Trip: Maple Springs/Main Divide/ Silverado Motorway Loop
Distance: 16.3 Miles
Let me start by saying, " I dont like getting up earlier than 5am on a weekend" I just dont...Yes even to run. Call it getting old, a late nighter .. I just cant seem to wake up as earlier and bright eyed as I used to. The single motivator for Saturday morning was a long run on a beautiful dirt trail, so I rolled out of bed threw on my clothes before I could look back and was out the door!
I find it much easier if I throw my gear in my car the night before, no thinking involved....If I can just get to the car with my clothes on I'm good.
The temp was cool, not cold, just perfect and when I reached the trailhead almost everyone was there already.....all smiles......ARRRG! We carpooled to the end of Silverado just beyond the circle turn around, the gate was open so we drove up the the entry/exit of Motorway loop. I had packed my camelback with 64oz of gatorade this time with the hopes of drinking as much as I could. I have a habit of not drinking very much being that the average should be about 17-20oz. per hour... I drink about 8-10oz per hour.
We begin, we being fellow members of OCTR; all smiles still........we'll see about that.
The run begins with the first 7 miles mostly uphill, maintained on both asphalt and then Fireroad following the draw of Silverado canyon and winding its way up in long extended switchbacks, beautiful back country; green and peacefull. Once the road becomes dirt it then gets more inspiring and you can feel yourself drive a little harder, pushing to see whats around the next bend, to peer into the distance overlooking the valleys below; just amazing.
A drink here...a drink there, gotta remember to keep drinking this time! I reach the first summit and take in the views, tarantula hawks buzz around seeking out prey; I'd seen a big tarantula at morro a week before....they'd love him; although not a good day for a tarantula.
After a few moment I begin running along the Firetrail that follows the ridges of the mountains, around every turn I get a view of the valley, reminding me just how high I've come.
As I make my way along the ridge I'm now more than half way and can see my final downhill; the motorway. The motorway is a steep downhill consisting of many switchbacks; its about 3 miles of them! I continue my run through dusty dirt roads and along beautiful ridges and valleys.
after about 13 miles I'm at the intersection of Main divide and the motorway; I'm greeted by a lone mountain biker who's sitting in the shade eating; he wishes me well, I take it all in as I turn the bend and begin the single track that will take me to the Motorway downhill.
At an opening to motorway I wait for the others and take a break, preparing for the final descent; Oh yeah drink, drink, drink......... as some of us are discussing barefoot running the other members round the corner and we take a nice dirty picture......awwww!
The descent down Motorway is grinding, it abuses your legs and your mind as you are concentrating, focusing more than usual on the ground beneath you as well as the ground that WILL be beneath you.... Overconfidence along with fatigue have taken many quality runners to the ground near the end of this run... you just never underestimate running downhill for any period of time. After an eternity I reach the trailhead and see the car waiting for me....I've been dreaming about that DR.Pepper that I've got in my cooler; I can almost taste it now!
At the car I await the others and quickly inventory what I have left, a hammer gel, and tons of gatorade! what!..... 32oz. left of 64oz. thats only 8-10oz an hour still; but I feel good so that must mean something. I've taken my suppliments, I've taken a gel and eaten sharkies on my run so overall I feel really good......next time I'll drink more, next time.
Overall the run was amazing, the views are spectactular and the company was perfect; a great day to be out in the wild.