Yesterday was the Alternate Chili Run at Wyco Park. It was a single 10 mile loop on bridle trail, single track trail, and just a little bit of pavement. This is pretty much the same course as the Psycho Wyco in February.
It was warm and windy, but luckily there wasn't much wind through most of the course. It was muddy. Some areas were a little slippery and one guy lost a shoe, but really we had great conditions. It looked like a good turn out, too.
I started off running with the Medium pace group and John started with the Extra Medium pace group. I wasn't real comfortable with the pace, so I ran ahead and did my own thing. I ended up leading a group through the Triangle. I thought that was pretty good since I had only run that section once and it was in the dark. A couple of guys caught up to me there and one was Bob, one of the Nerds I ran with last Saturday.
I stuck with Bob and two other guys for most of the run. I like running with those guys - they're a little faster than me so I have to push myself and they're good conversation. We ran together for most of the course. Hopefully I'll get to run with them again.
We hit the pavement section and another group caught up to us. I was falling behind at this point and was just praying to get off the road and back into the woods. It was interesting - you could tell who didn't have much trail experience once we hit the trail again. I passed most of the group and caught back up to the guys. The road runners are much faster than me on the road, but I make up for it on the technical trails. I guess my trail feet are better than I thought.
We made it to Horse Hill and narrowly avoided making a wrong turn. I told the group I didn't like Horse Hill anyway and Fester's Wander was a much better trail. Once we started on Fester's Wander I took off into the hills and I heard someone say "This is a better trail? Holy Crap!" I just smiled. I said better, not easier. Those are two very different things when I'm judging a trail to run on. Fester's Wander is tough, but that's possibly my favorite trail.
Bob and the guys passed me at the Archery Range and I had picked up some out-of-towners and one local. When I talked with other locals, I felt like I was preaching the Trail Nerd gospel. "We have runs out here every week, you should come join us!" "There's a race in February, you should come out for that!" Shameless, I know. I can't help it - I don't understand why you would want to run on the road when there are these beautiful trails just off the beaten path.
The last part of the run was Three Hills and then just a little bit back to the cars. I swear all the hills in Three Hills were bigger than the last time I was out there. By the end, everyone around me was tired. I had just finished my water, so the timing was good.
As I headed back to the car, I realized that I had only ran 1/3 of the Psycho Wyco and I would be doing another 2 laps after that. Wow. I thought I could handle a second lap, but it would be much slower. A third lap seems, well it seems rather psycho. But now that I have done a full loop, I'd be willing to try it again on a weekend. I'm at least getting familiar enough with the park that even if I did get lost, I could eventually find my way out.
That is, if the cougar doesn't get me first.
2 days ago