Sunday, February 21, 2010

TTR Tanque Verde Loop

TTR is the best! These are my people! And my friend Jamil was down from Phoenix - always good to see him.
Distance: 29 miles
Time: 7:32 (I'm slow in snow!)
The fastest person was my friend Dallas, who finished in 5:27!! Unbelievably superhuman.
Well, everyone out there today was just remarkable. Going through the snow was a tough deal. My trail running group impresses the hell out of me and I have a lot to learn from them...
Cumulative elevation gain/(loss): 6,656/(6,697) feet.
We started at the Douglas Springs TH. And, we're off!
We Ran Douglas Springs trail up to Cowhead Saddle (6,100 feet elevation).
We then took Tanque Verde Ridge trail to the TH at Javelina picnic area in Saguaro East Park.
There are many variations at this point, but I took the road to Cactus Forest trail, then the road to Loma Verde TH, where I ran Squeeze Pen, Carillo and Garwood trails back to DS TH.
It was really pretty the whole way - the changing landscape was great.
First, we ran through the desert:
Heading up, up, up - cactus disappearing, desert scrub of some sort starting to appear (that's Adrian quickly gaining on me):
There was a lot of water running from all the rain and snow - we had to cross some streams here and there.

And then, we hit snow.
Lots of snow. Not sure how the Doug figured out the trail (he was first through all the snow and then Dallas finally passed him), but I just followed along with everyone else in the tracks! The footprints had turned icy after a bit, so it was a lot of slip and slide for a while....
Smart - wore my Gore-tex trail running shoes (La Sportiva), so my feet stayed dry and I had my Arcteryx jacket - it got pretty cold on the exposed sections - lots of wind. Gloves got wet from all the snow; I had to slide down a lot of steep downhill sections and use my hands on the snow for support. It was crazy!!!!

The kid in me thought it was great! The trail runner that ran a 31 mile race last week was tired...

It looked like the weather was going to change for the worse, but I only felt a few raindrops near the end of the run.

That's Wayne and a whole lot of fog in that pic in the middle above - he finally passed me up near the top (topout was around 6,970 feet.)

Pics of the descent and the trails through Saguaro East:

I almost dropped at the Javelina aid station (mile 20) but I mentally had it in my mind to finish, so I did (maybe it was those homemade peanut butter cookies that revived me)! I was the only woman out of 10 of us who finished the entire run today. 15 other trail runners did shorter or alternate versions of the run.
Total miles run for the week: 53.5 This was my highest mileage week ever.
Total miles run in the last 9 days: 90 Yep - highest total for 9 days ever.
Time to rest up for OP50!!!! I can't wait to run the biggest run of my life!

'We're crashing
Into the unknown
We're lost in this
But it feels like home'

~ Lifehouse


Kristi said...

Renee, these pictures are so beautiful! We were out hiking Douglas Springs the same day!

Sarah said...

You are superwoman! :) Yes, rest up now for OP50. You'll do great!

Beautiful pics!