UPCOMING EVENTS for 2016: Puerto Rico Marathon (March), Virginia/Pennsylvania Marathon Double (April), Cedro Peak Ultra 45k (April), Quicksilver 50k (May) NUT 50k (June) Lake Tahoe Trail 50K (July), Cloudsplitter 55K (October)

It's never too late to be what you might have been. --George Eliot

Athena is the Goddess of wisdom and war. In 2005, I declared war on my own bad tendencies: sloth, being fat, compacency, and being too old for adventure. This is the story of how I went from being someone who never stood when she could sit, to being an ultrarunner, marathoner, and triathlete. Along the way I've cried, laughed, fallen, gotten up, lost, won, hallucinated, been dehydrated, DNF'ed, and been DFL.
I also swear. Alot.
"You're never too old to be what you might have been" --George Eliot

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Finding your way with a map and Baboo.

Today Baboo and I headed out to San Pedro Park Wilderness to do some hike/walk/running.

On my training calendar was 20 miles, and I didn't want to do it running back and forth on a crowded bosque trail, sharing it with weekenders cyclists pedaling 5 mph with no helmets, families walking 4 abreast, or roller-bladers and YES I am just that kind of snobby.

If I have to run 20 miles, I want my own section of trail.


We headed out with a trail map to do all this at 10,000 feet.  It was beautiful.
We even saw the magic mountain cows of San Pedro Parks.  


What the map didn't tell us was that on July 31, 2010, about 70% of the trail we chose would be under water.  


At first, I was all dainty, hopping from rock to rock to avoid getting the feetsies wet...but after several hours and several marshy, swampy meadows, it was clear to me that we were running down and up a stream with occasional dry areas. 

I just stomped through each wet area. 


For about half the run, Baboo appeared to be working diligently to stay 50 yards ahead of me - I would speed up and try to catch him, but as soon as I started running he would head off at a dead sprint until he was nearly out of sight.

He said it was because his knee hurt when he tried to run as slow as me.  Or something.

Anyway, he was able to take lots of pictures of me, and the run, and he fully redeemed himself with a talent of which, before now, I was unaware.


Now, because the trail was interrupted with so many marsh/swamp/meadow areas, it was the case that either the trail had been completely overgrown since the last time people used it, or more likely, people saw the wet marsh/swamp/meadow and turned back.

Either way, there were vast areas of unmarked areas that interrupted the trail, and you couldn't see where it picked up on the other side, and we're all spoiled by races in that we expect either flags or a corner marshal: there were neither.


I knew that Baboo had studied, oh, what the hell is it called, "Land Navigation" in college, or so I thought.  Actually, he studied it in the Marines, and just for fun, did extra training in the art and science of finding your way.

I had my very own Marine land navigation specialist - all to myself!


It's amazing to think that I would be surprised 11 years into our relationship, but there it was: he didn't just take us straight across large, unmarked, untrailed areas, he led us precisely to where the other end of the trail was.  With a map.

Don't get me wrong; I can read a map, and I can follow the sun...but I'm not sure I could be as precise as he was.




He also specialized in driving vehicles over rugged terrain, so I just sit back and relax when we bounce along the graveled roads of NM.


and picks awesome places to run.  Where I can have my very own trail.  




and no, he's still taken.  And so am I.

...

10 comments:

  1. Wow, that's awesome - I'm not sure if I'm more impressed by you running 20 miles in trails, or with his ability to navigate previously un-navigateable trails.

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  2. You make a great team!

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  3. Beautiful! I'm glad I found some good running trails in Texas, but they lack the pretty greenery.

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  4. Wow! That is a hardcore run...great job! Love the pics :)

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  5. Isn't it awesome to learn something new about someone you have been with for years??? Congrats on the big run!

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  6. nice! I'm with you and a total spoiled trail snob..

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  7. Wow, great post! Loved the pictures! What an awesome way to knock out 20 miles. :)

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  8. I LOVE the trail run reports! Beautiful trails and happy people, what more could you want?

    Does it make me a complete dork that I am so excited about Rio del Lago that I can barely stand it?

    I promise I will try to not be a hyper idiot. No guarantees, though. :)

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  9. You guys are so cute ! And lucky, but I'm sure you already know that. :-)

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