Wednesday, July 25, 2012

New Race for 2012!!

We found a new race for this year.  It is going to be this September in Horshoebend, Idaho.

 Race 2 The Summit

What a great alternative for Robie Creek (gagging noises).

This will be the first year for this race.  Michele said we should decide after our Marathon in August if we feel good to run it.  Then 2 seconds later she texts me and says that she registered.  So of course, so did I.  I'm in!  I'm always in!  Looks like The Chained Tiger will show up too!

A fall down the stairs = a week off the trails

So, yes I did it.  A sign of old age I suppose.  Going down the stairs last week, in the dark.  y 9 year old had left some toys on one of the steps and WHOOSH! There I go!  At first I was concerned about my knee.  But after a day I realized it wasn't my knee that was affected, it was my BACK!  I took two days completely off to recover it and finally decided BAG IT.  I'm gonna keep running. 

However, I am taking a week off the trails and doing an easier week this week to be safe.  So what did I miss? 

Michele and Kris (the Bossy Bandit) ran Shane's Loop.  Kris dropped her pepper spray, but didn't notice.  Michele ran past it and thought, hmm some one's pepper spray.  Later Kris stopped for an urgent potty need.  at that point Michele said, "Did you see that pepper spray on the trail?"  Kris looked down at her belt and yelled, "That was mine!"  So back they go, 0.3 back to find it, which they did.  It is a GOOD thing they did because....

Next day they do a green belt run.  On the way back near mile 12 they encounter what Michele believes is the fattest cat the she has ever seen.  Nope, as they get closer, RACCOON!  It will not budge, it hisses at them and there is NO ON else around.  The Raccoon starts to walk down the path so they cautiously follow hoping it will soon exit the green belt into trees or bushes but no.  It keeps turning around and hisses at them as if to say, "Stop following me!"

They have no choice but to follow the rodent because that is the way to their car.  Finally after 5 minutes of this Kris makes a decision, "I'm gonna get closer and spray it."  Side bar here, I would have sprayed it the very first second that I saw it.  But then again I am not as tolerant to animals as others are.

So just as Kris approaches here comes some people an bikers.  "RACCOON!" Michele and Kris yell.  The biker dings his bell, and no more raccoon.  I am actually very glad that I missed this drama.   But the question is...did they miss me?

Kris informed Michele that she "thinks" she missed me this week.  Oh I can feel the love.  Apparently her new nickname is "The Chained Tiger", for reasons we will not get in to but she probably likes it better than the Bossy Bandit.  I now need to think of a good one for Michele........

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!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Our Attempt to Kill Kris....Failed

Now that wasn't truly our goal today.  But, she sure thinks it was!  Let me explain.

Our goal today was to get a 16 mile trail run in today.  Kris wanted to run with us but not THAT FAR! So, we compromised......

Michele and I arrived at the Camel's Back parking lot.  We called Kris and told her to leave her house now. Then we ran Hill road to Bogus Basin Road. 

Now before I get in to this run too much I need to mention that the temperatures have been triple digits for like 5 days in a row!  Today was forcasted to be 104.  We left as early as was possible, but it turns out later we learn...not early enough.

So Kris passes us in her car as we are running up Bogus Basin Road.  As you would expect she hollers at us out the window and sufficiently harasses us.  She parks at the trail head and waits for us...THIS is the compromise. It is about 3.25 miles for us to get to the trail head #31 Corrals.  When we arrive we are ALREADY HOT, and ALREADY SUPER THIRSTY.  But we count up how many ounces we have and think...yep we are good.  I wish there had been a little voice saying, "Nope you don't have enough, it's too hot today!"

We LOVED Corrals.  From the first trail head that it.  We had nice rolling downhills with a few ups.  If you start at the SECOND trail head it looks like a killer climb. Don't do it!

