This is Daniel. Everyone, say hi to Daniel! Daniel was a trail virgin. Today was his first trail run!
This is Angie. Everyone, say hi to Angie! Angie is the heroine (villain?) of this blog. She's been trail running for three years.
This is Phoneline Loop. Way out in the distance is downtown Tucson (Daniel and Angie can see where they live!).
These are some of the cliffs along the trail.
Daniel joined Angie for the first half of her rescheduled long run (not a make-up run, because we all know that we aren't supposed to worry about making up miles). Daniel wore road shoes, which, after the couple of stream crossings on the way up, gave him blisters. But he didn't care. He had fun! He said, "this isn't running, this is playing."
Angie didn't feel quite the same. A few friends raised their eyebrows at her throwing down a long run after a week of being really sick and only getting 3 miles plus one hour of cross-training, but Angie didn't care. She has a really big race coming up and needed the miles, so she went - on a Monday! Angie loves her boss. Angie didn't love the side stitch that developed 4.5 miles into the run as she ran downhill. Side stitch on a downhill! What's up with that?!
And Angie forgot her Garmin. She forgot! What's up with that?! She didn't like forgetting her Garmin. Two reasons: 1. now she didn't have her timer to remind her to eat every thirty minutes, and 2. she didn't have a tool to keep track of the elevation gain. Oh well.
Angie really liked the flowers out along the trail.
Angie didn't eat or drink enough on the first Phoneline loop. She was tired and had to walk the last flat .4 to the car. She figured she probably shouldn't really go back out for another loop, but also figured she didn't really have a choice. That really big race coming up and all. She said good-bye to Daniel, retied her shoelaces, added water and ice to her water bottles, turned on her iPod, and went back out to run the same loop in reverse, but first, had to wait for a slow rattlesnake who must have just woken up from hibernation makes its way across the trail.
Sure enough, she was exhausted. Hot. Tired. Out of breath. Hot. Out of energy. Her stomach hurt. She couldn't get a deep breath. She was hot. She underestimated the heat for the day and forgot out it gets trapped on Phoneline. She tried to eat and tried to drink - thirsty, she was so thirsty! But her stomach disagreed with her. She thought she might have her first trail vomit experience. She walked. And walked. And walked. Just kept going. Figured it was just a valley, just a rough spot, and things'd get better, so she kept walking right on past the cutoff trail that would have taken her down and out of the canyon.
She didn't get any better. She turned off her iPod. She tried to run, but could only shuffle for a few steps before needing to walk again. Her body hurt. She pondered the wisdom - or lack thereof - of going out for a long run after a week of being sick. She wondered how she'd do her really big race. She figured she just needed to keep putting one foot in front of the other and she'd finish and be really happy, even though this was the longest it'd ever taken her to do this loop. Angie really wished she had her camera for the second loop. She was going slow enough to have captured the flowers on film!
She finally reached the second cutoff trail and decided to take this one. Steep, so steep! But she felt better than she had in hours. Until she ran smack dab into a group of four hikers who were trying to decide how best to get around a coiled, rattling rattlesnake in the middle of the trail. This one was mad, unlike the first one Angie saw. She was scared. The snake was rattling so loud! The hikers started throwing rocks at it, which made it rattle louder. Finally, one rock hit the snake and it bounced across the trail. Then it hid in some bushes right next to the trail and kept rattling. One hiker put some rocks in front of the cactus the snake was hiding in and stood guard with his hiking stick while the rest of the hikers - and Angie - quickly scrambled by.
Angie decided that she was not going to pass the hikers - she'd let them lead the way down to the tram road so as to catch any snakes that might be out. Thankfully, no snakes decided to show up for the reminder of the trail.
Then it was three easy miles down the road to the car. The ibuprofen Angie had taken a few minutes earlier kicked in, and she was able to run most of the way back, relatively pain-free (mostly just numb). And she finished quicker than she expected! Only 5.5 hours instead of 6.5.
On the way home, Angie picked up her favorite pizza from her favorite restaurant (the place whose bathroom Olga wanted to take home with her after OP50) and ate half of it before she got back.
Then she took her wet shoes off and examined her soggy feet. No blisters, though!
Angie was very tired after her 17-mile run.
Then she got reddy for her ice bath.
After the ice bath and shower, she was ready for the rest of the day: catching up on blogs, reading and eating joe-joes!
(PS here's an account of the 21-miler I had wanted to do last Sunday and then decided I was too sick to do. It's a good thing I didn't (besides the fact I was so sick): it was a kick-ass run that would have taken me 10 hours to do, and that the RD ended up having to call search&rescue on!)