Since it’s cold and there’s still snow on the ground, we decide to forgo riding and make this a long run day. We put in a moderate 10k this morning before the snow bunnie act, then head out early afternoon into the bowels of the hunting jeep trails of Sproul Ranch. One of the owners gives us permission and directions to keep us on her property.
This seems like a great deal because the hunting crew also on the ranch does an early morning stint and a late afternoon/evening hunt. We can easily knock out our 2-3 hour slog while they’re breaking and eating. In fact, we time it just right as we head into the forested area just as the hunters are returning from their morning adventure. Very friendly, everyone waves and smiles. “Watch out, it’s slippery!” they warn, and they’re right. With a little weather, we go from desert to snowy mudfest in one fell swoop.
I quickly realize that Alisha’s trying to hang back but it’s still too quick for me on that day. I’m getting a little light headed and am in oxygen debt up every little rise. I suggest she continue on ahead and I take a short walk break and continue on at a super easy pace that I’m comfortable with. Yes! Much more pleasant.
I wander around on different trails through mud, snow, rocks, etc. It’s great fun! Eventually, I end up on a trail that heads up a mountain. It gets steep at points so I use those times as well-deserved walk breaks, not that it’s all that easy. I eventually find myself at the top. Regretfully without a camera. Several trails diverge and continue on so I follow one that routes me around the edge of the ridge and up even further. Hey, if it goes up, then I’m not at the top and must continue on. So I do. Until the hunter guy comes driving by in his ATV and suggests I head back down before the hunters head back out in an hour or so.
Hunter guy heads down the hill and I look up wondering if I have time to make it to the TOP. It’s super muddy up there and I’ve been slogging up steep grades with about 5 pounds of mud on each shoe. It’s about an hour and a half into the run so I decide to head back and tack on a little to get me close to the targeted 3 hours.
Alisha took a different path and got some nice pics, so this should give you an idea of what I saw. The snow melted quickly, with it almost gone by the time I completed the run at 2 hours 53 minutes, covering 17.9 miles. Elevation gain – 2,635 feet. Highest point – just under 6,000 feet.
Since I haven’t run this long in quite a while, I’ll be putting off tomorrow’s run until later in the day. My hip is doing much better, by the way, so that’s great news. No need to do anything ridiculous. Ha ha.