Sunday, April 14, 2013

When training can quickly go wrong!

6 Days until Zion 100 km run or 62 miles....what to I taper, do I watch a movie, do I clean the home? mmm what about an easy 16 mile run?
The day started out well, my ultra running friend Ray wanted to run about 16 to 20 miles nice and easy before 100km run at Zion....okay there is no such thing as an easy long run when you put the words San Gabriel Mountains in the mix!

The plan was to run to the Bridge to No Where as Ray had never been up in that area, my husband thought it was not a good idea as there are more Boulders to hop and streams to cross than there are trails to run but we went any way!

When we arrived at the trail head, there was a LOT of foot traffic congesting the trail as they were people booked to Bungy jump, so as it would take a long time to pass everyone we decided at the last minute to head up to Heaton Saddle which according to the map was 3.5 miles up.....

  • No one knew we were running to Heaton Saddle and we had no cell service
  • There was no other runners or hikers on the trail
  • Yucca was over grown and some of the trails were washed out....
  • No water except for what we were carrying.
The views were spectacular, the trail was not easy it climbed and then dipped then pitched up to the next peak! The altitude kept creeping up with each new peak conquered. Having never been on this trail before we really were running blind, were did it go ?were did it end? was it out n back or did it make a big loop?

Then there was the over grown foliage which was unforgiving!!Soon we began to think of Black bears and Mountain Lions and what we would do if we encountered some wild hungry animal. Yet it would not be the wild life that would worry me the most but the terrain!

we were still going forward 5 miles some where we had gone past the official turn around point which was not marked and now heading up to 4900 feet forget about trail it was just loose sand and rubble and very slippery. I had now resorted to crawling on all fours in a desperate attempt to keep connected to Mother Earth!! Add to that my fear of heights and you should get the picture....WHAT THE HELL WAS I DOING AT 4900FEET!!!

I came to a stop and told Ray he could go on ahead I was done and not going any further up the trail or remnants of a trail, I was really out of my comfort zone, so I stopped and relaxed, ate a Hammer bar and drank my water pondering on how I was to get out of this little mess!!! and waited for Ray to finish exploring the trail...

We finally made our way back, inch by inch down that slippery declivity I really thought I would never see Al again, when we finally connected to the single track trail again I nearly cried in disbelief! Despite the beauty of the Mountain it also was not forgiving or kind to the unprepared and ignorant!

In times of pressure humor would be my best friend! here I am crawling to the next boulder wondering were water is and my hair already greying from over exposure to the elements!!!

  • have a plan and stick to it! Had we had an accident that day we would have been lucky to have been rescued quickly as no one knew we had changed running route!
  • When running in the mountains it is advisable to carry a little first aid kit,
  •  I fell twice and was lucky I did not cut my wrist wide open!
  • carry a small knife, a small fire arm or spray really if a bear or a mountain lion had been threatening we had nothing to defend our selves with!
  • plenty of water and plenty of food to fuel the run better to have more than less.
  • Sunburn hurts take plenty of sun screen I had on Ocean Potion.
We were running for a total of 7.30 hours, walking jogging crawling call it what you will, we also reconnected with our original plan to to Bridge to No Where, again lots of boulders and river crossings, 

Interesting enough after sharing my adventure with Al he told me we were near the Allison Mines and on looking at the site again we could have done a 13 mile loop..........
here is a link to a site I found about the Allison Mines and hike.

I was very grateful to see the river and be able to see lots of other hikers and runners on the trail, while we only covered 16 miles we had a total time of 7hrs 30 mins on our feet! 6 of those on a trail which was really off the beaten path!

Be careful when you go running in the Wilderness, it is easy to get lost, loose track of time and make one wrong move and be the subject of a Search and Rescue. We were lucky that nothing happened past Heaton Saddle I did run out of water but we were a mile to the river....

I wanted to share as no matter how fit you may think you are nature does not care and accidents easily happen when you get tired and are in unfamiliar territory!

Happy Trails..

Still running Happy and resting for my event with my little min pin Hammer who was also grateful I came home in one piece!

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