The 3 mile uphill approach to the Valley View mountain bike trail from Whistler Park is no joke. Running from the house and across the park is a nice enough warm up, about a mile of flat grass fields, rolling single track and some small climbs. Then, getting on what is essentially a game trail, the trail climbs from 6700' to 8400' in roughly 2 miles. Today, I surprised myself by running the entire climb and making it to the Valley View junction in under an hour. Once on Valley View, the climbing continued at a mellower rate on a meandering, tree covered mountain bike trail up to Moonlight and Elkhead and finally Duster, where the trail is mostly flat for a mile or so, just barely inclining all the way to Rendezvous Restaurant at 9322'. The views of the valley from Duster were breathtaking today! I felt a sense of accomplishment being up so high up and overlooking our beautiful region. I hit the turnaround at 1:25 and picked up the pace for the happy 2600' descent.
I cruised back down Duster, feeling amazing, then headed a little further uphill to the Gondola. From there, I jumped back on Valley View and ran a fast, fast section down to lower Valley View. I kept the pace fast but eased up a bit for the remainder of the descent to the base area. From there, I took a lap around Mt. Werner Circle to add a couple more miles after checking my GPS which read about 12.6 miles at this point. The rest of the run, I mixed between the roads and the bike path and cruised back home to make the whole run 14.69 miles in 2:27.
I am really happy about this run on so many levels. My effort was on point the whole run and I feel like I absolutely killed the climbs. I ran all the flats and downhills fast and in control. The weather was beautiful, both sunny and shady, from time to time. The mountain flowers are becoming more numerous and forest smelled so rich and organic. It was just so fun cruising around the mountain again, reminding me why I love this place and this activity so much.
On a personal note, ah, nevermind...I can't talk about it.