Since the honeymoon, a bit of running has happened [as you may imagine]. Here is a quick recap of some neat runs in the past month:
A run up Union Peak with Josh, off of the PCT near Crater Lake National Park (and full of awesome views). This was the first weekend back from vacation and although it was only 11 miles, it has some good climbing to get my legs back into shape.
An incredible group run with the Linkville Lopers / Asana Sole Team group, 19 miles in the Sky Lakes Wilderness via the Cold Springs trailhead. It was awesome to have this many people head out for a long run. We stayed together the whole time and there was great convos and plenty of laughter to be had. I also noticed that everyone had a hydration vest. Are we all ultra runners or something?
I may have had a bit of energy.
The next day, Joe and I headed to Lassen National Park. I’ve been wanting to go there since I moved to southern Oregon and we never found the time until this holiday weekend. We arrived there in the afternoon and set up camp. It was 85 and sunny the whole drive there, but as soon as we arrived, it clouded over and had some blustery wind/rain coming from the west. Luckily, our campsite was blocked by a mountain, so we were unaffected. And we were staying in the camper.
We started by run/hiking up the rainshadow side of the mountains to Bumpass Hell, a geothermal Yellowstone esque area with sulfurous gases bubbling out of the earth. We were blocked from wind/rain until we actually arrived at Bumpass Hell (pronounced Bum.piss [?] but I pronounced it bump.ass of course). The wind/rain actually made the hot gas and bubbly mud neater due to the steam!
The next morning, we were determined to summit Lassen Peak (10,462 ft) and were lucky enough to have visited the park on one of the 4 weekends that the Summit Trail was open to visitors this year (they are undergoing a massive trail maintenance project). Even though it was pretty windy/rainy/foggy, Joe and I jogged and speed hiked to the top. We couldn’t see anything. Luckily, we scrounged together some warmer clothes, otherwise it would have been pretty chilly. We witnessed several people (with young young children) that probably shouldn’t have been hiking in those conditions….. Anyway, we reached the peak.
…and snapped this horrible photo of ourselves. 0.3 seconds after this photo was taken, the sky parted and the sun came out. We caught it in action here:
This is probably the actual peak. It was pretty rugged over there. The sun came out and the wind blew all of the clouds away and we had a zippy decent down the mountain, complete with plenty of comments by onlookers.
We could practice our downhill running!
And we finally had the gorgeous views.
Even this one, of Lassen Peak, where you can see the “vulcan’s eyeball”… eyeball? hmm. [aka, a lava tube]. It looks to me like something else. What do you think?
Fast forward to last weekend, where I had to do my longest run of the ‘training cycle’ to prepare for my upcoming 50 miler in a few weeks. The schedule I am loosely following said I had to do a 50K or a 30 mile run this weekend! The same weekend there was a local trail 1/2 marathon! So Joe and I took Friday off to run the 30 mile run on the PCT, taking the trail from route 66 north past Howard’s Praire, 15 miles out and back. Above is a photo of Joe overlooking a nice view of the Rogue Valley/Ashland below. Do your best to ignore the invasive annual grasses in the photo.
We got to run to the top of a peak that I am forgetting the name of. This PCT section was nice, with rolling hills rather than crazy climbs. We purposely picked this out because we wanted to actually run the 30 miles at a good pace.
Meaning, we could run at a good pace and stop and take pictures of cool mushrooms on the way.
But, as always, always always always, Joe and I fail to plan appropriately and we got started pretty late in the day (2? 3pm?) and ended up running at dusk. Which quickly turned into dark. Oh, and no headlamps. We were reliant on our excellent night visions skills to keep us from tripping and biting our tongues or impaling our eyes out. Yes, I imagine these things when running in the dark. The whole thing took us 5:45, including breaks. Pretty good if you ask me!
This 30 mile training run went really well because I haven’t run that far since SOB (maybe 5 weeks beforehand). So long distance shape doesn’t necessarily go away that quick. I definitely felt better than at the end of the 19 miler last weekend with the group, but I was also able to take my own pace, which is important.
We will see how this affects our Moore Mountain half marathon on Sunday!!!