Our 50K training schedule called for two hours and forty minutes of running this weekend. While I wasn’t thrilled about the distance, I was not dreading it until I received an email from Anna on Friday suggesting we run to the waterfall. I bit my tongue or I guess I should say held my fingers back and I went along with the route proposal. But when I woke up Saturday morning, I felt the kind of nerves in my stomach typical of a feared route or race that send one moving towards the bathroom.
Waterfall is feared/dreaded by me for two reasons. One, it is always way longer, more painful and way more uphill than I remember. Two, quite a few years back, while running the route with my friend Sage and beloved dog, Sassy, we got hissed at by a badger and it scared the living daylights out of us. There have also been dead deer carcases and other strange wild animal remnants on the run. In short, it is desolate back there and you are really “one” with nature, which can be both good and a bit scary.
We commenced our journey at 8:30AM from our house. I immediately began thinking how far we needed to climb. Luckily my memory was a bit foggy on the route since I believe the last time I ran it was before we moved to China. This is not a run you do for no reason. It is typically reserved for marathon training unless you get talked into doing it with someone who is training and needs a running partner. I thought perhaps it was an hour of climbing before we reached the waterfall. If I would have been thinking clearly, I would have figured out that this was impossible because from our house it is at least 2:50 at our pace. I think this is part of the problem with the Waterfall route, for some reason, you always deceive yourself into thinking it is easier than it actually is.
In the interest of making a long story short I will summarize by saying it took a hell of a long time to get to the waterfall. I almost had us turn back since I needed to be home right around 11 to get ready for BlockFest by 11:30. Right before we were about to turn, we finally saw the sharp upward bend to the right and the rock that the water tumbles over. At this point, we had been running for 1:40. We decided to keep going to the waterfall and then take 8th Street back down, thinking it would be shorter than backtracking on the trail. We were sick of punching though the snow so in some ways the road sounded really nice.
As always, the actual waterfall was anti-climatic as it is really just a small stream tumbling over a rock. The true aesthetic reward was the beautiful scenery we were able to witness being so far back into the Boise foothills.
The trip down 8th St. was not as easy-going as we thought. The top third to half was covered with snow which we had to punch through. While it creates a soft landing and is easy on the joints, it makes for much more difficult running. By this point, we were a bit bitter and really ready to be done. As the 11 o’clock came and went and we still had a ways to run, I called Andy on my cell phone and asked if he could come pick us up. He hesitantly agreed and met us on 8th Street about ten minutes later. We were only about five minutes shy of the 2:40 mark and had covered around 15 miles (almost half the distance of the 50K).
- 50K Training I honestly am so inspired by Anna (my sister) and Erin's (Andy's sister) persistence and commitment to train for this...