Whew. We finally got to run Tiger. I picked Glen up at 0630 and we headed out to the trails. I was quite surprised by the number of cars in the lot as we pulled in about 715 in the morning. It was a hard friggin run though. Actually, we walked some of the steeper ascents (there were many) and I quickly realized Glen is a way better power walker than I. I guess I need to hang out with the old folks on Friday mornings and do some hot laps around the mall.
We started off with a 2000 foot climb in the first 4 miles. We started nice and easy since it felt like a long climb. Neither one of us have ever run the 12 Summits of Issaquah before, so we had to stop more than we would have liked to. And also made quite a few wrong turns. I think we climbed the first ascent almost 3 times before we actually found the trail to the next summit. We probably got an extra 800 feet of climbing just because of our wrong turns. Once we found the trail to summit # 2 we were pretty good though in terms of navigation. We ran into hikers and we kept asking them if we were on the right tract to wherever we were going. We found our way meandering along the side of the mountain and only ran into one more runner after summit # 2. The farther into the woods we ventured the less options we had which certainly helped our poor navigational skills out. The climb to summit # 1 was a bitch to say the least. It only gained about 750 feet during the final approach, but it felt really steep and put my power walking to the test. By the time we reached this summit it was time to turn around as it took us nearly 2.5 hours of running (and walking) to get this far.
The way back was fast though. Granted, there wasn't quite as much ascending as previous - but there was lots of technical downhill quad thrashing running. The last 4 miles felt like a controlled free fall down a side of the mountain. I ran the last 2.2 miles in 15:30. And Glen was about a minute ahead of me, so he was hauling ass.
All in all it was an awesome day to run. The weather held out. The scenery was breath taking. The trails were in great shape. And it was just great to be outside and playing in the woods so far from anything remotely resembling pavement. We agreed we ran about 18 miles in just under 4 hours - the run was that tough. Both of us could probably run a 3:15 marathon on any given day of the week without too work. I never knew 12 minute pace could feel so hard.