|run - 7:45 AM
snowshoe – 3:00 PM
|run - 10 miles
|Total (run) – 1:28:45
Total (snow) – 1:15
|Overall (run) – 8:53 min/mile
|4:30 AM – cereal, water
|small bottle w/2 scoops Sustained Energy
|mid to upper 30s, dry, cloudy, light snow most of the time
|run - Cougar Mt
snowshoe – Denny Creek
|run - Brooks trail shoes, hand held bottle
|run - Under Armor underwear, Mountain Hard Ware tights, Craft short sleeve undershirt, 2 long sleeve active ts, Polypropylene gloves, Patagonia hat
Perhaps against my better judgment I joined Justin A and friends for an 'easy' 10 on Cougar today. I have been dying to do this run again and since Shelley and I had an activity planned for this afternoon another long ride was out of the question so in spite of the fact that it's still kinda long for me and in spite of the fact that I killed my legs yesterday I went. In attendance were Bill H and Mike A (not to mention Justin), all super experienced ultra runners. And me. I have never run an ultra and was just recently back from seven weeks off. This was going to be an easy recovery run for them and it was going to be my longest run (in terms of distance and time) since my IT band got better.
And I made it! YES.
As I pulled into the parking lot the light rain was just turning to snow (it stayed snow as long as it precipitated throughout the entire run) so I put on an extra shirt.
As we climbed away from the cars the snow on the ground was so beautiful. The white reflected the light and really helped brighten up the conditions. Traction was fantastic and there wasn't even that much mud – I was surprised. I guess it's one reason these trails are so popular.
At first I felt super flat. No doubt from my effort yesterday. After two miles or so I was warming up and feeling significantly better. And speaking of warming up, I was worried while sitting in my car that my thin gloves would be totally inadequate and they turned out to be fine! No worries at all – I had dressed just right.
Shortly Bill was in front setting the pace. But then he had to fertilize the bushes so Justin was leading and that was nice as his pace was just that tiny bit slower. Justin had run the Fat Ass 50 yesterday and was pretty tired. Plus his Achilles was hurting him some. I was not complaining.
Bill was not out of the picture for too long... We heard him coming up the trail and on a longer climb when Justin had to take a leak he was back in front. As we climbed I suddenly realized that Bill and I had separated ourselves from Justin and Mike. It was fine at first but then I started to feel it. I was breathing harder than anyone else and did not have any zip in my legs.
ASIDE – I'm so glad I had woken up early and eaten something... I needed the calories big time.
It seemed like every time the trail tipped up Bill would pull away from me but because he was going easy and because he was working through an IT band injury himself I was able to catch up on each descent.
About 50 minutes in there were two times I had to walk for just a bit. To catch my breath and to give my legs a break. Finally we passed '20 minute tree' (as in 20 minutes to go) and I knew I would make it. Whew. I did not have to walk any those last three miles. I had to dig a little on the last couple of uphill sections but knowing I was so close to the end really helped.
At the end I was thrilled! I had finished the run with no pain, my shoes were super comfy (this was my first run in them) and I had dressed properly. The snow on the trail was a real treat and listening to Bill, Mike and Justin jabber away all the time is pretty f'n entertaining. Good times. And one of those days when you feel so fortunate just to be out here and to be able to do stuff like this.
To top off this most excellent Sunday Shelley and I drove up to the pass and went snowshoeing. It was the first time for both of us and it was a blast! We had intended on going to Hyak or east of Hyak but as we drove up they started to require chains... Note to self – buy an all wheel drive car already damn it! The cops were making everyone stop at the Denny Creek exit so we just parked and took off from there. It was so much fun! We will be back next weekend.