Saturday, November 19, 2016

Loopity Loop: Bradbury 20, Round 2

Yet another 20 miles running loops up, down, around and back again on the mountain side of Bradbury. I pulled into the lot a little before 7:00 am, the only car there. I did notice, however, a car out on the road, which looked like Andy's. And indeed, as I was summiting from one side, there he was, coming up from the other. We said a quick hello before he sailed off down the trail, moving quickly as usual ;) I stuck with a similar loop like I had used last time, up to the summit via Ski Trail and Northern Loop, down Tote, out to Boundary, back on Reverse Mindy, up Tote with a cut back over to Boundary a la BBU, and then down from the summit to the parking lot. The first loop down I took the Terrace, but it was slow going with a lot of leaves which made the middle portion seem even more uneven than usual. Pretty light in these first miles, as the sun was still rising up above treeline.

First loop was right at 5 miles. Second loop, same as the first, except I came down Northern Loop at the end instead. At the junction with the Ski Trail, I saw Alan coming up the trail. He joined me as I ran back to the parking lot, changed my hat and gloves, and refilled my pack with water and a few more gels. Then we ran back up to the summit and down Tote Road together. From there, he headed back to the car and I continued on the Boundary trail, but it was nice to have him join me for those 3 miles!

On the third loop, I decided to come down South Ridge for a change of pace, which was wet and slow going, for me anyway. I was bummed to see that my watch was only reading 14.5 back at the playground, so I hiked up the Summit Trail, which was getting busy with families out hiking and then returned to the lot via the Switchback Trail.

Then it was onto the final 5 miles, this time sticking to the "original" loop. Many more people and many more dogs this time around. It was a gorgeous, relatively balmy morning for mid-November, and a lot of people were out enjoying it. Which is great, but in terms of making it easy to run, it was not ;) Lots of stopping and walking around dogs and kids. I did run into our friend Dave and his family hiking up with their two kiddos, which was fun! Had to add on a short little bit at the end to get the watch to read 20, so I ran across the street to check if John was home to say hello to. He wasn't, so back across the street to run until the final beep at the edge of the parking lot.

Happy with how the run went. I felt solid, and thankfully, unlike last time, I didn't have any mental lack of focus. Another 4 hilly hours in the bank, and feeling ready for the taper!

Fauna report: Five deer jumping across the trail on the reverse Mindy trail and one Downy Woodpecker.

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