I got a ride with my friends Karyn and Scott who were staying for the weekend, and were competing in the Lake Tahoe Triathlon, 1/2 Ironman distance, which started and finished at Sugar Pine Point. We arrived about 6:30 a.m. and they headed to their event, and I headed up into the woods for a long run.
I thought about the last time I had run here, just at the end of the school year, when I had come across a Mama Bear and her cubs in this very section. My mom and kids had been sleeping at our campsite, and I was alone with the bears and no phone (not that a phone offers much protection from a bear)… The mood today was somewhat melancholy- memories of the summer vacation, now coming to an end, drifted through my mind.
I ran up through the Nordic Center at Sugar Pine Point State Park to the single track General Creek Trail. The trail crosses the creek around 4 miles, and then it’s kind of a scramble up to the next trail, at 5 miles. I was under the impression before this was the PCT, but it turns out it is just a connector trail. I wanted to get to the PCT or the TRT, but ended up running on to the Rubicon Jeep Trail (and quickly turned around).
I eventually found a trailhead, 1/2 way between the Rubicon Trail and the General Creek Trail, that led towards the PCT/TRT (2.7 miles). After about 2 miles, I made it into Desolation Wilderness, and then a trailhead – Right to Velma Lakes, or Left to Genevieve. Decided on Genevieve, as I have never been there before.
My foot was really hurting, and about 1 mile from Genevieve, I stopped for more ibuprofen and turned on some Bach Fugues on my iphone. The rest of the run, when I would start hurting again, I would slow down and listen to the Bach. It matched my mood, and got me through it.
I reached Genevieve about 12 miles into the run, and stopped to check it out.
On the way back, I took my time and enjoyed the scenery.
I took a little detour to check out Lily Pond (would have been a lot prettier at the beginning of summer), and then once I got down to the Nordic Center, I was dropped right into the run portion of the Lake Tahoe Triathlon. The further I went, cheering on the runners, I sucked up some of their enthusiasm and was able to run fairly strong through the park, across the road, and to the finish at the Mansion. I had a little chase with the eventual 3rd place overal finisher, for the last mile. All the volunteers and spectators cheered me on like I was doing the race (oh well).
My run ended up being 23 miles, with 2,936 feet of climbing.
I hung out at the finish line until Scott and Karyn finished- Scott ended up 4th Place Age Group and Karyn ended up First Place Age Group. It was a nice afternoon.