knowing your strengths and your limits along with a spirit of adventure equals a kick ass training run. from inspiration point in tilden i was determined to find skyline national trail...i've been searching for it ever since i set about learning my marathon course.
with my map i followed seaview until i came to the utility road. last time i followed it for abit and asked a hiker if she knew where skyline was...she wasn't sure and i feared if i continued that i'd not make it back. today i decided not to ask for directions from anyone that wasn't a park employee...i think asking the wrong people for directions does'nt do much for ones confidence. i have plenty of my own uncertainty to overcome why pile on more? the map was dodgy in spots but i'm starting to make sense of the route.
i got as far as last time and kept going and lo and behold skyline was just across the road. this section was pretty much downhill and paralleled grizzly peak....today was the grizzly peak century and every so often i'd see riders climbing UP as i cruised downhill....all the while knowing i'd be climbing myself on the way back.
once i crossed grizzly again and went thru a few gates it got pretty flat and shady. it wasn't long before i found the sibley volcanic trail head, yay...only a little over 2 miles to go. this section was the sweetest with lots of coverage, a bridge and a creek. things were all good...briefly i thought "oh, i'm so gonna rock this course" when all of a sudden my flat shaded trail decided that i needed to start climbing again. as i walked i spotted a couple of older guys running towards the way i just came...they looked fresh so i was hopeful that i as getting close to my destination.
i took me 1.34 from inspiration point to sibley...a little over 6.0. total time 3:14:xx 13.02 miles...i walked alot on the way back but made good time on the downhills. i am a good hiker and i was careful not overexert myself on the uphills and i kept well hydrated. my right ankle brushed up against some stinging nettle and it took a pounding as i tend to lead with it on my sideways descents.
i am sooooooo happy to be gearing up for this race. this route is the perfect combination of beauty and beast. every kind of wildflower, hills, heat, creeks, and quaint bridges....that's how i spent my sunday. no complaints whatsoever!
and oh, i never did run across a park employee but i think i'm starting to get a feel for this course. i think i'll just continue dissecting it section by section.