Sunday, July 20, 2008

Rachel Lake Wind-down

Yesterday Glenn, Struth and I went to Rachel Lake for a hike/run. We mostly hiked with intermittent stretches of running that felt great. I was just thinking the other day that I hadn't been to a single Alpine Lake all summer and then here we are, at an Alpine Lake. Great execution! WR50 is next Saturday so I am winding down on the mileage and activity in general and it is bizarre. I have spent more time on the couch with my feet up this week than I think I have all year, combined. My mind is still quite active, maybe even more so now that I am not tired after a long and/or hard run. But I have filled this time on the couch with catching up on New Yorker magazines and watching my favorite HBO series on DVD, The Wire. Also, my home is pretty clean!
I got up early yesterday to volunteer at the Fat Salmon Open Water Swim. I have done this race a few times, but this year I was solely a volunteer, body marking swimmers, some of which were first time racers and quite nervous and some veterans who just plain excited to get in the open water and race. I saw lots of friends and was glad to be involved even if not swimming this year. I was not feeling as I though I was bummed for not racing this year at FS, I was happy that I had a new goal to face the very next weekend.
After I left Madison Beach, Struth and I picked up Glenn and off we went to Rachel Lake. It was hot and sunny...just how I like it. I cherish these kinds of days. Our plan was to go to Rachel Lake, which is 4 miles up and then head up to Rampart Ridge and find the other lakes to gawk at. We headed up the trail and it was beautiful. There were lots of fast flowing ample streams, waterfalls and flowers. Since we were not really running, it was more of taking in the scenery and smelling the flowers than running through these parts and picking up scents and scenery at a faster pace. Also, the trail was pretty technical in parts and so simply walking and taking it easy was the mood I was in. I can sometimes be a little klutzy and I did not want to really take a lot of risks so close to the race. Plus Glenn is always there telling me to 'respect the distance' and with that, I fell I should hold back as next week, there will PLENTY of time to run, PLENTY. This did not slow Struth down, he had his usual pace, out like a bucking bronco! We meandered across boardwalks, crossed streams on logs, passed though a 25 foot waterfall and enjoyed the scenery. We did run in parts because it was simply, to hard to pass up. In parts, the trails were very narrow and the greens just high enough to make it seem like I was a kid running through a field, footloose and fancy free.

It seemed like in no time we were at Rachel Lake. Only 4 miles! No wonder. And it wasn't a grueling 4 miles like some other trails I know all too well. The lake was beautiful. It was full of greens and blues and it was pristine. And it was so quite, the kind of quite that you can't hear even if it is 3 Am and you are pleasantly awake in your bed and everyone else is sleeping. This kind of quite cannot be heard anywhere but in the serenity of nature. We stopped here to fuel. As usual, potatoes and peanut butter pretzels. Yum. And just for good measure, a dark chocolate snickers. Um, good.

From here, we headed up to Rampart Ridge. We made it up pretty high until we hit snow patches that covered the trail. Finding the continuing trail and thus finding the other lakes was like playing connect the dots.

We back tracked some just to find another part of the trail and found ourselves a bit at a loss as to where to go to next, as did all the other peeps we saw on the trail. We encounter patches of snow which means that Glenn was making snowballs, throwing them at me and blaming Struth again. But this time, I got Glenn back and what a shot I had, right in the ear! That has been the best shot so far. And just for saying that, I know I have one coming to me.

We did find fun, especially Struth. Struth played in all the little ponds and also thought he was king of the snow mound.

He even tried to push me down the snow mound to retain his own dog, trying to alpha me, what's up with that?

Although we didn't make it to the other lakes, the ponds were fun to roam around and Struth seemed to enjoy hunting rocks out of these ponds and bringing them to us. He did quite a bit of rock work. I was surprised that not only did he put his whole face in the water, but for how long he could hold his breath. he never ceases to amaze me. So after a bit a meandering through snow and walking from pond to pond, we decided to head back down and call it a day. We climbed back up to the ridge and had some more potatoes. Then descending down back though the technical parts, the waterfalls and the streams.

We did a little running, a little walking and a little sight seeing on the way down. At one point we stopped to eat a bit more and the spot we chose had a throne to sit in. Although admittedly, it was not all that comfortable. Once we got back to the car, we were commenting on how incredibly HOT the car was, an oven. Yuck. Then we decided to take a 20 minutes soak in the river. YOWZA! The water was even colder than the White River. It must have been about 30-35 degrees. At this point, we could hardly wait to get in toyota oven and warm up. I was so cold when I got out that the brain functions that connect with body movement were there, but my legs were unresponsive. I thought I might have to use my arms to physically move my legs. It took at solid 30 minutes to warm up in the car. However, it was refreshing and needed.Another fun day in the mountains running through the woods. Next weekend Struth won't be able to join us, but I know he will be there in spirit. I'll just have to take him back there!

A big thanks to Glenn for sharing all his experience and time with me, (and Struth!) to get me ready for WR. And for taking all these awesome photos! As usual, even though I borrowed one of Glenn's camera's, I used his photos because the simply are better.


Struthie, the ultra dog! said...

what's up with the short run, mom??? i was all prepared to spend a few more hours out there. every time that i think i have you figured out, you switch it up on me....short, long, long, short...what's it going to be??? i wish we could have spent more time playing in the ponds and snow! that was super fun! thanks, mom, for another amazing day!

gtach said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gtach said...

those that know me will question the validity of your accusations of snowball instigator. those that don't know evil allison!

Struthie, the ultra dog! said...


can we go again, mom???

kendrara said...

It looks SO beautiful. What a great taper run. There's nothing like a sweet alpine lake. Happy tapering and see you all soon! :o)

Struthie, the ultra dog! said...

good luck at your race, mom! it's been super fun going on all your runs with you! i'll miss you, but don't worry about me, okay? i'll be fine and i'll be sending positive thoughts your way! i know you can do it!!! you're awesome and i love you mom!!!

"may all beings be happy and free [like me!]"