I brought my pepper spray today.  There have been a lot of fires and we thought there may be a chance that some animals that we don't want to meet may try and meet us.  As we ran Michele looked up ahead and shouted "Animal on the trail!"  Instantly we clumped together and I reached for my spray.  You can imagine how dorky we felt when we then realized it was a DOG.  But in our defense it's owners were a bit behind it and out of sight.

Kris started going on and on about what if we saw a Wolf.  "There are wolves by Table Rock, the fires could have driven them here."  When neither Michele or I really answered she said, "Oh you two would run ahead fast and they would get me and eat me up.  Then you can remember your friend who saved your lives by being eaten by wolves."  Michele laughed and said, "Jodi you can write a book about it."  "yes," I answered, "And I will call it the last sacrifice."

After a great enjoyable run on Corrals we can to a fork and took the left to go onto Scott's Trail #32.  Now Michele and I ran this particular trail in February, so we were prepared that it was a DOOZY.  Kris however, it was a first for her.  How did she feel about it?  "Every night I pray and thank God for such wonderful friends who get me out the door and running each morning.  I think I am going to STOP doing that!"   She was already feeling like we were going to kill her/

At this point I was already feeling dehydrated.  But I kept drinking and tried no to push it too much.

Scott's ends at the 8th Street Extension.  We took a left (actually we debated about left or right.  Michele insisted it was left, we weren't sure so we followed her insistence- to a success).  We came to the Hulls Gulch Interpretive Trail head #0.  This trail was AWESOME!  Definitely one to do in the spring!  I wish we had a camera today.  We crossed many bridges, it was downhill with switch backs, there was a tiny waterfall which would be much better with the early spring run off... Just absolutely loved this trail.

However at this point our fluids are rapidly decreasing and becoming very warm.  Drinking warm Gatorade or water to hydrate is NOT FUN.  I was really starting to feel the energy zap out of me and head straight to the sun.

When Trail #0 ended we had a brief run on #4 (thankfully VERY BRIEF) and then we turned onto Crestline Trail #28.  This is a trail we are familiar with and have ran many times.  Only problem today was THE HEAT.  It was really beginning to take it's toll.  We were all slowing down and talking less.

Something new on this trail was that we didn't stay on it until it meets with Kestral.  We turned right on Red Cliffs #39.  We all liked this trail much better.  It is still downhill, just not as steep.  Well, I'm not sure if Kris liked this better or not.  At this point in the run she was convinced we were trying to kill her.

When we came out to the 8th Street Extension we had three options, hit Kestral to Owl's Roost, the road or this back gravel road that connects with Red Fox.  Kris decided for us "THE ROAD! IT IS SHORTER!"  None of us disagreed.  We wanted this run finished!  We took the road to the parking lot and then joined the Gold Finch Trail out to Red Fox and DONE!

The full mileage was about 15.5, just over 3 hours.  It was HOT!  We were all out of water and walked to the drinking fountain at Camel's Back where we drank enough to last a normal person a few days!  We were so sapped of energy!  Kris was now convinced we were definitely out to kill her.  "I now know my trail limit!"  she announced, "SEVEN!  My limit is SEVEN MILES!"  It is always fun to have her along...I sure hope she changes her mind.

This run really dehydrated me.  Another day of losing over 6 pounds on a run.  And that weight was taken after a couple water bottles, a sprite, a PB and honey sandwich and french fries.  Imagine if I weighed myself before ANY OF THAT!  I think it was so bad because I wore the socks that I got from the Race to Robie Creek.....I should have known better.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth of July!!

What a great way to celebrate and remember all of our freedoms!  A wonderful trail run!  This is the same route we did last year.  Michele and I have decided on holidays to run certain routes.  We are just stinkers for tradition!

On the drive up Mountain Cove Road I saw a sign that said, ""  Michele and Kris didn't believe me.  But then when we hit the corner.....

Apparently the do rent goats!

We parked at the last parking lot with a permanent bathroom along mountain cove road.  In the past we have parked higher up but it makes for the run to start with a sudden uphill.  This way you get a warm up in before hitting the hill.  The parking lot says Freestone Trailhead (not sure why).  We headed left onto Mountain Cove Trail # 22C.

