Whew. That was something.
This weekend was my final training run up the La Luz Trail. In one week I’ll be huffing and puffing my way to the top with all the other racers. It is going to be a blast.
This is my third run up the side of the Sandias. I’ve been pretty consistent with my time though my training previously consisted of “running lots, sometimes uphill”. I’ve been a bit more constant and mindful with my training so we’ll see what happens.
The Run (up then) Down
For my final trial up the trail (see what I did there),
I had planned on running twelve miles, six up then back down. I started early to avoid the crowd that hits the dirt later in the morning.
La Luz really is a beautiful trail and there are so many amazing sights to see. It is so close to the city that you get an illuminated view in the dark.
I think I stop and look at this Ponderosa Pine every time. It comes at exactly three miles up so it’s a good friend telling me how far I’ve come.
I was feeling pretty good though so at five miles I decided to tack on the extra mile and hit the crest.
I can understand this looking back as I somehow managed to keep my heart rate at or below aerobic for the majority of the uphill running. Not bad for uphill mountain running. Maybe I’ve learned to pace myself and take it easy?
I was treated to a few more spectacular views, some informative signage and those fucking stairs.
After the stairs it was a simple half mile to the crest. I snapped a photo, sent it off to Lisa and headed back down. That’s when the trouble happened.
I had been running for 2 hours at this point with plenty of water but I didn’t bring any food. I didn’t plan on being out this long. Needless to say almost immediately after turning around and heading back down the trail I bonked so hard I was worried for my health.
I was light-headed, tingly all over (not in the good Las Vegas way) and pretty well fucked up. I slowed to a hike, then a walk then I sat my ass down and hydrated and breathed. Last thing I needed was to tumble down the side of a mountain because I tried running while dizzy. I considered turning back up to the peak, hiking over to the tram and riding it down and having Lisa come and get me. It would have been faster.
Alas! I am a stubborn fool and I took my time and worked through the bonk. Walking and pausing as needed and working my way back to a slow jog downhill.
I made it back safely, though far beyond my initial estimates for duration. I slowed when I needed to and drank plenty of water. I never fully bonked again but I felt it lingering on the edges, looking for a way back into my brain and muscles.
I brought it on myself, overextending a run that required more prep than I had completed. Had I brought some food I am quite confident that this would not have happened. Live and learn.
I was pretty well fucked up for a bit of this run, but less so than I feared AND I pulled through it. I didn’t panic, I cared for myself as best I could and I finished. The view from the top was well worth it.