Monday, March 31, 2014

Race Report: State Farm Run (3/29/14)

We got the whole Sellers family out on Saturday morning and did a nice local race here in Lincoln. The State Farm Run had a 10 miler for me and a mile run for my two boys Gavin (9) and Samson (5).
Gavin had a nice showing and finished 2nd overall in 6:25. Samson ran 11:28 and showed some real heart running most of the race and then finishing hard with a little moral support from my wife and his older brother. This was Samson's first road race.
Gavin will start his track practices with a local club here next week. Lately he's just been running easy 2 or 3 times per week.
It was great that I could watch my boys run at 8:30 AM while I warmed up for my 9AM start time. I'm very proud of them both!

This is Samson in blue finishing hard. Gavin finished his race and then turned around to encourage little brother.
Samson strides to the finish in 11:38. 

As far as my race goes, it was my first road race of the year and I treated it more like a tempo run. I had a conservative goal of just breaking 60 minutes going in and I was glad to reach that goal with a 9th place finish in 59:08. Not a fast time by any means, but considering my lack of speed and tempo work so far this year, it was about what I expected. I clearly need to do some speedier workouts in the next 5 weeks leading up the the Lincoln Marathon in early May.

This is the race start with Kaemmer , Wolford and Wandzilak (left to right) leading the way early.
It was a cool morning right around 30 degrees at race time. I enjoyed running much of the race with my Lincoln Running Company teammates Neil Wolford, Ryan Regnier, Brian Wandzilak, Tom Woods and also Nebraska Run Guru Elite team member Pete Kostelnick. It was also great to see LRC teammates Hayley Sutter, Austin McKillip, Brian Kelley, Jason Schmaderer and Derek Sekora there finishing close behind me. We put 5 runners in the top 10 on the men's side of the 10-mile race. We also had Ryan Dostal and Cole Marolf go 1-2 in the 5k. Full LRC race recap here. Kudos to the Lincoln Track Club for another well organized event.

The best side of Kostelnick (black arm sleeves), Regnier (black gloves) and myself (orange hat) in the first 100 meters.
I got out in the 5:35 range for the first mile which put me in about 6th or 7th place. Regnier was feeling good and decided to move up after about a mile leaving me, Kostelnick and Woods to run together. Regnier ended up third, representing our crew well.
My first 4 miles were all in the 5:30's and then I decided to back off just before the 5 mile turnaround, letting Kostelnick and Tom Woods pull away from me just before the tunnel at about mile 4.5. I was feeling some tightness in my hammy (despite wearing pants in attempts to keep it warm) and decided it would be smarter to back off. I ran closer to 6 minute pace the next few miles. I dropped back down to 5:50 for my final mile. I felt pretty comfortable the whole way, hopefully meaning I have more in the tank than I showed!

This is my finish, in all its Google-enhanced glory.
It was encouraging when I woke up on Sunday and didn't really have the sore calves that I would normally have after a race like this. And my hamstring also felt pretty good. I hit another 25 miler on Sunday to make it a 45 mile weekend. I'm not sure if all these long runs will translate to marathon success this spring, but we'll see what happens. In my mind, I don't really have a goal race yet for this year. I am doing what I can to be ready for Lincoln but I feel like it's an early marathon and I won't be in top condition quite in time. Hopefully I round into shape in the next few weeks.
In any case, I do hope to find an event on the trail in the 50k to 50 mile range in late May or June to make a goal race. This is my Ultra Year, after all. 

Friday, March 28, 2014

A Fat Shoe Love Story: My Review of the Skecher’s Go Run Ultra


Early in 2014 I found myself in a running transition. I was feeling burnt out and banged up after a hard year of road racing and a fall marathon flop. More and more I was out on the trails running slow and easy and just trying to get the love back. In early February, I decided to target a local trail 50k on March 1st as my first race over 26.2 miles.

Once I had something on my calendar I began to obsess about what gear and shoes I would need to complete this longer race. Will I need to carry water? Will there be snow on the ground, etc.
I had a lot of road running shoes in my closet and a couple pair of Inov-8 Roc-Lite trail shoes which I had found to be stiff and not very cushy for longer runs. Good shoes for rocky or muddy terrain, but I couldn’t see wearing them in a 50k on the relatively tame singletrack and crushed gravel course I would be racing.

