Autumn was rushing over the Palouse this morning with an incredible sense of urgency. Strong winds pushing thick, gray clouds from one end of the sky to the other like they were a week late for something and needed to make up time. It was actually quite beautiful, and for a moment I didn't miss summer.
Sadie doesn't miss summer at all. She's glad those nasty hot temperatures are a thing of the past. Boy does she love to be on the trails in nice cool temps like today. It makes me very happy to see her so excited to get out of the car and jump all over me to get me to start running. So we ran.
Sadie still doesn't know that I went out on an super-long trail run last weekend. Instead of telling her I was going to Cle Elum for a 50k I told her I would be out of town for "business" and that we'd run when I got home. She would never forgive me if she'd known she didn't get to go on an awesome run. So today I made it up to her.
My legs are still feeling a bit tired, but they feel strong. And my knee feels strong too. Maybe it's the high I'm still on. Whatever it is, it feels good. In fact, I didn't even wear my knee brace today. The last couple weeks the brace has been mostly just a teddy bear for me - it made me feel better having it on. But I don't want my leg to get used to it if I don't need it.
I didn't want to push too hard today, but I wanted to get some good time on feet. We headed up my favorite trail, Headwaters Loop, and at about the halfway point turned uphill to go to Paradise Point and beyond. I felt strong climbing, both running and walking. Still pretty sore on the downhills, though. After Cle Elum I see that I need to work more on my downhill running. Sadie looked strong on all the ups and downs. She even almost caught a bush ruffling grouse. She got a piece of it but it was able to flap its way out of trouble and up into the tree. This didn't dampen Sadie's spirit though, she just spent the next ten minutes randomly pouncing in the bushes hoping to scare up another one.
Also, I got a little toy in the mail yesterday. I guess my inner gear head got the best of my outer not-as-geary-head. I've been running the trails on Moscow Mt. for a year or so now and have never been real sure what the distances are. Usually I can make a pretty good educated guess just based on how long it takes me. So today I put the toy to the test. I was very pleased with the reception it got. This was the biggest reason I took so long to make the purchase - I wasn't sure how it would do under near ly constant tree coverage. Everything looked good. I don't think I lost signal (does it beep or something if it does lose signal?) and there was nothing to suggest the data was inaccurate when I uploaded all the info on my computer. Very cool stuff. In the past I've been saying that my runs up to Paradise Point were about ten miles and today this portion of the route came out to just over eleven miles. So that was a nice feeling.
Stats from the run:
-5,300 ft of elevation gain! (elevation chart to the right)
-One happy dog
-One lucky grouse
This week is going to be a super-rest week. I have my 50 Miles for Michelle attempt next weekend. I'll post more details about this in a couple days.
Portland Marathon in two weeks....
JFK 50 in less than two months....
I just talked to my dad and this morning he scoped out the Appalachian Trail section of the JFK 50. It's a thirteen or fourteen mile section at the beginning of the race. His report was four words long: "Rocks, lots of rocks." Great. Nonetheless, I'm getting very excited about the next several weeks of running.