I've been doing almost all my running lately on this route to Toquerville Falls (which also has a turnoff to some cell towers on top of a mountain). I managed to get there three times last week. My only purpose is to get as much climbing in my legs as possible to prepare for the ultra gnarly Bear 100 coming up in two months. I've been able to rack up many thousands of feet each week.
The climbing to Toquerville Falls and the towers are steep, long, and unrelenting. It's definitely not the place to go for fast running. Many times during each run I say to the hills "I hate you!" But then I reach the top of some vista, or see some amazing view and I apologize. "I'm sorry hills. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me. I love you. Let's be friends. You make me happy."
The route is so unbelievably hot. Inevitably it feels like my skin is going to melt into a puddle on the dirt. This is the extent of the shade available.
The climb to the cell towers adds a whole new, inhumane level of climbing. I have to keep reminding myself that this is good race preparation to keep myself from crying.
And then there is Toquerville Falls. Ahhhh, the Falls. The last few times here my legs have been an all-you-can-eat Golden Corral buffet for the deer flies.
One of my trips last week was in the evening as the sun was setting. It was still a toasty 103 degrees outside at that time. It's a beautiful place for a sunset.
Want to know something cool? Any awesome thing you see in the following picture is part of the Zion 100 course.
As beautiful as it is out here, I hardly ever see another soul.
I feel a little sheepish but I admit that at night I made it up to the cell towers, but turned around a mile before I reached Toquerville Falls. I feel a little intimidated when I'm out in the middle of nowhere by myself at night. Although I highly doubt any hungry mountain lions would mess with me if they caught a glance of my intimidating, frightening self.
I have faith that as difficult and challenging as my runs are now, I will be better prepared for the big dance in September.