Th road we are running parallel with is the before mentioned Mountain Cove Road.  This is where the Les Bois 10K is run.  I do NOT run this road unless there is no other alternative.  And today, there is an alternative!

This is a nice shady trail.  We had started at 7:00 AM, so it was shady at that time of day..haha.  After a bit it comes out to meet with mountain cove road.  A sharp left onto Ridge Crest #20 and we encounter the hill.  This is a tough one to do because you are just getting started in the run.  My goal is to try and run the whole thing.  Michele and Kris' goal?  I am not sure.

After you reach the top of the hill we were at 3/4 of a mile.  You have to then take a left at the next fork which is Buck Tail #20A.  This is a fun trail!  Minimum hills, nice foot surface, single track, grassy, curvy...very runner friendly.  I stopped a few times to have Kris and Michele catch up because, while I wanted to run a quick pace, I was afraid of missing the "fun".  The last time I ran ahead of those two, they finished the run with all of these funny experiences that I missed!  So I was ok with a few stops.

From Bucktail we came to Shane's loop #26A.  Now you can run it either way, Hence the word "loop".  We always choose to run it counterclockwise, that means starting on the right fork.  It has less distance of uphill (although steeper).   This is also a favorite of ours.  I walked the first hill, but then Kris started razzing me about it so I didn't walk anyone of the others!  Later we saw some other runners coming behind us in the distance.  Kris pointed them out and said "they are probably going to catch up and pass us".  I called out, "No they won't! Come on girls we don't want to let them pass us!"  Kris, throwing water on my enthusiasm noted, "Yes we do and yes they can."  She has no competitiveness in her I swear.

On the last really steep hill I ran and Michele and Kris sang the ROCKY theme song as I did.  I even did the Rocky Balboa dance at the top with my arms up and everything!  The best part now, all downhill baby!

You will notice that we lack pictures lately.  I recently dropped my cell phone and broke the camera.  Only occasionally will Michele bring hers along.  (the goat picture was from the car).  So you are forced to use your imagination.

Back to the trail....

After Shane's Loop (back to where we started) we headed Onto Central Ridge #22.  This trail is much wider and you can run in more of a pack instead of single file.  You will notice that there hasn't been much silliness today.  That's because we are used to this trail, semi-pros at it.  There are therefore, no surprises and no near catastrophes!  Hence, less moments of insanity.  However, there was this DOG....

Coming down the end of Shane's Loop this hyper dog passed me.  Okay, whatever.  Unbeknownst to me when it passed Michele and Kris it tried to jump all over them and then it tried to jump on a passing biker.  let me tell you.  It is a good thing that DOG didn't try to jump on ME! If it had there would have been a very loud screaming followed by a DOG being kicked off the ledge, tumbling down the ravine, and then my wicked laughter! (you think I am kidding but I assure you I am quite serious.)

Central Ridge leads you to a fork and then we take Ridgecrest #20 on the left.  We saw A LOT of bikers today.  They were all very friendly, there was just a lot of them!

Ridgecrest is a very steep downhill with lots of switchbacks.  Michele swears that ONE DAY, I am going to take a header down them because I go to fast.  Well folks, today was not that day!  I love this part of the run!  I go tot the bottom and had time to run up and down the trail to get my watch caught up to Michele's which was .1 ahead of me!  I cannot stand when they read different distances.

At the bottom of Ridgecrest, we went right onto Toll Road #27A.  No more uphills today, easy run back to the car.  No excitement, no danger, no puppet legs.  Toll Road took us back out to where we could get back onto Mountain Cove Trail and then less than a mile back to the car.  As we ran I pointed out the sign.  They were both surprised.  Turns out they thought I made it up.  Why would I make up something as ridiculous as that?

All in all it was a GREAT run!  A good 7.15 miles on a beautiful day!

I love America!