This is coming into the park and you can see where it gets its name. Amidst the dull coloring of the desert, whammo! there's suddenly a huge swath of bright.
I took this photo on what was to be my 15 miler from the morning. This was afternoon (which is fleeting, omg when you're sleeping outside you become very attuned to, you know, daylight! and there's not much of that about this time of year. Weve been going to sleep at around 7 and getting up a 5-6 am. Weird) and I headed out with light etc. in preparation for the coming dusk. Tom also went out, but he was walking along the road and, get this!, he got stopped by the ranger, who inquired what he was up to because "we don't see a lot of people walking around here." This in a state park! Meanwhile, I was out running on the road in full-on geek gear, Nathan pack, armwarmers, god knows what they thought of me!
Anyhow, while Tom's getting roughed up by Ranger Rick (not) I'm out running my run, enjoying the awesome scenery. Long about mile 8, something distressing happens. I start developing pain in my left knee, something I haven't felt before. I'm a lucky runner and have never been injured and usually only ever have mild little aches pains or cramps when I run, never anything major. This felt weird and just got weirder and more painful by the minute, lateral knee pain and hurts when I lift my leg for the next step. Hmmmm. I cut my run short to 12 miles and hoped for the best.
This is the sunset I saw on my defeated return to the campsite, looks like a major forest fire! Just sun.
I limped on back and hoped for the best. Next day? Knee still hurt, quite bad and now I'm getting worried, not because I think I've got a major injury but I DO have a fking marathon to run in a couple of days, this is the most I've ever hurt from running and what'll happen?
I gimped a bit the next day, but an ace wrap helped tremendously. Yyesterday I did 4 miles or so and it felt ... ok. I figure I'll run once more before Saturday and otherwise rest up. I bought a knee support stretchy thing at walmart and will try and run with that. For the very first time ever I have real, serious doubts about my ability to pull off my race. I haven't dealt with this kind of thing before and don't have a clue how the knee will hold up. It seems much better now, but this is a long run with lots of elevations change so ... ?
On to other things, we've spent the last couple of days driving around finding petroglyphs. We found some fantastic examples of this ancient art form:
Anyhow, at the moment we are on the cusp of Las Vegas, a town we'll be passing through quite quickly. We've got a couple more days of ???, we really have no idea! then on Friday we'll be headed into Death Valley for the race and then for the next week or so. Anybody running this race? Come and say hi to me, I'll be the weirdo in the back of the pack (obviously), wearing a tutu, a knee brace, and being foolish. But you knew all that anyway.