Week Summary (March 7 – 13)
25.8 mi (3,862 ft gain) – 5 hours 4 min on trail
Trails: V&T; Jobs Ranch; C-Hill – Longview
Ok, back at it! Joined Steve Lang for Decompression Wednesday or “Brew Run”, usually scheduled by Tahoe Mountain Milers, though this week the group moved to a different location. Still, a nice evening with a mix of road and the good loop at the V&T Hills. This was mostly a shake-out for Steve who headed to the Trail Trashed Marathon in Henderson, NV on Saturday (He would place 3rd in the 1 – 99 Age Group!, so I guess that’s just plain old 3rd overall — nice!).
As the winds were building toward there weekend climax, I ducked into the Jobs Ranch trailhead for a lasso south toward Fay Luther. It was windy, of course, but getting into the trees at the base of Jobs Peak made it bearable, fun even. I was feeling the effects of my “rest” weeks when I had one of those moments, just at dark, as you come up behind another runner and for a long time they don’t realize you’re there. I thought of ways to make my presence known without startling her, well, scaring her half-to-death really. I didn’t want to simply run right up behind. Her pace was just slightly under mine, so it wasn’t exactly easy to blast by. Soon enough, I simple said “hello” and she only jumped a little bit. We laughed about how it is easy to get jumpy when you’re running in the darkening forest, in your own little zone, and there’s a sudden voice behind you. Good to see another runner out on that great trail.
Saturday brought the final leg of the Ascent Winter Trail Series. Kevin helped this year’s series go out in style by setting up a steep, 9-mile course at C-Hill; he knows how to set up a trail run. The C-Hill Event had three distances, so you can pick your effort. There’s always a hill or two for every distance, and Saturday, the wind was there for everyone. The 9-mile trail followed the Z-trail and continued to the contour between the big flag and “C”. Then it was a long, circuitous single-track on the south-facing slopes of the hill before contouring back for a summit climb. This single-track is one of the more technical of the well-used trail in the local area. I had several trips and stumbles trying to keep pace; Darren clipped a rock and did a double barrel roll before landing on his feet in surprising stride (I wish I could have seen that). On the rocky two-track to the summit and down the south rocky chutes, the wind was a constant, chilly blast. I could look down on the leaders (maybe Brett, Tim, and Lindsey were long gone) and see them leaning into the wind, looking like they were barely moving. I dropped down to follow them. Turning downwind at the top of Longview was a relief and I was surprised by how good I was feeling. A good morning. 10th overall, 3rd Age-Group. While I was feeling good, Darren was feeling slow and not up to his usual pace. He finished 9th, about seven minutes ahead of me; strange to see his name adjacent to mine in the results. I think I improved in this year’s trail series over previous years — maybe getting just a little bit closer to the usual lead-pack who are always a good minute-per-mile ahead of me. Anyway, always a good time chasing that pack and watching Brett disappear ahead of them.
Des went out on the 4.5-mile course. The steeps aren’t her kind of course and the wind just made it a mind game. But, as always, glad to have got out there and finished the series like we started. A good time on the trail.
Many thanks to Kevin and his crew at Ascent Runs. C-Hill was a fitting end to the 2015-2016 series. Best of all, he keeps us on the trail and motivated through the winter. See you next year!
Jobs Ranch to Fay Luther Single-track
Dropping back to Fay Luther Trailhead (Carson Valley storm clouds)