My two friends, Jenny and Amber and I started while it was still dark. The stars were beautiful overhead. It was probably good that we couldn’t see the trail well since it was nearly all uphill the first few miles. My buns and hamstrings were on fire from the start of this one! We stopped to hang out with a cute little toad that ended up peeing all over my buddy Amber’s hands while she posed with him for pictures.  He was so cute, but I think he may have been a little nervous at the three running gals chatting around him who’d probably interrupted his sleep. ha!

I’d like to tell you that it got easier the longer I ran, but that only seemed to happen on the downhills. I definitely have not done enough hills lately and it was evident today by how out-of-breath I felt almost from the start. My quads and calves will thank me later when they’re stronger – but today they were crying like babies.

I saw many Monarch butterflies crossing the path today and leaped over more than my fair share of grasshoppers. I enjoyed hearing the birds singing their morning songs while it was still a star-covered black world.

Total ascent today? 3,129 feet. No wonder I’m yearning for an ice bath.  ha!

Stats: 14.14 very hard trail miles, 3:41:14: total time. 15:39: ave pace. Total Elevation gain: 3,129 – OUCH! Up, up, up, down, up, down, etc. etc. Can I please have a nap and a pizza now?

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