Ross from TTR hosted another round of Sunset Loops. Thanks Ross! Usually, there are no TTR runs for the summer.
I need to be doing some more higher altitude runs, so up Mt. Lemmon I went. Everybody picked their own route, with some doing counter-clockwise runs of the previous Sunset Loop run, and others doing shorter versions. I did the same as last time, except I veered off the Lemmon trail for a bit and did the Meadow trail at the top. VERY pretty. Glad I did that.
Total miles: 16.4
Elevation gain/(loss): 7,612/(7,544) - kinda suspect; the last time it was just under 7,000 ascent and descent. Hmmm.....
High point: 9,130 feet
Route: Sunset trail to Aspen. Aspen to Radio Ridge. Radio Ridge to Lemmon Trail. Veer off on Meadow trail, then back to Lemmon Trail. Lemmon trail to Wilderness of Rocks. WOR to Marshall Gulch. MG to Sunset.
Aspen trail (lower)- it is a jungle out there! The rains have really made things grow since 5 weeks ago!The forest has been reborn; it has been 6 years since the big fire, but the regrowth of pines is evident everywhere (upper Aspen trail shown). You can't stop nature!
I got pretty dehydrated on this little run/hike. I think the Meadow trail at the summit bypasses a water source where I was going to refill. I therefore conserved water and really got tired - I only had 2 liters - not enough.
The Meadow Trail, with the really big pines, untouched by the fire: Taking a break on the Lemmon trail: Getting through the Wilderness of Rocks:
Luckily, with just Sunset trail left (1.5 miles approx.), I ran through Marshall Gulch and into one of my blog readers, Bonnie (and her SO Dean). She said, "Hey, aren't you the pink lady? Oh, no, never mind, you aren't wearing pink." Then she proceeded to tell me about Pinkcorker and this blog and then I showed her my visor and said, "That's me!" She was so excited. I was flattered. They gave me some much needed water, which was great. I think I was already affected, which slowed me way down on this run, but it was good to get quenched. She was so nice. Thanks Bonnie for boosting my spirits that day and thank you and Dean very much for the water.
I finally finished in 4:56, which was slower than last time by 3 minutes, but my pit stop with Bonnie was a 3-5 minute affair. Also, I think the miles I did this week affected me, too. My legs were tired and getting dehydrated didn't help.
I recovered a lot more quickly this time, though. Was hardly sore at all.
The Craziest Thing: At the end of this run, on the Sunset trail, I saw a guy on a mountain bike UNICYCLE. Holy cow. And that trail is rocky in spots. Amazing.
I got 46 miles for the week. Oh, and Cracker ran 4 miles with me one day.
This next week will be a mileage cutback week. I'll be doing the Run with the Roosters 5 miler next Sunday at 5:15am!!!!, so I'll take it easy this week before I ramp it up again. Then it will be back up to Mt. Lemmon for the next 3 weekends. I'll be signing up for the Summer Trail Series (the first 2 of the 3 races), and the first one starts at the summit of Mt. Lemmon on August 1st.