The Nike Air Pegasus, now in it’s 29th iteration, has been my workhorse shoe for the last 18 months or so. But it didn’t seem appropriate for the trails and mixed terrain either.

Enter the Skecher’s Go Run Ultra. I can’t tell you how I even found the shoe online. I think I searched “Ultra” shoes and got a list of shoes with “Ultra” in the name. In any case, I was skeptical of the Skecher’s name (they made those ShapeUp grandpa shoes, right?) but intrigued by the story of the Go Run Ultra shoe. Did Skecher’s really have a “Performance Division” that tested and toiled over shoes for  runners?  Did Skecher’s care enough or see enough sales dollars to invest in making a serious shoe for ultra runners?
Well, apparently they do. And they’ve done their R&D quite well on their first version of the Skecher’s Go Run Ultra.


For starters, the Go Run Ultra claims to have 65% more cushion than the Skecher’s Go Run Ride. Great, but I’ve never worn the Go Run Ride so let’s start there. After a little reading, the Go Run Ride seems to be the closest thing to a neutral cushion trainer in the Skecher’s lineup. And I always go for a neutral cushion shoe. I don’t need “support” shoes, which generally offer pronation control in the form of some rigid material on the inside of the shoe so you don’t “over-pronate.” And I don’t need super lightweight or minimal shoes because I’m 6-4 and I weigh in around 160 lbs. Yes, I'm a tall, skinny dude.

So here in the Skecher’s Go Run Ultra we have a neutral cushion shoe with lots of extra pillowy goodness and a fairly aggressive tread which should go from trail to road to gravel without missing a beat.
Categorically this seems to put the Skecher’s Go Run Ultra in the relatively new “Maximal/Maximum Cushion/Fat Shoe” category. Whether this is a backlash to the barefoot/minimal movement (take that Vibram Five Fingers with your creepy toe shoes!) or just a response to the growing popularity of ultradistance running, or a little of both, I’m not sure. 
I always run with the insole in for about an 8mm drop. The drop is 4mm with insole removed.

But as a 35-year-old runner who puts in 80-120 mile weeks on a regular basis, I’m open to some extra cushion.  And even the relatively low “drop” of the Skecher’s GRU doesn’t scare me off. The shoe itself has a 4mm drop and the insole adds another 4mm for a total around 8mm.  I’m used to the traditional 12mm drop in the Nikes, so at least I won’t be moving down to a zero drop shoe such as an Altra, which does scare me (and my achilles tendons) a bit.

The first shoe that comes to mind when you consider the concept of the “Maximal/Max Cushion/Fat Shoes” is the Hoka. Hoka is also the originator and 300 pound gorilla in this “Fat Shoe” space.
I’ve admittedly never worn a Hoka, but I’ve had two friends waste their ankles wearing Hokas in technical trail races. They both seem to think the very high stack (Hokas almost look like a platform shoe) was mostly to blame. That’s right, I’m dogging Hoka purely on anecdotal evidence. The good news about the Skecher’s GRU is the stack height is much more reasonable than the Hoka models and the softer and more aggressively lugged outsole on the GRU should offer a more stable, non-ankle-busting ride.  (I invite Hoka to send me a pair of size 14 shoes to test.)


In a world (movie announcer voice) where a good pair of shoes is now almost always north of $100, one nice surprise is the Skecher’s GRU retails at only $80. That’s about half the price of many Hoka models.  And with the 25% coupon code I was able to find online for, these Skechers were a super value.

I was in shoe lust before they even arrived, figuring up dollars spent vs. miles I could run in the GRU. Could they really be so versatile, so cushy, so exactly what I was looking for?
In short, yes, these shoes deliver in nearly every way. I didn’t sit down to write a love letter to the GRU, but there are very few flaws to be found. For “Fat Shoes” they even have a svelt, muscular look.
Inside view of the shoe: the contours of the outsole and two different colors of outsole foam reduce the visual bulk.

The weight of the shoe is much less than you would expect. At just 9.1oz for a men’s 9, they somehow pack a lot of lightweight cushioning into the shoe. They look a bit bulky, but it seems they look bulkier than they actually feel on your feet.

The toebox is wider than that of my Nikes but not as wide as an Altra. I have pretty average foot width and the toebox allows for natural toe splay, which is something I didn’t even know I would enjoy until I did a few 25-milers in the GRU. The wide toebox should also accommodate the swelling of the feet you would encounter in a longer trail or ultra race.  

