Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Wrong turns and Rattle Snakes!

Today I decided to go for my first “long run.”
It's first I've been on in months, due to my recent break in running.
It was going to be a 3 hour, 17-18 mile run around the Bear Canyon Loop.
I hadn't run the loop before and since I always work on Sundays when TTR does most of our longer group runs, I've just gotta run alone. Dangerous? Eh... Roes and Krupicka do it. They're still alive.
I picked up a green trails map from the Sabino Canyon Visitors Center, but like an idiot, I didn't bother to read the map on the TTR site. See, the green trails map shows that you should stay left at every junction, where as on the TTR website, the Bear Canyon Loop map specifically says: “DON'T take the unmarked trail to the left that goes to thimble peak.”
Well, that's what I did.
I'd say it was more scrambling than running towards the peak, but once I made it to the top and the trail just disappeared, I knew I had messed up.
It was still beautiful up there and the views were amazing.
I got some pictures, which you won't be seeing.
I get service on that peak, so I pulled up the website and saw what I had done, but I figured I better just head back down the way I came since I had already gone 9 miles, ate half my GU and drank half my water. I didn't want to risk taking another wrong turn in unfamiliar territory.
So I started barreling back, which was AWESOME, since I was pretty sick of climbing.
On the way down I was doing about a 7 min pace and a Rattler was crossing the trail!
BOOM! I busted out my patented snake attack escape jump that I had shown my wife while we were hiking last week. I had been joking at the time, but it turned out looking exactly the same, like a joke. After the initial “Ooooooooooooooohhh Shit!” I just busted up laughing, thinking about jumping around on the trail in front of my wife screaming “Snake jump! Snake Jump! Snake Jump!”
I got back to the ridge above 7 Falls and I really wanted to take a picture of the switch backs, but when I reached down for my camera, it was GONE!
I had to laugh. I probably lost it on the snake jump.
What a silly run.
These kind of shenanigans are one of the best attributes to the sport.
It was fun and beautiful.
The only thing I didn't like about it was the high grass next to the trails, a snake could definitely coil up in there! I'll run the real Bear canyon next week, now that I know where to go.

I ran 17.6 mi, it took me 3:20, which is ridiculous, but it felt pretty steep and technical.
The elevation gain was probably only around 2,500ft So don't believe Garmin, because even with "elevation corrections" enabled, it's way off, as usual: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/166821969

Fun stuff livin' in Tucson!


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