Ominious thick grey fog obscuring a partial view of the Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin Headlands in the foreground, with parts of the bay and high 101 between.Uphill on Marincello trail, green bushes on both sides, fog rolling in from the right side, obscuring anything more than a few hundred meters away.Looking west from the top of Bobcat trail, the top third a thick grey fog, a sliver of blue from the distant Pacific Ocean, rolling hills, rocks and bushes in the foreground.Lush ivy covered forest at the top of the Alta trail.Looking west and downhill from the SCA trail, in the middle thick fog obscuring anything beyond the first few hills.Golden Gate bridge in the distance peaking above the Marin Headlands, the tops of its towers obscured by fog.Forested single-track part of SCA trail, trees and greening lining both sides and covering the canopy.Cluster of trees near the start of Bobcat trail uphill, like an entrance gate, taller than any other nearby foliage.🌬💨☁️⛰🌁  Underprepared for unexpected weather, Saturday morning I nearly gave up on my trail run and went home.

I planned to start at 7am at the Tennesssee Valley parking lot, arrived at 7:05. Overcast as expected, yet much colder. In contrast to last week’s quiet fog bank (https://tantek.com/t51y1), the wind howled through the valley, bending treetops and swirling up dust like I’d never seen before. I’d only worn shorts and a t-shirt and wouldn’t last 10 minutes in that wind chill.

I sat in my car in parking lot for almost an hour waiting for it to warm up a bit and for the wind to quiet down, berating myself for having forgotten a long sleeve. Just before giving up and going home, I decided to double check the shallow depths of my trunk.

Tucked into the bottom of a beach bag I found an SF Marathon long sleeve. Threw it on, and took off up the fogged-in Marincello trail(2), connecting via Bobcat trail(3) to Alta trail’s lush peak(4) instead of the windy coastal route I’d planned.

The fog thickened on SCA trail(5), where I barely caught a view of the Golden Gate bridge(6) being overwhelmed by the fog. My favorite part of SCA trail is a brief lush forest tunnel(7) that I decided to stop and capture (usually I just run through it grinning). Soon after capturing the Golden Gate Bridge from a hill(1), I saw a couple of faster friends from the SFRC running crew and realized I had been running the opposite direction. Finished a short loop up the Bobcat trail(8), then returned down Marincello to the parking lot and barely made it to Good Earth just before 11, last call for breakfast sandwiches.

11 miles done ✅ (not the 21 I planned, calling this mental game a draw)

Afterwards I shared with a few trail running friends how I’d felt starting out, and they reminded me (correctly) to look more on the positive side:

“Good job sticking with it. Deposits in the grit bank” [that’s a good metaphor to keep in mind.]

“You toughed it out, nice job keeping it going in less than ideal conditions.”

Even if that run was a mental draw, knowing I got at least something done will be good to remember next time I face a similar challenge, perhaps in a race.

#run #runner #Marin #MarinHeadlands #trail #trailrun #50ktraining #ultratraining #optoutside #getoutside #fog #KarlTheFog #befierce #pushyourself #facethemountain #fitstrongfierce #2019_229 #20190817 #latergram #nofilter

Previous weather challenged trail run: https://tantek.com/2019/081/t1/ran-tam-rain-twice

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