Toby decided since I was leaving he would sleep with Lil Man
I had plans that I was going to run the entire way. I knew that this run would involve a lot of climbing and descents with very little flats. A very challenging run especially since I was still recovering. Of course I should mention that I had suggested this run to everyone....What a great idea!
We started out with some thoughts of showers coming down on us but luckily it waited until we finished to sprinkle. We went down, down, down, with Wonder Woman in the lead and Power Girl close behind and me taking up the caboose. The descents I found myself taking them a bit slow. I needed to find my trail legs again. Usually I am tearing up this descent, not yesterday. I found myself a little uncomfortable. The trail was nice and tacky with only a few major mud crossings. It was also a bit muggy the farther down the canyon we went.
As we hit the first mile and made the sharp left turn to start the climb, I casually asked Power Girl and Wonder Woman "hey, did you guys see the runner in front of us?" Now remember I was in the rear. They both looked at me and said "What runner?" obviously there wasn't a runner. But I was certain there was a runner wearing a white shirt just ahead of us. Wonder Woman looks at my says "Do you need a GU?" I must have been seeing things and I was sounding like a crazy person. I took some GU and thought to myself, Wow it is only a mile in this 14 mile run and I am already feeling depleted.
We pushed on and made it to No Hands bridge and the next few miles was all about climbing. We started our ascent and Power Girl and Wonder Woman were really strong, while I was struggling. My legs were feeling this run. The two of them waited for me at the base of K2. When I finally came upon them Wonder Woman asked "We are going up K2 right?" "No way" was my response. We laughed and here I took in a salt tab to see if this would help. Just as I took the s-cap Wonder Woman with her eagle eyes expresses some concern "Did you just take Tylenol" "No, it was salt, I am a little dehydrated and thought it would help." It was pretty funny because she had seen my little blue/red pills and immediately thought Tylenol, what is hurting and should I turn around. I reassured her that if I needed to turn around I would do it here because I know that we have a lot of climbing coming up.
Two strong climbers
We began climbing again and I did my best to keep but found myself needing to power hike. We passed a couple of runners as they were coming down and then I passed a lone hiker. He had a wild look in his eyes and seemed very out of place on the trail. As he passed me and continued down I turned around to make sure he didn't turn back around. He kept going and was soon out of my sight. Only a few yards ahead both Wonder Woman and Power Girl were waiting for me, as they both had the same gut feeling I did about this guy. The interesting things that happen on a run.
We finally made or way to the meadow but it took some effort on my part and patience on the two power climbers. They patiently waited for me when the distance became to great. What great friends.
As we neared the Cool fire station I was really happy and found a little extra step in my stride. At the fire station I felt cratered and immediately inhaled a Honey Stinger waffle and a entire pack of GU chomps and some more GU in the hopes that it would bring my legs back.
At the Cool Fire Station
We had made our turn around in 1.5 hours which is really good considering that both Power Girl and myself and just run 50 miles two weeks ago. We hung out at the fire station for 10 minutes then made our way back to the overlook.
There was an adventure race going on!
I was actually looking forward to the return because it was a nice long decent to No Hands. Only when I started the decent my knee was screaming at me with every step and push off I took. It felt like someone was jabbing an ice pick in my knee. It eventually calmed down, but I found myself taking my time on our way back to No Hands.
Once at No Hands I took in the rest of my GU, and Power Girl and I joked that we didn't pack enough fuel. I mean it was just 14 miles. I had forgotten how much climbing is involved in those just 14 miles.
By now we had maybe 3 miles to go. I lit up with pure excitement and told them I had a surprise in the back of my car for everyone. They both got really excited and next thing I know we are running again. Everyone wanted to get back and enjoy the surprise. I could only imagine what they thought the surprise was. Power Girl and Wonder Woman took off and I couldn't keep up. I did my best running when I could and power hiking on the steeper sections. I just kept moving forward enjoying the trails and freedom it brought.
Back at the car I brought out the surprise a nice cold frosty beer. What more could one want after a run like that. That beer tasted so good and is just what I needed after just 14 miles.
It took 3hrs and 17 minutes for me to complete this run. I think the first time Coach Nikon and I ran it, it took 3 hours and 20 minutes. I was a bit faster today, but it certainly did not feel like it.
Flowers were blooming
I did find peace on this run and it opened my eyes to the beauty of the trails again. The flowers were blooming, it was nice and green. I could hear the rustling of the leaves, the birds chirping, a wood pecker pecking and the sound of my feet as I made my way down the trail. I was relaxed and with out a care in the world. This is what trail running is all about. Finding that peaceful place where it completely calms me and brings me closer to my surroundings and myself. It was just what was needed after the long stressful week at work I had.