Sunday, December 11, 2011

Reno man loses lottery, happily moves on

Top of Halo Trail, overlooking Reno (Photos by Darren)

Week Summary

UCD Farms (CA): 6.3 mi (+5 ft); 8:52 pace
Goni Trails East: 5.8 mi (+871 ft); 9:53 pace
Evans to Halo OB: 10.2 mi (+1,100 ft); 10:55 pace
Geiger - Ophir Peak Loop: 10.2 mi (+2,413 ft); 12:57 pace

Weekly Totals: 32.4 mi (+4,389 ft); 5:54:54 on trail

The week began with a work-week trip to HQ in Davis, California, where the partners strapped themselves to a conference table for a few days. Short pre-winter days leave little room for street-side running in town, but Kelly pointed me to some nice, very flat dirt roads at the University of California at Davis which I was surprised to find so enjoyable. A dusky dark run through the fields cleared the stagnate air of the day's workload. It was a good few days in the valley.

Singe-track climbs on Peavine Mtn.
The week ended with the Western States lottery in which none of the Young Mountain Runners were chosen; though we'll likely volunteer, we won't otherwise be involved in that event in 2012. This uncertainty aside, we can start planning our 2012 schedule.  With that in mind, Darren and I cruised the chill of Evans Canyon north of San Raphael Park in Reno. Because Des and I once lived adjacent to the park (and Darren and Carrie still do), Evans Canyon is familiar, even though the trail system has expanded and improved. It's a busy place too. As I turned back at the 5-mile point at the "top" of the Halo Trail, a trio of mountain bikers approached. After one of those odd few seconds of disbelief, I recognized some great friends.  Gregor and Erika paused for a long over-due chat (Gabe, intent on the climb, kept going). Although we started to shiver in the chill, it was great to see them all. Darren continued to the turn-around at Ridge View, while I turned back to descend the canyon and beat the darkness back to VC (driving from the park, of course).

On Sunday I found a new local favorite. In charting possible routes for the VC100, I continue to check out the equine course. Today I discovered how good the Geiger to Ophir Peak section is. Part of the second equine loop, I traversed north out of VC basically paralleling the Hwy 431 on two-track roads and eventually a great single-track section near the Geiger Summit (6,789 ft).  I could then turn back south to gain the ridge of the Virginia Range following excellent, narrow two-tracks along the crest toward Ophir Peak.  At the peak's towers I dropped back into VC on the rocky two-track that eventually exits Spanish Ravine. A nice Sunday morning loop; probably even better in the reverse direction.

It feels good to be moving steadily and keeping to a conservative increase in weekly mileage. I'll probably drop off a little this week as I travel to Twentynine Palms, California, for some fieldwork.  My first event target is Pacifica in the PCTR series south of San Francisco on January 22nd. In the meantime I'll be weighing the possibilities of the San Diego 100 vs the TRT 100 for my first 100-mile event. These are early summer events, so there's ample time to prepare and get in a few "training" events.  Footfeathers and I are working on the 2012 training schedule now.  It'll conveniently swing into motion as the first snows arrive with the holidays!  Can't wait.

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