Friday, August 11, 2006

Mapping skills needed

I took over mapping out our 7-9 mile run for this evening. I pulled up a map of Garin Regional Park and plotted out a beautiful, brand new, never before run by Tina, Kristi or Bam, route of 9 miles. I even sent it to Tina for pre-run approval.

So, for those of you who don't know, there are these little, tiny numbers on a trail map that indicate elevation changes. Come to find out those little numbers are pretty important. Note to self...remember to check those little numbers. Anyway, I was very prepared as the three of us headed out for our run. I had a copy of the map, a general idea about where we needed to turn, and I even had an 'escape' route mapped in case we were too tired to do 9, but instead wanted to do closer to 7 miles.

We start out with no problems, fairly flat, nice scenery, not too hot. We even forged a couple of very small streams. Look at us go! Then we turn a corner and there's some uphill sections, not a problem. Then turn onto the South Fork trail and we hit some hills! Um, yeah, this is where those little numbers come in handy. Looks like the first loop I mapped out had a 935 foot elevation change. Okay, I take responsibility for that one.

At one point Bam was running around some trees, just after we had gone through a gate. All of a sudden Tina and I hear this growly, snarly sound. Like idiots, we both stop and look. Duuhhhh. I called Bam over and we all took off running! Tina and I convinced each other that it was the gate making noise and not a mountain lion. Right, no mountain lions out here. Even tho there were deer, which I'm sure mountain lions would like to eat...nope, pretty sure there aren't any mountain lions.

Turns out to be a good thing I brought the map. When we got to the point where we were supposed to turn onto the next loop we could see that the elevation change was 1100+ feet. Ooops. Okay, we're going to go up part way and take that little shortcut trail on the map. So part way was still 600+ feet and the little shortcut was a 'storm damaged' trail. Interesting to say the least. We kept on truckin' and made it 7 miles in an astonishingly slow 1:57 (hey, remember all those HUGE hills I mentioned?!!?) and out of the park by dark. So, Tina says I get an A+ for bringing the map, and an A for scenery, but an F for checking the elevation. Looks like my mapping privileges have been revoked.

But let's look at the bright side! The hills on the Nike run should be no problem after this puppy!

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