The cushioning is very plush as promised. The GRU’s help you roll over rocks and roots while still being able to feel what is under you, to an extent. However, the GRU’s don’t make you totally immune to feeling the rocks under you like shoes with a shank (my Inov-8’s) would do. I’m ok with that though because what I get in return is the confidence to grip those rocks and roots, push off and feel like you still get some spring back from the shoe. Which hasn’t been my experience in trail shoes with a more hardened rubber outsole.

The M-Strike technology (which is essentially Skecher’s bump in the midfoot of the shoe that propels you forward) is definitely noticeable when you first wear the shoes, and it did feel a bit funny at first. But after a few runs in the GRU, I didn’t even notice it even more. I also didn’t experience any calf soreness or other aches which I thought might be a symptom of the M-Strike propelling me forward.

I had enough confidence in the GRU that I wore them for my 50k after only owning the shoes about 2 weeks. And while I raced that 50k in 5 degree weather, I second-guessed a lot of things (including my sanity), but my choice of shoes wasn’t one of them. The GRU kept my feet warm and comfortable and even the little things such as the laces (they stayed tied) and the tongue (stitched in place) performed very well. And I was lucky enough to win that race. Coincidence or Skecher's magic?


I’ve put about 250 miles on these shoes and worn them about half the time on the road and the other half on trail/gravel.

The main negative I have noticed is the outsole does seem to get shredded pretty quickly on the roads. But 250 miles in, I would expect some wear to show. I am only used to getting about 350 miles out of each pair of my Nike’s before my knees tell me it’s time to update my shoes, so I’m excited to see how many miles I might get out of the GRU before they are shot.
Outsole comparison of new shoe and one with 250 miles, about half of that mileage on the road. I'm a mid to forefoot striker, so the back half of the shoe shows little wear.

Another issue I’ve noticed on warmer days is limited breathability in the upper. I tend to have sweated through the shoe in the area at the bottom of the tongue (where the shoe flexes) rather quickly. So I would like to test them further in rainy or creek stomping conditions to see what kind of drainage they provide. This will be a key test for those that truly intend to run longer ultra races in these shoes. 


I’ve been wearing the Skecher’s Go Run Ultra every other day (alternating with my Nike Air Pegasus 29) but I find myself wearing them more and more lately. In fact, I would see no issues with making them my primary trainer.

The GRU would be a great shoe for just about anyone but especially for heavier runners, those that run higher mileage, those that run trails and ultra distances, those who like a great value. I would stop short of wearing them for road races because they just may be too cushy and add to that late-race sensation of your feet sinking into the pavement.

Outside of running, these shoes are just plain comfy to wear. If you send a pair to Mario Batali, he might just trade in his Crocs.
I have already bought my second pair and have them ready to go.

So Skecher’s, listen up! You’ve hit the nail on the head here with the Go Run Ultra. Don’t ruin this model by tinkering too much!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Race Report: Stampede Trail 50k in 5 degree weather (3/1/14)

I decided to make my third race of 2014 a long one. This would be my 50k debut and the first race of the year I felt fit enough to actually race. I chose the Stampede 50k because it starts at Roca Berry Farm and runs into the Wilderness Park trails just 10 minutes from my house in Lincoln and I know the terrain pretty well. Nothing like sleeping in your own bed the night before a race.

My late 2013 and early 2014 training has been a bit spotty by my standards. I've been battling with a tight hamstring/inactive glutes (coincidentally the subject of many recent articles in running magazines) since September of 2013 when I had my DNF at the Quad Cities Marathon. I was in great shape, ran aggressive there (1:15:10 at the half marathon and about 1:57 at the 20 mile) and my hamstring tied up on me at mile 20 so I pulled the plug.
I've been squeezing my butt muscles in every way imaginable for the last few months to try to remedy my hammy situation. Things have improved lately so that I can run decent mileage again but any speedwork, and even tempo work, makes the hamstring tight and kills my stride.
If 2013 was about coming out of retirement, going hard and running mostly half marathons (and it was), 2014 for me is about going long, mixing in more trails and testing my limits another way.

So I was walking into this 50k with a few solid long runs (topping out at 25 miles) and for speed I had just a couple random short tempo runs on the treadmill and one "fast finish" long run. Luckily, trail 50k's don't usually come down to a sprint.

