Friday, February 20, 2015

Venturing Up Tiger Mountain

On Wednesday night, as I laid in bed, I began contemplating my Thursday medium-long run. I have been alternating between running in my 'hood, Cougar Mountain, or Discovery Park. But I had an idea-- I wanted to be a bit adventurous and head out to Tiger Mountain. All by myself. Gulp. While I am 100% (okay, 95%) comfortable at Cougar by myself, neighboring Tiger and Squak Mountains seriously intimidate me. They seem bigger, more remote, and more likely to end up with me eaten by a wild animal. Side note: there are no actual tigers on Tiger.

I have run up to West Tiger 3 a couple of times now, and wasn't about to re-live that pain again, so I (yes, stupidly) decided to run up to Poo Poo Point (and beyond). The reason I say stupidly is because Chirico Trail up to Poo Poo Point is easily just as difficult as the trail to West Tiger 3, if not more so, because it is less "runnable". 

My run started at the Chirico Trailhead. The rain was coming down fairly steadily by the time I got going, which was annoying, as Seattle's weather has been amazing lately! But no matter, I settled in to hike the 1.6 miles to the top as quickly as I could in the rain. It surprised, and relieved, me that there were so many other people on the trail mid-day on a Thursday.

At the trailhead. Just got more dreary the further I moved up the trail.

Once I made it to the top the view was . . . lost behind a thick layer of clouds. There was zero view. Nothing. Apparently when it is nice the payoff for the climb is spectacular. I wandered around Poo Poo Point to figure out where the trail continued on, and found that it ran right past a small building with a toilet. Yay! I went in, locked the door, did my business, unlocked the door, and . . . . it wouldn't open. It was acting as if the lock was still catching. I turned the lock, tried again. Nope. Tried again and again and again. My blood pressure shot up about 50 points. I started shaking. I was 100% sure in that moment I was locked in and started taking my pack off to see if my phone would work to call for help. In my fear and frustration I slammed the left side of my body in to the door and after the third slam it opened! UM. I am dying to know if other people have gotten stuck in there?! It was really scary. 

A cool looking patch of furry trees near my turn-around point.

After that fiasco I continued on along the trail for a bit and then turned around just over an hour in to the run. Coming back down the mountain was not that fun for me. At the more muddy parts I kept losing my footing and slipping. I made it down at about a 17:00 min/mile pace, which is pretty slow for a downhill "run". Ah, well. I never fell! Made it back to the car, quick changed and headed towards home.

On the way back through Issaquah on Front Street I remembered that the store Uphill Running was in that neighborhood, and sure enough, I was able to find it! The store is really cute and small, not packed with a ton of stuff. I was hoping to just grab some more shot bloks to add to my stash, but all they had for fuel was Pocket Fuel, which the guys there raved about, so I bought three to try. Looks like they have my favorite shoes in stock, so I will be back when I need new ones! They also told me about their group runs, hopefully I can get in on some soon and explore more of Tiger and Squak with company. 

Looking forward to Saturday's run. I am trying out something new, which is splitting my 16 miler in to two 8 mile parts. One in the morning on the road, one in the afternoon on the trails, which will be fun, but is also due to necessity because of some scheduling stuff for Saturday. I will be running the whole thing solo, as well, so this will really help me keep my head in it without being on the trail for four hours alone! 

Happy weekend! 

1 comment:

  1. Whooo, Sybil! That trail is not very runnable. I consider it more of a speed hike, but then again, my shorty-short little legs have serious issues when it gets steep. If you're in town on the weekend, let me know! Also, Run Pretty Far is just across the street from Uphill Running.

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