I am lucky to work 4x10's and with that is a perpetual 3 day weekend. This is awesome, I think everyone should have this option. So today, I slept in. I thought I'd sleep until my usual 8:30 rising without an alarm, but not today. I slept until 9:15! Wow. And I woke up to some warm sunshine....it seems like the nice weather might finally be here. It wasn't that long ago that I was running with gloves in the morning and thinking....will the temperatures ever rise and will the sun ever come out this summer????
I did my morning routine and then Struth and I headed out to Tiger for the FatAss loop. Last summer I had a running injury and what I did was ride my bike a lot. I rode quite a bit with good friend/accomplished triathlete Hallie and she has a rule that I did not need to be coerced into following. She said that for every workout that lasts longer than 3 hours, you get a Red Bull. Last summer, I drank a lot of Red Bull with her. Funny how I don't often think of doing that now, but today...I thought I would fuel up with Red Bull!
Struth and I arrived and it was already pretty hot. I only had 2 bottles with me and was counting on the stream for Struth to drink out of, but it was already a scorcher. Struth started out already kinda hot. We headed out on the swamp trail and I realized that I forgot the map. I am directionally challenged but have done this loop a few times so was relying on my memory. I felt terrible the first 15 minutes or so and was dreaded the hill climbs and was already coming up with a plan B. But as I approached the first hill, I was surprised how good I felt. I just kept running almost to the top of Poo Poo point. Then as it got steeper, I walked a bit and ate some and gave Struth some biscuits. We got to the TMT and it was so beautiful out. The sun was shinning through the trees, there were lots of birds, we saw 2 little snakes and there was plenty of water for Struth. I love the TMT b/c the terrain is pretty varied and I hardly ever see anyone up there so it's quite peaceful. I was ahead of schedule for a sub 3 hour finish and was still feeling good. And I was still on course....I got to Paw Print and the sign says, 'rest stop', so I thought I give Struth a bit of a break, he was getting tired and hot. I gave him some more biscuits. If he could talk, I bet he'd be saying..."these biscuits.....are making me thirsty!' (Seinfeld reference) . So we continued on, I was surprisingly still feeling good but starting to think of the mandatory run (my personal assignment) from Tiger 1 to Tiger 2 and although it only takes 5 minutes, that 5 minutes seems like an eternity when tired. There was a guy there sweating up a storm using his machete to clean up the trail, I thanked him in between heavy breaths. That is so nice of him. Anyway, we got up to Tiger 1 and my watch read 2:08. I ran down to the base of Tiger 2 and then started my short climb to Tiger 2. I know it's only 5 minutes and in reality, it probably isn't that steep, but after a few miles, it feels much worse than it actually is. As I was rounding the corner the satellite dishes came into view. I'm never that happy to see satellite dishes on a trail run, but that means the peak is almost bagged and so I am happy to see those dishes here. And on my iPOD came the lyrics, 'as you progress, so must your creativity' . It got me thinking about all the storied I've heard about people coming so close to meeting their goals, but since they didn't see the finish, the stopped, ex. like the famous English Channel swims, 26 miles in frigid wavy shark infested waters with a current you must out-swim. Some people have actually been within a 1/2 mile of finishing but b/c it is so foggy, they can't see the shore and so they give up. Can you imagine? Making it that far and giving up only to find out that you were almost done? I suppose next time, more creativity must be found somewhere lurking in places you just haven't found yet. Anyway, I digress....I made it up to Tiger 2 and then to Tiger 3 and it was 2:18 on my watch. I knew I would finish sub 3 hours as all I had left was 3 miles down. I stopped twice at the creeks for Struth to get some water and we finished in 2:44. We got back to the car and I drove almost immediately to Lake Washington where we both went swimming to cool off. I forgot to get my camera out of the car, too bad, because the view of Rainer was amazing!!
A very fun way to spend a hot sunny summer day, and the day is not even over....