Saturday, January 15, 2011

The first and probably last loop run

Today was a an absolute gorgeous day. It started off for me pretty early, I was up around 3 a.m. but managed to fall back asleep until 5 a.m. I had everything ready this morning so all I had to do was eat something, drink my coffee a must for me, and change. I was out the door with plenty of time to spare just how I like it. I am pretty particular about that. I car pooled in with Lily just like last weekend and we arrived at the overlook with 20 minutes until 8a.m. This gave us both plenty of time to finalize our things, use the bathroom and get our shoes or for some sit in the car and stay warm.

Getting ready for pre-run briefing

Captain Kirk briefed the large group about what route we were going to take as it was  going to be a bit different then what we have run in the past. We did have extra ultra mentors on the trail today which turned out to be needed. This time around we going to do a loop instead of an out and back. Coach Nikon had left early to mark the course and we were to follow the pink ribbons.

Now I have to say that Coach Nikon has a really tough job. He is the lead runner for the group and he marks the route we are going to take. This task can become very hard as he is making sure there are confidence ribbons up and that each intersection is marked. For all of that I would like to say Thank You for heading out early and marking the route for the group.

Today's run was going to be about 16 miles. It was going to be a very tough run with a lot of climbing and crazy bone jarring descents miles long. Sounds like fun right? Let me tell you it was a blast. Running an ultra during training is not always about mileage but about time on our feet, as in some runs can be more challenging and thus take longer to run which means fewer miles. On the other hand there are other runs that are super fast and more miles are tacked on. Today's run was challenging and for most was well over 3 hours. I spent 3 hours and 15 minutes out there.

Back to the run, I hooked up with Miss P. today, her legs were feeling a bit heavy after Wednesday's hill repeats and her cross training on Thursday. We flew down the first 2 miles. It is a nice muddy slippery single track followed by some fire road. Once we hit the fire road Hollywood went flying by and we never saw him again. I also had a bit of anxiety on this road because it was the exact same way the Sierra Nevada Double was run. I believe when I took the hard left I said "No, not this way." I said it out loud too. Ohh well, what was I going to do but keep on going. I mean I was in great company with Miss. P.

We were only 2 miles in and both Miss P. and I decided to hike up this massive hill. No good in blowing up the legs this early in the run. We played hop scotch with two other runners and once we crested and hit the descent Miss P. and I were off. We arrived at No Hands in one piece and made the left which would take us to the highway 49 crossing, but first we had to run on the fire road until the crossing. the crossing was pretty easy, and we then proceeded to run parallel with the highway. We had to climb this huge hill that both Miss P. and I hiked/run. Again it was till pretty early in the run.
Highway 49, go Miss P.

Once we saw the pink ribbon on the left we were on Quarry road. This road would take us to the single track, but first we had to run on this road for what felt like miles. At portions it was flat, then there would be a small climb then it was flat, but soon enough we were at this big hill. I took this big hill as an opportunity to take in some fuel.

Time to fuel

Always amazes me what is out in the middle of nowhere.

Then it was time to run. Miss P. and I continued following the road until this really sharp right turn which we both almost ran past, but for some reason I looked right and saw the ribbons and told Miss P. "up, up." It seems that we were not the only runners who almost missed the sharp right turn but there was one runner who did miss it completely. This runner ended up running 20 miles today. Good thing we had extra mentors out on the trail keeping their eyes open. Great job Trish and Michelle, way to bring the lost runner in.

Little water fall crossing

I think JC Penny Catalog pose needs to come back! Next time

After the sharp right turn we climbed for ever. This climb never ended, it just kept going and going. We were almost near the second highway 49 crossing when Terry appeared and he ran with us for a bit. We crossed and I knew we were near the open meadow of Cool, but first I had to climb again. I ended up taking in a salt tab here because my legs were feeling a bit weired. The salt helped because once Miss P. and reached the meadow my legs were feeling much better.

Look the meadow!!!!

I knew we had about a 3 mile as Captain Kirk put it bone jarring descent ahead. I took some time and fueled again this time with 2 Gu's. I hit the descent and really enjoyed the fast single track that would take us back to No Hands bridge. We ran into Captain Kirk and Coach Nikon who were heading back out on the loop to check on the group.

Captain Kirk and Terry

Coach Nikon shared his Waffle with us! Thank You

Once I hit No hands I was super excited, only 4 miles to go. By now it was getting pretty warm out, the sun had been shinning now for a few hours. The fire road leading back to the overlook at this point was a welcome from the massive descent. But the climbing out was a challenge. I didn't let the climbs get to me today. I knew it would be over. In fact I was able to run more of the climbs this time around then I did last Sunday.

Back at no hands

It was great run for me today. My legs felt really strong I would like to think I hydrated and fueled properly and the smartest thing I took all day was the salt. Tomorrow is another adventure in Cool, probably not 20 miles like originally thought but more close to 14. You know what I am ok with that.

Thank you to Trish and Michelle for finding the lost runner today. What a day!!!!!

More girl power adventure to come tomorrow!!!!

Me and the water fall


  1. Great shots from a great run. This makes me want to run the Cal Loop again.


  2. Love the pictures! Nice running with you again on Sunday!!