Do you know what happens when you pack food for your long training run but you don’t actually eat said food? This….
Friday afternoon I drove up to East Marsh Lake and snagged a campsite. I realized after I was settled that the actual trailhead was 2.6 miles to the south of where AllTrails said it was. So my choices were to: move my campsite, drive to the trailhead, or suck up the extra 5 miles. What kind of runner would I be if I didn’t suck up the extra 5 miles? Plus. with the snow I was going to run in to I figured that by adding on the extra 5 I’d still be able to get the 20 in that I wanted to.
Saturday morning rolled around and the temperatures were in the teens. Yes, you read that correctly teens. In July. I knew it was going to warm up as soon as the sun came up so baby trail dog and I snuggled up under every warm thing we had for another hour. We got up and had some breakfast. She managed to score a couple of sausages too. Hey, she was going to run all the miles too.
I got my pack ready and I put all sorts of food in there. I had Tailwind in my bag (with extra powder for my refill), M&Ms and dried bananas, and Picky Bars. I tend to flavor my Tailwind light because mentally I need to actually chew something when I’m out there fora while. So, I had 100 oz of water that should have had approximately eight scoops, instead I put four. I packed the variety because I never know what I’m going to actually want.
As we started down the Forest Service Road I was in good spirits. There was no time requirement I just wanted to get the 20 in. We hit the trailhead and the trail was glorious. No repeat of last weekend‘s rockfest! Charlotte and I started clicking off the miles. I’d stop for her to get a drink out of the creek at every opportunity. Around mile 11 I realized something was wrong. I was rapidly running out of gas, and that is definitely not a good thing when you are in the middle of no where. That’s when I realized, hey moron you haven’t had anything to eat. I think the only reason why I didn’t crash and burn earlier is the little bit of Tailwind I had.
I reached into my pack and started shoving food down my face. When I got to the creek right before Lower Red Castle Lake I stopped to use my filter to fill my water (which was almost gone) and add 4 scoops of Tailwind. I looked at the swollen creek and had to make a decision: push forward or turn around. If I pushed forward I had to get my brain to function well enough to cross the creek without injuring myself and plan on a 26 mile day. If I turned around I wouldn’t see the lake, but I’d get a 24 mile day in. I opted for the turn around.
Going back was a struggle. I was getting a hot spot in my foot from some sand I had picked up at some point. I was ready for some shade. Most of all, though, I just wanted to stop. My watch died after 6 hours. I knew I still had another 5 miles to go. When I reached the trailhead I was cursing my poor decision making skills. As I trudged up the road to the campground all I kept thinking about is the food I was going to eat. Irony, I didn’t think about food all morning and now all I could think about was food.
When we finally hit the campground (24.22 miles), I tied Charlotte to the picnic table, got her food out of the trunk and just as I started to get food out of the cooler I saw two notes on my windshield. “This campsite has been previously rented 7/1-7/4 you must leave.” ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? I burst into tears right there on the spot. The whole reason why I decided to camp was to avoid being on my feet all day and then get in the car. So, I threw everything in the car with no rhyme or reason and started making my way back to Park City.
Lessons learned: 2
-Drive to the trailhead.
Miles completed: 24.22
Total run time: 8 hours
All in all, despite the challenges I’m very proud of my day. Longest run in almost a year. I’m still in one piece, my lungs felt ok(ish), and I live to run another day.