Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Running in Ellensburg, Washington
Or to be more exact: Running to Ellensburg, Washington.
So the R's family spent the weekend at the Lazy F Campground near Ellensburg for the yearly summer family reunion.
And since the days were filled with family fun, that meant I had to wake up at the ungodly hour of 5:45, after not sleeping all night on a thin prison-type mattress, upon a solid wood bed frame made for someone 5'6", to go for my daily runs.
And so I did.
Now the Lazy F is at the tail end of a dead-end road about 12 miles away from Ellensburg, nestled in the foothills near the Cascades.
So that means you only have one way to run - away from the mountains and toward Ellensburg.
The first day, I just needed to run a quick six miles. I figured I'd head out for three and turn around. Easy peasy.
Yeah, it's a nice, steady 100 feet per mile downhill, which means, coming back, it's a nice, steady 100 feet per mile uphill.
I needed to do a 16 miler on Sunday morning...
There was just no way I was going to run eight solid miles uphill. No. Way. So I made a little deal with Mrs. R. Five bucks from my wallet for a Starbucks latte on Sunday morning in Ellensburg. Oh, and on her way there, she could pick me up at the end of my run!
Sometimes I'm so smart it actually hurts. But I deal.
Bright and early Sunday morning, I took off with the sun just beginning to peak over the jagged rocks and cliff faces. It's very interesting looking country up there.
Luckily, there's very little traffic at that time in the morning...or basically at any time on that road...so you don't have to worry too much about going around blind corners like this one.
Although the amount of road kill on the pavement left no doubt that accidents happen...and people drive way too fast on that curvy road to nowhere.
Although it felt good at the time, that 100 feet of drop per mile was bound to play havoc with my quads. Still, at the time, I was really enjoying reeling off easy 8:15-8:40 miles. It was pretty effortless. And except for the one spot where I stopped dead-still for a minute while I pondered whether the growling pitbull off its leash was going to actually kill me, I kept my pace fairly steady.
Finally, coming out of the curvy hill section and into the straight farm section, I was lucky enough to have a somewhat mundane, yet very babbling and soothing, irrigation canal at my side.
After about 10 miles, I made my first turn onto a new road and headed toward Ellensburg. About a mile from town, right by the Yakima River, I saw these two Osprey in their nest. One flew over me with a fish in his talons. Nice.
So after getting to Ellensburg proper, I was only at about 12 miles, so I had to do a little back and forth to get over 15, and that's when I saw the wonderful sight of the Prius coming in for a landing to pick me up.
And while the pace looked pretty good...
...the elevation profile screams "quad killer!"...
And indeed, I am feeling it today. Ouch.
But hey, another good week of training in the books. And only five days 'til the Seafair Torchlight 8k.