Defn: a human male displaying evidence of devolution - exhibits distinctive "caveman-like" tendencies. This man often dribbles in public places; cannot drink a beverage without spilling it on himself, the floor or someone else; may also run into objects like lampposts & bushes; has a definite "sloopish & short legged" running style that is slow and low to the ground, often resulting in the dragging of knuckles.

These throwback neanderthals, along with their questionable diet, should clearly be avoided.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Falcon Trail Run

Peer Pressure sometimes works in a positive way.  About 9 miles into a 13 mile run when you hear "Walkers coming through!!" and it is aimed at your group - a notable response happens.

Prior to that, my son - (1 month in to being a teenager - if turning 13 years old is when that officially happens) - and I met up with Steve and Kathleen - of Happy Trails fame at the US Air Force Academy.  While Kathleen biked 30 miles along the roads at the Academy - Steve guided myself and the teenager around the 13 mile loop.

Temps were warm to start (just after 8 am it was already in the 70's) and continued to heat up as we moved on.  The plan was twofold: 1) run for 13 miles, 2) get used to being on our feet for 2 1/2 hours or so.  It was to be a training run for the 2 next races coming up for the kid and I.

The pace - easy (just wanted to get out and enjoy it). 
The trail (13 miles w/ just under 1400' climbing) - fantastic. 
The weather - noted already, by the time we were done was upper 80's.
The guide (Steve) - very gracious and patient with us. 
The other runners (my son and I) - weary.  Thursday's track workout was lingering still.

We set off going clockwise and about 3 miles in, I was spent.  Wasn't hurting - was just plain old tired.  My boy was too.  He was carrying a 20 ounce bottle and had almost used it all up.  We stopped and Steve pointed out the Burger King - couldn't smell the food cooking yet, but if we had gone the other direction and come by there a couple hours later - might have been tempted to stop in.

We kept going SW, heading towards Peregrine and Blodgett Peak
Moon setting above the Peak
At 4 miles in I filled up the teenagers water bottle (I was carrying my Camelbak) and we set off on a gradual 2 1/3 mile climb to the high point of the trail.
By this time our pace had slowed, the temps were toasty and we were tired.  Several creek crossings were nice and tempting to get a quick soak in.
But we kept going, slow running, walking at times, lots of Mountain Bikers and other runners / hikers out enjoying the trail.
Running in the trees was a little cooler, the trails are smooth, just a few technical areas and the "steep, climbing section" was only about a 1/2 mile.
We made the high point, which is almost 1/2 way, where the parking lot to "Stanley Canyon" was filled with cars - people looking to get some notable climbing in heading up there.

Steve had been leading the way to this point.   Shortly after cresting the high point we put the teenager up front as it was time to start heading down for a while and I thought he might be interested in leading for a while.  Not really. 
We continued along though - he ran the (8 mile) Greenland Trail race 4 weeks earlier - the longest he has run in a while.  So, notably the boys wagon was dragging.  Some good glimpses of the Chapel from the trail as we came up on the South side of it.
Shortly after passing by it, we started on the last climb of the day, with the teenager up front, we started into it and were about a third of the way up, he was up front but slowed to a walk.

A couple of switchbacks faced us, coming down towards us was a group of scouts.  The leading couple was about 30 feet in front of us, saw us, turned around to annouce to the rest of the troup, "Walkers coming through".  Not really thinking, I immediately spoke up and told the teenager that they were calling us walkers instead of runners.

He started running, possibly the fastest, certainly with the most effort all day - as we passed the leading group - they turned around and yelled back to their group: "Runners, coming through!!!".  I heard Steve chuckle behind me as I was smiling.

The kid ran all the way to the top of that high point, well and truly past the Scouts.
4 miles to go, almost all downhill so much easier and potentially quicker.  But he was done, tired, hot, had some stomach cramping which really didn't help.  We walked, ran some and took our time, going past the (2) Golf courses and about a mile from the end the kid kicked into gear and finished well.  2 3/4 hours on the trail.  A zippy 13 minute mile average pace.  I think the goal was achieved of time on the feet.  Next time we will not do it after a hard track workout and hopefully in some cooler weather.

A big thanks again to Steve for your patience and for introducing us to a great trail - one that we both would like to do again.

1 comment:

  1. Good times for sure - that heat drained my legs for Sunday, though!! For the pure joy of trail running, that loop is hard to beat. It always leaves a grin on my face!