Okay, lame title/joke I know but I finally saw my first knewt on the trail this weekend! So stinking cute!!
We had lots of rain near the end of this past week and due to plans and obligations, we had to split up the weekend. Pigeon and I ran on Saturday while Stonegate and Burning Girl ran on Sunday.
Pigeon and I started our run a bit earlier than usual on Saturday which actually turned out to be a good thing (you’ll see why later on).
I picked the run route, we carpooled together and started our run bright and early. The weather was very deceiving. We both dressed a bit too warm at the start because the wind was blowing pretty strong when we were getting ready by the car. Yet 10 minutes later, I was ready to strip down big time.
We parked at Cool and basically ran the second loop of the Way Too Cool 50k and boy was it muddy! Warning, I have tons of photos so I may just let the photos speak for themselves today.
Our first intro into the wet water filled day was about 2 minutes into our run when we discovered that most of the trails were these little streams of running water instead of dirt or mud.
The trails were tacky piles of mud, wet leaves and water. It was a bit harder to fly down the same section I flew down last weekend but I managed.
Most of the time, there was no way around the water. We just had to run through it and if I had any idea what the day would have been like, I would have started counted water crossings. There was easily 20.
The only part of the run that was not so super duper wet was Quarry Road.
Since Quarry Road is a fire a road there was more space for drainage but there was definitely the occasional puddle jump along the way.
I haven’t run this route since almost this same time last year when we did the Way Too Cool training run together. It was nice and I have forgotten how challenging at times this run can be. Both Pigeon and I need to keep doing runs that incorporate lots of climbing and descending.
We were just running along commenting that the river has really risen since last weekend’s run…
When we were stopped dead in our tracks.
The trail we were following lead straight into the river! Now Pigeon and I are not afraid of wading through water. However, just two seconds after arriving, we saw what we thought was an EMPTY kayak going down the river.
With my heart in my throat, I started scanning the water praying that what we saw was just a giant bright orange log and that someone had not capsized. The current was strong. There was so much debris floating down the river it was very intimidating.
Pigeon and I stood there, staring at what used to be the trail.
Neither of us wanted to be foolish and start wading through the water. Pigeon declared, “This is impassable!” We were not sure exactly how far from shore the trail was and while we could have bushwhacked through the foliage on the side, we were reminded of the massive ticks pulled out a runner’s neck just last weekend. Um, no thank you.
So we stood there for what seemed like an eternity when three girls came up behind us. They said they were going to try it. Pigeon and I waited. More runners came by we told them what we saw and they too went down to the water to check it out. No one was coming back!
I looked at Pigeon and said, “They must be attempting it. No one has turned around. I don’t want to turn around either but…” So we went down to the water to check it out.
This is where starting our run earlier was in our favor. We ran into this larger running group who ultimately helped us through some of the tougher stronger stream crossings.
Pigeon and I joked that we just wanted others to do it first … just in case but in all honesty, that was the safest move. Had we been by ourselves, we probably would not have attempted this.
Once on the other side, we were soaked from toe to mid-thigh. Good thing it was warming up. However, we wouldn’t stay dry for long ….
It may not look too deep in the photos, but the current was strong and there is nothing under your feet but uneven unsteady rocks.
We would continue to leap frog with this group of runners for a bit which again, was in our favor.
It was so.much. fun! I love stuff like this on the trails.
After a little while, the group went on ahead. We’d see some of the stragglers from time to time but we paused for a bit to let them get some distance from us.
People are funny and think it is fun to deface some of the signs on the trail. However, there was one marking on this sign that made me laugh out loud ….
Someone had scratched in “Bad Ass Waterfalls – 1 Mi.” on the sign and that made me laugh. It was true!
Off we ran, up and down. I was feeling good and just going with the flow of the trail. Trying not to slip too much and picking up speed on the descents.
I came down this one trail and stopped. For some reason what I saw made me stop and want to take a photo. It was as if this tree was floating!
It is hard to tell, but it had snapped in half and the bottom half was on the other side of the trail (to the left of the photo) and as the tree fell, these other trees caught it preventing it from being in the middle of the trail. It was neat.
Smiling ear to ear I was having a blast. Another stellar day and it was about to get even better because as I was running, I saw what we were running towards ….
The trail had turned sunny, warm and just beautiful after what seemed like miles and miles of gray, mud and wet.
It was mind blowing to see and feel that sun on our faces for quite a few miles. Eventually we knew that the trail would throw us back into the “woods” and that things would get wet and muddy again but I enjoyed the sun while it lasted.
I also enjoyed the muddy sections too.
I am always having fun and finding fun on the trail. It brings out the kid in me every time.
I knew we were approaching Goat Hill, one of the big hills in the Way Too Cook 50k race. I was eager to get there and get started on the climb.
Up I went. Just trying to not slip. There was literally a stream of water running down the Goat Hill trail. It was insane but still a lot of fun.
I was pretty shocked when I reached the top of Goat Hill because I don’t remember it being that short and that (dare I say it), easy? I guess after last weekend’s Stagecoach and K2 run, Goat Hill should feel easy.
The rest of the run was more crazy wet trails back to the Highway 49 crossing. It felt good to be almost done and the sun was back for our last two miles or so.
Overall it was a great day on some very technical and wet trails which is good because it doesn’t seem like El Nino is going anywhere and any future races may very well be this wet, muddy and tough.
We climbed a little over 3800 feet. Last weekend it was about 4500 so not quite as much but still some solid stretches of very runnable trails helping to push past any fatigue.
When I got home, I was pretty hungry. The last mile or so I was planning my meal in my head. Like I mentioned in my last post, I will share what my post-run fuel looks like.
Leafy greens are a great source of vitamins but consuming leafy greens also helps the body produce more nitric-oxide which in turn helps the arteries dilate and helps remove cholesterol. So there is nothing better to help the blood flow to the heart better/faster (and ultimately the rest of the body aka your muscles) than to eat a bowl of leafy greens.
Here I have butter lettuce and arugula, shredded carrots, celery, white navy beans, green onions, cilantro and some cold brown jasmine rice. I topped this all with some Jalapeño Lime Vinegar (adding vinegar to greens boosts everything about this dish). It was perfect.
So there you have it. Another stellar run even though we ran separate. I am sure there will be more weekends like this in our future. It is hard to coordinate four women with kids.
Not sure of the plans yet for next weekend. I do believe it is Super Bowl weekend (not that I care all that much) so that may dictate my schedule a bit. Either way, I am sure it will be super fun. 2016 is definitely starting out to be a great year.
Another favorite pic from the weekend … my girls. As a book lover and avid reader, this just melts my heart.