Reno has an awesome community of people. Being a runner, I'm primarily speaking of the running community. I have yet to meet a runner from Reno that wasn't friendly and enthusiastic. There are my favorite Team Library Dorks, and all the folks who are involved with events like Silver State, Escape from Prison Hill, and Tahoe Rim Trail. There is a vibrant running community!
I also have great affection for both the trails and climate of Reno. Running through a winter in Truckee means pounding a lot of pavement, frequent whiteout conditions, icy roads - adversity in all forms. It builds character but tends to kill the weekly mileage.
Remember March? We had over 200 inches of snow that month. My house looked like this:
Reno typically looked like this:
|This is Flat Stanley hanging out with me at the top of the hill at Bartley Ranch Park, where I do my weekly hill repeats.|
Only 30 minutes away, but Reno exists in this wonderful little thing called the rain shadow. It's magic, really. Storms come in off the coast and slam into the wall of the Sierra Nevada. The mountains effectively act as a giant umbrella over the East side, sheltering it from the rain and snow. Storms rage in the mountains, while the sun shines peacefully in Reno.
Not only am I running in better weather, but there are nearly always some snow-free trails to be found. I run more miles and almost no pavement now because I get to run after school in Reno.
I like to hit up trails at Peavine, or in the hills above the Patagonia store. Turi did a great write-up of one of my weekly destinations for speedwork, the Steamboat Ditch Trail. There are trails east of Reno, south in Galena or down in the Virginia Highlands where the wild Mustang roam and surely more than one cowboy movie was filmed.
I give Reno full credit for my strong Winter and Spring training this year. Did I mention the weather? This was my house on June 2:
Um, yeah. And here it was this morning, June 6th by the way, after the morning dog walk:
And by comparison, here was the sky in Reno today:
Thank you, Reno!