High Altitude Training Camp

Jonathan Carlson on the Donner Rim Trail

Jonathan Carlson on the Donner Rim Trail

The first annual High Altitude Training camp has wrapped up after a good day on the trails yesterday. I spent the day with Jonathan Carlson, and we had a nice cruise through and over the mountains to Summit Lake and Donner Summit. It’s about a 15 mile journey with mostly fire roads and single track trails but there are some technical areas of just granite boulders as you can see from the picture. I think the advantage goes to the runner. Nicole met us there where Jonathan called it a day. I loaded up my water bottles and headed out to Hole In The Ground. I think it is about a 17 or 18 mile loop with some serious climbing the first few miles on the trail. But the views from the top were outstanding.

I didn’t see that many mountain bikers, just a few, and just a couple hikers all day. For the most part, I would run for an hour or so without running into anybody else. Along the backside of the loop, my water bottles were running a little low and with the temperature in the upper 80’s it was difficult to stay cool. I passed a marker for Sand Ridge Lake and then a mile or so later realized I should have taken the trail to the lake and filled one of my bottles with lake water just to pour on me to keep me cool. About 5 miles later, I made it to Lower Lola Montez Lake and decided to jump in for a swim. That felt great. 20 minutes later, feeling refreshed, I was back on the trail and in 40 minutes, met Nicole and Jonathan at the Soda Springs trailhead and we headed home. Hole In The Ground was a great trail, not too difficult for a mountain bike but there were some tough sections. Near the start, I passed a couple of mountain bikers heading in the same direction as me but never saw them again. So I suspect it would be an interesting race between somone on foot vs. someone on a bike. Maybe next year.

Speaking of the bike, the 4th of July was blazing this year with the temperature in the 100’s. Nicole and I had the day off and we stuck with the tradition of sharing it with friends at the Carlsons up in Clear Lake. I feel that I am behind on my training for the Tahoe Rim in a couple weeks and mentally feeling overwhelmed with everything going on. So I was able to spend the day away from the computer and hit the trails in Annadel for the morning then took my bike out for 80+ miles and rode up to Clear Lake. I started the ride with an unprecedented stop at Starbucks and I felt great…for the first 30 minutes! Passing through Geyserville and Cloverdale, I swore there was a heater on and it was just blowing hot air in my face. Nothing like a 105 degree headwind. Nicole and I met for a Coke in Hopland and then I continued on and rode over the Hopland grade and took the opportunity to practice suffering and not quitting when I’m tired and feeling a little miserable. Unfortunately, the ride took less than 5 hours, nothing like the 20+ hours of the run. I’m waiting for the excitement to start to take over.

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