Monday, April 5, 2010

Over the weekend

Saturday morning found Tom and I packing the last of those necessary things into the truck, meeting up with our friends in another matching truck, and heading out into the wilds of the Nevada desert.  We've spent quite a bit of time traipsing around Nevada, looking for petroglyphs and hot springs, and I always feel a great sense of relaxation settle in once we pass through the outskirts of Reno and into the wide open expanse.  The weekend's objective?  My fave, some new hot springs.  

We arrived at our destination, smack in the middle of a lovely valley, and not a soul around, and set up camp.

Within another 10 minutes, we was a'soaking in a big plastic feed tub, watching the weather go by.

It was nearly impossible to tear myself away from that first delicious soak, and the promise of increasingly decadent living, but I had a long run looming.  I knew that once I got my feet and got moving, I would be diggin' it, because I do love running in the desert.  In the wintery part of the calendar, anyhow. I knew it was now or never, and popped out of the spring and into my running togs.  Holy shit, it takes me about 15 minutes to get all of my stuff together, clothes shoes music water gels strap it all on get all wired up sunscreen hat OMIGOD!  I can be up in the morning, showered dressed and out of the house in the time it takes me to get ready for a run even with all of my stuff already prepared.  (assuming I get up in the morning with any regularity, that is.  Big assumption!)

So I headed on my way with no particular objective in mind other than running 14 miles.  I had the vague idea to keep my pace around 12:xx, just to keep from getting too lazy.  The scenery was just breathtaking -- I didn't get any decent photos, and this video really doesn't do it justice, but I was playing around with the video functions of my phone, so here's what I got:

The google earth image from within Garmin Connect is kinda stunning in and of itself (this is around Kyle Hot Springs):

I fiddled and dwadled, as usual, the first couple of miles, then settled in and really enjoyed to view and the relatively flat road.  Other than stopping to pee (and, for some reason, I had to pee about every 2 miles.  I hope this does NOT happen for my race -- I'm just conditioned to drup trou when necessary, I dunno what you citified runners do . . . ), I ran pretty steady the whole way.  I slowed as the road slowly rose from the valley to the foothills, and was happy to turn around and pick up the pace at the 7 mile mark.  Overall, 14 miles at 2:55, pace 12:37.

The weather was a fluid, constantly changing event all weekend.  In the wee hours of this morning, we actually got a little dusting of snow, perhaps an inch or so.  The skies were looking kinda alien:

and the towels left out were a little tricky to use after the first morning soak.

It melted off pretty quickly as the sun rose, though.  I have to say, it's quite nice to watch the snow melt from a pool of 104F.

And tomorrow, my 20-miler.  Oooo, wheee!

So, on a different note, I need to throw a question out there.  I have been running, fairly consistently, for about 4 years.  I've participated in plenty of races, from 10Ks to tri's to half marathons.  I'm slow and always take it pretty easy.  Ultimately, I don't give a rat's ass what my times are.  I live at 6000'.  My first marathon, for which I am almost adequately trained for at best, is in May.  Would I be crazy to be thinking about doing a 20 mile trail race (at altitude, w/ 2000' elevation gain) just 2 weeks later?

I would really like to run this, but don't want to do anything stupid.  It seems to me that this wouldn't cause any undue harm, though.  What do YOU think??


Lisa said...

Very cool video of where you ran. Kinda scary though too (I always think desolate places like that have creepy men looking for prey).

Re the trail race 2 weeks after your marathon...I've always heard that you should take the number of days of that correlate to the number of miles you ran in order to recover. Running a 20 miler only 14 days after your marathon might be kinda tough but not unheard of.

My .02 anyway.

funderson said...

I'm of two minds on this one. On one hand I say go for it. Call the marathon a "training run" :)

On the other hand, generally speaking, one's first marathon is the hardest and in my own personal experience it took quite awhile to forget the pain (mental anguish) of my first and there is no way in hell I could have turned around and run what is essentially another marathon BUT I wasn't a very experienced distance runner at that point.

You have the mental fortitude from running circles on that track so I'm betting you can SO do it. When there's a will...

Thanks for the desert pictures...I'm dying up here from lack of single track...

MJ said...

I can't answer the question re: the trail race, but just had to tell you how gorgeous it looks out there!!

Running Diva Mom said...

just found your blog -- keep up the great work!!

Formulaic said...

First: You have the mental will of a god if you could get out of that tub to go for a run. I'd still be there! Several days, months later!

Second: Good job on your run. Desert running is beautiful.

Third: Sign up for it (it will sell out or raise in fee), only you can tell how you'll be afterwards.

My thoughts are that you have been running long enough and at a steady enough pace that you should be ok. But in the end, it depends on how hard yo upush the envelope and how you feel mentally/physically afterwards.