Gold Hill Office Plus: 4.8 mi (+693 ft); 10:08 pace
Chocolate - Dayton Loop: 8.5 mi (+710 ft); 9:27 pace
Celebration Loop - Allen TX: 7.2 mi (+78 ft); 9:28 pace
Bethany Road Loop - Allen TX: 5.9 mi (+105 ft); 14:07 pace
Weekly Totals: 26.3 mi (+1,587 ft); 4:48:07 on trail
This week on the trail had pluses to strive for and set-backs to avoid. The week began filled with motivation, driven by the pleasure of the previous weekend's adventures. Storms continued to roll in to western Nevada leaving snow in the mornings but trails would typically clear by noon. Comfortably cool each day but unseasonably so. Monday I added miles to the office loop by running into town and heading for the short single track south of VC High School. I had great pace, and good recovery from the hills and storm of Sunday's ridge venture, but my route disappeared and I cut through the brush and scrambled over mine tailings trying to regain it. I remembered it from a couple years ago, but the little creek had eaten the old trail away. As is often the case, loss of pace was easily off-set by the fun of hopping through the rocks and sage.
The next day, an intense squall welcomed me as I left the office; pellet snow approaching small hail hammered the truck on the drive down to the Chocolate Factory at Moundhouse. But the skies cleared as I descended the grade and Moundhouse was dry; the sky was a sheet of grey behind me, two different environments on either side of the sheet. It's the reason I created the Chocolate trails as a place to come off the mountain in search of a dry tread and less snow. Today I felt great and the interesting weather led me to search for a new variation focusing on a way through the houses at Gold Canyon. I hesitate to trespass on roads or paths on private property and steer away from encounters with landowners or their pets that might take interest in a moving target. Because of this I had avoided Gold Canyon, but I knew a trail around the two or three residences had to exist and it would be nice to reach the opposite side. I easily found a good trail and was soon contouring toward Dayton on the old toll road.
Moving toward Dayton I thought this variation might take me too far to the north of town and overly extend my time out at lunch. I'd forgotten my water bottle (again) and didn't want to take things too far, but it was a beautiful afternoon and the route was fascinating. I ended up in old downtown Dayton, running along an abandoned stretch of old Highway 50. I've been on the 50 through Dayton many, many times, but this block revealed a part of Dayton unfamiliar to me and I enjoyed the mile of newness. We'll have to visit the little restaurants I noticed in the downtown. Leaving downtown I found my usual turn-around point and joined the trail for the return to the Chocolate Factory. I'll likely make this my usual run when I visit the dry trails between Moundhouse and Dayton.
Thursday is usually a run day but I was on my way to Texas (where I write this) for my nephew's (Robby Young) high school graduation. Although Darren can't make it, the rest of the Young Mountain Runners would be uniting for some roads and trails in Allen, Texas. It's fun packing my running and nutrition gear for "exotic" trails beyond the desert. And an interesting test in the humidity and heat, but I enjoy some flatland running on occasion.
Everyone was up early on Friday morning, ready to run as a team. Thunder welcomed us to the trail as we crossed fields of siltstone and carbonate rocks that I remember from childhood here in Collin County. It's built out now and I can't get a grip on my location even though I once lived not too far from where I'm running today. The concrete trails are ubiquitous and almost compensate for the bland repetition of concrete and boxed suburbia. We circled parks and dove into little stretches of remnant woods on our short run, pausing to chat with our teammates, each with their own pace and daily goal. Very fun. I left the group for the run to Bryan's house, the last mile and a half or so. Dad had disappeared toward the house on his second lap so I chased him on my third as the sky opened and a downpour filled the streets and soaked my skin. It's was nice warm, big-dropped rain and I motored at a fast but comfortable pace, or so I thought. At mile 7.0 at a good steady pace on a suburban street, in a nice heavy rain, with a smile on my face, my hamstring barked at the back of my right leg. I slowed and wondered what went wrong. Here, at the end of a nice little workout on the trails of what was once my home I could only mildly panic at the onset of an injury. Hamstrings have been my downfall for years; old soccer injuries that I never allowed to heal. But I haven't suffered any recurrences since initiating my training program. I grabbed the ice and Vitamin I and started resting.
On Saturday, I tried a short jog to test the leg while exploring another set of creek-side, concrete trails. It was as feared, slowing going with a slight tugging mild pain. I trotted slowly along the trail for a couple miles and gave up to a walk. Dejected, but I know what to do. I'm only a dozen or so miles short of my lunar century (100 mile month), but I'll rest it for a few days and try a slow return mid-week next. I need to be disciplined about recovery as much as I've become disciplined about training. It's frustrating and worrisome to alter my regimen, but I'll return soon. It's all a part of keeping going.
In other news: Darren and Dan Dixson ran the 50k on Peavine Mountain as part of the Silver State races. Darren agreed not to race and enjoyed a great day on the trail. Here's to Dan for his first 50k, it's an awesome start.