Well... today I decided to get back at it; 'it' being trail running that is. I tagged along with Jon Robinson and Daniel Paquette and headed out for the old Squak/Cougar combo. Here is the breakdown.
- Ouch...! These guys are both much faster than I am and I was OTB pretty quick.
- We were experiencing a temperature inversion and so it was freezing at the car and relatively warm up on the mountains. Kinda fun to not be chilled at the top for a change, especially because that is when you are the sweatiest.
- The trails were in extraordinary condition. It has not rained in a week and they were dry yet soft and the traction was excellent. There was very little snow.
- This route is ALL up and down, holy cow.
- My left ankle was fine - no issues. I could still feel my right hip but after yesterday's massage it was much better and never got worse.
I met Jon and Dan at the Squak/Cougar cross-over on 900 and without much to do we headed up Squak. This is a pretty good climb and only levels off a couple of times and takes you all the way to the summit. From here we went all the way down to the Issaquah Community Center side which is even lower than where we parked. Not only is this hill longer it's also steeper... Whereas I had been able to hang with these guys on the first climb it took less than .25 miles for me fade on this second climb.
I tried to keep a rhythm and only walked a couple of times near the top when it gets truly steep and even managed to jog the last road pitch to the summit. I'm not sure if he was just trying to make me feel good or not but Dan told me I was only about one minute behind him.
Up here we enjoyed the warmth, had a bite (that means I sucked down a gel) and then it was back down to the car. Did did not go slow on the descent and on the way down Jon remarked that he always forgets to factor this descent into the total effort of the run. I was still feeling okay while we were descending but the effort was taking its toll for sure.
As we crossed the road Dan and Jon shed a bottle and a shirt and then it was up Cougar. This is a stout climb even though it's not as long as that second climb up Squak and this time I was off the back in perhaps .125 miles. Ouch.
This time I had to walk several sections. Oh well. I did what I could but these guys still waited for me; that was very nice.
Thank goodness it's just a nice descent from here back to the car. After catching my breath I was able to hang all the way back.
All-in-all an awesome run! Being out with people who are faster than me is super motivating. Luckily I was good and fresh for today or this would have been a bit of a death march. :) I am also starting to learn these trails a little better which is fun. And the weather was a nice surprise. It's ben so cold in the city which made it even nicer to climb out of the fog and chill into the bright sun.
As I was climbing up Cougar huffing and puffing here come these two young boys hauling ass down the trail in jeans and high-top sneakers. They were having a BLAST bombing the trail. A couple of minutes later I met the dad and remarked how fast the boys were going and he was like, "Yeah...!" How cool, I rarely see children enjoying a hike this much.
|Breakfast||5:45 AM - apple sauce, banana, Udo's Oil, 1 scoop protein powder, 2 scoops Perpetuem, tea|
|Workout Food||2 bottles each w/1.5 scoops Perpetuem and 1 Endurolytes|
|Therapy||I could feel my right side but it was not debilitating and never got worse.|
|Time of Day||7:30 AM|
|Weather||low 30s and frosty/foggy at the car, relatively warm (mid 40s?) and sunny and dry up top|
|Equipment||Hoka Stinson Evo, 2 hand-help bottles, Garmin Fenix|
|Clothing||Teko organic SIN3RGI Light Minicrew, Under Armour boxer briefs, 2XU Compression 3/4 Tights, Craft Active Extreme Short Sleeve Baselayer, Patagonia wind proof fleece shirt, SmartWool hat, Patagonia Capilene gloves|