5 Days to WSER: Wet Days and Late Afternoon Runs

Already from 10 days out the extended forecast for race day was looking ominous. The cold front that had come through and shortened my run the previous day would stay in the area for a further two days before being replaced by a hot front. The forecast for race day had temperatures peaking at well over 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit).

The forecast had it raining for the entire day so when I rose to look outside and see a steady rain falling I decided that I could afford an extra day off. I relaxed in the morning reading, surfing the internet and preparing some blog posts, before setting out to grab some lunch as well as some items for my drop bags and crew points. Then late in the afternoon I looked outside to see a lighter sky, and upon closer inspection saw that the rain had stopped for the moment. I immediately decided that I would squeeze in a quick run.

I was staying in a recreation area called Truckee Donner that provides plenty of facilities so a quick online search brought up a series of trails through the area. Unfortunately the trail map was not to scale and provided little information on distances, so I found a useful trailhead and mapped out a route to follow. I was only looking to run 3 miles (5 km).

I drove to the trailhead as my trail mindset has kicked in to a point where the thought of wasting mileage on road seems wasteful. I set off from the trailhead and reached a branch in the trail where a nature loop started. The two branches would rejoin and continue further along, and could therefore be used as a loop. I set off in a clockwise direction noting a sign mentioning a distance of 1.3 miles, hoping that the distance referred to the far end of the loop, which would thereby give me a distance of almost three miles. The trail gently climbed initially and then flattened out as it passed through some wetland areas. It consisted of some nice single track as well as some boardwalk.

Unfortunately after just one mile I reached the point where the two trails rejoined, and a signpost indicated that the return journey on the other trail was only 0.7 miles back to my car. So I would need to continue further along the trail to reach my intended distance. I continued further in the direction I had been running where unfortunately the trail moved right alongside the road, paralleling it just beside the tarred surface. With the shorter return leg I decided that I would turn around at 1.6 miles, but when I reached that point the trail had started to move again from the road once again, and there was no point landmark that looked like a good turnaround point so I decided to continue a bit further. Eventually after 1.9 miles I reached a point where the trail crossed over a road or driveway, so I decided it would make a good turnaround point. I headed back along the trail, and when I reached the branch I took the shorter and untread path back. I returned back to my car.

My day had started with 3 miles planned, had changed to a rest day, and then had ended up at 3.7 miles. For the details of those 3.7 miles you can go to MovesCount.com here.

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