I hit up a new trailhead today that is just a few miles from Troy's parents house. After a little research I couldn't believe that this awesome of a trail had been this close to his parents house all along. Doh! Troy dropped me at the trailhead and I took off on my way. We had added up the distances on the map and we thought that one way was about 8.5 miles. It turned out to be 9.5, so close enough.
Trail running alone is something I haven't done a ton of, so I was extra careful to have my map with me, pleanty of calories/fluid, a second top, and I carried my cell phone. Troy met up with our good friend Chris and drove to the end of the trail and started running back towards me.
I made my way through the trail system, taking a calculated left here, and a well researched right there. The entire trail was single track. Some of it extreemly technical, but most of it was the nice perfect dirt single track trail that I enjoy so much.
6.2 miles in I saw the boys. They were having a blast running together and chatting it up. When we met, they turned and continued with me back towards their cars. It was awesome to have some company in the middle of my run for about 3 miles. I dropped them at their car, where they decided to go about a mile more on a different trail and I turned to head back.
I had covered 9.5 miles in 1:36. I wondered whether it was mostly down on the way back. Shortly after I turned a hit a low point and realized that I had done a poor job fueling on the way up. I downed two gels and a cliff rope chewy thing that they make for kids and low and behold about 5 minutes later I was flying down the trail, singing, and happy as a jay bird.
The way back flew by as I made all the requisite turns with ease and confidence. At one point I spied some mountain bikers ahead. I was close to catching them as they stopped for a break, but they took off before I could get to them, I assume because they didn't want to pass me back. When I came over the top of the hill they were far ahead, enjoying the downhill.
On the following up hill I was running strong and I caught them. I heard one of them say "How did she do that"? I got a kick out of that. I didn't hang around to rub it in, but these boys on mountain bikes had just been officially chicked by a girlee runner. Sorry boys, better luck next time.
I enjoyed the technical single track again, although a little less than on the way out since my legs were getting sore.
I enjoyed a bomber long downhill and pulled back into the parking lots at 3:06 on my watch, 6 minutes faster than it took to go out. Troy and I had agreed that I would just run back to his parents from there, so without a pause I headed for the road home.
Man that was harsh, running on asphalt after all that glorious single track, but I couldn't expect Troy to know when I would be done. I cranked up the tunes and settled into a pace that would get me home quick.
I'm starting up the final hill before his parents house, thinking to myself "one more hill" when I see the trusty VW come pulling out of the driveway. Ahhh, Toy was coming to pick me up, he had just been too late. He picked me up 100 yards from his parents place and drove me back.
It's the thought that counts, and it was nice to hear from him "You were faster than I thought".
20.5 miles today enjoying the scenery and the fact that my legs love the trails. Also, this was the first run that I tried out my new Sprint Zip Neck from Core Concepts. The last one of these they sent to me was a prototype and I cut the sleeves off it in the Grand Canyon (see video here), and then wore it for the entire Run Rabbit Run 50 miler (video here).
Core Concepts was so kind to send me the new model, and this one has sleeves! It did not disappoint. Apparently they took my "alteration" in the bottom of the Grand Canyon to heart and put in a front zipper (such a better option than my knife was). It breathes wonderfully, and to know that I don't have to store it in my pack if I take it off because it converts into a little fanny pack (not the lame 80's kind) is a major perk.