Week ending March 3, 2013
Tue 2/26 4 miles on Cottonwood
|Lots of snow for the first couple hours.|
We started out slowly, staying together early in the snow. They’d had a lot up there, the wet, sticky kind that makes for beautiful running. After climbing to a ridge, we dropped down fast (note: that will be painful on the way back, wet stairs and mud...) to Virginia Hawkins Falls. Group photo 4 1/2 miles in.
|The weather changed to blue sky and sunshine. |
This trail is amazing.
The Laurel Fork Falls to the Bench section has another pile of climbing up Heart Break Ridge, with a whole bunch of stairs and false summits. Bristol, by the way, was waiting for me through this section after spending a good 45 minutes with those ahead. I was ready for that part mentally, choosing to be surprised by getting to the true summit, not by getting to a false summit. I spent some time running with Lester, another inspirational runner who’s willing to take punishment over a long way. He’s planning a 100-mile attempt that includes the Foothills Trail, with thousands of feet of climbing and descent over rooted, twisting, ankle-breaking trails.
Lester and I got to the Bench in 2:56. I ate some chips, and a couple gels, and filled my bottle with Perpetuem, which I’d had before but not on such a long run. I have to say I loved it, and used two packages on the way back. We left at 3:05 or so.
|Bristol set the canine FKT for the Bench Marathon.|
Yeah, he's happy about it.
I was a little surprised by how runnable I found the way back. I still didn’t feel loose, the heaviness I’d been experiencing all week sticking around, though not enough to make me stop. I went into it thinking I’d run when I could, and I was pleased that I could so much. The climbs were less than I thought, the flats were easier than I thought, and the excitement of finishing the run more energizing than I thought. I caught up to Jason, then Bo and Justin. Justin had gone beyond the Bench, caught up to us all again and then ran in with Bo. I had the feeling we’d never see him if he pushed harder. Seeing them ahead of me gave me some push, too, not to pass them but to catch up and discover I was indeed on the right trail and all.
|Did I mention the steps?|