With the TRC on vacation in Yosemite I took the opportunity to show Jes and Carol some of the local trails in my back yard, Billy had been dithering and then discovered that his NFL team were playing early and so decided to get some road miles in rather than on the trail, kudos for doing the mileage but deciding road over trail…hmm, well I guess you gotta do what you gotta do!
It was forecast to be another hot day, Saturday had reached 105 degrees and Sunday was expected to be the same. With that in mind we met early and were on the trail by 6:30am. We had planned 15 miles and had three hours on the clock, a nice easy pace. The run I had in mind I had last run as a longer loop back in March; a figure of eight with a tail, there is some pretty varied scenery and some nice rolling hills. The first three miles follow a well worn trail; at the end you then take a goat path up and over the valley side until you’re just below the ridgeline in the next valley. In March the grass was shoulder high, lush green and still damp with the morning dew, six months later it was still shoulder high, dry, scratchy and determined to make you “wait a while” as you untangled yourself, after a couple of miles of bushwhacking we popped out onto the trail and spent a few minutes picking all the burrs and grass points out of our clothes and shoes. From here we followed the rolling hills of Cheeseboro Ridge Trail, slowly gaining altitude as we went, I kept telling Jes and Carol that we were heading for the pylon, it wasn’t till later that I discovered that they didn’t understand what I meant and both had their own interpretation; it is apparently a “power tower” as they are known as there parts!
And so we continued until reaching the highest point, we had done quite well with the heat running mostly in the westerly lee of the ridgeline and avoiding the direct glare of the sun, it was warming up but there was a nice breeze that cooled us and we pushed on the downhill. The variety of Cheesboro Park never fails to blow me away, one minute you running through a dry sandy, rock, strewn desert landscape and then round a bend and you skipping over a lazy stream under the welcome shadows of trees and so it was for the next four miles. We picked off our fair share of wildlife; a deer crashed through the foliage just off the trail, we heard busy bees doing their thing and as I was running along with my brain in neutral I came across a rattlesnake minding his own business and enjoying a sunny patch of ground, he moved off without any trouble. It’s easy to tell when your approaching civilization, more bikers and runners appear looking fresh and clean, we by comparison looked, after our pathfinding expedition, were disheveled, dirty and a little frayed around the edges and so we earned a few odd stares from other runners heading in the opposite direction.
We took the connector trail that would take us back through to our original starting canyon, Carol wasn’t feeling it so she headed back to a nearby parking lot and Jes agreed to collect her and return her to her car, Carol is running Rocky Raccoon in February and is just starting training, so 15 is a big jump straight off the bat!
Jes and I plugged on, through the connecter and made it back to the original starting trail, with 15 miles on the Forerunner and the sun now high in the sky, I decided to walk the last mile to cool down, enjoy the scenery and not overdo it, I flirted with over training last year and so I know going over, even if I feel good, can only lead to bad things. So the last mile was walked in, a quick cool down in the parking lot and we bid our farewells.
Overall I felt pleased with run; the pace while not fast had a solid average. I ended up a little dehydrated at the end and forgot to take my Endorolytes with me, but this is only the second long run for the base build so there is plenty of room and time for improvement both for my body and memory! This kicks off week three and I have another 22 miles to cover before Friday making a total of 38 for the week as well as some cross training, it’s a gentle ramp up to the 60mpw target but small solid steps is the preferred way forward.
I had complete technical failure with the MotionBased data; it's just hanging and won't upload, added to which Blogger is loading some but not all pictures sideways but here is the Photobucket album of photos.