It's a rainy day here in Silicon Valley, which makes it a perfect time to do some badly needed blogging.
The week before Christmas was still fairly mild here, which made it perfect for running in the Rancho San Antonio area. Rancho San Antonio is perfect for mild to pretty steep hill running, and a great place to visit if you happen to be in the area on business. Here's a link to the Rancho Runner, a good distance calculator. http://www.stevenscreek.com/rancho.shtml
I went a little out of the Rancho area for a run up the Black Mountain Trail to a location we call Four Corners.
It's a close to 9 miles out and back, and a little over 1k feet of vertical climbing. There are some steep sections, but moderate oveall. As it's a longer trail run, I took water, which gave me a great way to cary my GPS tracker and digital camera.
The run begins at the lower Rancho San Antonio parking lot. You need to get there early as the park is a favorite for walkers and runners. You reach the trail map after running into the park about 1/2 mile.
You run up the trail towards the farm, and then further up towards Rogue Valley. At the reservoir, which is at the top of a short incline about 1 mile past the farm, you take a left and head up the Black Mountain trail. The beginning of this trail is a fairly steady climb.
After a quiet and steady climb up the trail you end up at a crossroads at what's called the Windmill Meadows. This is 4 Corners. You can either continue to head up to Black Mountain if you're up for a great long run, or you can turn to the left and begin the trail down. I chose the later.
I was in shorts, which was a bit brisk even for California. Even being a transplant Minnesotan, I still prefer warm legs when running in the winter. Lessens the running injuries in my experience. Next stop, Iowa...which was more than a little brisk!!