What I hadn't anticipated for a March 1 race was 5 degree temps and -30 windchill readings. So the week leading up to the race was about preparing gear and preparing mentally for those conditions. Luckily, I went to college in Minnesota so I had a pretty good idea of how to race in the cold. Wear layers and don't overdress. In a race situation, you will warm up even quicker than a normal run.
Below is what I wore on race day.
Super-cold 50k gear
I went with 3 layers on both top and bottom. On top I went with a mid-weight Adidas ClimaFit t-shirt, mid-weight Asics half-zip and a Millet wind vest. Millet is a french company that makes great mountain/ski gear but this vest is similar to many on the market. I also put on some basic arm sleeves under my long sleeve shirt to keep my elbows warm (not pictured).

On my bottom half I went with my go-to combination for anything under about 20 degrees. Orca "Kompression" shorts, 2XU Compression tights, and basic Sporthill pants.
For footwear I went with a basic mid-weight cotton sock and my Skechers Go Run Ultra shoes. These shoes worked great for the varied terrain on this course---crushed gravel, grass, singletrack dirt. Review of these shoes coming to Respect The Run very soon!

For gloves I went with my Nathan "convertible" gloves with the little windsleeve mitten that pulls over the top. I could have gone with a warmer mitten but I needed to have my fingers to get at my fuel along the way.
On my head I went with my favorite hat. It's a Skitrab brand hat (yes, more ski gear). The thing I like about ski hats is they are very tight and keep the wind from coming up into your ears. No other hat keeps me as warm as this one. You can usually tell a good ski hat because it will have a little loop on top for hanging and it will be made of stretchy tech fabric.
I also wore a windmask that covers your nose and mouth, but I just pulled it down around my neck because I don't like covering my nose and mouth, especially in a race. But it made a nice neck-warmer.

The right hat and gloves go a long way. (About 31 miles in this case.)

All this turned out to be the just the right amount of gear when I got going. If you are dressed right to race in cold weather, you should be cold at the start line...

On race morning I woke up about 2 hours before race time and had my usual race breakfast of a whole banana and a handful of Kix cereal right away. On my way out the door I stuffed my pockets with race fuel: 3 energy gels (I generally like them caffeinated), 3 oreo-style vanilla cookies, 6 or 8 Hammer Endurolytes salt caps, and a handful of chocolate covered coffee beans (I ate a few of these on the way to the race to give me a little caffeine in my system). I told my wife and kids just to stay home rather than come out and watch me in the harsh conditions.

I got to the race site, grabbed my number and did a 10 minute light jog. I wanted to get some blood moving but not really get sweaty. I knew there would be some waiting for instructions at the startline and I didn't want to get sweaty and "ice up" before the race.

The actual start/finish line was located in a barn on the Roca Berry Farm property. We are talking an old, non-insulated barn. They had a couple of kerosene heaters in there which raised the temp inside to probably 25 or 30 degrees but it was still pretty cold.

Just before 8am, RD Jim Craig started giving pre-race instructions in the barn to about 60 or 70 of us (there was also a 5 mile and 15 mile offering that day). The gist of Jim's talk was not to kill yourself out there and dropping out after the first 15+ mile loop was very acceptable today considering the harsh conditions.
Don't kill yourself. Good advice. Jim also said that the clock and finish line volunteers would stay inside the barn so finishing would literally mean unlatching the barn door, walking in and announcing yourself. Insert joke about leaving the barn door open....

We stepped outside to the start and Jim Craig sent us on our way. I decided to carry my Nathan handheld and no other fluids. As I suspected, my bottle's mouthpiece started to freeze up about a mile into the race and I just tossed it into the ditch. Some upstanding citizen grabbed it and it appeared back at the finish line after the race.

Off the starting line, Jeremy Morris , an accomplished ultra runner took the lead. He went about 6:20 for the first mile while myself and Aaron Norman , another seasoned ultra guy, were more like 6:30. There was no one else really giving chase. Norman and I decided to let Morris go and settled in around 6:50 pace while we talked about family, races we had run, etc.
My goal going in was just to break 4 hours and I didn't want to get sucked into Morris's pace. So Norman and I headed north running side by side into the wind on the crushed gravel rail trail.

