Sunday, August 23, 2009

A foggy Mt. Lemmon hike

This weekend, I took my co-worker Jesse on a hike on Mt. Lemmon. He is from Texas and is in awe of our mountains here in Tucson and wanted me to be his guide for the hike.
It had really rained the night before, so the whole summit was under clouds. I was hoping that the hike I picked out would allow him to enjoy some expansive views of Tucson and the surrounding area, but we couldn't see anything but the trail in front of us. It was just socked in up there. It was really eery feeling. All of the foliage was so wet that it felt like we were getting sprinkled on, but it was just hundreds of droplets falling from the forest canopy, shaken off from the breeze. I was actually a little cold during most of the morning! Fun hike. Of course, I took the Crackinator!

We started from the Ski Lift parking lot. We hiked up Aspen Draw trail, across Radio Ridge, over to the summit, onto Meadow trail, and looped back on the Lemmon trail. We veered off for a view of the Lemmon fire lookout cabin, but no views to be seen there either. We returned to the Ski Lift parking lot via the Aspen Draw trail.
My Garmin was being wiggy again; I thought the hike was around 7 miles, but we ended up around 5.75. Drop in the bucket for me, but Jesse was happy with the uphill workout.
My breathing was great! I think I'm getting used to the elevation, but I've also started taking some various herbs in anticipation of the elevation next week for the marathon, so maybe they are kicking in? These herbs are supposed to help prevent elevation sickness: Astragalus, Salvia, Hoelen (5 herb blend), Ginseng (4 herb blend). I was unable to obtain Codonopsis (this stuff is hard to track down!), but the Ginseng blend is a good substitute as well. These herbs help increase oxygen flow, increase endurance, and eliminate water retention. This is primarily a Chinese herbal approach to high elevation symptoms. Guess I'll find out next Saturday if it helped or not when I do the S.A.M.!
The hike was Saturday, and then on Sunday, I did the Saguaro 8 mile training run with Shari and the other SAR runners. I haven't officially signed up for that race. It is on Labor Day, and is 5 days from the Imogene Race. I'm waiting to see how I feel afer the marathon this Saturday. So, I got a big 29 miles for the week (6 of it slow hiking), so I feel I'm tapering good for the marathon. A few short runs this week, lots of good sleep and eating well, and I hope to arrive in Silverton rested for a mountain marathon...

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