I went down to Joe's Valley for the annual birthday climbing trip and like usual, I got there a day before everyone else. I love this extra day just to spend alone with my thoughts, a good book, and time to enjoy nature by myself. I've been planning for some time to use this first day for my weekly long run, a route I've been wanting to do for over six month. It starts at our camp at the bottom of Straight Canyon, 4.5 miles below Joe's Valley Reservoir. It runs up the road to the reservoir, across the dam, around the cliffy east side and then around the whole lake and back down the way I came. While an adventure run, it technically only has about 3 miles on dirt, the rest is on pavement, something I wasn't excited about, but worth it considering what I wanted to accomplish.
The run up to the dam is easy enough, gaining about 800 ft in 4.5 miles. I averaged a 9 min mile up to the dam, which is great considering the grade. At the top I had two concerns, the first one being getting across the dam as it is fenced off and has No Trespassing signs posted. I knew the signs were only there to protect a weather tower on top of the dam, so I skirted around the fence along a cliff line and quickly ran across the dam and back onto public land. The next big concern was making my way along the cliffline on the southeast part of the reservoir. All of my research on Google Earth and the internet showed that it cliffs out for about 200 ft. What I really found out was that there was a perfect ledge to run along and a steep scree slope down to the water; very passable. From there I would run along sandy beaches to the south end and around up to a dirt road. The dirt road lasted about 2 miles, then I hit pavement. I took a wrong turn, instead of heading up to the main road I ended up going down to the boat launch and picnic site. I didn't care though because I got to run some single-track along the lake, then took a trail back up to what I would hope be the road. It took me to the main campgrouned instead which took me to the road. It added about a mile to my run, which I loved. The distance between my wrong turn and where I came back to the road was about 1 tenth of a mile. Ha.
From there it was pavement for the rest of the run. Fortunately, there was a four wheeler track along the side of the road for about two miles, which was nice. Then it was just a blazing 4.5 back down to camp. I felt great the whole time. I've learned a lot about how many calories I need to take in per hour during a run and when and how much salt to take. Because I'm becoming more aware of these things I'm able to run better, stronger, faster, and farther with lower impact. I really hope it pays off come my Sapper Joe race.
Here are some climbing photos from the weekend and a video I made during the run. Sorry, the video is horrible.