Time: 51 minutes
Distance: 5.62 miles
Weather: Sunny and warm (for winter)
Easy late afternoon run around the Meadow View Loop in Elk Meadow Open Space. Started via the backyard route. Trail was mostly snow-free. Where there was snow, it was well-packed. No issues at all. Body was not feeling well. The crud was trying to take me down. Started last night. I decided to run through this one. Doesn't feel like it's going to take hold...more of a glancing blow, I think.
Weather: Cloudy and warm (for winter)
Got out mid-afternoon, jogging down the street with my Wasatch 100 payment form and check in an envelope gripped in my right hand. Ran over to the local post office to ensure it was post-marked this weekend. Made the last pick-up by about 45 minutes. The crud was still threatening to take me down...but I decided to duke it out.
I'll worry about what I've gotten myself into with that race once I hear the lottery results. The drawing for race participants takes place on Saturday, February 5th. Fingers crossed. Note: Sunday is the last day to register for the lottery (GZ!).
From the post office, I jogged over to the Troutdale neighborhood and jumped on a series of social trails and made my way over to the Dedisse Trail, which I followed down to Upper Bear Creek Road. I jogged up the road about a mile and hopped a fence to access a north-facing, snow-covered fire road that climbs steadily up to Alderfer-Three Sisters Open Space.
I after breaking trail in the 3-4 inches of heavy, wet snow for about a mile, I hung a left on the Mountain Muhly Trail, cruised past the old Blair homestead and climbed up to the intersection with the Bearberry Trail. From here, it was an easy jog up a series of big Zs to the intersection with the Sisters Trail. I hung a left, climbed up next to the Three Sisters rock formation, then zipped down to Hidden Fawn, over to the Dedisse Trail and started descending back towards Upper Bear Creek Road.
I was in a total fog after the steep switchbacks on the Dedisse Trail...one of those moments where you snap out of it and a half-mile has gone by without you noticing. Unfortunately, the incident that shook me out of my fog was a coordinated attack by a pair of football-sized rocks.
The first rock, the more aggressive of the two, jumped up out of the snow-covered trail and grabbed my right foot, which sent me plummeting toward the ground. Being a deft and dexterous feller, I almost was able to limit the incident to just touching down my hands. At the last second, though, I realized I was doing to have to gently hit the dirt/snow. That's when the second rock (a nicely-pointed one) sprung into action and moved to the exact spot where my left knee was going to touch down.
As the first rock smirked, my left knee smacked into the second rock and my sunglasses sailed into the snow. The rocks then high-fived each other and lay innocently back down. Meanwhile, I hopped up and quickly assessed the damage.
It hurt. I soon was laying across the trail waiting for the pain to ease. Once the worst was over, I wiped off the sunglasses and struggled back to my feet. I hobbled the rest of the way down the trail to Upper Bear Creek Road. As I limped along the roadside, I contemplated calling for a lift home, but feared doing so would mean a very tight, sore knee tomorrow.
|The day's carnage.|
After about a quarter mile, I sucked it up and ran it off...ticking off the last three miles home along the People's Path, which parallels Evergreen Parkway.
It's been a while since I went down like that. A good reminder that it ain't all fun and games. Sometimes it's bloody and painful, too. Actually, now that I think about it, that kinda makes it more fun...
1,663 feet of elevation gain.