Norman was wearing an ultra vest which carried 2 bottles on the front for most of the race, although he wasn't getting much out of them because the liquid was turning to slush and the mouthpieces were freezing up. It looked like Morris had a belt on carrying a water bottle in back. I was planning to rely on the aid stations since my handheld had frozen.
The course was set up with small aid stations at about miles 5.5, 8, 9, 11.5, 15 and then the same sequence on lap 2. So plenty of aid for this type of race. The course was roughly 10% dirt/gravel farm road, 45% crushed gravel rail trail, 45% singletrack wooded trail. There was one dry creek crossing at mile 8/mile 23.

I grabbed a small bottle of water with a twist off top at 5.5 mile aid station and carried that with me for several miles. It wasn't freezing up because of the constant movement. I took a GU around mile 6 and it was very thick and I had to warm it inside my glove to get most of it out. Norman and I continued to hold pace just under 7 minute miles even on the singletrack sections. Between miles 6 and 8 we noticed that we were slowly reeling Morris in. Norman and I passed him just after the creek crossing around mile 8. We exchanged a few words but Morris didn't seem to have much fight as we passed him. We found out later that Morris had overdressed and he ended up shedding a layer at the mile 9 aid station.

Norman and I both passed on aid at miles 8 and 9 because we both still had water and calories on us.
We were still working together and I ate a few coffee beans and then a couple oreo cookies around mile 10. My face was frozen and chewing was not pleasant but I managed to get the calories down. I grabbed another small bottle of water at the 11.5 aid station.

About 15 miles in, as we approached the halfway point aid station at the barn, Norman and I agreed to stop and leave the station together so we could continue to work together. It's definitely a valid race tactic to leave another racer behind who is slower at an aid station, or to simply skip an aid station where another racer is stopping to make up time, but this wasn't a day that either of us wanted to go it alone out in the wind.

I needed a bathroom break and a bottle of water, and Norman really wanted to refill his frozen water bottles. We didn't stop at the barn for more than 2 minutes or so and I was ready to go again. Pete Kostelnick, my sometimes long run partner, had opened my water for me (my hands were half-frozen) and got me ready to go again quickly.
Norman was now standing outside the barn and fumbling to get the lid on his water bottle, it kept leaking.
We started to jog out and he was still fiddling with the water bottle. I can't remember if I told him just to drop the bottle and run, but I wanted to. He finally told me to go ahead and leave without him.

This was when my racing instincts kicked in. As I took off from the barn I picked up my pace down the farm road back to the rail trail. When I turned onto the rail trail I shifted gears and ran about 3.5 miles at 6:20 pace despite running straight north into the wind. I didn't look back for a few miles. I was encouraged along the way by the other runners in the race coming back toward the halfway point. Somewhere during that hard stretch I passed Kyle Clouston, who was leading the 15 mile race and going the opposite direction. I called out asking him how much of a lead I had. He said a minute or so, hard to tell.

I blew past the 19 mile aid station for fear of losing my lead, which was a bad call. I still hadn't taken my Endurolytes (salt pills) and I started to see spots on the singletrack between that station and the 22 mile station. I didn't feel too bad, I just couldn't see clearly. I needed salt.

This had happened to me in the desert in January of this year so I knew what was going on and I didn't freak out. I didn't stop to walk either. I just slowed up slightly and concentrated on each turn in the trail using what I could see to guide me. I couldn't see my feet below me so I was turning with my body more than aiming my steps like I would normally do on a trail like this with tree roots and walnuts that need to be avoided. I knew this stretch of trail well but I still got very lucky flying blind for those couple miles until mile 22 where I stopped for a minute or two and finally took some salt. My recovery when I took the salt pills was almost immediate, within a few minutes anyway. My vision came back and I could turn my attention back to finishing the race.

In a race like this you would normally have some friends or family out on the course cheering and telling you what your lead or deficit is. But the conditions were so brutally cold that it wasn't realistic for spectators to be outside.

Norman hadn't caught up to me while I was stopped taking my salt like I worried he might. He was apparently back more than the minute or two I had stopped at the aid station. I jumped back on the course and was running around 7 minute pace again between miles 22 and that final aid station around mile 26. During these miles I passed Morris and saw that he was having a really bad day, at least 20 minutes behind me. I also saw Kaci Lickteig out on the course near Morris. She is a top national ultra runner on the women's side, having placed 2nd at the national 100 mile championships at Rocky Raccoon in Texas just a few weeks before this Stampede 50k. She was probably just getting back into doing long runs after her huge 100 mile effort.

