1020: Back at my room, I begin loading my REI Flash 18 pack for my run: proxy, mil ID, knife, matches, Gu Chomps, and CamelBak Antidote reservoir. I also stuff four Gu Energy Gels into the pockets of my running shorts, and pull on my Injinji socks and Merrell Barefoot Trail Glove running shoes. I leave a note which says, "Running Falcon Trail->Stanley Canyon->Stanley Reservoir. RTN NLT 1400." I learned that from Aaron Ralston.
|My route (roughly). 4.02 miles one way, according to Google Earth.|
Aside - gear info:
The Flash 18 is my go-to pack: it's my rock gym bag, my weekend bag, my daypack, my carry-on, and my hydration pack. Paired with the Antidote reservoir, it's great: the Antidote's center baffle keeps my water from sloshing around, and the bite valve is the best I've tried. Tucking the hose through the loop on the shoulder strap and then under the sternum strap keeps it from flopping around. Injinji socks are my new favorite: they let my toes move independently, and prevent blisters like no other. I won my Trail Gloves from Running and Rambling, an excellent minimalist ultra-running blog.
1040: I leave the southwest stairwell of Sijan Tower. There's a Security Forces SSgt walking towards the ECP, an M16A2 slung across his back. As I approach, he turns and says, "Snuck up on me like a ninja." When you run in minimalist shoes, you run quiet. Which could be risky when you approach armed men from behind.
1105: Reach the Stanley Canyon Trailhead. Take a one minute break in the shade to hydrate, then set off at a run up the trail.
1123: Down a Banana Blitz Gu. Hydrate. Continue hiking up the steep and/or technical parts of the trail, run where I can. Pass four high school guys going fishing. "Is this the way to Stanley Reservoir?" "Yeah, but you're only about halfway there." "Oh, man..." I run on.
1148: Reach the reservoir. Take an 8-minute break, watch the minnows swim in the shadows and four mallards on a double-date: two drakes, two hens. Not a cloud in the sky - the aspens shine a bright green against the darker green of the pines.
1156: Head back down. Meet the fishermen near the meadow. "You're a monster. Are you training for the Olympics?" "Um... nope, just out for a run." "Well you should try out. Beast." "Have fun fishing!"
1209: Stop to take off the electric patch. No noticeable difference in swelling. Down a Chocolate Outrage Gu. Those are good. Hydrate.
1217: Stop to clear rocks from shoes - stepped in a slide of pebbles and sand. Shortly thereafter, meet two guys and two girls I passed on the way up. "Oh my, he's already coming back down! That's how slow we are." They clap as I go by. One guy, out on the outcropping, shouts, "Expletive, is that the dude?"
1228: Reach the trailhead. Press through, back on Falcon Trail, back towards Sijan.
1255: Reach Sijan. Walk slowly up five flights of stairs to my room. Make myself two peanut butter and honey sandwiches. Grab a Gatorade from the fridge. Answer emails.
Awesome run. When I asked the PT if I could go for a run, I'm not sure she realized I meant a two hour, fifteen minute trail run with 2,000 vertical feet...