Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Polecats, ZigZags, and Goats!

So, we have learned a great lesson as trail runners!  We should NOT do trail runs over 8 miles in the midst of a triple digit heat wave!  Therefore, today's trail goal was a nice 7 or 8.  Also, Kris was coming with us and last week she announced that her trail LIMIT was 7!  The plan was to go back to Polecat and run it with the two inner trails, Doe Ridge and Quick Draw.

We looked at the map on the drive there, deciding the best way to tackle this plan.  Then we got out of the car and looked at the trail head map.  We plotted and schemed and planned.  "We'll go left then up to this then right  here, back down, over this, left again, bypass that, go right down or at the top decided about going back here to this down."  Makes perfect sense right? Haha

So from the trail head we went up and took the left direction of the Polecat Loop.  We ran a short way before we came to a trail head.  Here we took a right onto Doe Ridge Trail  #82.  This was a climber!  "Would be fun to come DOWN!" yelled Michele.

After 0.4 miles Doe Ridge meets with Quick Draw Trail #83.  You can either continue on Doe Ridge (to the right) or take Quick Draw (to the left).  We took Quick Draw Trail #83.
Quick Draw McGraw!

This trail is 0.47 miles long.  Another climber!  Another trail that would be great to run DOWN!  Why are we always choosing the trails to run UPHILL?

At the end of Quick Draw we were back to Polecat.  We took a left on Polecat and started heading on the loop.  Yes, it had moments of downhill but it still had climbing.  We stayed on this until we were right back from where we had started, the initial fork of the polecat loop.  So we went left and headed back up.  We had only run a touch over 3 miles at this point.  I was seriously questioning whether or not we were going to get in 7-8 miles.  These inside trails were like short cuts!

However, this time when we reached to fork to take either Doe Ridge or Quick Draw, we opted to stay on Doe Ridge Trail.  There were some bikers at the fork.  We talked to them a bit.  an older gentleman was waiting for a biker who was still coming down the hill we needed to go up (that's right, we were climbing again).  He said this guy was amazing, "He is 66 years old and still out here."  Well Michele and I happened to be waiting for Kris.  Kris had joined us right at this very moment.  Michele piped in, "Well she is running with us and she is 67!"  The man looked at her with amazement.  I stifled a laugh.  Kris just said, "yep."  Then we ran on.  (Note: Kris is 54 years old and Michele know that).  Then Kris told us that she will "take her OWN time.  Do as she wishes and we can just WAIT for her!"

Finally we hit some downhills!  Switchback downhills, the best kind!  We had come to the Polecat Trail again and took a left.  This was the only way we were going to get in a good mileage amount.  The downhill was wonderful.  It seemed like up to this point we had been running uphill all day!  At about mile 5.5 we saw GOATS!

That's right, in their nice fenced in area grazing on all of the invasion Skeleton weed, a noxious weed in the foothills area.  The fence was VERY close to the trail.  Since the trail is narrow you had to really pay attention to your footing.

I started feeling sluggish right when the glorious downhill ended.  We were an hour into the run.  I could feel my energy gone. So luckily I had brought some Sports Beans.  I took three and gave Michele and Kris each three.  I started joking that I was saving their lives.  Oh boy.  Kris reminded me AGAIN that I left off a vital detail in my last blog about our 15.5 heat run last week. So...

I ran out of water running last week.  I was so hot that I was also getting goosebumps on my skin.  We were about just over a mile and a  half left to go.  Kris had LOTS of water.  She told me I was getting heat exhaustion and to slow it down.  Then she kept letting me have her water.  It helped a ton and I was then able to pick back up the pace and bring it in strong.  So, KRIS has saved my life on the trails!!

Now that that is taken care of, back to Polecat.  We climbed a lot again but then we came to the Doe Ridge Trail ahead.  We took the entire trail down to Polecat again.  It was downhill the while way.  Michele was right when she commented that this would be nice to run downhill, IT WAS!

When we finished we compared mileages on our watches. Remember Michele's always says that she has gone further than I have?  Mine was 7.05, Michele's was 7.19 and Kris's said 6.9.  To that Kris announced, "Remember, my watch won't go past 7 miles on the trails or else I will be DEAD!"

Nice run, a very good challenging trail course to get a good workout in.  In order to get 7 miles in we really did a lot of Zig Zagging back and forth from one trail to another, but that's what makes it more interesting!  

One warning though: since there are so many switchbacks, it is a dangerous CAR ride home.  Michele takes the corners as if she is still running.  SLOW DOWN!

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