Sunday, February 21, 2010

13 miles

Yesterday I headed out with Tom and our mt. biking friends for an "escape from the snow" trip down a few thousand feet to Cool, Ca.  That's gotta be the best mailing address ever, Yeah, I'm from Cool, that's California, man.  In addition to being very cooly named, there was some fine trails to be explored as well.  Trails!  Yay!  I was soooo happy to find myself running on trails again, my natural element.  

First, everyone's got the get all the gear together.  Thank goodness for trucks!

I'm all ready to go.  I have no idea what the trail is going to be like, and Debbie's memory of the terrain is a little hazy.  I'm not apprehensive, just curious.  We all head out together at the trailhead, and it's the last I see of the bikers for a while.  Because, this is what the entire trail is like:
Lovely, huh?  A beautiful trail running along what I think is the south fork of the American River, in any case this waterway dumps into Folsom Lake, 10 miles from the trailhead.  I've got 13 miles on the plan, and am supposed to run 12:01 miles.  I'm close to that goal for the first coupla miles, and then just let it go.  I'm not sure that stated street running goals can really transfer directly to trail running, anyways, because it certainly FELT like I was laying down some effort, but my time certainly doesn't reflect it.  I've decided to take those time goals as suggestions, anyhow, because I'm lazy, it's easier, and I don't really want to make running something that is a consistent struggle.  I can't imagine ever running hard enough to puke . . . that's just not in me.  I'm happy plodding along at a nice lope.  Then I can enjoy sights like this:
And between that photo and the one before it, you pretty much get a good idea of what the entire trail was like.  Heaven.  Gentle rolling hills pretty much running alongside the river, with occasional forays into live oaks or big meadows.  Some sections were a little technical but mostly it was like groomed dirt trails.  Nice!

I celebrated my return to the trails with these cool gaiters, which definitely kept errant rocks out of my shoes and just looked really cool.  Between these and my hand-held water bottle (along with a big ol' belt that holds just about everything you could imagine) I friggin' look like a trail runner!

I just love this trail, and think I'll return again, maybe when I've got one of those 20 milers to do . . . 
At the 6.5 mile mark, I sit myself down to exchange water bottles and have myself a gel.  My mt biking companions chose this time to catch me on their way back -- I feel like I've been caught sitting down on the job!

At 7.77 miles, I'm looking over my shoulder at the river or whatever and the trail gets a little technical.  I decide to pay more attention to my footing, and as soon as my eyes focus on the trail ahead of me, my foot catches a rock and down I go, as over tea kettle down the hill.  This is nothing unusual and barely deserves mention (I fall walking across parking lots), but as I chase down my handheld, I come across GARY, who has popped out of his wrist strap and bounced down the trail as well.  I'm just glad I dropped the bottle in the fall, or I wouldn't have realized the little bastard had escaped.  I didn't think this could happen!  Yikes!

The day was pretty overcast, my favorite running weather.  Soon after my fall, the skies open up and the rain comes down!  It proceed to rain and rain pretty hard for the next half hour, and I've decided that I really enjoy running in the rain!

All in all, it took me somewhere around 3 hours to run the 13 miles.  


MJ said...

Wow, it looks like it was an amazing trail! Sorry about the fall, but at least it gave you something 'cool' to talk about from your trip to 'Cool'. lol

Marathonman101108 said...

What a great place to run (and fall!). I wish I had a place as beautiful to run at here in CT. Thanks for sharing and making me envious!

funderson said...

OH my GOD how I miss dirt! and naked legs....I feel a Moab trip coming on...

Bootchez said...

It's one of the awesome things about living in Tahoe . . . you only have to drive an hour or so and you're where flowers are blooming. It really injects a little sanity.

ShirleyPerly said...


And I've never heard of Cool, CA, before. Certainly very fitting. I love your gaiters too. Don't run trails very often but always wondered how you keep those little pesky rocks out of your shoes.

Lisa said...

Very cool trail. I need to find better more scenic places to run. Nice job and lol about getting caught sitting on the job.