Sunday, March 31, 2013


Official Signs of Spring:

  • Birds chirping on the morning dog walk
  • Sunny skies at Way Too Cool 50K
  • Neighbors seen raking pine needles in their yards
  • Shorts instead of tights, tanks instead of long sleeves
  • Sundays in the Canyons

Post-run glow at Michigan Bluff

Every year between late March and the end of May, I join Jamie for Sunday long runs in the canyons of the Western States Trail. This year marks the fourth in a row, and it already has the feel of tradition. Familiarity. 

If you've only ever experienced the canyons on race day, you're missing out on their best season. Absent the stifling heat of June, fresh from beneath winter snow and spring melt, the canyons come alive in April. Lush grasses, lupine, poppies, butterflies, singletrack, steep climbs, long descents, shade, sun.

The truth is, I'm supposed to be training for a road marathon - Eugene Marathon at the end of April. But really, who wants to pound out 20 fast miles on the roads when you could take all day to do 30 on the trails in the canyons? I can give up some speed on race day for a little spiritual balm from the trail.

I often find comfort in routine. The familiar can be soothing to the soul. While the Sierra high country will always be my favorite, this time of year in the canyons holds a special place in my heart. A long run stretches the mind as much as the legs, and emerging into the canyons from the snows of Tahoe is a welcome springtime awakening. 

Just another Sunday in March

What's your favorite spiritual training run?


  1. Have a great, fast run in Eugene!
    For me, my special, spiritual springtime run is a pilgrimage up and around Mount Diablo, which is so lush and full of water this time of year. Everything is in bloom, the creeks and falls are flowing, and creatures like clusters of ladybugs seem to thrive. Diablo gets so horribly hot over summer, and muddy in the winter, that it's a treat to run it this time of year.

  2. I always find a comfort in a routine...interspersed with random stuff:) Lucky girls you are, canyons, trails, 30 miles...I wouldn't even mentioned that 20 fast road miles! :)

  3. totally agree, springtime in auburn is spectacular. Chaz said you forgot to mention the poison oak in your list of highlights though. :)

  4. Oooo, I like Eugene! That should be a fun time, with lots of running history all around you :) Enjoy!

    I also like "spiritual balm". I might have to use that!