I finally conquered my fear of getting lost in the Megerson Mound section of trail at Wyco today. It was a great run, but not something I'd do alone at night.
Today was supposed to be an easy day or total rest day, depending on how I felt. But last night at SMP, our 11.5 mile run was cut down to 9 since my headlamp was dying. After taking a Superman-style dive onto the trail, we cut it short at 9. At least only one knee found a rock, the rest of me just got dirty. I ended up finishing the run with headlamp in hand, as close to the trail as my arm could reach and closely trailing John.
Since I didn't get the mileage in I wanted, after John left for the airport (and a nap) I went to Wyco to get a few miles in. The park was incredibly busy and the trail were greasy. I'm pretty sure I heard the trails laughing at me as I slid on my knees down a slope. I love how wild it is out there.
I started at Shelter 10 and took the trails to Fester's Wander where I caught up with two other non-Nerd runners, Bianca and Price. I lead the way through Fester's Wander and Horse Hill (I spared them Hedgehog Hill) and pointed how to get back. They ran Psycho Wyco last winter and are planning on doing it again, this time maybe going for the 20 mile course. I'll have to look for them.
I had a lot of fun running with these two. They both are triathletes, with just a little trail running experience. They were at Kansas 70.3 this summer and were pulled from the course the same place I was. And Bianca also did Ironman Wisconsin this fall. I think they could handle the 20 miles. I told them about the Thursday night run - hopefully they'll come out some time. After we split, I was kicking myself for not getting her number. I bet they'd be great to bike with and I could use some companions on my long rides this spring! It's very cool to meet someone in her 40s still racing like that, who could totally kick my ass. I think I have a girl-crush.
We split at the Archery range and I was still feeling good, so I decided to head back to Megerson Mound since it was still light out. It's unbelievable how different the trails are at night. I made it through, no problems and took the road back from the dam. I hate that part - it's like punishment. I think this Thursday I'm going to try to convince the group to take a slightly different route to minimize the pavement running. If it's just John, Jerry, and me, it shouldn't take much convincing.
My official total for the week was 35.25 miles. Next weekend I'm hoping for a full loop around Wyco on Saturday followed by 9-ish miles at SMP on Sunday, 40 miles total for the week.
It is unbelievable how much easier trail running is on my body. There is no way I could add up this mileage this quickly on the road. My cardio fitness is fine, but the pounding makes my bones ache. The 7.5 miles at the airport make me more sore than the 9 miles we did at SMP, even with the spill I took. Actually, after SMP yesterday and Wyco today, I'm not sore at all. I think I am a full-fledged convert to the trail way of life.