Sunday, November 18, 2012

TTR Mt. Lemmon Ascent

This TTR run is always held the same weekend every year. Some years, the turnout has been small (under 10 people). This year, we had around 25 people do the whole enchilada!

We run from Sabino Canyon, up the tram road, and take the connector to Sabino trail. After hitting the basin, we run out on West Fork trail, past the Cathedral Rock and Romero Pools trail intersections, and then straight up the mountain on Lemmon trail. The run is a son of a biscuit eater, for sure.

After hitting West Fork, I started feeling lousy. Dallas was running with me and we had a few people around us, but we were in the back of the pack (not for long - a lot of runners missed the trail and ended up bouldering somewhere around Hutch's Pools). 

My gut was in a knot and cramping and my energy was gone. I had hiked Tumamoc Hill the day before (only 3 miles, 700 feet elevation gain), so I assumed my tiredness was from that. I had eaten an expired gel (discounted from The Running Shop), which had never bothered me before, but I likewise assumed that was why my stomach was in so much pain.

I concluded the next day that I had some sort of stomach bug. It has been going around. (I probably won't eat the rest of those expired gels, though, just in case!)

Needless to say, I stopped numerous times to double over in pain. I had a hard time eating, which wasn't helping my energy. I thought at one point that I wouldn't be able to go on.

I persevered. I always do. And Dallas was there to help. 

This is one of our hardest runs. It climbs about 2,300 feet in the first 10 miles. The last 9 miles is about 5,000 feet of elevation gain and is very steep and difficult. Looking out East from West Fork as we started climbing was beautiful, though.

I felt better for a little bit as we got closer to the top, but it was pretty hard to keep it together. My stomach was in full revolt. Thank goodness for the pretty landscape to look at. This run is so freaking steep!

We ran into Gene and Ross near the top. Dallas stopped and chatted for a minute or so; I was on a roll, so I kept going!

Before we finished, we were passed by a lot of the runners that had gotten off course. Dallas kept pushing me so we would get done in under 6 hours, which was my goal. Previously, I had only done this run once, in 2009, and it took me 6:01. 

We did it!

Total distance: 18.78 miles
Total elevation gain: 7,287 feet
Total time: 5:53

Old Pueblo 50 mile and Zane Grey 50 mile training has begun. The TTR Redington 50k is next week!

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