Saturday, December 1, 2007

Dumb Ass Indeed!

This morning Tracy, Ali, Shadow, and Tim met at Tiger Mtn to run at least one loop of the Tiger Dumb Ass run, which is to be held in two weeks. Holy moly! I'm renaming it Tiger Drag Ass. I guess I'm still a little tired from last Sunday's 20 miler, and my right side is a little touchy, so for me this seemed like a pretty tough run.

I picked up Tracy at her house - I was so glad for the company because there was light snow and ice on the road, and having her there somehow made me feel less nervous. We kept thinking about planning to turn around if the snow got any harder, and sort of planning an escape route. With no phone call (to cancel) from Ali, and Tracy not knowing Tim's number, we had accountability driving us there. Ali was waiting in the parking lot but no sign of Tim, so we dawdled and fiddled with packs and clothing. Finally as we were about to head out, we saw a car driving up the road - it was Tim. Other folks had the same idea, as the parking lot was pretty filled.

Tim came up and we got started. We headed in a few yards, and then hit the first junction, where we commenced climbing. We climbed and climbed for what I guess was about 3 miles, about 2000 feet, turning at several junctions. Good thing Tim was there - he knows Tiger pretty well. In fact, as we climbed higher, he commented that this was more of a climber's trail. How true! The going was fairly slow and tough, though I could feel the work I've been doing on my weak glutes paying off. Tim was very patient, since I am sure he's used to going much faster. Eventually, we got to Tiger Summit No. 3 where it was quite windy and blowing snow. At that point we weren't sure which way to go, even with the map and cue sheet, but thankfully, Tim knew from the description which trail to take. We headed towards No. 2 and started descending.

I wished I had remembered my Yak Trax for the run back down. Each of us, except Tim, slipped at least once. I came down, buckling my left knee under me, and had to sit a minute to see if it was okay. I was more worried about my right, as I am having some tightness over the VMO, which seems to be related to my hip stabilizers (for which I am doing exercises - see below). We came through several junctions that could be sketchy, but fortunately had the footprints of other dumb asses to lead the way. That's a plus for being slow! We got down a lot faster than we got up, so we topped it off with a run around Tradition Lake and back to the cars.

It was a tough loop and hard to believe that people are going to do five of these for a 50K! I'll be glad to crank out two. It will depend on the weather too. Today it was light snow and up top there was a few inches of snow on the ground. If it's raining heavy, it could get really slippery. So just have to keep my fingers crossed.

Back in Seattle, snow is coming down and even sticking! It's really pretty as I sit here at the kitchen table watching it fall. My lab buddy, Hemantha, sent this self portrait from Tasmania:

Looks so warm and sunny!!! I informed him of the snow he was missing....

I've been working with a colleague, Laura Robinson, who has a new place called 5 Focus, on my unstable hips/glutes. She uses a method called Stretch to Win, and also gave me some exercises to do. As I mentioned above, they are really having a positive effect on my climbing strength! I highly recommend her and this technique!

Off to a nap and watch the snow....

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