Most of the gang I usually run with took the weekend easy with some little run called the Tahoe Rim Trail 50K. I, on the other hand, did it rough with a couple of 50-ish furlong
runs on Friday and Saturday, and a longer run on Sunday of 220.2 arpents
on Sunday. Yep, I can run big number distances too!
Friday was a solo run in Ash Canyon in the afternoon, the cause of the route being named FRAAC 10k. Those of you who were too old to play with Transformers when they came out, might remember the standard FAC
at local drinkeries. It was big in Colorado at least. It's a nice, slight alteration on the Winter Trail Race route, and I'm keeping it in mind for a future race. O_O
The heat was hot and the ground was dry and the air was full of sound. Mostly wind. Anyone else ready for the afternoon zephyrs (read: gales) to cease and desist? Boy howdy, I am. Pretty uneventful run actually, peaceful, even.
Saturday I headed for Centennial for a 50Fr to honor those doing the 50K or 50M runs on the TRT
. Since I am not in that league, I figured I'd do a similar number, if not similar units. Had three runners join me: regular Ann, intermittent Melissa and newbie (to me) Courtney. Ann hadn't been to Centennial before (dunno how, we run there all the time!) and I was spot on with my directions, such that arrows from the archery range were dropping around as she went the wrong way. My Bad, Ann. I said to bear right, but it never occurred to me to mention to stay on trail, and not go on the dirt road! We tried to yell to get her attention, but she was powering up the hill, not to be deterred, looking strong. She must have forgiven me, though, since she showed up again Sunday. :-)
Melissa, Courtney and I continued on, doing the Mound House loop. I offered to let either lead, but they were happy to follow chatting it up as I gasped for breath. Courtney broke off at about the 2.5 mile mark to head back to build trails with TAMBA (Tampa? LOL) at the lake, and Melissa and I continued on - she powerfully, me in my usual mode.
We finished the Devil Run at 6.66 miles, or 53 furlongs, before the heat was too much. And we didn't even see a single snake.
Sunday was a laid back run day, with an equal number of canines as humans. Ann brought Sierra and Madison and Risa brought Max. They all were appreciative of the route heading to Ash Creek! Risa and Max split off to make a 4 mile or so distance, and I think Ann and her monsters doubled back to make a 5-ish. I ended up with about 8 miles over a long time. Chatting philosophy with Mike and Jan on their bikes at the saddle between Timberline and Ash Canyons demanded a lot of time!
Good weekend. See you on the trails.
Memorial Day weekend...sunny and warm, with maybe a light breeze to keep the temperature civilized. Burgers and dogs on the grill, maybe a cold adult beverage with condensation beading down the outside of the bottle as the golden elixir inside flows into a satisfied runner after a long, enjoyable run. Ahhh.
Nice image. Too bad the weather hasn't cooperated much this year to make it come true.
As I labor in the glow of my monitor in the evening of May 28, 2011, it's currently 36°F, and snowing. SNOWING. That is so wrong on so may levels. At the least, the weather was fairly decent for the scheduled morning run for us today. If you're in this blog this far, you may as well go in for the whole thing. Onward, dear reader!
To badly parody a classic ZZ Top song
, this morning I Woke Up With Wind. And no, not that kind of wind. The kind that blows the 88 mm howitzer shell-size pine cones out of the trees. As I lay there in the crepuscular light, I was secretively hoping nobody would show to the run. Only Ali had responded to the email invite in the affirmative, and seeing as she had to come from Douglas County, I hoped the weather would deter her, and I would arrive, hang about for a short while, then get home to a large coffee and some carbohydrates.
I didn't plan for that, however, as I dressed out for a potentially windy run of (what I guessed would be) about 8.5 miles. I arrived at the V&T trailhead a little early at about 7:15 and prepared to wait 10-15 minutes for the 1 or 2 people that might show.
I was surprised to see Ali and another show up almost immediately after. She had conscripted a friend of hers to join us. Well Done! Janine proclaimed readiness and was dressed for a winter run. Not long after, another new person arrived: Keith. Welcome, sir! Always nice to see a new face in the group.
Following Keith's arrival, in quick succession were Abbey and then Tom and Suz with Taz on a leash. Promptly at 7:35, Joe and Gino arrived—right on time.
