This is how the trails looked today. MUD-DEEE!!!!
Today the group drove up to the Cool Fire Station for our long run. As I posted previously, Coach Nikon arrived before us and finished marking the trail with pretty pink ribbons while Western States Rob and Killer Kate met us at the Fire Station to get us started on our run. Chilly? Check. Raining? Check. Muddy? Double Check. We knew there was no hope of staying dry as you'll see from the
ton of photos.
The Pilot flying down the hill. He also saved me from going off on an umarked trail. Thank you Pilot!
The group numbers seemed smaller than normal today. Maybe it was the weather or maybe it was just the fact we were missing Captain Kirk, Wonder Woman and Coach Nikon at the start. Either way, our group split up and spread out. Coach Nikon had told us to run the first half semi-conservatively until he met us at one of the big hills and then after that hill, if we dared, we should get "froggy" and attack the miles leading us back to the car as if we were racing. My plan was to follow his advice, take some pretty pictures going out and then stow the camera and run run run.
puddling jumping . . .
no option to puddle jump this!
I'll be honest, I took a lot of photos today. Despite the rain, which eventually stopped, it was absolutely beautiful out there. It reminded me very much at times of a rainforrest as opposed to a rainy forrest. There is a difference. Trust me.
The waterfalls were just flowing from all the rain we've had lately and the moss was almost an electric green. It was spectacular. I found myself stopping. A lot.
This one is for Coach Blurry Nikon. I changed a setting on my camera which consequently made all my photos rather blurry today.
Soon our group reconnected right at the bottom of the infamous Ball Bearing hill.
Doc (in red) climbing ball bearing
Ball Bearing was as tough as I have heard and the slippery muddy terrain made it all the more interesting as we climbed but I noticed the whole group seemed in good spirits and were quite chatty. Love that. Everyone was covered in mud and we were soaking wet yet those near me were having the times of their lives. Like I said, today's run was probably the most beautiful run I have been on yet!
The group reconnected again a little before Goat Hill, another infamous hill. One thing I noticed today is that the trails were quite crowded with various groups but I like these mini breaks our group tends to do. It is nice to check in with everyone and see how they are doing or offer some extra fuel etc.
The trails leading back to our car were amazing. The sites we saw were just wonderful but I had promised myself to run "hard" and that meant keeping the camera in my pocket. However, at some point along the trail, Garmin and I reconnected (as he was a speed demon today) and I had to stop and take a picture of the trail we were about to run down.
This section of the trail really displayed some beautiful views. So much for my goal of "no photos" ah well, I still ran hard until my ankle started barking and then I shuffled hard.
All in all, today's run was my favorite thus far. I don't have much to report other than the pictures above showing how muddy and pretty the day was.
Some note worthy things: I had my new breakfast of a bottle of Ensure and an Immodium an hour before we started running along with some coconut water 30 minutes before and all was in check. Second weekend in a row my tummy troubles were almost nill. I only noticed some minor cramping towards the end.
My heart rate was significantly lower throughout this run. My average was about 4 beats lower than my CIM marathon average which is also my average for these weekend runs. Even going up Ball Bearing and Goat Hill my heart rate did not spike like it did doing Pennyslvania Avenue. Yes I was breathing hard but my heart rate remained steady. My thoughts regarding this are that I am either 1. getting in better shape or 2. coming down with a cold. I really really hope it is number 1.
I think I need to momentarily put aside my American River 50 miler thoughts and focus on running Way Too Cool first. AR scares me but Cool is not a walk in the park either. However, I can already tell that Cool is going to be a really fun race.
One muddy trailmomma!