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I’m not complaining about the heat but as I was running long this weekend I thought, “who’s cooking bacon way out here in the woods”, then realized it was just me being cooked.
Being a melanin deficient Icelander I have learned to cover every exposed inch of my skin with sunscreen. Now if I could just swallow about a gallon of ice cubes before a run to keep my core temperature down I’d have it made.
I suppose choosing to do a 34-mile run on one of the hottest weekends we've had could make some folks question my sanity. I’ll defend my mental state by saying that it hardly ever gets past 90 here on the Western side of the state. It was 93 degrees when I made it back to my car.
The day started with me meeting Lesa a local runner training for one of the more difficult 50 milers in the country, White River. Lesa followed me to a trailhead at the turnaround for the 12 summits run on Tiger Mt. and we dropped supplies and her car. We headed up to the trailhead at the start and met tc, Shawn, and Jess.
Lesa and I started out in the lead, which lasted about 1/3 of the way up the first steep climb when tc and Shawn passed us. We could see Jess behind us so we kept climbing. Tc and Shawn soon were out of sight and Jess was nowhere to be seen behind us. When we made it to the first summit tc and Shawn were waiting for us. Shawn being a very giving person was busy sharing her blood with the local mosquitoes
We waited for Jess but she was nowhere to be seen. Tc decided to head back down to see how she was doing. He ended up having to venture down the trail much further than he had anticipated finding Jess feeling like crap. She made it to the top of the first summit but wisely called it a day and headed back the three miles to her car.
The four of us headed out from Tiger 3 to Tiger 2. Shawn and tc were again way out ahead of Lesa and I and ended up waiting for us again at the top of Tiger 2. At that point tc and Shawn decided to go on ahead and not stick together. This was Lesa’s first attempt at 12 summits and we were running and climbing at a moderate pace to save energy.
Having the nickname Trail Scat I need to report that we saw numerous bear droppings on the gravel road that leads up the south side of East Tiger Mt. I am providing photographic verification that bears do poop in the woods.
Although we started a 6:00AM it started to get warm in a hurry. I think the average temperature during the first half was probably 75 plus. That’s much warmer than we were used to so we started feeling it, especially on the climbs. Lesa was strong but tired by the time we made the half way point in 5 hours. She decided to stop at 6 summits and drive home.
I fueled, watered up, and headed out for the second half. I may have made a wrong turn somewhere along the line because I seemed to have hit the “Dante’s Inferno” trail on all the big climbs. Long story short I managed to complete the second half in another 5 hours for a total of 10 hours of running for the day. I’ll admit to being very woozy when I stopped running.
I changed my clothes and headed directly to the nearest Starbucks for a Venti black iced tea. In fact I ordered two of them thinking I’d drink them both on my drive home.
All in all it was a great training run that gave me some great heat exposure. Next week it will probably snow.