Sunday, December 02, 2007

Mt. Peak Run

We've been having wild weather here - cold, with snow predicted yesterday. We got barely a dusting, and by the time we went to bed, it was pouring buckets. Eric was getting up early to meet Rob and run a few loops of Mt. Peak. I was getting up later to meet them at the trail head for the final loop - up the front, down the back and around. Honestly, I was a little nervous. I had only run Mt. Peak once before, and it was hard! I went knowing I was in better shape than last time, and hoping against hope for a good run.

Last night I told Eric to call me when they got there and let me know how the roads were. I figured I'd be driving up alone, with a possibility of a couple other runners meeting at the trail head. He called at 5:35 am and told me the roads were good and to expect some snow at the top. I could hear the rain thundering against the skylight, but put it out of my mind and went back to sleep. I got up at 6:15 to the continued rain, then my phone rang again - it was Jane, she wanted to know if I was still going. We agreed to meet at the mall and ride up together, which was much nicer than driving it alone.

We could see Eric's headlamp shining at us as we approached the trail head. He was looking a little cold. Rob was rummaging in his van for dry clothes. Eric (remember the hall of fame he just entered?) had not thought to bring anything dry, and I didn't think to bring it for him either. Just as we were starting up the trail, we saw a car coming that we thought might be Darcy. Eric and Rob told us to keep going, they'd catch up. It was Darcy and just a few minutes later we were all together.



Going up, it is a steady climb - it's about 1.25 miles to the top, 1800 foot gain. The trail was muddy and in places slushy, and the rain was hard and constant. It didn't matter - we talked and joked all the way up. We mostly hiked with a little jog here and there. There is a little clearing at the very top - and the snow was much deeper there. We stayed long enough for a quick picture, and then started down. Darcy went back the way we came, the rest of us went down the back side of the mountain. We were able to run most of the way down - I'm sure the guys could have run the whole way down, but I am not very sure-footed on rocky, rooty portions, and neither is Jane, so we took our time on those sections. Rob tells me it's simply a matter of deciding I can do it, then I will...I've learned a lot from Rob over the years, so I'll work on this one too. I've been trying to learn to run down hill with abandon - on Rob's advice - when I'm on the hill run. (In the dark, probably not so smart). Today Rob laughed as he told me it's something usually practiced on grass, so when I fall it'll be soft. (He didn't mention that last spring!)



Once we made it off the mountain, we had three miles of country road to run back to the cars. It was fun - we were all soaked through, and the rain was still coming down, but enjoyable anyway. I'm excited because I felt great throughout the run - up and down. It gives me a lot more confidence for the Capital Peak Half-ass. Last year that was so hard, that though I want to do it, I've sort of been dreading it. Now I feel a lot better about it. Don't get me wrong, it won't be a walk in the park, but I think I'm so much farther along than I was then. Jane will be running it with me this year, while Jenny tackles the full course. I really thought about the 50K, but my flat 50K times are slow enough that I wouldn't make the cut off for the second loop. No matter, because the Half-ass is challenging enough for me!

16 comments:

Sunshine said...

Sorry to seem midwestern here, but what is Mt. Peak?

You meant it when you said you liked running in the cold rain!!

Always always interesting to read your runs.

Joe said...

Cool run, Michelle...soaking though it was. Glad Rob and Eric enjoyed it. Dry out well!

Sunshine said...

OH Awesome!! Thanks for your interesting description. You really are some amazing Runner Woman. No matter what, you always seem to be having fun!

Wes said...

LOL! You guys are hard core. Loving it :-) Are you trying to send the nominating committee a message for next year ;-)

robtherunner said...

You're not only a den mother to an entire running club, but you're also a tough trail runner as well. One who is willing to run through puddles just for the fun of it. Hopefully I'll see ya next weekend.

wendy said...

wow, great job on the run, Michelle. They are right, you are a tough cookie! I'm kind of glad I went to work - that was a lot less challenging than this run would have been. =)

You're a strong runner, and a strong person. I'm glad you had a good time today.

King Arthur said...

Does that mean you are going to be the better Half of the Dumb-Ass on the 15th?

Jack said...

Wow, you guys are hard core - remind me not to whine anymore at my civilized Winter here in Germany.

scott keeps running said...

Ah, nothing like wet snow. :)

Do you all ever not have fun?

Sarah said...

Love the snow! I'm thinking of the Capital Peak FA too, but probably won't decide until the last minute.

Makita said...

I enjoy running in the snow but not the rain. You all are most decidedly 'hard core'.

I'm not able to run downhill with abandon either - particularly on trails... Yikes!

Anne said...

Sometimes those are the most therapeutic runs. I'm like you: I tend to go cautiously in rooty and rocky areas. Stay dry and stay well...I've been thinking about you and Rob and the others as I hear about the horrible weather in the PNW.

Nicole said...

You guys are amazing - it looks so cold.

craig said...

You guys always have such fun out there. Enjoyed the post.

runliarun said...

I was wondering how you were doing with the wild weather, it was all over the weather channel while we were in Tucson. I should have known a bit of rain and such would not stop you.

Sunshine said...

Thanks for your visit.
Yak tracks ... good idea... especially in January and February.. I think they might be good for running on the lake. (All ice, no patches of dry pavement!!)

Wondering how you are doing with this week's weather....