Sunday, December 4, 2011

Snow and Douglas Springs

TTR had a run planned to Cowhead Saddle in the Rincon mountains (18 miles RT). A storm came in for several days prior and dropped a lot of snow onto the mountains surrounding Tucson. My plan was to go to the saddle if the conditions weren't dangerous.

Snow topped Catalina Mountains in the distance

About 3 miles up, snow started appearing in the desert. About 6 miles up, ice was evident on the trail and the snow became heavier. I elected to turn around at Douglas Springs, which is about 6.75 miles up (13.5 miles RT). I didn't want to fall and injure something else, so I felt that was a good decision. Other TTRs fell that day.

It was beautiful, though. On the way down, the fog moved into the mountains from the city and gave the trail an eery feel.

I felt slow and discouraged. It took me 3:22. My legs were very sore this day - calves and shins tight as could be. I had used the roller quite a bit the day before, so maybe that was it. Returning to running has been hard, in that my fitness level definitely dropped. I need to start running mid-week. I haven't been doing that, since I was doing the bigger hikes recently. Also, my sore shins last week gave me the idea I shouldn't run all week. Those are feeling better, so I need to slowly increase my mileage.

I've been doing a lot of runs/hikes that have elevation gain - today was about 2,000 feet of climbing. Douglas Springs is hard as it starts climbing right off the bat, so the legs don't have time to warm up. At any rate, I'm getting in quality exercise - I just need to work on the running base and eventually, picking up the pace.

It is just so good being out on the trail.

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