Monday, December 9, 2013

Half and Half Invitational

Sunday morning, I ran the farthest distance since October 5th. The Half and Half Marathon scheduled for next Sunday makes a provision for volunteers who want to experience the thrill of the trails by having an "by invitation only" run the weekend before.

pic swiped from Roman Broyles

Ten of us gathered at the Turkey Mountain parking lot to take on 13.1 miles on the trailz, and another 13.1 miles on the paved bike trail.

pic swiped from Roman Broyles

We left out at 9:03 by my watch, and headed up the Powerline trail and quickly tucked into the woods for the climb to the top of the mountain.

pic swiped from Roman Broyles

As I posted a couple of days ago, the trailz of Turkey Mountain are blanketed by 4 inches of snow, but there had been a little melting and refreezing, and most of the trailz were packed down by runners and a few bikers.

pic swiped from Roman Broyles

Heading down the north end of the mountain, we turned and headed west for a ziz-zag route that wound back to the old upper parking lot.

pic swiped from Roman Broyles

The peaceful water of Pepsi Lake.

From the upper parking lot, we headed west following the trail nearest 61st Street all the way to the Pipeline trail. Our group of 10 had evolved into one speedster (Derk), a moderate paced group of Kathy, Russell, Barbara, and Jason, then the rest of us (Roman, Cindy, Edward, Chrissy, and me.) Roman, Cindy, and Christi wind through a green area. These plants look like jungle foliage, and stay green all year long.

Part of the trail runs through an old abandoned home-site, and years ago, the settlers had planted a lot of pine trees. This is a beautiful area, and we stopped for pictures and hydration.

Roman has high spirits. There is never a shortage of conversation when running with Roman.

pic swiped from Roman Broyles

I had heated up a little, and pocketed my stocking hat. I had dressed perfectly, and managed my core temp by zipping and unzipping my jacket.

This trail is in the area where the developers scraped the vegetation several months back. Most of the natural weeds have grown back, and a trail has been re-established. I think this stretch is still pretty, although I still liked it the way it was before.

pic swiped from Barbara Pinkerton

The turnaround (mile 6.5ish) is at the Westside Y. The group ahead of me were in the midst of a curling tournament, and I made a tactical move and bopped in and out and was temporarily in 2nd place! Woo hoo!! But that was short lived. Still, I was running well, and my knee and ankle were holding up fine.

I was soon passed by Barbara, Jason, and Russell, Roman, Christi, and Cindy caught up and we stayed together for a few miles.

We paused for a second at Jake's Pond for a quick pic before taking on the Snake. Running the course in reverse, we ran the east side of the Snake, right through the middle of the Snake Loop (on a trail I call Deer Run), and then the west side of the Snake to Rock City and then to the switchbacks of JellyLegs.
I had met the TOTs at 7:30 before the race and only one showed up, but being the fearless group leader that I am, I led our twosome of a group on a 3-ish mile super-easy run. That extra mileage was beginning to put a damper on my overall efforts this day.

pic swiped from Roman Broyles

At the parking lot (mile 13.1), Kathy was regrouping and deciding if she or if anyone was gonna go on. That added element of doubt sucked me under, and I stopped at the halfway point ending up with around 17 miles for the day. This is progress though, since I had almost stopped running altogether. Last weeks 10 miler with this 17 makes me think a 20 miler next weekend would be about right.

Kathy, Barbara, Cindy, and Russell continued and got a hard earned 26.2 miles under their belts. Way to go!!!


  1. Fun, fun, fun, but not in the sun.
    I'm still trying to find a metal detector I can borrow.

  2. Wow, I don't think I could ever really run in snow. That has to be tough. Seeing those pics of the beautiful scenery though "almost" makes me want to try. haha.