Saturday, September 8, 2007

Cathedral Rock 21 miles

Current Mile total: 1146.75 miles

Today's was arguably the most scenic run we've encountered which is made obvious by the many pictures I've posted. It was also a great refresher course in running karma. I ran a little too vigorously downhill and it would prove to me later that although it may be fun and seemingly easy it still takes a toll on your overall energy level. My joints and muscles would be the victim of my over zealous actions. AGAIN.

What can I say? I love running downhill. So when the group was running down a fairly steep section of trail and I was hot on the heals of the other runners I politely asked if I could pass. And then with people on my heals and without anyone in front to keep me sane, I let gravity take me. I kept my breathing normal but I was flying through the trail. The entire time I'm doing my very best to be focused and practically praying that I don't fall on the rough terrain. I managed to get to the bottom of the slope about 30 secs to a minute before anyone else and it felt good. That is of course until we had to go back up. Then I quickly noticed how much it takes from you to run that fast no matter how easy it is. I suppose it was good to do this. The perfect reminder to be conservative on the downhills so soon before the actual race. Hopefully this lesson will be fresh in my head come race day. So I paid the price in order to play a little and show off like a jackass.

So the day started early. I meet Kathleen again and we drive up and meet the others at the west summit parking lot at 8 am. Once there we car pool to a remote location that Scott claims will only take 30 minutes. It takes 1 hour and 30 minutes. The group also addresses Scott our concerns with the cutoff times for the big race. He assures us that there's plenty of time, we all look great and it'll be different come race day. I guess we have to trust him. He may have "perpetually optimistic" sense of time but he certainly picks the best places to run.

So we head up. The first few miles is up. For the last couple weekends my calves burn terribly. I'm not entirely sure why, it may be cause of the two styles of shoes I'm wearing between the week and its ends. It maybe the heavy Wednesday workout. At any rate, it is so bad that my feet go numb. Its painful and disorienting. I'm thinking I need to stick to one shoe from now on. It makes me stop frequently to allow the blood to flow but eventually we reach the top and my legs warm up. Once at the top we are just below the Cathedral Peak. Its impressive so I snap off as many pictures as I can. We then head down a out and back route to turn this 18 miler into a 22. This is where I run like a jackass. Once at the bottom we head on over to Deep Lake and then its back up the long hill to Cathedral Peak again. This climb was not enjoyable. Mostly because of the dirt kicked up from the runners in front of me. It was a warm day and no moisture on the ground to hold the soil down. This also caused us to drink more than we should. The climb was over shortly though and we headed on our way around the lake which would loop us back to the trail head. For the most part it was Kathleen, Jim and I as a group. The rest of the trail is just the average run-of-the-mill gorgeous until we get to the falls. We take a short break to enjoy the scenery and its off again. This is where I start to get tired. My joints are beat and I lacked inspiration. I really just wanted to be done. And eventually we were. We done we headed over to the river and took our "ice bath."

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