Sunday, March 4, 2012

Weekend Running

Saturday I ran a double--not huge miles, not races, but lets just say I had two runs. I slept in a bit (a rare thing for me on the weekends) and Dana and I took Jake to Turkey for some leisurely miles.It was a cool crisp 37°, not a bit of breeze, bright blue skies--just perfect weather to be out in the woods!

Jake was a happy camper, but after about four miles, he decided he was through. His fifth mile, he had the zombie shuffle going on.

We had sections where we ran strong and steady, and stretches where we dogged it (all three of us!)

We finished with 5.2 miles, took Jake home, and then destroyed a sub at Subway.

I went in to the office to re-figure a proposal and email it (fingers crossed!!--Daddy needs new shoes!) Then I headed to Chandler Park for some bonus miles.
I love running here. There is some single track, but most of the running here is on fire roads (or Jeep roads.) You can go for hours here, and never hit the same trails twice. Can you get lost?? Yep. I had about two hours to run, and then I had to be home to go with Dana to a wedding. GRRR!!!

This was a banner day for picture taking. The skies were a deep blue--meaning the pollution was not as bad. I felt light on my feet, and was gliding over hills, rocks, and water.

No wet feet here. There were enough rocks to hop over on. My goal was to try to get to the north west corner of this wilderness area to where there are some ginormous bluffs. I have been there a year or so back, and wanted to take some impressive pix. I had time to do this--or so I thought.

I popped out on the power line and beelined to the top to get further west. This is some rugged running. Some steep ups, and downs. Reach the top, and then it goes back down and up again. At the top of the climb, I headed back north onto a plateau. This was once prairie land, but scrub trees have grown up to 6-10' tall, and the roads run through here like a maze.

I kept bearing north and west, thinking I would hit the top of the bluffs that overlook Avery Drive and the Arkansas River. After running down a road that veered off to the west, I hit a dead end. ARG!! I wondered why it stopped here. Venturing a bit further west (bush-whacking) I found out why it could go no further.

This does not look like that big of a deal, and in fact, a running jump might get you across this chasm. But the crevice snaked around this way and that, and there was no crossing it without a Leap-O-Doom effort. I backtracked, and took another turn to the north. A 1/4 mile later, I hit another dead end. Hmmph!! Looking at the time, I realized I was beginning to run short on time. SO, I headed back eastward. Remember how I described these trailz here as a maze? Well, the next 3 turns I took were either loops that put me right back where I started, or dead ends. Finally, I found a trail that headed OUT of the maze and into the woods.

After a short distance, I began to recognise the trail-- could it be?? Yes it was--the trail that runs into a creek bed. For a good quarter mile, I had to worm my way around several pools--some rocky, some muddy. Then, the trail turned sharply up a hill. This climb dumped me out into another maze, but at least I had been here before. I vaguely remembered a way northward onto the bluff section, but I also knew I could return to the power line trail from here and have a more certain way out. However, I was further away from the power line than I thought, and had to run away from where I needed to be going to get there. Bottom line, I ran about two extra miles and blew at least 30 minutes I did not have.

Flying down the hills I regained some of the time deficit I had surrendered, and a well found shortcut along this canyon cut off another half mile on my final leg. I made it to my car only about 15 minutes later than planned, and skipping a Starbucks stop brought me back on schedule. We made it to the wedding on time--Dana was happy.ZZZZZZzzzzz

Sunday morning, I was on the trailz again--this time with the TOTs. Twelve of us romped all over the mountain, with a speedy Stormy leading the way. Normally, there would have been a slow more moderately paced group, but we all stayed together with me tailing behind (way behind at times.)
We wound up with 6.2 spirited miles, and although I had intentions of going out for some more, I was done. It was a good weekend.

Another thing that I have not shared, is the weight loss thing I have been working on. I have dieted for three weeks, and have lost 15.5 pounds. Trying to get skinny again. Dana and I joined Weight Watchers, a program that worked well for us in 2002-3, and is working again. I think I'll eat another apple.

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