In order to minimize the exposure to the elements, we took off quickly, though the sun was nice, the wind, as Tom put it, "had a bite." We made our way south along Murphy drive to catch Gino's Jaunt and begin the climbing.
Heading up Gino's Jaunt
After crossing over Timberline creek, we began climbing in earnest: >1900 feet in 3.5 miles. What. A. Grind. Timberline canyon had some seriously steep sections, forcing walking for nearly everyone. I am not sure of Abbey in her Vibram 5-Fingers, since I never had her in sight. The climb up the canyon was beautiful, though. I only wish I could have steadied my breathing enough to hold the camera still enough to get a photo. Even at 1/1000 second shutter speed, everything was blurry.
We got off the main part of the trail at around mile and headed on the single track north to Hobart. This was a challenge in that there was probably 50 blown down dead trees to navigate in addition to the climb. Didn't look like Tom, Joe or Abbey trusted my route-finding abilities, though, judging by their body language.
"You see a trail?" "I don't see one." "Down there?" "Where is that $#@%! guy leading us, anyway!"
It was quite a challenge getting there, but the trail further uphill, nearer Hobart was much smoother and a pleasure to run. The mule deer along the route agreed with me. As for Tom, he's always happy on a trail. Janine and Ali? At this point, I think they both would have cheerfully slaughtered me.
All that remained at that point was a long downhill, a quick pop over to the north end of the V&T trail and it's gentle grade back to the parking area.
I had guessed the route
was going to be around 8.5 miles. I was pleasantly surprised to see it clock in at an even 10 on my Garmin; especially since I ran it so much better than the previous week's 10 miler. As Jimmy Buffet sang in a song
that has absolutely nothing to do with running or anything similar:
"I've had good days, and bad days, and going-half-mad days."
This qualified as an unmitigated Good Day. The weather held off until we were done, the company was exemplary and my lungs and legs pulled their weight. If that isn't enough to convince you, look at this final photo and argue it with me...with a cold adult beverage in hand, near a grill laden with cooking cow parts, on a warm Memorial Day weekend.
Better late than never, but I finally will post about the run we partook in on Saturday afternoon. This was the first afternoon run in recent memory, and a good thing it was: the morning sucked. Windy, cold with rain and snow. By the time we got together at 12:30, things had improved considerably to a comfy low 50s and scudding thick clouds with no rain or wind to speak of. The run started with 11 two-leggers and 5 four-leggers. Most were the usual suspects, though it was nice to see Sara for the first time in a LONG while, and For The First Time Ever, Dan graced us with his presence. That made for quite the herd as we headed down Murphy Dr. to catch Gino's Jaunt and dirt.
As expected, the gazelles in the group took off, leaving us more heavy footed types in the dust on the first climb up the Canyon Trail. Nicely, they waited at the intersection of Seven Steps for us, which is where we decided not to continue up Timberline, but cross over and go up the Creek trail instead of down. Good thinking, as that is a popular downhill section for mountain bikers, and it's much safer to be heading up where one can see them and evacuate the trail quickly.But of course, since we altered to account for mountain bikes, we didn't see any. <shrug> Oh well. I've always enjoyed going up that trail. We also stopped briefly at the place where the new trail to King's Canyon will (eventually) link into the Ash Canyon complex. There was much excitement. Huzzah.After the climb, we climbed yet more up Evidence, then started the long drop down again, by way of Timberline.Again at Seven Steps, we decided to retrace up that short grade and head back to the bottom by way of Jackrabbit to give a wider variety of trail experience.Overall I did OK, though always trailing those I used to keep up with is maddening.
I don't know if it was due to being a couple pints low of erythrocytes, or maybe I'm not as strong as I used to be. Whatever.On the foot side of things, I didn't tape my ankle, yet had no issues. Also, my hammy was cooperative as well. Must be my altered running stance, focusing on the piriformis when spinning, and stretching. Or I just had a lucky good day.
Maybe it was the Innov8 shoes. I'm liking those!If anyone wants to run the route, it's posted. Since it was such a good run, I've dubbed it the Ash Canyon Sweet 9. Sweet.