As I’ve mentioned numerous times on this blog, I’ve struggled with a hamstring injury for much of the last two years. It really prevented me from enjoying trail running. I could do short trail runs (~5 miles), but any long runs on the trail would leave me on the sidelines for days or weeks. Needless to say, this was incredibly frustrating. I finally said “screw it” and paced fellow IUP runner Adam Lint for the final 6+ hours of Cascade Crest 100. That run through the night up in the Cascades was the only truly enjoyable run that I’ve had in several years.
Finally, my hamstring is healed. I owe this largely to my wife, who really helped guide me through some physical therapy to get it healed and strong again. I’m still cautious, but this morning, I ventured out to the Seattle Running Club sunday morning run at Cougar Mountain for the first time in years. I had a blast.
It was a small group – just 6 of us today following White River yesterday. The weather was rainy & foggy (great for running…crappy for every other summer activity). We did the normal loop, only did it in reverse hitting De Leo’s wall near the beginning instead of the end.
Still being cautious with my hamstring, I cut it short in an effort to keep my total time around 2 hours. All said and done, I logged 12 miles in 2 hours with a total elevation gain of 2,151 feet. One of the things I really appreciate about Cougar is that the elevation gain doesn’t come in one big climb, as it does at Squak or Tiger mountains. Rather, Cougar is a bunch of ups and downs with nary a flat section of trail to be found:
It was great to get back out and run with a group of people…and great to go hit the trails at Cougar. Looking forward to the August & September runs, when we often get up into the high country of the Cascades (e.g., Denny Lake, Kendall Katwalk, and the Enchantments).