Ok, I’ve had a warm bath, I’ve chatted Wayne’s ears off about the details of the run and I’m sitting here at the computer enjoying my homemade and my bread machine yummy wheat bread. I’m so glad I set those up before I left this morning. They are hitting the spot! Mmmmmm

I am SO sore! That was hands-down the toughest workout I’ve ever done! I slipped and fell on my side once and slipped and fell flat on my bottom another time. Several of the other runners also fell. It was just crazy running conditions — thick ice, jagged and uneven, snow, inclines that made you stretch your neck up and say “You’ve gotta be kidding me” (this was Bertha’s quote as we encountered one after another of these killer, rugged mountain trail paths.) Most of the path was so narrow you had to run in single file (there were 7 of us.) On the right side on the way up we were running on a path about 12 inches wide covered in very slippery ice and snow. If you slipped, you’d fall into a ravine 50 feet below! Crazy stuff! 

It was slow-going in conditions like this. Two of our runners were hurting or injured, so we stayed together as much as possible so noone got lost — that is until the last few miles — then the others left Bertha and I in the dust — and we took a wrong turn on the mountain trails. My Garmin saved the day again, though!  I clicked on “get back to start” and my Garmin did it’s thing, showing me a rudimentary map and an arrow of where to go next to get back on the right path. AND…. I found a new screen today too along with that — a compass screen, with also showed me how much distance was left to return to start and the expected time to arrival! It even beeped at me when a turn was coming up in the trail! Again – this little watch is worth every dime!  It got us back to the van and we were a couple of very tired, but happy campers.

I will tell you, I just felt so full of pep and energy out there today. It kind of surprised me!!! Part of the way I even zipped to the front of the pack and just flew down these ascents at crazy speeds! My Garmin says I clocked a fasted pace today of 5:33 (for at least a few seconds). I swear I thoguht I was going to break an ankle heading down those mountain paths, so jagged, with ice patches. My right ankle is pretty sore from all the twisting and turning it did. It was weird running techinical trails today. We all stared at our feet nearly the entire time, comtemplating what had to be done to safely get the next step done. I didn’t even notice miles or pace or the view that much. I was just absorbed in not falling down the mountain or crashing to the ground (which did hurt when I was zooming along and came to an abrupt crumpled pile at about mile 13). The runner gal just behind me wiped out too right after I did. Slippery stuff we encountered today!

It was crazy standing on the tallest mountain. The city looked so tiny spread out below us. I felt like I was riding in a helicopter to get a view like that. As we ran along, I also noticed that the higher up we got, the more deer tracks we encountered. They looked so fresh I was sure we’d round a bend and come face-to-face with one sooner or later. The faster runners did see two, but Bertha and I had to be satisfied with stomping our shoes through it every time we were on too narrow a spot to avoid doing so. 

I’m sore. I’m happy. I did it! And, I came cruising in the last quarter mile and passed the male runner in front of me just before I reached my van.  It was awesome! I felt pep in my step even then and really think I could have gone another hour or so — even though I was tired and didn’t refuse the hot chocolate my pal, Emily passed to me as I finished up. There are some nice things about the end of the line.

We’ll see what happens in the next two weeks. I’m worried about Bertha’s recovering injury (her IT band.) Today was harder for her than she or I expected and I don’t want to risk her running health by pushing her too hard. She’s so awesome and she’s been such a fantastic running partner to me and I want to be supportive and considerate of her needs as a runner too. So.. we’ll see. I think we could do it, but I only want to go forward if we do it injury-free. 

Horray for another challenge met!

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