May 10, 2009

297-FR52A-299-9984-62-305 Loop Run

I did a long run this morning in Prescott and it hurt. The run started off with a 30-minute hill climb up the Smith Ravine Trail (297) to over 7,000 ft. I then made a right turn onto Forest Road 52A. A second right was made onto the Watershed Trail (299). My plan was to turn around at about 45 minutes to get a solid 90 minute run in but I remembered that trail 62 would take me back down the mountain. The problem was that I did not know how far trail 62 was.

I continued on the Watershed trail until I hit 57 minutes and paused to think: I could turn around and cut my losses or just keep pushing on until I find Trail 62 or hit town where I could refuel and take roads back to my truck or hitchhike or something. I decided to just keep pushing and two minutes later I came to a fork with the trail I was on (299) and 9984. I vaguely remembered running on on 9984 before and recalled that it would eventually join up with Trail 62. At this point there was no turning back.

I was right: 9984 intersected Trail 62. "Yea I got. Smooth sailing form here," I thought before realizing that I was already at 80 minutes. There was nothing else to do except keep pushing forward. I meandered down Trail 62 until I hit the bottom at around 100 minutes. I was feeling "it", the "it" being achy joints, fatigue and thirst. I hopped on 305 for a bit before hopping off at the next road intersection. I reasoned that the windy 305 would take far more time than the road back to my truck.

I began down the road with a sense of relief. "Smooth sailing from here." Nope. The mile marker on the side of the rising road read "1 mile" meaning that I had over 4 more miles to go. I did not remember hills on this road. It was flat when I was driving I swear. I was out of gas. I ran on fumes for about 1 mile to a nature center. Luckily, they had a water fountain. I stopped for a few minutes soaking my shirt in water and guzzling close to a liter. Yummy.

I began the final stretch at what felt like a deathly slow pace, so I thought. 6:10 between miles 2 and 3. No way. What is going on? The next two miles were well over 8 minutes per mile which seemed more realistic. I stumbled to my truck at 2:10, 2 hours 10 minutes. This feels good.

I just feel good right now.

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