Turkey adventure -- Day 3
(Show distances in kilometers / miles)
Yosemite Valley, north (Workout details)
Another day, another 40km25 miles to run... I get up earlier than the day before but this time getting out of bed is bloody difficult. It's cold outside and it feels warm and cozy in bed. It takes all my strong will to drag my ass out of it. But then I go for breakfast, have double hot chocolate and things start looking slightly better.
My car is covered in frost and it's pretty cold. With my teeth shattering I go to the park. I prepare for the hike and set off in the direction of the Mirror Lake. The trail is easy and after a while I warm up enough and set into a steady rhythm.
After a break at the lake I continue and soon meet a deer family and then I continue towards the Lower Yosemite Fall, which is full of tourists as it's just next to the road. I take a break there.
Until now it was mostly flat and I feel great. In fact I feel as if it was too easy! One thing is certain; I got the timing right. Just as I leave the Lower Yosemite Fall and head towards its top a steep, strenuous climb starts. Very quickly I don't feel like complaining it's too easy. Not at all.
I reach the top of the fall, explore a bit, take a break and then it's time to go further. Further up. Towards Eagle Peak. After a while snow starts showing up. A bit later the trail is mostly covered in snow, with some patches of ice. Finally I reach the top. The view is nice, but I don't think it's better than what I saw so far. Many days after having made this climb I read that "John Muir considered the view from Eagle Peak to be the most beautiful view of Yosemite Valley available." Hmm, looks like I missed something.
Soon it's time to start going down. At first I have to thread slowly because of the snow and ice. Then from the top of the fall down it's a fairly technical, rocky descent. I cannot breeze by carelessly as I did yesterday. Instead it requires constant concentration. But still hopping from stone to stone feels great and, just as yesterday, I seem to be an attraction for everyone around.
Eventually I reach the valley floor. Yesterday at that point I felt very tired and had to drag myself through the last bit; today I still feel strong and actually manage to keep a decent pace for the finish. I start to think: could this type of running really be "my thing"? I'm now reading the book by Scott Jurek, where he describes how he never really had talent for speed but somehow could always endure more than his peers and flourished as the distance unfolded. Now, obviously I'm not comparing myself to Jurek (though we both share Polish roots ;), but what I'm saying is that maybe this type of long endurance running just suits me? Even if it's just wishful thinking, it surely does feel this way for now.
I drive back to the hotel. Again, it's dark, the road is curvy and I'm exhausted, so it's a tiring drive and I'm glad when it's over. At the lodge an unpleasant surprise awaits me: the restaurant is closed! And I was so looking forward to the nice dinner... at least the bar is open and they serve food so I don't have to drive anywhere (it'd likely be a long drive, as I'm in the middle of nowhere), but the food is not half as good.
Unfortunately, as I discover later, my GPS trace of this run is completely messed up. Such problems are often quite local and I am able to patch them up, but this time it's big portions of the run that show zig-zaggy forms, as if I was running drunk. I wasn't. Also I didn't do 47km29 miles; I think it was closer to 42.26.
As I discovered after the run I developed a first blister. Still, I'm rather surprised with how well my body is coping so far. I was expecting more muscle pain, blisters, chaffing and all sorts of problems like that and instead all I got is one small blister... ok, maybe not so small. Before going to bed I debate whether to cut it or not and just as I decide to do so I realize that I have absolutely no "tools" to do that, so I let it be. Tomorrow last day of my adventure. Looks more and more likely that I will be able to make it! Goodnight...