That was a really big hill.

I decided that I wanted to run a Turkey Trot this year. It’s my 4th day of off-season, and I’m beginning to regret that decision. I haven’t touched my bike since riding from transition to the rental car, and I haven’t been submerged in water since 12:18 pm last Saturday. My legs, however, are still really sore, and I’ve already run about 30 miles since the race ended. Victor says if I want to do a 10k turkey trot, then I need to keep running. Basically, I’m excited about running because I love doing it, but I feel like the degree of difficulty has increased significantly since my brain went into off-season mode.

Then again, maybe it’s just where I’m choosing to run.

image Today I went for a 14 mile run. I didn’t want to spend much time on pavement, so I decided to follow a mountain biking trail that I read about on Courtenay’s blog a few months ago. It’s called Flume Trail, and the trailhead is about 2.5 miles from her apartment in Incline Village. On the map it looked like a great idea, and it really is quite beautiful. The problem is, the first three and a half miles are straight up. I mean, over 10%, and since I started the run at 6300 feet, it meant I was already gasping for air when I arrived at the trail head. The other mistake was in starting the run from across town, because by the time I got to the flat section of the trail I was already six miles into the run and only got to enjoy two miles of flat-ish trail. image Ok, I’m done with the complaint part of the post, here’s what’s cool about this trail:

Every mile or so the plants and terrain change significantly. The run starts off on a ranch with tall evergreen trees and pavement, but very quickly becomes a trail through those same evergreen trees. Soon, however, the trees become thinner and you look down to see Lake Tahoe. At this point on the way up it seems like you’ve already climbed quite a bit, but coming down you notice that you can see wind ripples that were invisible up higher.

Then the trail gets a lot steeper, and begins to switchback around large boulders.  This continues until suddenly you find yourself in birch trees with white bark. The boulders are less abundant and so is the sky. Then it’s back to thick evergreens, the trail opens up and the light takes on a certain glow that only seems to happen when huge trees are sucking all the energy they can get from a dim sky (chlorophyll rules.).

Once the trail flattens out it goes along a cliff and weaves back and forth with the terrain. There are places with no trees and a sheer drop-off and there are places thick with evergreens and a more mild slope. This was the best part of the run by far, and actually made the uphill worthwhile. Next time I’ll ride a bike to the base of the trail and start my run from there so I can have another few miles on the level.

Oh, and the view of Tahoe was amazing from so high up. If only I had a way to carry a camera with me. (Hint Hint to the engineers at Garmin: add a camera to your next watch.)

Published by Ben

Ben Collins Professional Triathlete

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1 Comment

  1. omfg i and my glutes, calves, and all those littler muscles and stuff that i don’t know the names of, we can all verify that this is indeed a really big hill. and that it is WORTH it once you get to the top. it is also worth it when you get home and get to eat a ton and nap for two hours and then eat more!

    and thank god for that big tube of flex power i won at nationals, right?

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