Friday, June 11, 2010

Adventure to Cool from Overlook!

This weekend I was suppose to go Tahoe with Coach Nikon for the Tahoe Rim Trail training runs. We had both signed up for Saturday's 20 miler and Sunday's 26 miler. But, with all the snow that was up there and the race director sending out this note "It is extremely likely that you'll be snow trekking over some deep drifts or long patches of snow this weekend so plan ahead. We highly recommend you bring any shoe traction devices you may own (such as YakTrax and Kahtoolas). Trekking poles are also advised. Plan on wet, cold feet so bring extra socks, etc. The weather is predicted to be moderately warm with high Ultra Violet rays so sun screen is a must. The biggest issue we're still facing is supplying our aid stations. Quite candidly, we can't get there from here because of the snow. Although we believe we can still provide typical aid station food on both days, our biggest concern is fluids. Please bring as much fluid with you this weekend as possible (70 to 100 ounces recommended). We're working hard to provide alternatives for you in the meantime.' We both decided to not head up, but opted for our own training runs in the hills and canyons this weekend.
Today we headed to the Auburn dam overlook for a 15 mile run or so to Cool and back. We ended up getting a later start than we had wanted because we both stayed up late the night before watching a movie. As I left my house it was extremely windy and I was hoping that it wouldn't be windy up in Auburn on the trails. Coach Nikon assured me it wouldn't be windy and when we got there he was right it wasn't windy, but warming up a bit. Off we went on our first run in what looks like to be a weekend of long runs. The trail starts down but a gradual decline so as you don't realize it too much.

Coach Nikon taking the lead.
I for one was really excited because this was my first run on this course or so I thought. Coach Nikon reminded me that part of this course I had already run back in February in the Western States Training Run. I had forgotten but quickly remembered as the miles started going by.

In the clear as we were heading down.

Coach Nikon pointing the way.
Going down wasn't that bad and my legs were feeling really strong and I was able to keep up with Coach Nikon. The first 3 miles of our run I will be running when I do the Sierra Nevada Double Marathon in September. It was great to see these miles and also see how exposed this area is. I was baking in parts of the run because the sun was beating down on us. As we were running I heard some water running and we came across a nice creek crossing and a little water fall.

We both dunked our hats to cool off and that felt great. After the decline we of course had to go back up this hill called "training hill." It is about 1.4 miles of climbing. Here my legs were aching. My caffs were screaming at me, my hamstrings were tight which made it hard to climb, but my quads felt great even after the downhills. We climbed forever, O.K. not forever but it took about 20 minutes to reach the top or what I thought was the top in actuality it wasn't, the climb kept going.

Pretty steep don't you think?

Me climbing Training Hill.

We made it to the top of the Training hill and just had to take this picture. Check out the sweat band!
It was a .9 climb but than more climbing was around the corner. But it was worth it especially for the views.

You can see where we came from the dirt trail on the other side.

After climbing we hit the fire road that would took us into Cool and the fire station where Coach Nikon quickly filled his water.
Waiting for him to fill his bottle  I took in a GU because my legs were a little weak. I had to hike some of the fire road on the way in. We quickly turned around not wasting much time and started back. Coach Nikon took the lead and I managed to keep up, well sort of. I had to walk some and he would wait for me in the clearing or at a top of a climb.
As we ran back in I was getting really hot. Like I said the weather warmed up and there wasn't much of a breeze out today. But when there was a breeze it felt great. My legs starting getting sluggish and I started tripping over everything, but I never did fall. I kept pushing on knowing we would have to cross the water fall again and I could get wet.
Instant relief!
And that is just what I did. I soaked my body and hat and felt immediate alertness. I was getting a little foggy out there and that could have been some trouble. The cool water brought a new life to me.
This feels great!
After the short dip we started climbing again and I was able to keep up with Coach Nikon for a bit. He is a incredible runner. He powered up those hills like it was nobody business while I on the other hand had hiked most of them.
The Machine

Always smiling no matter what.
We climbed and climbed, I thought it would never end. I think I bonked on this run, I was drained. Maybe the heat had gotten to me or maybe the lack of sleep the night before or maybe the 2 drinks I had the night before, or maybe I was just off. But I think the most important lesson I learned is no matter what always keep moving forward and do it with a smile if you can.

How could I not smile when I had views like this all morning. I have to say that no matter how I ran the week before or how fast I ran, each trail run is different and that is why I enjoy it so much. It makes me feel alive after I have accomplished a run no matter the size and I can't wait to do it again. The 15 mile run to Cool was great even though I found it physically and at times mentally tough. But I did it and I really enjoy the feeling when I finish a run.
After the run both Coach Nikon and I jumped in the canal. The water was really cold but felt great on my aching legs.

The water froze his toes!

My turn!
The cold took my breath away.

Forrest hill Bridge, which at times we were below and than above it.
Day 1 was in the books. Saturday we are planning on running the river crossing which is part of the Western States Run. I am looking forward to it.

Check out the elevation gain and loss
Elevation Gain: 2,388 ft

Elevation Loss: 2,400 ft

Min Elevation: 541 ft

Max Elevation: 1,621 ft

On a side note I reached a small milestone for this year. 1000 miles for me for 2010. Wohhoo!!! I was very excited and now I am even more charged for tomorrow.


  1. 1000 miles - that is awesome! thanks for sharing your adventures!

  2. Ahhh! Yes, I have done training hill before. In a race and then on my own. BRUTAL fo' sho!!!!!

    I can't imagine doing it in that heat though. OUCH!!! I am missing all the fun. I need a job that has my Friday's open! HA