Sunday, May 12, 2013

Douglas Springs Trail to (not quite) Mica Mountain

This post is long overdue!
But I have been super busy and I'm sad to say that I had to put my blog on the back burner. :(

After my last post, I got a job as a lifeguard.
Yes! I finally chose to be a lifeguard! After all the deliberating between camp and lifeguarding...I went with the latter. I have worked as a camp counselor for 8 years. It was time to move on.
While I am still in love with camp, I am trying something new for awhile.
But you never know, since I am a teacher I will have my summers off every year. I may get back into it...maaaybe. ;)

I am also taking three online classes for my certification. My college let me know that next summer they will cancel all classes (WHAT?!?) so I have to add some more this year to make up for it. So, I am lifeguarding (pretty much everyday), teaching swim lessons (part of lifeguarding), taking 3 online classes, and planning curriculum for next year. UGH. I washoping for a relaxing summer....maybe next year. ;)

Time for the Douglas Springs Trail recap!

Kathryn and I decided to run this trail together in May. We were planning on going to the top but when I woke up that morning, I was feeling like crap and I had a feeling I may not make it. 
But I wanted to try because I had never run in the Rincon Mountains before. I haven't even been over there, even though I've lived here my whole life! 

We started out around 7am, hoping to beat the heat. 
In Southern AZ, you have to be careful about the heat; especially if you are from out of town. A few summers ago, two hikers died from heat stoke and they didn't even have enough water on them for a normal hike. They were from Europe.  Just be careful!
So, I am always nervous about running anywhere lower than Mt. Lemmon during the summer in Tucson.

We started along a fairly even dirt trail. I was keeping a good pace, the last long run I ran (up Mt. Wrightson) helped with that. ;)
I could feel my lungs burning and I had to pull out my inhaler at least once. Sometimes I think it's more mental than physical, especially when I'm running with someone. I feel as if I need to match their pace and if they are faster, then I really start to push it. However, my lungs don't necessarily agree with that logic. 

Then, we started to climb into the Rincon mountains. 

Kathryn leading the way.
Going higher into the Rincons. 
I love trail running, but sometimes it is so painful when you are out of shape!! 
But I guess that's part of the fun, right? :)

The views were, of course, amazing. 
The trail was great! The temperature was perfect in the morning...not too hot and not at all cold. 
There were not very many people on the trail which was nice.
The trail itself was easy enough in the first mile or so, but then it rose up with small inclines. There were some switchbacks later on but nothing like the ones in the Santa Rita mountains....much more manageable.
The views were great too. I love trying out new trails!!
A view of Tucson, looking southwest. 
I told Kathryn that I wasn't feeling too great, so she said we should run up the trail to a campground.
I heard 9 miles roundtrip so I figured it would only be a few more miles up the trail (since it was only 4.5 miles one way). I said sure let's go!
I remember that I kept checking my watch to make sure we wouldn't miss 4.5 miles. When we did pass it, I stopped and wondered where the campground was. She corrected me and told me 9 miles total. 9 miles  normally would not have bothered me, but I really wasn't in the correct mindset that day. I think my mouth dropped. :)
Me and Kathryn
So, we snapped a picture together, and I headed off down the mountain. I felt pretty defeated.
I knew I could have gone farther than 9 miles total that day, but I know not to push myself when I am feeling sick (or injured). This is probably why I am never been injured from running. 
 The next weekend, I planned to run up the Catalina's and I wanted to be injury free. 

Looking towards the Catalinas. 
I ran back down the trail alone.
I felt like I was slowing Kathryn down (she is so fast!) so I was glad she could pick up some speed and get to the top. It was getting hot and I was worried she would run out of water.
But she texted me later and told me she made it back down in one piece!
However, she said she couldn't find Mica Mountain (our destination) so we have a reason to go back in the fall and look for it. :)
I will be ready next time!

Some parts of the trail were flat thank goodness!
On my way back to my car...I had to take a break. 
On my way back, I took a break on a rock. I was so incredibly tired all of a sudden.
I was not sure what was going on with me. I sat and looked at the view for awhile. It was hard just to stand up! Perhaps the run last weekend wore me out...

After finally convincing myself that I had to get back to my car, I stood up and ran down the trail. Running down is, of course, so much easier. :)
As I sped up, I started to wake up. Running fast was nice. 

I came to a sign that said Bridal Wreath Falls was really close!
I had to check it out. I heard the falls are really nice and there is a fairly large waterfall.
I was hoping there would at least be some water. 

Checking out Bridal Wreath Falls on my way back. 
The trail to the falls were shaded and flat. But the falls were completely dried up. No waterfall. No water. 
Not even a drop. Typical. 
It looked as if it would be a nice place to be when it was flowing. I made a promise to myself that I would come back here when it rained. 

Watch out: Mountain Lions!
Not sure if you pick this up from my other posts, but I am freaked out when I run alone. 
I am always stopping, making sure that sound behind me was not a mountain lion. 
I have lived here my entire life and I have never seen one...but I am still terrified of them! 
I have heard stories, and I think that's what fueled my fear.
They are out there, I know, so I wasn't surprised when I saw the sign above. 

A few weeks ago, a trail in Sabino Canyon was shut down for a few days because of a mountain lion that was acting weird. It wasn't afraid of humans and it was hanging around in one place. Not typical of them. They are said to move....when they aren't stalking something...which is what I think they are doing to me every time I run alone.

I will have to get over my fear one day...right? lol

Douglas Springs was great! Glad I had a running buddy to go with.
I wish I had run farther, but I just wasn't feeling it.
Next time I try this trail, I hope my body agrees that day! *crossing my fingers*

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