It was a little colder than I expected, because my brain still hasn't grasped the concept of the San Francisco Bay Area microclimates, and I was underdressed for the Oakland hills and the fog that surrounded them. I strapped my Vibram Bikilas onto my water belt because I had not run barefoot on a technical trail in over a year and wasn't sure how my soles would hold up. The entire two hours we ran through a blanket of thick fog that hid the vistas as we ran along ridges with steep drop-offs.
There were a variety of surfaces- from packed dirt with layers of dry leaves to mud to rocks. The dirt and mud were easy as pie and even fun to run on but the rocks left my arches pretty bruised and made me question whether more than 8 miles barefoot on these type of trails was something I even wanted to do. I love trail running and am going to need to find a balance with possibly training in minimal shoes while running some trails and still getting in barefoot mileage on sidewalks and roads and paved trails. As with most trail running in the Bay area, it was hillier than the moderate hills I usually run on in my neighborhood - we had an elevation change of about 1000 ft. but the beautiful surroundings and chatting with running partners made the miles go by quickly and easily.
I'm not sure we were actually trespassing here, as this sign was on the road gate and not on the pedestrian one. Either way, I can assure you we weren't a band of jerks littering the watershed with Gu packets. I don't eat Gu anyway.
Pictures of my feet about 3 miles into the run and again after I drove home.
Photos courtesy of my friend Dolores N., a pacer with the RUN365 group.