Woke up feeling a little heavy, holiday parties (with lots of wine) will do that to you.
Today is my first outing with the Seattle Running Club and my first substantial trial run in over two weeks. I can't wait.
I pulled into the parking lot at the trailhead at about 7:20 and there was NOBODY else there, just three empty cars. Then suddenly at 7:28 someone jumps out of one of the cars (had they been hiding?) and then two guys come running down the entry road and then two more come running down the trail! Then a couple more cars pull up and suddenly there are nine of us. Nice. Turns out the two that came down the trail had warmed up with a one hour run.
Introductions are made and we took off with Win Van Pelt in the lead. Not having many group runs to judge by the start felt really fast but as soon as we hit the first climb it settled down and I was fine. Almost immediately we broke into two groups with the men up front and the women in back. After two miles of moderate climbing we stopped and waited and then someone suggested we loop back so I tagged along. We had to go quite a ways before we hooked up and then once we got to the top the second time we waited around some more while everyone decided where to go. It was okay though, I really had no agenda and I was quite comfortable in terms of temperature.
As we waited and talked the light mist that had been present at the parking lot turned to snow! It was beautiful.
We started out again but at the next major intersection some of the men were worried the women might get lost or something? So some of us doubled back again and this time there was no one to be found. Since they had said they knew the way and since one of the women had wanted to cut the run short we opted to just carry on.
It was amazing up here. The trail was in fantastic condition, it was VERY dry and the snow kept slowly building up until we were leaving footprints on the ground. I was loving it!
Occasionally the pace would pick up some but for the most part I was extremely comfortable and considering how long we were out here I got the nutrition just right. I had my gel about 1:15 into the run and pretty much drained my bottle by the end. Perfect.
On the way back to the car we ran a trail descent that was covered in a dusting of snow and three guys went ahead while I took a nature break. Two others waited with me and when we started out one of them took off like shot and flew down the hill. I passed the other trying to catch up but it was hard! The surface was a little slick from the snow and that guy was hauling. I caught him but just barely - I was going as fast as I dared.
There was one other short descent on a hardpack gravel road later on close to the finish where this same guy let fly. This time he pulled away from me and I have never in my life run that fast. Ever. It felt exactly like descending on a fixed gear when you are just about to lose control… my feet were turning over as quickly as I could make them go and if I had fallen it would not have been pretty. EXCITING though. And it makes me realize there is a lot to learn about trail running and that I am not as good of a descender as I thought I was. :)
In addition to doubling back twice for others we also ran this one little loop that ended in the weeds so had to double back a third time to get on the proper trail. Kinda fun to be sorta lost but not really lost. We also had to climb over this huge fallen tree. Good stuff.
I need to come back here, the terrain is very, very fun. And the condition of the trails was so, so good. This group is also so nice! Too bad we had to stand around so much but today it was okay.
My GPS says I ran just under 10 but in my experience with these devices in the woods it was at least 12.
|5:30 AM - 2 bananas, almond butter, Perpetuem, orange
7:00 AM - gel
|gel small bottle w/1 tablet Nuun and 2 scoops HEED
|Time of Day
|mid to upper 30s, cloudy, mostly dry, calm
|shorts, Craft short sleeve undershirt, SmartWool long sleeve shirt, wind vest, Patagonia gloves, SmartWool hat