Tuesday, January 1, 2013


On Friday Dec 28 I went for a short run after work. It was already dark and my goal was to run on trails today. Usually I do not run trails after work, but I needed to "test the equipment". The equipment (my BD Storm headlamp) has definitely needed the batteries replacement before going out.

I don't have a lot of night running experience. Actually before that Friday I've ran at night 3 times only: when I paced Max at P2P100, when I paced Max at WS100, and when we (together with Max) tried to make a loop around Glacier Peak (we have actually caught two night runs in a row on that epic run). All three (four) times I was not alone, even that the place was so unknown and remote didn't make worried at all. We've met a skunk on P2P who was running before us for 5 mins before jumping to the woods. I've never encountered any other night wildlife before.

This time I was running a very familiar route. That's my 6m recovery loop, as it is all on the wide nice trail not technical at all with very little of elev gain. Considering the dying batteries that was a good choice. First it was kinda scary and hard to see, then some bird attacked me in the darkness (I think it's too cold and late in season for the bats.. so must be a bird), but then I relaxed and it became easy to run and see only 1.5-2 meters around. The world and distances seem different in the light of headlamp :)

After that run I went climbing, but couldn't do a thing, was too tired after previous day jumping exercises and that run.

Track: Cougar 7m night run

The next three days we were doing nothing healthy and sporty just went for winter camping to Leavenworth and celebrated the NY.

On the 1st of Jan my new training program has started, and after review of what we can do around here fun and just 7 miles, I decided to go for Mt Si trail that is 8m total there and back and 3250 feet of elev gain (according to the book, it is more than 5300 according to my watch that has lost GPS signal for at least 3 times during the run). The book predicted 2.5 hrs of run, that was really good considering that we woke up at 12pm, and still had enough time before sunset.

I underestimated the snowpack that I thought will start near the most top, but it actually started at least 1.5 before the top, and the perspective of running back was especially scary and fun.

Mt Si is the most popular hike around Seattle because it is not very hard (4 miles up and 4 miles down on  a perfectly maintained trail) and offers a great view from the top that includes Seattle and Mt Rainier on a sunny day. And today was amazingly clean and sunny!

The climb starts immediately from the trailhead and never gives you abilities to rest. The first mile was especially hard for me. Then I caught the right rhythm and right combination of hike and walk (though I could have walked less) that allowed me to keep breathing normally while moving up. Kolya who is a better climber made it to the top 10 mins faster in 1:05, I made it in 1:15. We spent few minutes on the top regretting I have forgotten the iphone and couldn't make pictures of the amazing view, and got down back to the car in 45 minutes. The snowpack was not that much of a problem on the downhill as I thought while climbing up, it was slippery, but when you run fast enough you don't really care.

Track: Mt Si NY run

Just 6 miles for tomorrow!

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