June 15 (Father’s Day) Annadel 12-miler @ 7:30am

Hello Runners!

This is our “recovery week” long run. After two weeks of tough runs – first Armstrong Woods and then a 16-miler along the West County Trail – we have a nice trail run through Annadel State Park. We’ll start near the park’s entrance (please check the map) where public parking is available adjacent Channel Drive. If you have questions of where to park, how to get there, please text or call me.

If you consult the map, you can trace our trail: Channel Trail – North Burma Trail – South Burma Trail – Marsh Trail – Canyon Trail + loop Lake Ilsanjo – Louis Trail – and back to the park’s entrance. It is roughly 12 miles. We’ll take it nice and slow, and enjoy the scenery.

I hope you’re having a nice week. See you Sunday!



Sunday, June 8 @ 8am 16-miler

Hello Runners,

Last week was our epic run through Armstrong Woods. Yes – more of an endurance test than a run, and one that will stay with you for awhile. This week we’re going to re-create our high school to high school run (in reverse from the last one) from Analy High School to El Molino and back. This will be along the now-familiar West County/Joe Rodota Trail.

Meet in the Analy High School parking lot by 8am. We’ll do our best to have an aid station at the halfway point.

Upcoming: if I haven’t gotten your singlet size, please remind me to do that on Sunday (for those who wish to sport the E.A.R.T.H. Runners safety green uniform during the Santa Rosa Marathon). I’m trying to keep the cost down as much as possible; they should run between $20-25.

I hope all is going well with your weekday runs. I won’t be able to do a Wednesday run this week, but am shooting for a Thursday 7pm run at Spring Lake. Email me if you’d like to meet up and go for a 6-8 mile run.

Rock on,


hunched over


Sunday, June 1 – Armstrong Woods!

Hello Runners,

Last Sunday was a tough 14-16 miler along the West County Trail. The heat is adding to the challenge of increased distance, but it’s what we need to prepare for. However, continue to use caution and your smarts. During this heat wave be sure to wear sun block, a hat, and HYDRATE like crazy. If you start to feel dizzy during a run – shut it down.


We are at the half way point of training. From here on out we become more and more focused on the marathon itself. As it inches closer, we start to discuss our preparation for it in more specific terms, we start to finalize our running gear and personal routines, and we start to strategize for what lies ahead. This is a very good time for renewed vigor and a re-commitment to those weekday runs (they can slip away during the long training season). It’s also good to keep yourself interested in overall good health and committing yourself to eating, drinking, and feeling well. In short, keep feeling strong and vital, and thanking yourself for being able to do what you’re doing.

This coming Sunday we’re going to aim for a 10-12 miler through Armstrong Woods. Yes, indeed. This stands out as one of the more challenging runs we’ll do. The distance may be shorter, but it’s a pretty grueling trail of relentless inclines and terrain. When you finish this run, you’ll feel it for sure. But it is absolutely beautiful!

If you would like to carpool, please meet at the fruit stand on River Road (west of Fulton Rd.) at 7:30am in Santa Rosa. Otherwise, go straight to the parking lot at Armstrong Woods by 8am. See below for the map of the run. We’ll be doing the pink and yellow trails (10.9 miles)

Armstrong Redwoods map 2

Also, I will try to make a mid-week run on Wednesday night at 7pm at the Parktrail trail head. Those interested and able to make it, please email me and let me know.

Happy Memorial Day and have a great week.


Sunday, May 25 @ 8am 14-miler

Hello Runners,

This Sunday we’ll be running from high school to high school along the West County Trail. Meet at the El Molino High School parking lot (next to the tennis courts) at 8am. We’ll run the familiar course along the West County Trail (Joe Rodota Trail) to the halfway point at the Analy High School parking lot and back. There will be water and fruit at the halfway point.

Next Sunday, June 1, we’ll be running Armstrong Woods. This is a tough trails course – so be prepared. Also, if you have a whistle that you carry with you as you run, please bring it. Navigating the course can be tricky and staying within earshot of the group is helpful.

Lastly, I plan on doing a mid-week 6-mile run on Wednesday, May 28 @ 7pm for those interested. Meet at the Parktrail trail head (Parktrail/Comfrey) just outside Annadel State Park.

Have a great week!


run through woods

May 12-18 Update: Sunday 13-Miler @ 8am + Midweek Run

Hello Runners,

This Sunday’s run (May 18) we’re scheduled for a 13-miler along the same route as the Santa Rosa Marathon (time now to start knowing the course, gaining familiarity with it). Let’s start at 8:00am – in order to beat the heat and allow more time to enjoy the rest of our Sunday.

Meeting place: Youth Community Park – 1700 Fulton Rd., Santa Rosa. http://ci.santa-rosa.ca.us/departments/recreationandparks/parks/cityparks/listofparks/Pages/YouthCommunityPark.aspx

It will be a 6.5 mile out-and-back. We will have a mini-aid station at the halfway point (extra water, oranges, bananas). This will become a regular feature of our long out-and-backs, and definitely something to look forward to when we start really increasing the distances. Donations for future runs are greatly appreciated, and we can begin scheduling them in.


I will try my hardest to work in a consistent mid-week run. This week it will be Annadel’s Parktrail 6-miler on Wednesday @ 7pm. For those who can make it, please email or text me ahead of time so I know you’re coming. We’ll meet at the Parktrail trail head (take Parktrail Drive, off Summerfield Road):  https://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=203988092860897364737.0004b21ca14d495e17dce&msa=0&ll=38.444044,-122.646475&spn=0.044771,0.090637&dg=feature

Hope you all have a great week!



