Ranch time

I was going to write something last week and discuss the past couple weekends but I just too busy. I would say the main thing that has been happening, is that I have been consistent with the bigger volume weeks. Which is awesome! Haven’t been able to achieve that ever. Another thing is that the weather has been very spectacular, so all my free time has been spent outside.

Im going back to last weekend, I ended up going home for my dads 70th birthday. Like I said I have been trying to get my long runs more consistent for the first time in my training blocks (usually excuses start accruing the higher the mileage, what else is new). I figured I wasn’t going to be able to get it in due to drinking at the party and just feeling terrible the next day and seeing some friends that still live in Murphys, as we will most likely want to do something on Sunday.

I was talking with Alex and Tyler about what my supposed plan of running from Camp Connell to Murphys on the Arnold Rim Trail. Alex immediately said he was down to join me and Tyler was on the fence since he had been having some knee issues and he was selling a tractor at some point in the day. To save you some breath we ended up getting everything coordinated for the next day and switched to Naglenes of water. Woke up feeling awesome!

Leaving Murphys to head towards Camp Connell the temperature quickly dropped from a nice 65F to 40F. The discussion of how we were feeling moved towards questions of how much snow would still be on the trail. As we left the Camp Connell gas station towards the fire road that leads down to White Pines the snow banks started to quickly grow as we moved further in to the shaded ridge. The first two miles happened to have 4-6 inches of snow that had warmed up enough the you would punch through immediately. It felt as if we were running through a sand pit, in my mind I was wondering how Tyler and Alex were feeling and if they now regretted the choice of coming with me. We got out of the snow and started our way down the road and made it to White Pines. These guys offered awhile ago to help with my Tahoe 200 venture and I think they were finally realizing what pacing was going to entail. They both had never really used fuel while running and I had brought extra knowing well that they did not have any. We had another hiccup, a river crossing I had totally forgot about. Found a small tree that had fallen across and we were able to scoot our way over. The miles seemed to click off very quickly, especially since I had two people to talk to and catch up on things we had missed since our last visit.

Now when Tyler said he was down to run with us I mentioned that it would be about a 10 mile run before he could get to his car and from there, Alex and I would finish the next 12 miles on paved road (also the hottest and mostly exposed).

The thought of stopping when we reached Tylers truck had increased significantly, when a group of older mountain bikers were crowded around drinking beers and offered some double Ipa. Alex and I looked at each other and just politely said no, we took off down the road. Now Sheep Ranch road is a back road that has a lot of interesting folks, old hermits, weed growers, and everything else you would expect. We passed by a couple groups of people and they had the same comment of “you guys are crazy”. We just kept cruising, paying attention to our water levels and food intake. Alex and I had crushed the run, we made it back to Murphys and we finally got indulge in some beers at the Murphys Pourhouse.

Moving to this most recent week/weekend. The week moved pretty swiftly, I had a long midweek run which I went to Rancho San Antonio preserve after work and crushed some afternoon miles. Every time I saw an animal it just pumped up the run and made it seem so effortless. I ran through a meadow on a nice single track and saw a group of 8 deer, this is where I blurted out “I love deer!”, not seeing the guy to my right in the meadow taking pictures he said “great kid, your scaring them all”. Anyway got to Friday and I was heading up to Sea Ranch for a birthday, never being up there I had done some planning on what I would run while everyone else was sleeping off their hangovers.

It ended up being being a beautiful run all along the coast. The worst part was I had to run 4 miles down the coast come back to the house and then run 6 miles up the coast. Should have started north and had the headwind in the beginning. Finished the run and everyone was still asleep, I used the good ole trick of cooking bacon to get everyone up to help with the remaining breakfast duties. Got some great rest after the run, which was needed outside of running recovery. Vitamin D was restored!

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