Sunday, June 24, 2012

Burning Up the OT

It has been far too long since I have posted on my running blog.  Part of that is that due to injury, I have not had any major events since the Ouachita Trail 50K two months ago.  I'm sad that I did not get to go to San Juan Solstice or the Bighorn 50 mile races this year but work kept me from the mountains this June.

So to make up for what is usually a 50 mile race weekend, I met friends Aaron Ochoa and John for a run through the Ouachita Forest.  They are both gearing up for both the Midnight Madness 50 Miler in two weeks, and Aaron is running the Burning River 100 and so they needed to be challenged and we were certainly all challenged because this would also be the first 100 degree day in Oklahoma and I am sure there will be more to come.  Time to head to the mountains of Colorado or the cool cities of Western Europe.

We got started as early as possible because Aaron and John had to drive from Tulsa.  We still managed to get under way at precisely 7 am which I thought was pretty good.

This map shows pretty much the route that we did the double out and back on.
Our route would be from the Big Cedar Trailhead heading West on the Ouachita Trail to the top of the mountain where the big rock pile and the old fire tower is located and then back down for a total of 10 plus miles and then we would do it again.  Certainly we would have rather done a point to point or single out and back but we needed to stay close to our aid because we would be needing it.

Normally the river crossing at the beginning of this section of trail is wet enough that you cannot get across without at least soaking your feet or even your shins but on this day there was hardly a drop of water in the crossing.  That does not bode well for Oklahoma and drought conditions this summer. 

All of us were in jovial spirits as we made our way to the top of the mtn.  Though it was hot at times, we were all in good spirits and even entertained the idea of running further but thought we better get back to our aid station.

So we headed down hill and made very good time back to the car.  By that time, the heat had really begun to settle in and we were beginning to feel the effects after only 10 or so miles.  We refueled and headed out for a second trip up the mountain knowing it would be difficult.

What a great albeit hot training run on the ouachita trail with friends Aaron and John.
Still smiling in 100 degree heat.
We stopped and took lots of breaks and certainly kept the gatorade flowing.  On the final climb that has thirty plus switchbacks, we just did what we could to get back to the top.  There were lots of ticks as I pulled off at least a dozen of the things but thankfully no snakes!  At the top, we took pictures and headed back down which always has a way of rejuvinating us.  But we certainly were getting low on water and really needed some.

What a great albeit hot training run on the ouachita trail with friends Aaron and John.
Spring water never tasted so good.
Aaron had gone ahead because I think he needed to get it over with and get to the car but two miles from the finish he was playing in the spring water that I had forgotten about.  We were all glad to see that!  We all refilled our bottles and poured the water over us and it just completely revitalized us in the 100 degree heat and allowed us to finish our adventure.

What a great albeit hot training run on the ouachita trail with friends Aaron and John.
"Bring on the Midnight Madness 50 Miler!"
I was glad to know that we could do such a run under such conditions.  I usually avoid the OT in the summer because of the extreme conditions but we made it and enjoyed a great lunch afterward.

1 comment:

  1. Oh man, wish I could've come! Let me know of any weekend trail adventures you don't mind having a tag-along on! I am improving, gonna test things out tomorrow on a run. Will keep you posted! Best wishes on your adventures!