May 11: Joe Rodota 12-miler @ 8:30am


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Hello Runners!

This Sunday we’ll be meeting at El Molino High School (the parking lot next to the tennis courts) and running along the West County Trail (aka the Joe Rodota Trail). El Molino HS is located at 7050 Covey Road, Forestville. This is a nice, flat out-and-back run – 6 miles out, and 6 miles back (see map):


Let’s meet at 8:30am and beat the heat. Although it may be cool when we start, it’ll probably heat up considerably during the run. I recommend wearing a hat, sunblock, and hydrating as much as possible.

Next week: a 13-miler (half marathon) incorporating the Santa Rosa Marathon course.

Have a good week. See you Sunday!


Week 9 (Intermediate Level Begins): 11-Miler through Annadel/Spring Lake



Hello Runners!

With eight weeks behind us, we are one-third of the way through the training with our sights set on the August 24 Santa Rosa Marathon. As we begin the Intermediate phase of training we will be increasing our mileage rapidly from an 11-mile long run to an 18-miler. Now that you’ve established a base, it’s more important than ever to get in those weekday tune up runs and cross-training workouts.

This Sunday we’ll be meeting at the usual North Dam of Spring Lake – but a half hour earlier at 8:30am.

I hope everyone is doing well and that you have a great week. See you Sunday. As always, email me with any questions or concerns during the week.


woman uphill

Sunday, April 27: Week 8 – Annadel 10-Miler @ 9am (meet at Spring Lake North Dam)


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Hello Runners,

It was a nice romp through Annadel last weekend, so I say let’s do it again! Most of us now know the way, so it’ll be a lot easier to navigate – and the park is looking more beautiful than ever.

We’ll start from the usual place: the North Dam at Spring Lake @ 9am.

This is week eight, the culmination of the Beginner phase of the class. Decision time. If you’re committed to continue to the Intermediate phase, then week nine will start immediately the following Sunday, May 4. The deadline to sign up through Parks and Rec is Friday, May 2.

By now you should have a pretty good idea of a) whether your body is still up to the task, b) whether your schedule can accommodate this training regimen into your life and c) most importantly – are you enjoying the journey and do you feel better? My hope is that you are feeling better overall (minus the aches and soreness), and that running as a group is helping you stay motivated.

The Intermediate phase is where things get a little more serious and we start cranking up the mileage. By week 16, even beginning runners will be covering 18 miles! We start incorporating the actual marathon route into our long runs and talking about marathon strategy. We will finally tackle some very challenging but beautiful trail runs through Armstrong Woods and other spots. And many of you have indicated that you’ll be doing some races in May and June. Pretty damn exciting, if you ask me.

Think about all of these factors, come with any burning questions on Sunday, and let’s discuss our plans going forward.

As always, I’m looking forward to seeing Everybody on Sunday. Happy Earth Day. Have a great week.


Annadel map: http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/480/files/Annadel.pdf


Week 7: Annadel 9-miler

Hello Runners,

This week we’ll meet at a familiar spot: on the hill of the north dam of Spring Lake. From there we’ll run through Annadel State Park and loop around Lake Ilsanjo. Depending on your running app or the state park maps, it’s a distance of between 8.6-9.0 miles.(My apologies for last week’s run being a little long. I re-checked my math with the county maps and the county disagrees with all other apps and pedometers. Oh well…)

Here’s the link to the Annadel map: http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/480/files/Annadel.pdf

This week I’d like to try something new: If the front runners could help “sheepdog” with me, you will a) get more mileage and b) help keep the pack from roaming freely through the countryside. It’s a fairly well-marked trail, but there are some diversions that can potentially split us up – especially this being our first time on this trail. I will also be bringing chalk to help us mark our trail (thank you Hansel and Gretel for the idea…I hope our journey goes better than theirs). If successful, we can employ this technique on harder, less clear trails in the future.

Also, be sure to bring water and if it heats up, wear sunblock, hats, etc.

We will discuss what lies ahead for week 8 (the culminating week of the beginner’s phase of training – yes, it goes by quickly). Last season we did Armstrong Woods on week 8 and it was…memorable. It’s a tough trail that I might save for the intermediate phase.

In any case, there are some good races that are coming up that some of you have already signed up for. The Windsor half marathon on May 18, and Bay-to-Breakers on the same day. There is also a half marathon trail race (pretty steep and challenging) through the Marin Headlands on Saturday, June 14. I encourage you to get in a race or two, if you can.

Have a great week!

tough runner

Sunday, April 13 @ 9am: 8-Miler on West County Trail

Howdy Runners.

This Sunday we’ll be travelling down the West County Trail aka The Joe Rodota Trail. Beginning from the El Molino High School parking lot in Forestville (El Molino High School
7050 Covey Rd., Forestville, CA 95436) we’ll run a 8-miler – 4 miles out and back. The trail is flat, scenic, and well-marked.

Check out the map. From the high school to Occidental Road is 4 miles. Intermediate runners who want to stretch their mileage can add another 1.75 miles by running the Occidental stretch down to Highway 116 and back.

westcountyand joerodota_map_2012

Please bring water for the run and stay hydrated. It’s starting to heat up.

Have a good week. See you Sunday!