TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Maple Springs to Four Corners

I finally went back to speed training this week.  That was my rest/recovery after the Saddleback Trail Marathon – no speed training.  Why?  Because I hate speed training.  I spit on speed training. 

So, yesterday, I forced myself to do 25 minutes of speed work.  I even added 15 seconds to my bursts.

This morning was time for fun.  Forget all about that speed stuff.  I hopped into the truck before sunrise and drove off to Silverado Canyon for a run up Maple Springs to the Main Divide.  The first and only time, before today, that I ran Maple Springs, I remember I kept asking my friend, “Are we there yet?  Are we almost there?”  I must have hiked at least 50% of the route up. 

Today, I ran ALL OF IT.  All of its awesomeness.  Autumn is definitely here.  And this trail runner isn’t missing it.  The run started off cold, with frost along the trail’s edge.  The small puddles were frozen over all the way up. 

I ran without music on the way through the canyon amazed how loud nature was this morning.  Have you ever listened to the sound of a bird’s wings flapping above your head?  It makes an eerie swooshing sound.  Added to nature’s music on this autumn day, squirrels chirped their high-pitched rhythmic tone in the brush.  Birds sang in the trees and water crashed down onto boulders. 

Sound alone did not overwhelm me this morning.  The utter beauty of the mountainside was immeasurable.  Bright yellow leaves covered the maple trees.  Lovely green ferns and moss lined the mountain walls. 

I didn’t see a single other person on my run up.  Nothing like complete solitude in the wilderness for a major brain dump.  I let it all drain out, fighting against the urge to think about everything I need to do, etc., etc.  But I did meet a friendly cyclist at the top (4 Corners).  Running down I came across several mountain bikers, one runner and two hikers. 

I ran fast (that is my fast) on the way down.  I didn’t fall.  Didn’t trip once.  I don’t remember even feeling tired.  Perhaps the beauty overwhelmed any fatigue.

What a difference a year makes!

Heading up Maple Springs (pepper spray in hand) and it’s pretty dang cold:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Scenes from the run up Maple Springs:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA           SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA           SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA           SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA           SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA           SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

View from Four Corners:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Thumbs up to a fantastic run up (& time to layer down).  I’m getting warm on this cold day:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Goofing around a bit before the run back:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

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From the run down:  fire remnantsSANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

Just one more picture of those gorgeous maples:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

The final stretch:SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

15.17  lovely miles (24.41 km) run this morningMy Activities Maple Springs to 4 Corners out and back 11-22-2011, Elevation - Distance

6 comments:

  1. What a beautiful run Lauren! Thanks for sharing your pictures. I don't do speedwork anymore. I probably should but actually know I won't.

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  2. Good job, Lauren! Running all the way by yourself is quite an accomplishment. By the way, Maple Springs is about half as steep as Meadows, but over 7 times longer. Enjoyed the pictures, too.

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  3. Thanks Johann. I loved this run. Last time I ran it in the summer, and it was so much different than now.

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  4. Thanks to you Tom! I can't believe that Maple Springs is over 7 times longer than Meadows (though I suppose a little mental math and I would have figured). This run was so easy compared to Meadows. Thanks for showing me Maple Springs a couple summers ago. It's gorgeous in the fall. NOW, I remember 4 Corners! i really wanted to take Harding Truck Trail down before heading back, but I couldn't be sure where I was going to come out.

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  5. That's 400 feet per mile. For seven miles. Impressive. And yes. I'm this far behind....

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  6. Well, I'm glad you read Glenn. Thanks for the "impressive" compliment. Believe me, these miles are slow, but they are oh so joyful. Thanks for stopping by. : )

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