When I rolled out of the woods and into that last aid station, the race was mine to lose. The RD had driven to the aid station to tell me I had to do the loop around the farm, not just run straight to the barn, before I finished. Basically an extra mile or more that I hadn't mentally prepared for. Not news I wanted to hear.

The volunteer at the aid station helped me open some sports drink and water. I knew I had at least a few minutes of cushion on Norman. This should have been comforting but really wasn't. I was feeling pretty drained. My hamstring was feeling tight and I hoped it wouldn't fail me. I'd never run further than 26 miles before. I was there now on the doorstep where a marathon turns into an Ultramarathon. Me and some other crazies out running around in the cold on a perfectly good Saturday.
But as I started to run again my legs weren't all that tired. The battle was mostly mental. My mind kept telling me just to stop and walk for a minute, it will feel great. Just putting one leg out in front of the other was a battle those last few miles but I knew I couldn't stop and walk or I might not start again. I ignored my watch as it informed me I was ticking off miles 27, 28, 29. I just looked ahead to the next stand of trees and focused on reaching it. Then I told myself to do it again.

I know my last 5 miles weren't my fastest but I pushed through and got back to the berry farm where I had to do one last lap around the farm before finishing. The last mile I imagined spectators lining that rough farm road as though it were the finish of a major marathon. Luckily, the last 100 yards or so of the race were a slight downhill and it made reaching the barn easy.

I opened the barn door, walked in and simply said "I'm in."  I had won the Stampede 50k.
My time was 3:32:04. I was pleased with that considering the conditions and my doubts about my own fitness going into the race.
The next hour I sat inside the barn next to a kerosene heater and tried to get warm by drinking hot chocolate and a little beer. I felt like garbage. But what do you expect after running 31 miles out in frigid conditions?
I was somewhat out of it for that hour and I finally realized I was just so cold that I needed to leave the barn and really warm up in my car. So I headed out to the car, warmed up for a bit and then just drove home. I'd intended to go back inside and eat more food, but getting up from the warm car seat wasn't going to happen. I got home and took my temperature. It was still about 1.5 degrees low. I hydrated, napped and felt much better in a few hours.

I "Respected The Run" by giving my body a few days off and then only running about 30 miles the week after the race. I pretty much resumed full training after that down week. I have the Lincoln Marathon on my schedule in early May.

Big thank you to RD Jim Craig at Angry Cow Adventures and also to Morris, Norman, Kostelnick, and everyone else in attendance that day. See you further down the trail!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Stoked for March Madness!

Samson, 5, and Gavin, 9, holding their NCAA brackets
My boys Gavin and Sam are ready for March Madness! Here they are proudly holding up their brackets. They are in the $5 pool at my wife's work. Sam picked purely on the names of the teams as I read them to him. He somehow came out with Florida beating Duke in the final though. Probably more likely than my Michigan State over Arizona scenario.

My Morning 14-miler: Lost at Wilderness Park

I've been here in Lincoln for about 6 months now. I run the Wilderness Park Trails 3 times per week or so. I even won a 50k on these trails on March 1 in frigid temps (belated race report coming soon) but I found out today that I don't know all the trails.
I got adventurous today and went west then north out of the main Wilderness parking lot on S 14th near Rokeby Road and I ended up all turned about 5 or 6 miles north of there. I didn't panic, but I started to wonder if I could make it back down to my car in time to get my 5 year old from preschool in time. Samson goes from 9-11.30am so this is my main weekday running time.
I knew I was west of the creek and wanted to be east of when I saw a dry creek bed I slid down about a 20 foot high bluff which was just loose dirt and got myself down to cross the creekbed. Turns out that creekbed crossed me over to an island and didn't get me anywhere. Scrambling back up the bluff and onto the trail again was my strength workout for the day.
Proof I had fun today--mud-caked Skechers Go Run Ultras (Review Coming Soon).

I followed the trail around and eventually spotted a road. It turns out I was near Old Cheney Road and just east of Hwy 77---on the western edge of Wilderness Park. Now I know. Found my way back across the creek on Old Cheney and back down to my car just in time to pick up my little guy.
This was way easier mentally than 14 miles on the road. It turns out being lost is a great way to pass the time. Instead of thinking "oh man, my legs are tired today. how much longer is this run?" I was looking for a solution to get back to a trail I knew without going to plan B, which was a WET creek crossing in 34 degree temps.

This is me post-run, relieved I found my car again.