Sunday, 22 January 2012

First of the five 32km runs done - 890m of elevation gain

Today was the first of my five planned 32km runs within the space of one week.  It went well and was mostly trail running in the woods of the Zurichberg and then later in the woods of the Uetliberg.  Owing to the fact that both locations are hilly, the total elevation gain on my run was 890m.

I started off with Negrita on a 9.5km route that went up towards the Zurichberg, then I dropped her off at home and continued my run towards the Uetliberg.  Running on gravel tracks is not really train running, so Negrita and I frequently left the tracks and went off into the woods.  We were running through bracken and small trees and jumping over logs, and Negrita was having a lot of fun.  Not just her, but me too.

As I ran towards the base of the Uetliberg along the streets of Zurich I was trying to head directly towards a meadow that is steep enough to require a bit of scrambling in places.  Despite heading directly for it, once I reached the woods at the base of the Uetliberg I couldn't find the meadow itself, but I did find an interesting mountain path or Bergweg.  The path was steep and involved scrambling over tree roots.  I tried to keep running the whole way, but it was too steep and too slippery and I ended up walking for some parts.  Nevertheless my heart was pounding so it was a great workout.

Higher up, the path merged with larger trails and I was able to start jogging normally again until I reached the Uto Kulm.  After a moments pause to take in the views I followed the path that heads to Felsenegg along the ridge of the mountain.  The wind was strong and extremely cold, and along the ridge there is no respite from it.  Had the wind been behind me I would have been whipping along, but as luck would have it, it was a head wind.  Despite wearing several layers on my top half I was still feeling the cold, so I decided to head down towards the city where it would be warmer.  The last thing I want now is a stinking cold.

The downhill section was pretty steep and I was doing my best to maintain control and avoid running head first into the trees or fences on the switchbacks.  It was tough work on the quads, but luckily my quads are still strong from the recent cycling trip in South America.

At the bottom of the descent I found myself opposite Leimbach station.  My route then followed the Sihl river back into the city and along the exclusive Bahnhofstrasse.  As I reached home I checked my GPS and I was still short of my target distance, so I headed along the road to Wipkingen station and back, to make a nice round 32km.

Today was so much fun that I will have to do the same route again in future.  At the moment there is little reason for me to be running on the roads, as trail running is a lot closer to what I will be doing in the MDS.  Not only is it lower impact but it helps strengthens the ankles.  The constantly changing scenery is also more stimulating for my mind.

No comments:

Post a comment