Friday, June 12, 2009

Night Run, Porcupines and Leeches

Great run tonight on the trails at Blackstrap. Purpose was to get some more practice in running at night with headlamps for Western States. Challenging, technical trails at Blackstrap made it a fine choice to do so. Stephen, Ian and Jamie were also present, making it a very fun trek. Jeff also swung by beforehand to say hi (he lives just down the road from the trailhead) and invited us over for some beers afterwards, but we were pretty muddy and smelly afterwards so we just opted to all get home and shower up.

We got under way a little past 8pm. The sun was starting to set and at times we were treated to great views of the mountains silhouetted against a brilliant orange sky. Very nice indeed. We also saw a porcupine when we traversed the tree farm. Ah, nature...

It soon got dark and a little past four miles, Ian decided to make his way back since he has a big run planned for tomorrow. We bid him farewell and the three of us headed west on the powerline trails under the power of our headlamps.

We encountered a particularly large puddle/small pond right in the middle of the trail with no easy way around it. It was thigh deep and as we waded through we joked about the possibility of leeches. Sure enough, we began to spot them in the water when we neared the other side. Great. Fortunately, none hitched a ride with us. I later offered Stephen $100 if he'd lay in the water for 5 minutes, but he didn't take the offer.

We continued along the powerline trail, having trouble finding it a few times but never losing it for long. Found a trail that ducked into the woods for a bit and took that. It ended up on a road, and we decided to head back.

Great run and a lot of fun, thanks to the very challenging terrain and of course the great company. Surprised at how slow the pace was as we were actually running pretty fast it seemed, but the number includes quite a few stops and slow downs to negotiate direction or obstacles.

Running at night on unfamiliar trails always makes for a great adventure! Was glad we did it. Felt pretty strong and energetic and the legs felt fresh. Taper appears to be going well. Ready for it to end though, I am so psyched for Western States, not to mention nervous and anxious. Bring it on!

Ran 10.2 miles @ 10:53/mile pace.
AHR/MHR - 141/167
Technical trails.
Extremely hilly.
Mid 60s, clear skies.
Shorts, short sleved shirt.


Laurel said...

Sounds like good fun and good training. I think you are ready for a great run at WS.

Sparkplug said...

Leeches... Yikes!

Sounds like you are well on your way to a great run at Western States!

mindy said...

I think every male who has ever seen the leech scene in Stand By Me is likely to never set foot anywhere near a pond like that...
Sounds like an awesome run - WS is on the horizon!

Trail Monster Running said...

Nice running with you for a few miles, I'm glad you made your way out okay, looks like you got the distance just right. Enjoy the taper!

middle.professor said...

That porcupine cost me $300 last summer when Sasha uncovered it but handed it off to and Rodney - only to get a snout full of quills. Of course this was a Sunday and only the emergency vet was open. And of course they had to anesthetize the rodman because he had too many quills to take out without it.

Thomas said...

Leeches - how gross!

Luc said...

Night runs are fun. I'm excited for you and can't wait to read your WS race report. You're gonna rock it! I wouldn't have laid in a pond of leaches for $5 either! Now $10...? :)

Luc said...

Oh wow, I had my numbers mixed up!! Your friend is crazy for not doing it for $100!!!