TALES FROM THE TRAIL (AND SOMETIMES THE ROAD TOO)

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Friday, January 13, 2012

Victory

I finally did it.  I ran to the top of Harding Truck Trail – all 9.33 miles of it to “Four Corners.”  I ran every inch.  I saw two hikers going up as I headed off (never saw them again).  And four hikers passed me on their way down as I ran up that seemingly never ending climb.  I only saw one cyclist on my way down (he was pedaling up).  So, I was virtually alone this entire run.   

Though it was a grind I truly enjoyed every second of it – even when the wind howled, even when it felt like it would blow me over.  Absolutely delightful.

So, what did I do during all that time?  I thought very little.  I mainly concentrated on the run.  I mainly thought about my body.  Not really thought, more like FELT.  I felt what it was doing.  Was it straight?  Was it relaxed?  Was I mid-foot striking? Were my shoulders down?  Whenever the run got difficult, sure enough the body wasn’t right.  Usually, the problem was my lower legs weren’t relaxed.  And as soon as I relaxed them, all was well.  To aid in this relaxation, I thought to myself, “Don’t resist.  Don’t resist.”

For those of you considering the 30k Harding Hustle, my run today is the same as the race.   And it is doable.  If I can run it, you can run it.  Even if you’re not up to the mileage, you have plenty of time.  The race is in July.  It will be a little hotter then. 

I’ll make a long, long, long story short, as I have lots of pictures to share.  I was absolutely thrilled to finally see “Four Corners” from a distance.  But it took a LONG time to get there from the first sighting.  Once I reached the white gate that marks The Main Divide, wind blew strong.  I got a bit goofy with pictures.  And if you can believe it, I SAVED my camera today with some smart thinking.  I actually looped my camera’s wrist strap around the gate latch.  Sure enough, a wind gust blew my camera right off the post, and there it was dangling in the wind, with its lens open.  Close call.  If I had not thought ahead, I would have killed yet another camera.

Hopefully the pictures can tell the story more than I can with my words.  It has been a tough day with terrible news.  Plus my uncle’s funeral is tomorrow, and the surreal aspect of life is a little overwhelming right now. 

A good note – today was the 25th day of my Streaking into the New Year. Smile 

Just beginning, about 3/4’s of a mile into Harding Truck Trail:

Climbing high with an ocean view:

And it goes up and up and up . . .

Approximately the 5 mile mark (& I’m still smiling, though I probably gained some more gray hairs – LOL):

Remnants of the last fire a few (perhaps a couple) years ago, the contrast is beautiful:

Peering up ahead, turning corner after corner on this enormous switch back, wondering when Harding Truck Trail is going to head north:

Majestic views of the lowlands and of the trail I’ve already run:

The trail begins to turn, as does the foliage:

With “Four Corners” in sight, my pace quickens:

The trail’s inside edge:

Looking back at approximately nine miles run:

Yay!

Victory!!! (Posing at “Four Corners”)

Running back down:

The final stretch (about a mile remains!):

18.66 miles run (30 km): My Activities Harding TT & Back 1-13-2012, Elevation - Distance

6 comments:

  1. Holy crap...you are a beast! That is one scary elevation profile to me...congrats on your Victory!

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  2. Dang! I could not fathom running that. Wow!!!

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  3. Unbelievable! What will you conquer next?

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  4. Well Tom, next, I'm hoping to run Maple Springs to Santiago Peak. Still, I think Harding will have been more difficult. That's a dang tough, NEVER-ENDING trail. I remember the first time you showed it to me. I thought that I would never return to it. Thanks!

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  5. Thanks Rachel. Believe me, it was not a fast run. : ) On the way down it was though (for me anyway). Super fun.

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  6. Thanks Whitney! And double thanks for reading. A year or two ago, I would have NEVER attempted this, nor would I ever have thought I could eventually do it. Thanks again. : )

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